Post lockdown, we will see different opportunities emerging for DOOH: Nikhil Rungta

Rungta, Country Manager, India, Verizon Media, spells out the potency of DOOH in a post-lockdown environment and the solutions they have conceptualized in the DOOH space

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Updated: Jul 9, 2020 9:35 AM
Nikhil Rungta

In a post-lockdown world, DOOH (Digital Out of Home) is going to take center stage. Data will be paramount and OOH agencies that can provide brands with consumer mobility data, traffic count and programmatic tech solutions will stay ahead in the game. More than ever, brands now need to be ensured that every ad dollar spent on an OOH site is ROI driven and has the ability to incite a call to action.
Verizon Media has managed to set the ball rolling with an array of innovative DOOH solutions. They provide DOOH marketers data-driven advantages and opportunities to stand out in the cluttered media landscape through experiences that are timely and relevant.
In an exclusive e-chat with exchange4media, Nikhil Rungta, Country Manager, India, Verizon Media, shared why DOOH is potent in a post-lockdown environment and the DOOH solutions they have curated for brands.

Edited excerpts 

Potency of pDOOH and DOOH solutions
The tech capabilities of DOOH and pDOOH make this channel all the more relevant for a post-COVID-19 world. Cities in India are not opening up uniformly. But by leveraging technology, working with media owners, and first-party data, it is possible to model different levels of lockdown restrictions. This will help advertisers gauge and predict where it makes sense to execute DOOH campaigns based on changes or increases in ‘community mobility’ as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Digital screens give brands the ‘immediacy’ to get their message out quickly as the situation evolves or even pivot their campaigns. This is a clear advantage that pDOOH and DOOH solutions provided within the OOH ecosystem is essential in a post-COVID world where brands have to stay alert and respond with agility to changing customer needs or expectations.
Before the pandemic, DOOH was on a swift growth path. Post-COVID, with restrictions on mobility and commuting, impacted traffic at malls and in shopping areas where you typically encounter major billboards, it has certainly taken a hit. However, foot traffic in places like supermarkets, pharmacies, and hospitals has increased. In the post-lockdown landscape, we will see different opportunities emerging for DOOH as it continues to evolve. As things get back to normal, DOOH will see a resurgence, especially as more OOH becomes digitally-enabled.

The technology and use cases may evolve with touchless screens for instance, as is already happening. But DOOH will continue to present brands with exciting opportunities to deliver high-impact ads with the benefit of context and location to consumers.

DOOH solutions offered by Verizon Media
We made the supply of DOOH available programmatically through the Verizon Media DSP in 2019. Over the last one year, we have focused on unlocking innovative and meaningful DOOH experiences for advertisers to engage with consumers. We work with some of the top DOOH inventory providers in India and globally. For marketers, high-quality DOOH supply available programmatically through our DSP has led to expanded, premium inventory, data-driven advantages, and opportunities to stand out in the cluttered media landscape through experiences that are timely and relevant.
Our industry-leading unified DOOH solution for DOOH publishers gives them one provider to host, manage, stream, and monetize content. In addition to our Ad Platform, we also have our Media Platform, with streaming content possible on connected screens this includes DOOH devices.

Mobile integration with DOOH
As India unlocks, we believe marketers will find success with other KPIs, especially when DOOH is incorporated into a larger omnichannel campaign strategy. DOOH’s impact is magnified in conjunction with mobile and native placements that support mid-to-lower funnel consumer activities. Brands also have the opportunity to re-target those exposed to DOOH placements to reinforce messaging.
While integrating DOOH with its strategy, marketers will be able to achieve greater success if they can amplify impact across channels. A leading fitness brand we work with globally found that a combination of OOH and mobile re-targeting led to a skyrocketing lift, reinforcing the tremendous value of a multi-platform strategy. Added to the impressive uplift the campaign generated, the actual conversion was immediate for those users exposed to the advertising.
For India in particular, mobiles are the universal device of choice, the synergy between DOOH and mobile could be particularly valuable for advertisers. Research has shown that mobile click-through rates increase by up to 15% when supported by OOH, with mobile growing the reach and impact of DOOH campaigns.

Growth in the relevance of DOOH
If you look at how India is unlocking, every state, and in fact, every city is on a different opening trajectory. In a post-lockdown world, DOOH campaigns will need to be hyper-targeted by geography, given the varying unlocking plans across locations. Mumbaikars, for instance, currently have to restrict their movement to a maximum of 2 km from their residence. The good news is, the programmatic capabilities of DOOH make it possible for brands to effectively reach target audiences wherever they are in public spaces. DOOH inventory can scale quickly as we continue to unlock supermarkets and pharmacies now, malls, and airports in the near future.

Brands that will leverage these DOOH solutions
Right now we are seeing interest from brands that want to use one to many, especially categories like OEMs, Telecom, FMCG, OTT players, etc.
A major advantage of DOOH is the high level of contextual relevance it allows. pDOOH opens up multiple targeting options for marketers that range from location to demography (gender and age for instance) and location interest-based. More nuanced layers lead to enhanced targeting with pDOOH, where advertisers can customize and respond with dynamic displays that reach audiences based on the time of day or day of the week or even based on the weather. Marketers can effectively rely on the range of enhanced targeting options to reach consumers in this new normal where the situation is fluid, and no one-size-fits-all campaign will work.
Especially with the arrival of 5G, brands will have an exciting canvas with DOOH to conceptualize campaigns for greater engagement, personalization, and incredible visual impact. With pDOOH, creative changes can be made remotely, literally at the touch of a button, offering marketers the creative flexibility to adjust or tweak their campaigns in real-time is a necessity post-COVID.
With brands in India increasingly looking at new channels to grow brand awareness, and inspire users to take action, DOOH could help them do this with much more visibility, creativity, and on a larger scale. As more supply becomes available programmatically, precision targeting, and ease of programmatic ad buying will only accelerate DOOH in the country.

Lack of inventory consolidation
It's still early days for emerging channels like DOOH. On our part, we are actively enabling this space in India. However, I believe that more than supply, a larger issue is measurement. We are working on this and have already come up with Bid Multiplier and a DOOH planner which is a world-class product. Ultimately, how advertisers can effectively connect the dots, show the ROI of their campaigns, and link to the desired outcomes will matter.

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