Programmatic Q&A

In fall 2020, six Programmatic Committee members joined OAAA for a two part Lunch Break series discussing programmatic OOH. We saved a few questions submitted by our audience that have been answered below by one of our panelists from those sessions, Lamar Advertising Company‘s VP of Digital Growth, Ian Dallimore.

*All questions have been submitted by OAAA members*

When will my job be replaced by programmatic?

Lamar Advertising has over 1,000 reps and I get presented with this question all the time: “When are the robots going to replace me” After a nice laugh the answer to both is NEVER. A few things to address; programmatic OOH is exposing digital OOH (today, static soon) to buyers that transact impression, audience targeted campaigns across an omnichannel media. This allows brands to overlay data to better determine when and where to play that advertisement to expose that target audience. This also allows for brands to transact faster.

How is programmatic pricing determined?

Programmatic pricing in the OOH space is determined by a few factors but specifically demand and impressions. Because digital programmatic OOH is transacted via OpenRTB the pricing is determined by the demand for that impression. For example the floor CPM might be $9 on the Open Exchange depending on how much a brand values that moment and time and impressions they could bid $12 CPM.

My job as an AE is to serve my agency – how do I do this with programmatic?

First we have to assume that your agency isn’t a traditional agency that buys “Direct Deals” or “Traditional” OOH rather than a digital agency that transacts through an Exchange. If you are the AE for a DSP or Digital Agency then Programmatic allows you to the AE to now pitch PMP (Private MarketPlace Deals) and be more of a consultative seller. You are no longer passing spreadsheets rather selling audiences and putting together deals for your agency. You also will be able to sell more through creative ideas and measurement campaigns.

How can programmatic drive OOH back in the marketing mix in India, when advertisers are reluctant to invest in OOH?

Without knowing the India market well, I can’t imagine brands are much different than in the U.S. The ability to sell through OOH using data and targeting your audience throughout his/her journey is one of the key attributes of programmatic OOH. India also has one of the largest Mobile users (390 million) the ability for a strong media mix of digital OOH and Mobile would also be a powerful way to invest in the OOH space. (52% of viewers engaged in a mobile actions after seeing a digital billboards ad – Nielsen 2020)

What advertisers are you seeing that are active programmatically?

We continue to see a wide range of brands and categories spend in the programmatic OOH space. One in particular that we typically don’t see a ton of is CPG brands. The biggest thing is the ability to measure campaign performance as well as over lay audiences that really entices this specific category.

If you have a proprietary ad player, what are the technical requirements needed to make the leap to DOOH programmatic?

Regardless if you have your own proprietary ad player (Lamar does as well) or an off the shelf version it’s easy to connect to SSP partners. Our SSP partners onboard your inventory, connect “players” and your inventory will “push” available impressions to the SSP to ask if you have a bid/buy. The SSP then will return a yes or no and push a play if the response is yes. For more information reach out to SSP like, Broadsign, Hivestack, Place Exchange or Vistar Media.

Is there programmatic for static buys?

Currently today Programmatic is transacted via Digital OOH only. I do see a world in the near future where audience overlays determine what “screen” highest indexes towards a specific audience type and if large enough the screen type shouldn’t matter.

What are we doing to regulate and create “templates” for the programmatic OOH world? For example, similar to a GeoPath dedicated to programmatic OOH?

Today, GeoPath is the base layer of impressions in all Programmatic OOH transactions. As GeoPath moves more towards hourly impression data this will begin to allow for our impression data to be similar to other digital media types.

What are you doing to educate new clients to buy programmatically?

At Lamar Advertising, education is the key to grow in Programmatic. We are spending the majority of our time educating Digital buyers and DSP, then we are pitching and selling. The medium sells itself once the new digital buyers are educated. Digital OOH doesn’t have to deal with ad blocking, ad clutter, viewability, cord cutting and brand safety compared to online and mobile. Also, the sheer size of billboards compared to banner ads is almost laughable. The flexibility of programmatic OOH allows for no upfront commitments, can activate quickly, creative flexibility and ability to pause/pivot media dollars in real time. Education should be the focus for anyone “selling” programmatic OOH.

What are some of the hesitations that advertisers have when it comes to trying programmatic advertising?

A big issue we get often is that our SSP Programmatic partners help the industry overcome is scale. Vistar Media for example has over 90+ vendor/media types on it’s platform that allows for brands to target a consumer throughout his/her journey across multiple media sizes. You can also tell who is truly buying programmatic OOH compared to just wanting to use a platform for automation by an agency trying to buy specific panel locations. We use this as a filter to push buys/campaigns to a Direct Deal (Non Programmatic) or a Programmatic PMP/OE.

What’s the prognosis moving forward for secondary and third-tier markets? Is programmatic going to be a boon for them?

Lamar Advertising is in over 200+ DMA, including the top 5 DMA to the bottom 5. This was a myth in the very beginning when we began Programmatic transactions 7+ years ago, “Programmatic is only purchased in the Top 10 DMA” That is furthest from the truth, again using data to target a specific audience the DMA isn’t as relevant as it is for direct/traditional buys. For example, Lamar Programmatic campaigns over 65% are in Tier 2 and 3 DMAs compared to Tier 1.

Interested in learning more about programmatic OOH? Check out the resources below:

Lunch Break Recordings:


Modified: 2 years