September 16, 2022 | Blog

Hivestack's inaugural UK summit: How OOH is moving towards a programmatic future

A rainy morning in London played host to a packed auditorium, an A-list speaker line up and an unmissable agenda

A rainy morning in London played host to a packed auditorium, an A-list speaker line up and an unmissable agenda

Last week, Hivestack hosted its inaugural UK summit, bringing together over 100 of the brightest minds from across the digital advertising industry to discover the latest insight and trends for DOOH.

The half day event welcomed a stellar lineup of industry experts to speak on a series of carefully curated content sessions from JCDecaux to ITV and GroupM, to discuss how the programmatic DOOH channel is evolving to be an essential part of an omnichannel strategy.

The power of 10

Lee Cutter, Hivestack’s VP of Sales for UK & Emerging Markets, welcomed guests with a state of the market update, highlighting the growth and evolution of programmatic DOOH across the UK. Out of a total out of home (OOH) market share of around £901m, programmatic DOOH currently only accounts for about £20m or just 2.2%, but we saw throughout the morning how that is set to change quickly. “That’s what’s exciting about this space – the runway is massive”, commented Lee Cutter in his opening, “and we should all be focussed on driving growth with an ambition that AT LEAST 10% of all DOOH by this time next year is being delivered programmatically.” Cutter went on to present his call to arms - the top 10 ways the industry can come together to reach 10% by 2023. “Ambitious though it may be, it is absolutely achievable.”

  1. Infrastructure - a strong ecosystem of demand and supply

  2. Education - OOH needs to learn about programmatic and vice versa

  3. Audience targeting - the move towards targeting audiences not screens

  4. Measurement - how programmatic DOOH drives higher levels of accountability 

  5. Flexibility & optimisation - in-flight campaign changes in real-time to deliver against core KPIs

  6. Real-time data triggers & Moment Targeting - we can now do much more than just activating an ad for ice cream when its sunny

  7. Omnichannel DSP integration - omnichannels to deliver incremental DOOH budgets through cross-channel activations

  8. “Outside-In” Buys - the move towards programmatic DOOH as a global trading platform

  9. Social media and OOH - the coming together of digital screens

  10. Video - the power for DOOH + CTV to work together in harmony

Enhancing the static ad

Will Brownsdon, Managing Director EMEA welcomed to the stage several key members from both media owner and media buyer side of the OOH industry to look at ‘How OOH [is] dealing with the shift from traditional to programmatic’ - Kate Tovey, Director of Customer Engagement at JCDecaux; Lucy Cutter, Head of Planning at Kinetic Worldwide and; Roy Shepherd, Head of OOH at Goodstuff joined to discuss the incremental growth that the technology is bringing to the channel by enhancing the static ad and the benefits for buyers, while still highlighting the importance of its traditional roots. 

When asked for their parting advice, Tovey mentioned the importance of adapting your content to the audience you’re talking to - digital natives for example have an entirely different idea of what programmatic DOOH is than digital comms planners. Echoing No. 2 in Cutter’s Top 10, it's about educating everyone so that the entire ecosystem can learn about the role of programmatic DOOH within their wider omnichannel strategies. Shepherd added the need to gain local OOH knowledge, reiterating that you need to know the local OOH landscape before you can make informed decisions - formats, locations, best practices. One approach for one city will not be right in another city. Cutter added her sentiments around the importance of being brave with clients, and working to find a way for every channel to work smoothly together; “We should be learning how to upskill internally, learning about the programmatic space within OOH and building that all-important network.”

Programmatic DOOH as a global platform

Next, Hivestack’s International Sales Director, Greg West took the podium to deliver a keynote on the global reach and scale of the DOOH channel, highlighting the “Outside-In” opportunities Hivestack offers across more than 25 countries. Building on No. 8 from Lee Cutter’s intro, the audience learnt of the truly global and borderless approach to DOOH advertising made possible by programmatic. For the first time in the history of OOH, buyers have the opportunity to activate campaigns all over the world, connecting with audiences in a combination of global markets, no matter where they are - from a single buying point.

West revealed that “Hivestack offers access to more than 400 media companies across the world, half a million screens, and half a trillion impressions a month, with that figure growing quickly, especially in Asian markets.” Coupled with the unique audience targeting capabilities of the channel mentioned earlier, the feeling in the auditorium was mutual - the stage is set for the next phase of this channel's growth and the entire industry needs to pay attention.

Lessons from other channels 

To conclude, Nigel Clarkson, Global CRO for Hivestack was joined by Freddie Turner, UK Managing Director at MiQ, Jay Rajdev, Controller of Advanced Advertising at ITV and Silvia Sparry, Global Chief Transformation Officer at GroupM Nexus to consider what lessons this rapidly evolving medium can learn from other sectors when it comes to advancements in programmatic technology. DOOH isn’t the first media channel to go on a programmatic journey and the panel paid homage to channels that have come before, looking at mistakes that have been made with programmatic as a way of understanding what can be left behind as we continue to drive growth and scale for OOH. 

With nine years under her belt at Xaxis, Sparry made clear that the main challenges when it comes to widespread adoption is the evolution from a planning and buying model into tactical programmatic. Again this comes down to education and, again, everyone has a part to play in that. A potential barrier to growth? Lack of trust – there is a need to prove to publishers that they can still monetise in the way they always have, that programmatic is adding net new revenue rather than cannibalising their existing revenue streams. Turner spoke of integrating an omnichannel planning perspective which, in the past, has driven faster adoption of programmatic allowing for certain mediums like mobile to be more reactive as a partner to other media channels. For MiQ, the advertiser perspective is the most interesting and it's clear they are seeing the opportunity to be able to move advertisers into new and evolving areas like programmatic DOOH, where before they may have felt like it was inaccessible or too expensive. “OOH is a huge growing channel for us both globally and in the UK.”

Rajdev explained how CTV is driving a new era for the box, putting it back on the omnichannel map, making it hyper targeted and a self-service option for businesses that would never previously have considered it. “We’ve got small little digital agencies in Newcastle, a gas fitter in Glasgow, and a cinema in Lowestoft, all advertising on ITV. What’s been a mainstay of OOH advertising, that regional accessibility, is a completely new space for us,” he said.

We saw across the morning, a room full of promise and enthusiasm. It was clear in the hours spent before and after the content sessions, in networking and socialising with each other once again, that there is a collective buzz for what is next.

Wth data-driven targeting precision, agile buying models and unprecedented audience measurement capabilities, programmatic DOOH is a natural progression for the OOH industry and a crucial component for any brand or agency’s marketing strategy. The audience left with ten clear steps to take programmatic DOOH into its next phase of growth and to see it take that 10% share of digital OOH by the end of 2023.  The industry is eager to come together to build a frictionless future.

Hivestack's inaugural UK summit: How OOH is moving towards a programmatic future