The future of out-of-home is looking really good. We’re seeing some great advancements in digital out-of-home technology, changes to consumer buying habits, and a cookieless future on the horizon. A new year has arrived and OOH is officially having “a moment”.
As more brands and agencies recognize out-of-home’s value and influence, expect its demand to increase, especially given how strong it has been throughout the pandemic recovery. But with increased demand comes new responsibility, and if you’re a digital-out-of-home media owner, your traditional way of doing things might just not cut it anymore.
In fact, if you’re intent on scaling, you’re going to need to look inward first to ensure you’ve taken every step towards operational efficiency. Having the right processes and tools in place will help you drive sales, boost revenue, and stay ahead of your competitors and meet the moment heading into the future of DOOH.
Not sure where to start? We’ve compiled a few ideas to help your business adapt to the anticipated increase in demand for DOOH while ensuring you’ve got everything in place for smooth and successful operations.
Streamline ad content scheduling and delivery with an automated CMS
Efficiency starts with having the right tools and resources in place. For digital out-of-home businesses operating medium to large ad-based networks, automation should be your best friend, and it all starts with automating your content management.
Managing a large ad-based network manually can be a time-consuming and tedious endeavour, not to mention one that can leave plenty of room for human error. But running an automated CMS means you’ll be able to minimize the potential for careless mistakes and get the job done quickly and more efficiently. Simply put, you’ll save time and money, and probably have fewer headaches as well.
And on the subject of mistakes? They happen. But they happen much less frequently when a computer is handling scheduling instead of a person. With a proper rules-based scheduling system, you can pretty much entirely avoid the potential of scheduling awkward conflicts—for example, including an advertiser’s ads in the same loop as competitors. And not only can you prevent negative outcomes, but you can also maximize the potential for positive outcomes as well. You can use a solution like Broadsign Control to schedule your customers’ ads for the exact right time to reach as much of their target audience as possible. This translates to happier customers, but also to your being able to charge higher prices – if you can show you’re delivering better results for them, advertisers will be happy to pay higher rates to work with you.
Create a smoother sales process by coordinating sales and scheduling
Beyond supporting content distribution efforts, automation can bring added value to your sales teams, too. Many sales teams are set in their ways, using spreadsheets, third-party apps, or other sales tools to manage sales. While these solutions may have been effective in the past, or work just fine for smaller ad networks it might be time to consider other avenues if scalability is your goal.
Instead of relying on clunky spreadsheets, which can inevitably lead to mistakes, Consider the value of a sales and campaign management tool like Broadsign Direct, which synchs up with both your CMS and ad server to ensure your bookings are automatically accounted for in your content scheduling. This saves you from having to do repeated manual work, and also allows for total transparency for your entire team. Shared visibility makes for a more streamlined process from start to finish.
Speed up proposals and responses with a dedicated OOH sales tool
According to McKinsey, the average employee spends roughly 27% of their workweek focused on email. That amounts to precious time focused on drafting cold emails or awaiting replies, and also additional friction in the OOH buying process. The longer it takes to close a deal, the greater the likelihood of something coming up to prevent the deal from being made at all.
In an increasingly tech-focused industry like OOH, there are many alternatives to email that can help you speed up the process of drafting proposals. For example, your business might benefit from software that can create client-ready proposals in just a few clicks. These can include necessary campaign components and specifications such as audience demographics, a detailed number of available screens and their locations, flight duration, and budget overview. And, better still, solutions like Broadsign Direct will tie these proposals directly to bookings in your scheduling software and update you inventory availability automatically.
There are some impressive benefits to be realized by adopting this sort of workflow, and even greater benefits still if you combine this type of tool with a customer relationship management solution like Salesforce. Do so, and you’ll have a powerful system with which to nurture relationships with your buyers and provide them with the promptest possible service when they are ready to book a campaign.
Improve how you manage inventory
Yet another key way to improve your processes is with streamlined inventory management. Instead of relying on spreadsheets to keep track of your campaigns, you’ll be able to see, in real-time, how your inventory is booked.
This makes it much easier for your sales team to make deals that are actually possible, as dictated by what inventory has been sold and what is available. And making this information available live, whenever your team needs it, will ensure that they can work at peak efficiency. No need to wait on multiple internal checks to confirm that something can be sold; no need to apologize to customers for double-booking a slot, and then having to figure out how to reschedule.
Get in-depth analysis with reporting tools
One of the more time-consuming aspects of executing a digital out-of-home campaign is analysis and reporting. Manually measuring a campaign’s performance eats hours of the day, but with an automated reporting tool at the ready, you benefit from immediate access to vital campaign information like proof of play, so you can see how and where your ads played to give you to inform your return on investment.
Just make sure to select a solution with reporting tools that have been validated by an third-party, as this will help you ensure that the results you see are accurate. And the more information that can be collected by such a system, the better. If you intend to make use of audience analytics services to collect high-quality data relating to your network’s audience, you’ll need to make sure your chosen software is able to play nicely with the services you choose.
Pro tip: Choose a solution with an open API, and you’ll be able to connect to just about any service you can think of.
Start building a programmatic sales business now
As you look into ways to boost productivity and create smoother processes with your out-of-home operations, you need to make programmatic DOOH a consideration. In 2022 and beyond, programmatic DOOH ad spend is expected to sharply increase. One of the drivers of this increase: Programmatic transactions are hugely efficient for buyers and media owners alike.
If you aren’t familiar, programmatic DOOH is the buying, selling, and delivery of out-of-home ads using an automated sales process. The difference? With traditional transactions, new deals need to be set up fresh every single time. With pDOOH, you’ll work with a buyer to establish the parameters of a campaign, and then their ads will run when the campaign’s parameters are met. What’s great, however, is that you can enable ongoing access to your inventory for this type of campaign. The buyer can turn on and off their campaign as needed, and the original targeting parameters of the ads will be respected whenever the campaign is live.
Hear from a buyer: Why programmatic DOOH is an effective channel for driving business
This self-serve model really resonates with buyers, and it also offers some real efficiency benefits to you and your team. Your sales team can work on building the relationship with a programmatic buyer and encouraging further purchases rather than having to spend a bunch of time creating proposals, negotiating new agreements, etc.
Programmatic DOOH campaigns are also seen as much more favourable in the eyes of many buyers because of how precise the targeting can be. Rather than casting a wide net the way they might do with a generic DOOH campaign, they’re instead running a very specific and targeted campaign that only runs when the conditions are most favourable for reaching their targe audience. More targeted campaigns for specific audiences = a more efficient way to spend resources.
If you’re interested in pursuing programmatic, be sure to check out our guide to selecting the right SSP partner for getting your inventory connected to a global community of buyers.
Building or optimizing a DOOH business is a large endeavour, but it’s much easier when you empower yourself with the right tools for the job. Plan carefully, adopt automation wherever possible, and prioritize the new technologies that will help you connect with the next generation of OOH buyers. You’ll be amazed at the results you will see.
There’s no time like the present to unlock the full value of your digital out-of-home network.
Reach out! Our team of experts will be happy to show you how we can help