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August 08, 2016

"The surprise is half the battle. Many things are half the battle—losing is half the battle. Let's think about what's the whole battle." Of course, this is a great quote from the modern-day classic movie The Untouchables, but it could equally apply to investment strategies with modern-day programmatic media. This article will discuss fighting the "whole battle" for programmatic—be it mobile marketing strategy, programmatic out-of-home (OOH), linear TV, radio, mobile, display, or what have you. Every battle needs to start with a pragmatic first step, and this article will review a simple and inexpensive technique for boosting an OOH campaign with a programmatic mobile strategy.

Geofencing Increases Performance
Each one of your out-of-home billboards has a well-known, well-defined physical latitude and longitude. OOH providers are often thought of as real-estate agents because they buy their billboard signage based on the old saying "location, location, location," and they know the precise whereabouts of each of their assets. Ask your out-of-home provider to send you the "run sheet" of when and where your ads will run on all OOH.

In a case study performed by Blis Media in the UK for the movie 50 Shades of Grey, Blis used geofencing to target users who were within a 100-meter (that's about 328 feet) radius of Universal's OOH digital walk-by billboards. The campaign targeted primarily female moviegoers and achieved a CTR of 0.56 percent at its peak—and, as Smart Insights notes, average ad CTR is 0.17 percent.

Geofencing Can Be Executed at No Cost
With a pinch of Microsoft Excel magic, that run sheet from your OOH provider can be manipulated into a simple set of targeting instructions for your programmatic demand side platform (DSP). When you set up the campaign inside the DSP, simply ensure that your mobile campaign is synchronized from start to finish on the same dates as your OOH billboards. Then, use operating system targeting to target only mobile phones. Finally, activate geofencing from within the DSP. If the system you're using doesn't have a built-in geofencing technology, consider partnering with a platform like or Near.

Proximity Can Drive Brand Awareness
Another way to reach greater scale and drive brand awareness is to analyze the results of previous campaigns. This is a wealth of untouched data. The mobile ad-serving company should be able to produce a list of device IDs that have physically been within 100 meters of the physical latitude and longitude of your digital billboards. Target these users with the same message they saw on the digital billboard. In another Blis case study, Coca-Cola used targeted mobile advertisements to reach consumers within range of Coca-Cola ads at OOH public transportation sites or special events.

Geofencing Provides Additional Levels of Sophistication
Remember that geofencing should be seen as an additional level of sophistication for the campaign and not a replacement for any existing mobile marketing strategy. Your mobile media campaign can still target any mobile application, such as Snapchat, YouTube, or Facebook Exchange, and it can still use your company's first-party data or data purchased from a DMP such as BlueKai, Lotame, or Eyeota.

Geofencing is a simple and cost-effective way to make your campaign more precise. Rather than blasting mobile ads out randomly across the internet, why not synchronize your mobile and OOH media strategies?

≥≥ Need a Shortcut?
1. You can use geofencing to deliver targeted mobile phone ads from your digital billboards' coordinates.
2. OOH billboard geofencing can improve campaign reach and awareness, in some cases at no extra cost.
3. Case studies have shown an increase in CTR with OOH billboard geofencing.
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