The Case for Digital Signage: How to Sell Digital Out-of-Home Against Other Media

By Stephanie Gutnik
Director of Business Development, BroadSign

Digital out-of-home is everywhere — and people are looking. The displays are typically much larger than those of our mobile phones, commanding attention via sheer size, placement and (when done right) compelling creative.

To the delight of advertisers, the same displays are also 100 percent viewable and fraud-free, contributing to the projection that DOOH will command an 87 percent increase in importance to media planners over the next three years (DPAA).

Alas, to date, DOOH only receives a small percentage of global media spend; an allotment that has remained consistent over the years and has not enjoyed the same growth as digital and mobile categories. So how does the DOOH channel grab attention of brands, which shy away from spending on the medium?

Coaxing buyers to reallocate budget to an unfamiliar channel is a humbling act, from trying to get a foot in the doors of new contacts to teaching the value delivered when incorporating DOOH with other media. Despite the challenges, a brave bunch are already making these efforts and paving the way for the rest of the industry.

As BroadSign has extended its tech stack from a pure content management system to one that incorporates sales platforms for direct and programmatic workflows, I myself have been part of this movement. “The Case for Digital Signage” will share the best practices that have proven most effective in moving the needle with buyers of other media. A sneak peek of two points can be found below.

Speak Their Language

When it comes to educating brands and agencies about digital out-of-home, adaptation is the sell-side’s responsibility. It may not seem convenient to change the way one thinks about and sells their network, but change is necessary for smooth dialogue.

The minute I started speaking to buyers of digital and mobile channels, I realized I could no longer refer to the sell-side as “network operators” or “media owners.” Such terms would be met with blank stares or questions. Once I began referring to these players as “publishers,” it removed any friction or wasted time on translation.

Speaking the same language allows buyers to immediately view DOOH inventory more similarly to the other screens with which they are familiar. Think of it as an investment in customer service.

Sell Against, Pitch With

Digital out-of-home has a reputation for being a “last on, first off” tactic in campaigns. If there is extra money, throw it at the channel and see what happens. Should the budget shrink, DOOH is a quickly removed from the plan.

It has also been treated as a separate entity by specialist departments and agencies, given how much work goes into putting together and measuring a campaign. Each publisher has traditionally been dealt with individually, all having different availabilities, pricing, creative formats and reporting. Specialists took on the unique and arduous work that could be accomplished through a few clicks in other media.

Today, programmatic pipes allow DOOH inventory of various publishers to be accessed at once, in the same platform that buyers use to purchase the rest of their media. Educational efforts must be put in place to show that DOOH can be planned and analyzed in direct comparison to digital, mobile and TV.

As soon as DOOH can be sold against other media, it can divest its “rogue silo” status by demonstrating how it amplifies the reach and effectiveness of these channels. Pitch the way it plays nicely with others in an integrated, holistic campaign.

“The Case for Digital Signage” will also touch upon imperative key points related to measurement, sales channel conflict and transparency; all providing tools for salespeople and strategists to attract new advertisers, grow the industry’s share in media budgets and increase overall revenue.

Author Stephanie Gutnik will present Session 14 entitled, “The Case for Digital Signage: How to Sell Digital Out-of-Home Against Other Media,” at Digital Signage Expo 2018 on Wednesday, March 28 at 4 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  For more information on this or any educational program offered at DSE 2017 or to learn more about digital signage go to

About the Author

Stephanie Gutnik, director of business Development at BroadSign, oversees the company’s global strategic partner and agency relationships. She previously ran BroadSign’s marketing department and was earlier employed at News Corp. Stephanie is an active committee member in out-of-home associations such as the DSF, DPAA, OAAA, IAB, Ad Club of New York and SAWA. Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and a MBA from Edinburgh Business School.