In an Australian first, ad-tech start-up, CAASie, has launched an online demand-side-platform (DSP) dedicated to the amalgamation of digital marketing and out-of-home (OOH) advertising.
Planned, designed and fully developed from the ground up by Heurist, a small branding agency based in the heart of Logan, Queensland, the CAASie marketplace is designed to solve a problem that the team experienced themselves as they sought to purchase billboard space. They found that there was simply no way to advertise on dOOH inventory using their existing digital marketing skills – so they made their own.
“CAASie aims to bolster the advertising efforts of local small and growing businesses by making out-of-home more accessible and more flexible. The combination of digital marketing with out-of-home means that these businesses can create the kind of mass brand awareness that will improve their online click-through rates,” says Taryn, director and project lead at CAASie.
Using similar techniques to digital marketing; businesses will be able to log-in to the CAASie marketplace, select the screens they want to advertise on and bid in real-time for each ad play – on a contract-free no-strings basis. This gives them the ability to advertise as often, or as sporadically as their budget constraints allow.
Ever since its conception, digital marketing has been synonymous with online advertising – particularly on social media platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn, and search engines such as Google. Out-of-home, for most people falls under the category of ‘traditional media’ along with TV and radio, despite the rapid uptake of digital out-of-home (dOOH) over the last few years.
The problem is – despite several OOH screens now becoming digital, there has yet to be an easy way in which an one might advertise on these screens. Not, at least, to the level of ease that made the likes of Facebook and Google Ads so popular. This is because digital OOH is still largely sold the same way as traditional or static OOH media, leaving the inherent dynamism and flexibility of the digital format underutilised. The inefficiencies of the sales process places stress on OOH sales teams and ultimately leads to unsold digital inventory that make losses for the OOH media owners.
The current approach to solve this problem is to sell digital screens online on a per-slot basis. Instead of creating long-term deals on a lunar cycle as is commonplace in the out-of-home industry, each rotation in the schedule of ads is auctioned off to the highest bidder online – the same way online advertising typically works – in a process called programmatic advertising. In theory, programmatic advertising enables out-of-home media owners to sell their vacant space, whilst simultaneously giving businesses the opportunity to perform more targeted audience-driven campaigns.
While promising, programmatic advertising is not yet the silver bullet it aims to be. Partaking in these auctions require expensive, complex software tools that were inaccessible (both technologically and financially) for most advertisers. Consequently, these auctions have been highly exclusive to enterprise customers, leaving the smaller businesses behind. That is, until now.
CAASie addresses this accessibility problem of programmatic advertising in the OOH industry by opening access to these programmatic ad auctions to businesses of all shapes and sizes. The free-to-use online platform mimics the buying process of Facebook and Google Ads, and applies it to out-of-home inventory. It boasts a simple user interface that can be easily adopted by digital advertisers familiar with the online buying process. That said, the team is quick to point out that it is designed for small business owners and entrepreneurs to pick up with ease.
Although CAASie is a self-serve system, the team is partnering with digital marketers and creative agencies within Australia in order to assist users in executing multi-platform campaigns, through strategy, planning and management. These partnerships will not only solidify existing relationships between digital marketing and out-of-home advertising, but also introduce new advertisers to out-of-home; particularly those who have never considered it in the past. CAASie positions itself as a bridge between out-of-home and online advertising; one that both digital marketers and advertisers will cross to extend the reach and impact of their marketing campaigns.