What Accounts for Performance Marketers' Reluctant Embrace of Out-of-Home Advertising?

OCT 05, 2022

Performance marketers have heretofore been reluctant to explore the waters of out-of-home advertising, and with good reason: By and large, the industry was slow to adapt to the digital landscape. A global pandemic that forced most of the world inside didn’t help much, either; after all, nobody wants to buy a billboard that nobody is going to see. But pandemic aside, a marketing world increasingly dominated by performance had little room for the traditional OOH business, seen largely as strong in branding, reach and awareness but lacking in traditional performance tactics.

Performance marketers: It might be time to give the medium another look. This ain’t Don Draper’s market anymore.

As the industry has now very successfully transformed into a digital medium, digital out-of-home media now powers brands from the top of the marketing funnel right through to delivering targeted audiences, generating consideration and actions like walking into stores and making purchases on web sites. We’ve got a full-funnel medium on our hands.

In fact, when compared to other performance media, DOOH delivers full-funnel impact without the ills we see so common online. DOOH demonstrates premium, brand-safe environments, without ad skipping and no bot fraud, plus a myriad of attribution metrics for brand campaigns showcasing product movement. And now, programmatic trading has become the demonstrated superpower of DOOH.



First coming to light during the pandemic, campaigns were moved from where people weren’t to where they were—with simplicity, and without long negotiations, contracts and human involvement. And further, in this growing media world of cookie deprecation, we see OOH in general leveling way up in comparison to other media as context is becoming stunningly important.

Certainly, over the past decade, digital marketing channels like paid social and paid search have become the most popular way to advertise, but a recent OneScreen.ai survey of over 600 marketing professionals tells a worrisome story. While 98% of marketers said they invest in digital marketing, 67% of respondents have reached a point of diminishing returns. In other words, as marketers are scaling up spend on digital and social marketing, results are actually declining.

Headshot of Barry Frey


Performance Marketing contributor Barry Frey is the president and CEO of the DPAA, the global trade organization for digital out of home advertising.

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