There’s no place like Digital out-of-Home | How to break into the DOOH Landscape

Out-of-home advertising has been around since cavemen first etched “Buy My Loincloths” into stone. It is one of the earliest forms of media buying and, like most forms of marketing, has grown with the times. With the rapid digitization of outdoor spaces, out-of-home advertising has morphed into a more intelligent, data-driven version now known as digital-out-of-home (DOOH). 

The consumer journey is defined as the steps a consumer takes before buying a product. However, DOOH ads are able to target audiences during the real consumer journey – on their way to work, commuting to sporting events, even walking down the street to buy breakfast. Digital screens in outdoor spaces have the ability to deliver numerous engaging creatives across multiple locations. They do so in a way that is unintrusive and an accustomed part of commuters’ lives. 

So, the question is: How do you create a successful DOOH campaign? Let’s dive in to some of the steps you need to take when launching these campaigns (and if you’re curious about partnering with us for efforts like these, let us know)!

STEP 1: Decide on locations and mediums

This first step seems redundant, but is actually very important. Selecting not only the locations of your digital out-of-home ads but also the medium with which they are displayed are crucial to the results of your campaign. 

Unlike creating paid campaigns on social media, location targeting should not be as broad as a DMA. Have a conversation with your client to determine the specific locations that you wish to target. This should be as narrow as zip codes, highways, even streets. 

Once you decide on locations, determine what digital screens would be best to bid on for your client. Keep in mind that your ads will be showing anywhere from 6-15 seconds per screen, so formulating the best place to reach your target audience is key. 

STEP 2: Work with a media partner to find your screens and create deals

After compiling the “what” it is then time to figure out the “how.” Work with a media partner to determine the exact locations of the screens you would like to bid on. Once found, your media partner will begin working on creating deals with the screen owners. In DOOH, “deals” are partnerships between your platform and the media companies who own the screens. 

Once the deals are established, you will receive estimated impression numbers and estimated CPMs. In DOOH, impressions and CPMs are estimated using data from traffic patterns and location technology in cellphones. 

After the deals are completed and the estimated results agreed upon, you can then place your digital out-of-home ads. Hint…if you’re curious what locations you want to target and how, send us a message here!

STEP 3: Pace, Pace, Pace

Running your first digital out-of-home campaign can be daunting, and it is important to track the campaign each day to ensure you are not over or under pacing the budget. To do so, keep your bids competitive. Typically, it is best practice to bid about $2-3 more than your estimated CPM. 

Pacing a DOOH campaign is an art, not a science. Think about when you want your target audience to be served your ads. Day parting is a unique option for utilizing campaign performance. There is even an option to show ads in different climates. For example, if you are placing ads for a clothing brand, you can show your rain apparel when it is actually raining outside. 

Digital out-of-home is a novel landscape for all media buyers. There will be certain metrics unavailable to track, such as exact screen time, location of each screen, and impression numbers and CPMs. However, the tradeoffs of tapping into a new and competitive landscape and increasing your client’s brand recognition make DOOH worth exploring.  

If you want more information on how we place DOOH ads at DKC or are interested in placing some with us, contact us any time at or send us a note.