DOOH: How retailers can target their audiences during the 2022 holiday season

Original article appeared in The Drum

Retail marketers and advertisers alike are bracing for a holiday season like no other. From consumers cutting back spending and becoming more intentional with their purchases amid economic uncertainty, to navigating looming supply-chain issues, the continued e-commerce boom and more, retailers have plenty of consumer trends to consider when preparing for a busy holiday season.

Enter: digital out-of-home (DOOH). Thanks to the channel’s quick activation capabilities with robust flexibility, personalized audience targeting and data-driven targeting tactics, DOOH presents an attractive canvas for retail marketers managing an ever-changing shopping landscape while competing for their market share. Here’s how:

Flexibility amid an ever-changing marketplace

One core benefit of DOOH for marketers is the ability to turn around a campaign on short notice, while also only activating for just a few days depending on where and when it will have the strongest impact. Brands can even rotate their creatives on the fly based on different sales events, or take advantage of dynamic creative capabilities, to easily swap out the messaging in their ads based on real-time data. The need for an agile media plan has never been more important for retailers, and DOOH gives them the ability to shift budgets, change up messaging, add or remove specific venue types, or even pause a campaign altogether based on day-to-day conditions.

With this level of flexibility, a local retailer, for example, can quickly turn on a campaign that directs shoppers within a busy mall or shopping center to its nearest store location, promote time-sensitive offers as they evolve, and even highlight countdowns to key holidays to drive a sense of urgency, all while having the ability to adapt (or pause, or cancel) a campaign altogether based on internal shifts and priorities.

Advanced audience targeting during retail’s busy season

Not only does DOOH equip retailers with an opportunity to display highly tailored creative messaging at scale to reach the masses, it also allows them to create and target custom audiences based on campaign objectives, ensuring their messaging is reaching the right people at the right time. Picture this: you’re a big box retailer who wants to leverage DOOH to promote varying Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers — now you can intentionally target your messaging to known holiday shoppers and/or deal seekers to maximize your campaign’s impact, hopefully driving shoppers in-stores.

In addition to persona-based targeting – which allows brands to define and reach their desired audience based on lifestyle characteristics such as holiday shopping behavior, for example – retailers can also segment consumers based on their demographics, such as household income, DMA, age or gender. For instance, if you’re a retailer promoting the season’s must-have toys for kids 12 and under, perhaps you decide to target moms with children to ensure your message is getting in front of the right audience. Maximizing efforts even further, marketers can even leverage their own first-party data to identify and target specific customer sets such as brand loyalists or current subscribers.

This kind of precise targeting enables retailers to reach specific audiences in a scalable format, without disturbing consumers’ days, which is more attractive than ever in today’s cluttered media landscape.

Media activation when and where it matters most

Being able to define and target certain audiences based on lifestyle characteristics, behaviors, movement patterns and more is the golden ticket for advertisers, but being able to take that a step further and reach these shoppers during key touch points throughout the shopping journey hits the jackpot. Not to mention, there are a myriad of venue types available when it comes to DOOH, so brands can reach consumers across their entire day where and when they’re most likely to be – from their commute to and from work, while taking a leisurely walk, strolling through high-traffic malls, making a pitstop for gas and so much more.

With that, there are a variety of strategic activation tactics that retailers commonly deploy to drive results using out-of-home. Proximity or point of interest (POI) targeting, for example, allows brands to target DOOH/mobile screens within a given radius of desired POIs, such as competitive locations or their own brick-and-mortar stores. To do this, a retail brand may deploy media on digital screens nearby its competitors, sharing directions to its nearest store location or promoting a compelling promotional offer. Device ID passback is another smart tactic that advertisers leverage to retarget consumers exposed to their DOOH campaigns across other channels, such as mobile, CTV or social, for an additional or sequential touchpoint. And perhaps one of the most unique and advanced of all, weather trigger targeting helps retailers highlight relevant promotions or products based on real-world, local weather conditions that may influence specific consumer behaviors. For instance, a retail marketer can turn on DOOH media promoting deals on their new line of winter products as temperatures drop in certain markets.

All in all, the holiday targeting options are truly endless for retailers, as DOOH allows brands to operate fluidly with today’s changing trends and consumer preferences, while also being highly targeted with their campaigns to maximize exposure, and in turn, results.

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