Discussing DOOH with Mark Burton

Last year Mark Burton came on board in the newly created role of Business Director. The appointment helped strengthen the multi-channel programmatic approach given his expertise in OOH advertising. Prior to joining Regital Mark spent 18 years in a variety of senior roles at JCDecaux. He is widely recognised as a leader in digital OOH strategy, having been involved in developing JCDecaux programmatic offering.

Here he discusses all things DOOH, and where he sees the market going this year.

How have you found the adjustment to life at Regital after almost 20 years at JCDecaux?

When you spend so long at one company, there is always going to be some slight trepidation, but it was easy to hit the ground running. I knew the company and lots of the team having worked with them as early adopters to programmatic DOOH. I had a good understanding of the culture. That helped, but I probably didn’t realise how fast paced and agile the business is. 

Regital is so accepting of new ideas and is constantly looking to push boundaries. It’s a hugely exciting time for OOH. To be involved in a business that is open to how you can redefine what is possible with the channel, is exhilarating for someone who’s worked in OOH as long as I have.

What do you see happening to the DOOH sector in 2022?

The market will keep getting bigger. Media owners are recognising the growth and are making more screens available to buy programmatically. Screen availability has been one of the biggest barriers for programmatic DOOH over the last few years. With that no longer the case, there are much more possibilities. 

With more availability, we’ll see things like better dynamic creative and activation where screens adjust to the context of a moment. We saw this become commonplace during the pandemic. Screens were refreshed and regularly updated with content around lockdowns and local healthcare messaging. I expect this trend will continue to grow with brands adjusting creative to fit the audience and location, based on factors such as weather, time of day, footfall and the location of shops and venues. 

Regital did this very effectively recently, targeting audiences at luxury events around London for a beauty brand. The client wanted to target the most relevant events their audience was attending over the summer period. Using Skyrise Intelligence we were able to select the most effective times and places to activate. The client was able to cover off transport hubs and commuting points around the venues, with timed activation based upon the schedule of events to coincide with audience movements and flow. Ultimately this allowed them to dominate the audience space, for a fraction of the cost a traditional media buy would have been.

How have you found the transition from channel to multi-channel?

Hugely exciting. With all screens now seemingly bought programmatically, and with the cookie being phased out, it is a great time to be working in the sector. Despite some obvious challenges, the opportunities for advertising sophistication using dynamic data have never been more prevalent for brands and agencies. 

Where do you see DOOH fitting in with multi-channel campaigns?

They fit in with everything we do. Regital is a programmatic marketing specialist, not an OOH agency. That is really important for me, and the business. If you just want OOH as a channel in-silo, which is effectively what I worked on previously, that is something separate. It is great as a channel for impact and awareness, but if you integrate it with other programmatic buying such as mobile, audio, CTV or anything else on an omnichannel campaign, OOH becomes the glue that links everything else together.

That is hugely powerful. I’m one of OOH’s biggest fans. I think I always will be. It’s big, it’s broadcast, it’s unavoidable, but it’s not as engageable. You can’t click it, you can’t buy from it, so it’s harder to quantify. In a multi-channel programmatic campaign, it has a response mechanism, and becomes the link in the schedule rather than a nice to have.

You’re known as future looking in the sector - what’s coming next in the DOOH space?

Data driven context is going to drive everything, whereby we see poignant and timely messaging. With ‘Hyper-Contextuality’, or whatever we want to call it, things will be so poignant and of the moment, that it will seem like a message to the individual. The reality is it will be very well planned, very well activated in the right place at the right time, using the right contextual audience data from sources such as Skyrise.

How do you use Skyrise audience data on programmatic DOOH campaigns?

In every single aspect, on every single campaign. It is an absolute game changer for programmatic DOOH. One of the challenges the sector faced previously was data intelligence governance. With Skyrise we’re using insight from mobile network providers and map-centric modelling to analyse screens score against specific audiences and spatial data. The dayparting can provide insight on the audience by day and hour of the week, which you can then analyse at a screen-site level. 

I was shown Skyrise prior to joining the business, and I knew instantly it would revolutionise the programmatic DOOH landscape. The relationship and application of Skyrise is a big part of why I joined Regital. I like to push boundaries, and that is exactly what I can help clients do with Skyrise.