Digital out-of-home is a growing medium – a significant statement in a time when media outlets are struggling to sell ads and subscriptions. TV still dominates the media market landscape and newspapers and magazines have a declining presence. Although DOOH represents less than one percent of that landscape, over the past several years it has shown an increase in awareness, revenue, and attendance.

Recent research reinforces this. Arbitron reports that approximately 155 million (67 percent of) U.S. residents aged 18 or older have seen a digital out-of-home (OOH) video display in the past month. PQ Media expects the U.S. DOOH spending to reach $2.47 billion in 2009.

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And DisplaySearch, which monitors flat-panel shipments, says that shipments of large-format displays (26-inches+) is set to grow 44 percent in 2009, indicating that there is a growing demand for screens used for public-facing applications.

The response of the digital marketing world

Agencies are recognizing the growth as well. In the agency world, digital out-of-home has traditionally fallen into the realm of out-of-home (OOH), which comprises mainly on billboards and the like. OVAB and other organizations are working to separate the two and help agencies establish a separate “media bucket” for DOOH so that it gets its budget. Several forward-thinking agencies have already made this move.

The future of this medium and its success relies heavily on the participation and backing of advertising agencies. In the past, one of the critical reasons that organizations have shied away from DOOH has been because there have not been proven metrics for the medium.

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Like exist with traditional advertising, and that the buying process has been too complicated. Knowing this, the DOOH industry has begun work to make the buying process easier for ad agencies.

In addition to OVAB releasing Audience Metrics Guidelines for the measurement of DOOH advertising networks, the networks themselves are enlisting companies like Arbitron, Nielsen and Edison Research to perform network audits. The results help give both the networks and ad agencies accurate traffic counts, dwell time and other pertinent information in the ad buying process.

The simplification of the process

For agencies and their media buyers, the DOOH ad buying process is becoming easier, thanks to the work of those within the industry. Not too long ago buyers would have to go to individual networks to place ads on screens – a process that was tedious and often dreaded. Network aggregation services, such as NEC’s Vukunet, SeeSaw Networks’ SeeSaw Ads, and Adcentricity have emerged in the past several years and are now gaining a critical mass of nationwide networks. This means that media buyers can now go to one place and place ads to targeted demographics down to the screen level.

As the industry streamlines processes and improves technology for DOOH ad placement, agencies are catching on to its effectiveness and beginning to invest more in digital campaigns.

DOOH and how it changed the world of digital marketing

Digital out-of-home aka DOOH entered through the small door into the world of digital marketing, but it caused the revolution in the way companies create ads. If you compare DOOH from several years ago and now you will see the difference it has caused.

Placing ads before DOOH was complicated and tedious and not many companies were willing to enter this industry. The lack of healthy sector resulted in low-quality advertisements that failed to load correctly and in general the industry wasn’t anything special.

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DOOH brought the simplicity into the advertising market and made it possible for small marketing agencies to enter the market. The competition became severe, and advancements were required for achieving success. This introduced the research into the mix and soon after all agencies started research departments that focused all their resources on finding new things that would improve their business.

DOOH is something that changed the way people approach digital marketing, and it turned a small industry into something essential in the business. No company that wants to succeed can do it without a proper digital marketing campaign.