Digital signage generally refers to things such as digital roadside billboards, retailer media networks, self-serve kiosks and more. What all of these things have in common though is that they’re all somewhat permanent fixtures. Digital out-of-home (DOOH) is evolving though, and mobile DOOH networks owned by massive brands are becoming more and more popular.
Mobile DOOH is important to the whole ecosystem as it provides yet another way for brands to reach audiences. It’s worth noting that mobile DOOH networks aren’t a new concept. They’ve been around for a little while, but are now regaining popularity and becoming easily accessible.
Originally these mobile DOOH networks only existed as either attachments to the backs of seats or attached to the license plate of taxis. Now, you can find these screens in rideshare cars, and as cartoppers.
How Mobile DOOH Networks Work
Mobile DOOH networks work a little bit differently from more conventional DOOH networks. They still have all the features and capabilities of other networks, but scheduling and booking is done differently to accommodate the fact they’re always moving.
What do we mean by this? Well usually, when an advertiser wants to be displayed on DOOH screens, they choose a specific screen (or screens) along with their ideal time. This is usually based on external data and studying consumer behaviour.
But with mobile DOOH screens, advertisers choose a specific range of locations, such as specific suburbs or even streets. Advertisers still select specific times when booking these campaigns.
One of the other key features of mobile DOOH is that location-based retargeting becomes easier and more efficient. People who see the DOOH advertisements will also be pushed to have the same brands appear on their mobile phones via platforms such as Instagram or Facebook.
Another interesting part of mobile DOOH networks is that they provide ride-share drivers and food delivery drivers with an additional source of revenue.
Mobile DOOH Measurement
Being able to measure and report on DOOH advertising is one of the current challenges being addressed by the industry. Mobile DOOH is no different, it’s highly important and many different companies are trying different measurement methods.
The measurement/reporting metrics that mobile-focused companies use are somewhat similar to those that other digital advertising technologies use. For example, mobile-first companies look at estimated impressions and unique reach.
This is very much how Google, Meta and other online advertising is measured, but this data is also combined with more DOOH-focused data such as share of time.
Some of these mobile DOOH companies are also collecting other measurable data, such as the age of the audience, and direct website visits.
There are a lot of players in this space, as we said, it’s not an entirely new part of the DOOH ecosystem, it’s just been getting more attention thanks to technological advances. A lot of the new players in this space are actually ride-share companies and taxi companies.
Who Is Getting Into Mobile DOOH?
It’s no surprise that so many companies are jumping into mobile DOOH, after all, the DOOH market is growing rapidly. In Australia alone, the OOH market now generates over $1 billion in revenue according to the Outdoor Media Association (OMA).
RIdeshare and taxi companies are looking for more ways to increase their revenue, and launching an advertising network is the perfect solution. These companies have user data, as well as physical assets that are always moving.
These rideshare and taxi companies are perfect for launching mobile DOOH networks, the costs are low and the vehicles are already on the move. It’s also easy to get buy-in from drivers/delivery drivers when there is a promise of increased money in their pockets.
This isn’t just speculation either, both Uber and Lyft, two of the biggest rideshare companies in the world have announced their cartop mobile advertising screens. Another type of network exists for rideshare drivers already, and those are independent of rideshare services.
By being independent, companies such as LUMOS can provide advertisers with integrations and additional digital signage services. There are also some adtech companies focused on traditional taxis, such as Adflow. Companies like this provide both cartop and in-car advertising screens, plus they can be installed in a large fleet of vehicles.
The Future of Mobile DOOH
We can never say for 100% certainty how exactly digital signage will change in the future or what trends will become mainstream and not just gimmicks. That’s not going to stop us from making a couple of short-term predictions based on how things are performing in regard to mobile DOOH though.
Advertising is always changing, and it’s fair to say that mobile DOOH is going to be at least somewhat part of the next evolution. It probably won’t happen in 2023, but 2024 will likely see a much bigger rate of adoption and an influx of companies trying their hand at DOOH.
In terms of technology, mobile DOOH networks are just one part of the equation, the rest is things like external data, dynamic content and more. Mobile DOOH will likely follow the rest of the industry and work towards personalisation.
Hyper-personalised advertising is the most effective form of advertising, and by combining data points with mobile DOOH, audiences will only see ads for things they’re interested in.
A key example of this is ridesharing apps such as Uber - they have information on a person's location, as well as the food they like to have delivered and when they like to have it delivered. By using this data, a food advertiser can ensure they target the viewer when and where it makes the most sense and be the most impactful.
In conclusion, the rise of mobile DOOH is an exciting, revitalised trend in digital out-of-home advertising. It’s evolving and adapting, enabling brands to market their products and services in a new format.
Ridesharing services are the perfect solution to build out these mobile networks, as are taxi services. We’ll likely start to see more and more ads on top of cars in the coming years, but they’ll be hyper-targeted and relevant to the people seeing them.
Mobile DOOH is a flexible solution and provides brands and advertisers with another channel and innovative way to connect with their target audience.
If you’re interested in powering a mobile (or non-mobile) DOOH network, arrange a time to chat directly with one of Doohly’s Co-Founders.