November 17, 2022 | Blogs

Double down on programmatic digital out of home (DOOH) for the biggest retail season of the year in the US

Holiday shopping has begun but in these tough economic times, overall spending is expected to decrease. We reveal how DOOH can be used to reach the right audience to influence purchase intent

Holiday shopping has begun but in these tough economic times, overall spending is expected to decrease. We reveal how DOOH can be used to reach the right audience to influence purchase intent

It is no secret that the holiday season is a crucial time of the year for retail brands to connect with buyers actively looking to spend - research shows sales are projected to total ​​$1.47 trillion during the period of November 2022 - January 2023. In many parts of the world, this year’s holiday season might feel reminiscent of pre-pandemic times, with consumers back on the streets and shopping in physical stores. Emotions are running high and store-fronts are ready, but despite this cheery facade, consumers are strapped for cash with recent research showing 32% of American spenders are ‘financially distressed’ and US holiday gift spending is expected to drop by $30 billion. However, despite the general downward sentiment toward spending, brands remain confident with 65% of store merchants expecting higher order volumes this holiday season than in 2021.

So, with consumer wallets being held tightly to their chest, it is more important than ever for marketers to maximize effectiveness and ensure their brand is top of mind this retail season. The way that consumers shop and what they have to spend might be changing, but the need to fine-tune marketing strategies to target audiences with precision, at scale, is no different. What role can programmatic DOOH play in driving customers through the door?

“ROPO” - Research offline, Purchase online

It's clear to see how the pandemic drove a rise in online shopping, but research shows customers still want the physical experience of in-store shopping and since January 2021, there has been a 44% increase of in-person visits to retail stores, restaurants, and places of entertainment. With an increase in footfall of shoppers on the streets, there is no doubt that targeting customers outside of the home needs to fall within a marketers strategy. The out of home (OOH) channel has stood the test of time, targeting large swathes of individuals (aka ‘one-to-many’ targeting) in high concentration locations. But with audience attention spans low and shopping budgets small, brands need to think about how best to target in a highly competitive shopping season, in order to maximize budgets and overall effectiveness. While traditional print billboards are a mainstay, one tactic within OOH is to employ the power of anonymous mobile location data through programmatic DOOH technology and integrate it within a wider omnichannel plan. 

‘Data’, the greatest gift this holiday season

In recent years, programmatic DOOH technology has evolved to allow for a far more granular approach to audience targeting than has ever been possible in the OOH space. What was once a manual process often taking months on end, planned and activated exclusively by humans and bought on an insertion order (IO) basis, is now automated and streamlined. Aggregating vetted, anonymized, mobile location IDs, programmatic DOOH allows the buyer to create custom audience segments and analyze their movement patterns to understand when and where to target customers while they are on the go. Geo-location data can then be used to select DOOH screens within a set parameter of a point of interest, such as a bricks and mortar store and campaigns can be monitored and optimized in-flight, a feature that is particularly useful in volatile, ever-changing economic times. A great example of this can be seen with North America’s largest retailer Walmart Canada, who recently ran a programmatic DOOH campaign targeting shoppers, resulting in a 131% lift in purchase intent amongst target audiences.

All eyes on the prize

Ad avoidance is real! A worldwide survey conducted in 2020 revealed that nearly 7 in 10 participants use one or more ways to avoid seeing ads across their digital devices and again in 2021, a study found a clear majority — 67% — use their mobile phones while watching television, with laptops and tablets further distracting consumers. Whether it’s online browsing during a TV ad break, or flipping through social media during the radio break, second screens have become the norm making it increasingly difficult for marketers to win eyeballs and target 1:1.  OOH is well-known for circumnavigating such challenges with its big and bold, unskippable formats. With programmatic DOOH, targeting audiences with precision takes it to the next level, positioning it as a critical element of a retail marketing strategy. What's more, custom audience segments created in a programmatic DOOH campaign can be leveraged for retargeting across mobile and other digital channels, maximizing effectiveness of a campaign from a holistic perspective. 

Shopping on a global scale

Advertisers are no longer limited to targeting shoppings in their local market as the channel has evolved to be truly borderless. Programmatic DOOH is uniquely positioned as an offering an accessible portal for global inventory at the click of a button. “Outside-in”, also known as cross-border activation, is the term that defines a campaign transacted from one market into another. Brands, agencies and omnichannel DSPs with the relevant partnerships in place can now leverage Hivestack’s suite of programmatic solutions to connect to global DOOH inventory to activate single or multi-market campaigns across the world, with the same ease, and flexibility of their local, domestic business. Simultaneously, media owners can benefit from a net new revenue stream from international buyers, adding exponentially to the earning potential of their DOOH inventory.