5 Questions About The Future of Programmatic Digital Signage Answered!

Programmatic is the future of advertising. If you’ve ever placed an online advertisement, or boosted a Facebook post, it’s likely you’ve experienced it. We’ve already run through everything you need to know about what programmatic advertising is, how it can impact the digital signage world and the benefits it provides. We’ll briefly recap the very meaning of this buzzword again, and then dive into what the future might hold, especially for digital signage. 

You might say that it’s still quite new, but we can already see various trends emerging within this field, as well as what some soon upcoming trends might be for programmatic advertising, both in and out of digital signage. Let’s take a look! 

What is programmatic advertising? 

To understand the future of programmatic advertising, one needs to understand its present form.

Let’s talk about the flow of programmatic advertising. Let’s say your brand wants to advertise. First, you'd likely enlist a media agency to handle the design and advertising reach for you. Then this agency would likely proceed to buy advertising space through their network and in newer times through a software platform which sells it to the most viable channels automatically. Your content gets deployed to the target audience specified, done, rinse and repeat with the next campaign! The programmatic aspect of advertising allows buyers to manage and place ads easily and quickly. In short, it means buying or selling digital ads through a form of automation. 

There is plenty more to learn about programmatic, such as the different types of programmatic deals media buyers and sellers can make, as well as how programmatic advertising itself works in more detail, so be sure to read more on this topic! For now, though, we focus on the impact and the future of programmatic advertising specifically in the Digital Out-of-Home environment. 

Will DOOH media owners embrace programmatic advertising? 

Programmatic advertising has been around for a few years in the online world, but only recently did it start spreading into traditional mediums of advertising. If used by DOOH owners, programmatic advertising can open up new opportunities. It has proven it can help businesses grow, expand their reach and raise their advertising efficiency. Still, plenty of media owners are unsure where it fits into their business. 

If adopted, it would reduce the need for one-on-one relationships between buyers and sellers. The way sales teams operate would change drastically. Outdoor media sales teams don’t need to sell to one individual or business at a time. Instead, they can demonstrate the power of their screens to a broader audience at once. 

There is an exquisite opportunity and potential in this change. While it doesn’t eliminate the relationships between a seller and a buyer, it is understandable why some media owners hesitate to make this change, as it indeed is drastic. As programmatic advertising pushes forward, it is likely this transition will become easier and more imminent to media owners with time. More and more data is compiled on digital business strategies which can prepare them for the programmatic shift in the industry, as it is inevitable.

Will buyers adopt programmatic digital signage?

Naturally, it is far easier for the buyer side to dabble in programmatic advertising than it is for the seller side. As was shown in the online world, buying advertising space programmatically is easy and fast. Thus, buyers quickly embrace it as their default method of purchasing. In DOOH, as programmatic advertising becomes more dominant, we'll likely see a similar shift where programmatic purchasing becomes the default method.

Buyers may be wary at first, but much like for programmatic advertising online, the benefits and results can be seen quickly and clearly. This makes it easy to deduce whether or not programmatic purchasing is wise. As a buyer, you can launch your ad across the digital network into the view range of your target audience within minutes. It's quite literally everything you’d want from the ad space you buy.

What are future trends of programmatic digital signage?

As with any technology or industry, new trends emerge constantly. Programmatic advertising is no different. Overall, the current dominating trend is, quite simply, the discovery of programmatic digital signage and its benefits. As we said earlier, programmatic has dominated the online world for a few years already, but only as of late has programmatic advertising been emerging in digital signage. Essentially, the current most dominant trend of programmatic advertising is programmatic digital signage! 

Programmatic digital billboards gain traction, as they become more popular and accessible. Most businesses would think twice about investing in a traditional billboard as it was a serious investment. Additionally, an ad would occupy a billboard for weeks at a time, so there were less opportunities for content deployment. Digital billboards made it more appealing though, allowing for more dynamic content and rotation of ads. Now, add programmatic to the mix and any business can deploy ads quickly and easily to this platform.

The most impactful trends to develop will likely be within the buying/selling stage of programmatic digital signage. The way buyers obtain ads as well as the methods of placing them will likely be more unique. Programmatic advertising in general aims at offering unique algorithms tailored uniquely to each buyer. It is likely this will be the case for digital signage, too. Data delivery and awareness of the effectiveness of ads will likely grow further as programmatic digital signage develops.

How fast will programmatic digital signage grow? 

Awareness is rising, according to a DPAA (Digital Place-Based Advertising Association) study. This study surveyed 219 planners in the fourth quarter of 2018 on the topic of programmatic media-buying systems, among other things.

The previous survey in 2016 showed 39% respondents were aware of programmatic media-buying options. In 2018, however, that number jumped to 63%. Additionally, the study showed that programmatic advertising purchases have tripled since the last survey. However, it's only 9% of what planners say their agencies spend on. 

There remains quite a bit of room to grow for programmatic advertising overall, let alone programmatic digital signage. And at this pace, we’ll likely see some changes rather soon, by the end of the year, perhaps!