[Column] Sergio Bouterse: The benefits of a data-driven approach in programmatic digital out of home

[Column] Sergio Bouterse: The benefits of a data-driven approach in programmatic digital out of home

23-06-2022 09:53:02 | Door: Bob Koigi | Hits: 316 | Tags:

In what have been a challenging few years for everyone, the out-of-home (OOH) sector has demonstrated its ability to innovate and has undergone a significant transformation, facilitated by the increasing adoption of programmatic technology.

With the return of larger audiences and the end of the lockdown in many parts of the world, OOH advertising revenues are set to rise again in 2022.

Hivestack is the world's leading independent programmatic digital out of home (DOOH) adtech company and a platform specifically designed for OOH, spun out of OOH software company Ayuda.

Headquartered in Canada, we have expanded to 26 countries worldwide in the past 2+ years. In addition to Canada, we have hubs in EMEA based in London as well as hubs in North and South East Asia. We work with many media agencies worldwide and also with independent agencies in different capacities depending on their needs.

What is programmatic DOOH?

Programmatic DOOH refers to the automation of OOH advertising. It uses machine learning and computers to plan, source, target, sell, deliver and measure ads on digital screens. What is inherently different about programmatic DOOH, compared to traditional OOH, is the shift to audience targeting, using different data touchpoints to reach certain public segments along the way.

Programmatic DOOH has automated the process of buying and selling inventory on digital screens and provides enhanced opportunities for brands and agencies to target customers away from home.

During the pandemic, OOH media owners took steps to make their digital inventory available to OOH-demand side platforms (DSPs) to be traded programmatically. The use of data and automation has streamlined multiple manual processes that require human effort and interaction, providing valuable benefits to both brands and agencies, as well as media owners


In the post-pandemic world, the need for budget fluidity is much greater. Programmatic pricing models are flexible and allow brands to increase or decrease ad spend, adjust campaign parameters or even pause campaigns altogether in response to external changes, all in real time. In the traditional OOH model, campaigns were purchased weeks and often months in advance. This greater opportunity for optimised and adaptable schedules and delivery in real time has been widely embraced by the market, allowing DOOH to be more responsive as a partner to other media channels.


OOH has always used the power of location targeting to reach key audiences with contextual messages. Think for example of customers in supermarkets, business travellers in airports and commuters in public transport.

Programmatic DOOH allows for more precise targeting and delivery, so brands can reach the right people with the right message at the right time by activating the most effective DOOH screens in real time, something that traditional OOH purchases do not offer. These activations are based on consumer movement patterns and consumer behaviour to determine when, where and how DOOH can deliver the maximum return for brands.

With Hivestack, advertisers and agencies can target custom audiences and connect pre-defined audiences via 'Moment Targeting' in a more human, memorable and contextually significant way.


A. Custom Audiences

Hivestack's platform has integrated anonymised third-party mobile data that allows us to create unique audiences based on physical location, rather than just observed online behaviour. For example, if an advertiser wants to build an audience of 'coffee lovers', our platform can create custom 'geofences' around key coffee shops and capture device IDs observed at those locations within a certain look-back window (e.g. 3 times in the past 3 weeks). The platform then allows for observation of which individual DOOH screen geofences they pass through more often than others, creating an audience concentration score per location, per hour, against which the DSP bids in real time.

B. Predefined Audiences

Hivestack has hundreds of unique pre-defined audience segments built into the platform, which are instantly accessible, derived from web and in-app activity. For example, if an advertiser wants to target potential customers who want to live healthy lives, they can select the Health Living Lovers segment, which looks at devices that interact with healthy living content online.

C. Moment Targeting

This is Hivestack's unique Custom Events API (in conjunction with Flux), which allows the platform to bring in massive amounts of data to trigger campaigns. By leveraging Hivestack's Custom Event Triggers, clients can now target 'Moments', a huge collection of customisable, real-world experiences that contextually connect with their target audience. 'Moments' advertisers can target (but are not limited to):

  • Weather: think temperature, rain, snow, ice, humidity, wind direction and speed, amount of pollen, etc.
  • Traffic and travel: time to destination, accidents, driving conditions, transportation times, etc.

Health and beauty: good/bad hair days, risk of arthritis, migraines or allergies, headaches, health and beauty related effects, etc.

Lifestyle: soil moisture, barbecue season, outdoor concert conditions, sailing conditions, running conditions, sporting events, etc.

Sports: games, a specific team scoring a goal, a win, a player scoring a goal, etc.


One of the key historical challenges of OOH is measurement - understanding who viewed an ad and what impact that exposure had on the customer.

 Programmatic DOOH now offers the ability to map the consumer's path to purchase and link certain business outcomes to DOOH ad exposure. This means marketers can gain insight into the impact on awareness, consideration, intent, visits and conversion, all while respecting user privacy.

With data-driven targeting precision, flexible buying models and unprecedented audience measurement capabilities, programmatic DOOH is a natural progression for the OOH industry and a necessary component for the marketing strategy of any brand or advertising agency. The global rise of programmatic DOOH during the pandemic was astounding and proves that the entire OOH channel, both on the buying and selling side, is preparing for an exciting and frictionless future.

Hivestack has an end-to-end solution for campaign activation and measurement, built into the DSP as interactive dashboards. This includes brand loyalty, in-store visitation and analysis of offline and online visitor numbers.

Contact us here to learn more about Hivestack's solutions.

Sergio Bouterse is the VP Demand Benelux at Hivestack


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