Marketing the DOOH

Programmers often remind me of a simple programming maxim: The easier you make it for the end user (the customer), the more complex the challenge for the programmer. I am often reminded of that saying when I consider the myriad of new digital communication tools such as DOOH, PURL’s, variable data messaging and all the rest of the new digital tools. We now have many targeted ways to reach our customer, but sometimes the wide selection is simply overwhelming, making our jobs more complex.

When I first started in marketing, the choices were simple and broad – television, radio, print, and direct mail. Very wasteful, but my job as a marketer was much easier to manage. Messages only varied according to the demands of the medium, not the characteristics of the customer.

DOOH – Simple and Complex

Digital signage is growing in importance thanks to advances in screen technology and simple computer programming. The challenge for marketers, however, is to wisely use DOOH in an appropriate mix with all the other digital tools they have available. Like most other forms of digital marketing, DOOH can impact sales with a precise sales offer and be located close to the point of sale. In fact, in the case of in-store digital signage, it’s hard to imagine getting closer to the point of sale.

It may be easy to send a message to a digital sign, but creating the right message is more difficult. Marketers have to create messages for DOOH that not only make sales but are also congruent with other mediums and corporate branding. Personally, I believe that DOOH demands a unique strategy and creative development just as other channels such as television and print do. You can’t duplicate an effective radio commercial on television. So, if I create a DOOH campaign that resembles a static campaign on a traditional billboard, do I really know what I’m doing?

I can say this: DOOH works. DOOH grabs attention. I will also add: I wish I had at least a dozen more DOOH campaigns on my resume so I could speak with greater authority about “lessons learned”. For me, it is very difficult to translate the DOOH experience of a local muffler shop or retail store to the requirements of a large corporation spread across a large geographic area. I may have to reach the same customers; but their relationship with my company is much more complex with a strong component of emotion. I am not trying to justify a price point.

The challenge for marketers with DOOH is to fully understand the medium and effective message development. And as I mention at the beginning of this post, it will all appear easy and natural for the customer, it will be the marketers who will be sweating the details.

This post is written by Steve Wilson, a professional marketer with 20 years of experience in small business marketing and corporate communications. His rich knowledge in the field is concentrated in his blog Basic Marketing packed with interesting ideas meant to enable SMEs  to leverage the power of marketing. We invited Steve to write for us as we wanted to leverage the general understanding of how DOOH is perceived by experts from collateral backgrounds.
Thanks for reading!

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