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The Trend is Our Friend: Understanding the Development of Digital Place-based Advertising

The DPAA held its third quarter members meeting on September 19 and the session can be summarized with one phrase stated by DPAA President and CEO, Barry Frey, being “the trend is our friend”.

Working ahead of the curve can bring both feelings of excitement and unease to companies catering to the early adopters of an industry. As the future makes a beeline for a world full of screens, however, the digital place-based industry is slowly starting to see an increase of advertisers cross the chasm into the early majority category and as such, vendors have a reason to celebrate.

A lot of kudos is owed to digital, a trend that has quickly become a mainstay in our society. According to AOL, the majority of online video spend in the past 12 months has stemmed from TV budgets, bringing billion dollar potential. On the flip side of the coin, this also creates clutter, allowing digital place-based programming to flash its competitive edge and witness a revenue increase of 14.9% in the first six months of 2013 compared to the same period last year (Miller, Kaplan, Arase).

DPb media is situated in environments where audiences welcome, if not seek, to be advised, educated and even sold to, and its programming does not interrupt but complement viewers’ activities. The DPAA has long been advocating this advantage and given peaked interest on the advertiser side, is now working hard to deliver scale, coverage, analytics and ease – former impediments to the industry that when effectively resolved will allow DPb to compete in the land of TV giants.

Anyone who has traded bellbottoms for skinny jeans (and then swapped back again and again within a few years time) will testify that trends don’t last forever, which is why the industry must make a conscious effort to go beyond its new position of an appealing alternative or trial for media buyers. How does the space ensure that its offerings become an essential component to profitability? Programmatic media buying.

The DPAA encourages networks to integrate with agency planning and buying tools so that they may be considered by agency planners in rankers, reach and frequency. While planners are typically composed of one group that covers all forms of media, buyers are teamed in silos that could potentially include DPb advertising in categories ranging from outdoor and TV to digital and radio. Education and awareness will help buyers with their decisions but programmatic media buying platforms will simplify the entire process and bring incremental revenue to all players involved.

In the meantime, everyone has work to do that will hopefully bring a rising tide to lift all boats. With a Video Everywhere title and website (, October’s DPAA Summit will surely tap into the trend. Stay tuned…