by Tim Rowe

How will Digital OOH and Data Privacy shape the advertising landscape?

Aug 01, 2021

OOH| Data Privacy| How Billboards Work

Digital OOH + Data Privacy = Changing Ad Landscape

Ian Dallimore, VP of Digital Growth & GM of Programmatic at Lamar Advertising, talks about out-of-home advertising with Tim Rowe and how it can help build connections and relationships in a changing data privacy landscape.

Outdoor Advertising: Nail in the Coffin or New Opportunities?

People increasingly turned to social media and streaming services to stay connected during the lockdowns, which shifted attention towards digital advertising. Outdoor advertising, on the other hand, took a hit.

"When you read these articles and people are like, 'oh, traffic, isn't back' You know people aren't on the road. We literally sat on the I-10 for 40 minutes. And as an out-of-home guy, it's exciting." The country is reopening, and people are venturing outside.

What's more likely to happen is there'll be a greater reliance on data. There's a need to navigate consumers' new traffic patterns so as to deliver more relevant and localized outdoor ads.

Echoing this sentiment, Ian Dallimore mentions, "So me being 15 years in the industry and most focused and passionate about digital out-of-home, I'm here to say static is not dead." In fact, “Static can perform (deployed in-market) just as fast as digital.”

Outdoor ads present a different way to amaze audiences, especially in a world where people are constantly glued to their phones and devices. You can get young kids fired up about billboards instead of Snapchat and TikTok.

Even with the changing landscape, OOH still offers one of the highest reaches of any media mix. “If you’re targeting a very niche demographic, you need to use a programmatic, omnichannel approach, but, still, you'll have to sprinkle in some static inventory." The sheer size of billboards means they capture attention and draw peoples’ eyes away from their phones.

So, yeah. Don’t believe the hype: out-of-home isn’t dead. In fact, it's far from it, considering it could be the key to reaching audiences in a data-privacy-conscious world.


The Evolving Data Privacy Landscape and Digital OOH

Data privacy, consent, and protection have never been more important, or more confusing.

Brands have to find ways to navigate this new landscape and provide relevant ads while respecting consumer data privacy. And this presents a significant opportunity for out-of-home.

“I’ve had this conversation with quite a few people on both sides of the camp. On the one hand, it could be detrimental to everything.”

Device IDs have been used to provide relevant and more targeted digital ads. With Apple’s new privacy features and now Google, Amazon, and other tech-giants following suit, data-based targeting is now a tad bit more complicated. “All they’re doing is building a walled garden of their inventory.” Because even with the new privacy rules, companies are “Still spending billions of dollars in the social space.”

Tim Rowe: “We need all of the things to exist. It’s that online-offline synergy. It’s harmonious and synergistic. It’s an opportunity for Out of Home to make the online stuff work better.”

Ian Dallimore agrees, noting the new data privacy regulations from tech giants and countries alike present an opportunity to integrate digital marketing with out-of-home media. Now’s the time for marketers to take advantage of everything outdoor media can add to a digital campaign. “I was talking to the data team at Vistar, and they were having that conversation. With GDPR, it hurt for a couple of months. But they found other ways to find unique audiences. I think the benefit of out-of-home is that the number of anonymous device IDs now become more relevant and richer.”

Outdoor advertising provides a presence in the real world, giving businesses high-impact exposure even when they cannot collect large samples of digital data. "There may be less data, but it's richer than it's ever been. And it's more valuable, especially when it’s used to measure the impact of campaigns.”

It creates an opportunity to measure which ads work and which ads don't. That's what the internet was supposed to do. Instead, it flooded consumers with tons of ads, comments, and digital data, which, in some ways, has diluted the power of digital advertising. When’s the last time you clicked on an online ad?

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A Dangerous Question: Does Internet Advertising Work at All?

There’s an argument to be made that online advertising is losing its persuasive punch. There's too much noise on social media, and the internet and consumers tend to tune it out. When you're collecting and using consumer data with their consent, it's more powerful because it's less intrusive.

"Does the internet get more cleaned up with more relevant or powerful ads?" Ian wouldn't mind clicking on some great ads. Programmatic advertising is still in its infancy, but it definitely has the potential to revolutionize the out-of-home market. "It's a unique space. What programmatic has done is the use of better, more relevant data." You can layer data upon data to figure out your target audience, be it a baseball enthusiast mum with three-plus kids with an affinity towards Nikes.

Data privacy laws and regulations present an opportunity for a more cleaned-up internet, which can bring some magnificent campaigns to life.

Check out the full conversation on the OOH Insider podcast, here on iTunes.


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