It’s undeniable – digital out-of-home is one of the fastest growing marketing channels, with increased interest attributed to advances in programmatic technology and the availability of robust data solutions. In fact, DOOH has become such a hot topic that independent digital marketing agency Coegi has dedicated the entire month of January to educating their teams and clients about this impactful medium. As a part of this education program, Coegi tapped Vistar Media, their preferred DSP for DOOH, to help build the content series. To learn more about how DOOH fits into their media planning, we spoke with Julia Wold, Operations Manager, Programmatic at Coegi.
Tell us a bit about what you do at Coegi – what is your role, and how does it fit within your team?
“My role at Coegi is to oversee the Operations Department of the programmatic team. I manage a group of skilled programmatic specialists who are the gears that make Coegi what it is. Along with executing my own campaigns, I help to ensure that all programmatic campaigns are launched in a timely manner, optimizations are taking place, and succinct reporting is communicated. I find it important to not only champion campaign wins, but also provide our clients with a macro understanding of how Coegi is making an impact for their brands.”
Why has it been important for your team to bring digital out-of-home into your brands’ media mix?
“Digital out-of-home has become an integral part of the planning process when considering overall campaign strategy. It is becoming increasingly more challenging to capture the attention of consumers, so reaching them through programmatic-enabled settings helps us to increase our exposure. It also lets us forgo the traditional methods of purchasing out-of-home and take an audience-first or contextual approach to the medium. This means that our media is being served and we are getting in front of the right people, at the right time, as they go about their day.
Additionally, running digital out-of-home in tandem with traditional out-of-home is a great way to help advertisers’ budgets stretch further – especially in top markets like LA, NY and Chicago.”
What education has been required to get clients to understand the benefits of running OOH programmatically?
“For many media buyers, out-of-home has been viewed largely as a traditional tactic. We have had to overcome several challenges to dispel this misconception:
- The hurdle of ‘either/or’ when it comes to buying only traditional out-of-home or only digital out-of-home — you can and should do both! There is something to be said about a strong traditional, static billboard, as you generate a daily frequency with commuters as they encounter the ad. But on the flip side, you can also choose to add in a digital element, programmatically. With this approach, you benefit from being able to travel around with that same likely consumer, according to their movement patterns. Ultimately, the two in tandem reinforce a brand's awareness.
- Working programmatically allows media buyers to execute across a variety of vendors, rather than limiting themselves to a single contract.
- Coegi has also had the opportunity of running digital out-of-home media while measuring its effectiveness through a KPI lift-based study. This is something that traditional out-of-home companies don’t offer, but has proven to be extremely insightful for both Coegi’s internal measurement of campaigns and for our clients.”
How have you seen programmatic DOOH fit into your clients’ broader marketing strategies? "
“Digital out-of-home should run in tandem with other media tactics. Creating a successful media strategy is a team effort. Running out-of-home programmatically allows us to create data visualization reports where we can meld together several tactics and showcase the overall effectiveness of the comprehensive media plan.
For one of our national sports team clients, we were able to showcase the power of these tactical relationships and visualize the lift in ROAS that came with running a full-funnel campaign, which included digital out-of-home as a strategic component.”
Coegi was an early adopter of the Vistar self-service platform. What is it like to manage a programmatic DOOH campaign “hands on keyboard”?
“At Coegi, we do not take vetting another DSP lightly. This is because it can be a large ask for an organization to manage yet another UI. We chose to partner with Vistar for a reason: it makes our offering more robust, they are awesome to work with, it’s a seamless integration into our current workflow and the innovation of the product is second to none.
Number one, I feel like we are in the best hands with our dedicated Vistar team. If a desired audience segment is not available in the UI, they are awesome about coming up with a solution and providing us a custom-built segment, tailored to the clients’ needs. They are also an always-there resource with any questions that may arise – no question is too silly to bring to the table, and you know that you can expect a prompt response from their team. (You should have seen some of my early back and forth emails!)
Meghan and Kat, our dedicated team, also have our backs when it comes to new opportunities, optimizations and pacing. They are great at sending notes or suggestions on campaign performance and we know we have constant attention on these buys, from both the Coegi and Vistar side.
Secondly, the UI is very intuitive from a practitioner perspective. It’s easy to navigate and generate campaigns within hours. It doesn't feel clunky or confusing, as with some of the other DSPs out there.”
Which of Vistar’s self-service capabilities have you found most useful?
“Vistar has a great planning tool that makes forecasting a breeze.
You are able to forecast inventory by venue or geo to gain a strong understanding of where your media could run. These plans, creative specifications and venue locations are easily exportable to share with the end client. It provides the level of transparency that clients desire and helps to ease any misconceptions about programmatic being an uncontrollable ‘black box.’
Clients also love the map features where you can not only map out locations from planning, but also share this granular insight into real-time ad serving that is generated with a sharable link.”
Can you share any examples of programmatic digital out-of-home activations you’ve helped to execute?
- As noted above, I’ve worked on buys for a national sports team. On some campaigns, we have taken a contextual approach, focusing on venues that made sense for the objective. On others we have tapped into custom audiences. These campaigns have come back for multiple seasons and are now an integral part of the team’s overall media mix.
- I’ve done some fun buys targeting Topgolf locations nationally for a tourism client who was looking to promote a PGA tournament. This was an innovative way to reach this audience, outside traditional media.
- Coegi also ran a brand lift study for a technology company that was looking to target small business owners with their product. With this study, Coegi was able to drive and measure a 4% lift in brand consideration and a 7% lift in purchase intent. Further, we could see the impact that frequency played on generating the metrics. With multiple exposures, purchase intent rose to an average of 42% from the initial consideration exposure at 29%.”
How have you seen the programmatic DOOH landscape change since you’ve begun working within it?
“If anything, I feel like the ability to scale, especially in smaller markets, is the biggest change that I’ve seen in the last two years. Vistar continues to forge new data partnerships like their integrations with Factual, Polk and Liveramp. Not to mention, they’re also continuously expanding their PMP library and variety of venue types.
I also think that the acceptance of digital out-of-home as a channel has grown immensely. Due to our constant client education, from all levels within Coegi, we’re getting inquiries about running digital out-of-home, rather than having to begin with educating clients on the opportunity itself. It's refreshing to be able to have that two way partnership with clients and forge the best plan for their media together. This is a testament to Vistar.
Does digital out-of-home work? Well, clients wouldn't keep coming back for more if it didn't.”
Ready to learn how Vistar can support your programmatic digital out-of-home needs?