Digital Out-of-Home Advertising Trends for 2021 – and Beyond

During the pandemic, digital out-of-home (DOOH) emerged as a desirable way for advertisers to reach their shoppers in the one place they were still consistently visiting: essential retail locations. This fueled inventory growth in and around grocery and retail. For example, DOOH advertising network Grocery TV has grown from 1,500 to 6,000 retail locations this year, according to Progressive Grocer.

The acceleration of DOOH was also facilitated by the ability to transact programmatically. Programmatic DOOH enables greater flexibility around when and where messages are delivered, a key ingredient for success at a time when market conditions are changing rapidly.

While the pandemic was the catalyst for its growth, there are a myriad of market trends that will continue to drive DOOH growth this year and beyond.

DOOH as Part of the Retail Media strategy

Retail media is a hot topic in C-suites now as the once-perceived sleepy, place-based channel comes alive. With the expansion of inventory in and around the point of purchase, DOOH is a natural fit for brands trying to engage shoppers when their purchase intent is highest. Catalina experts help brands create targeted in-store activations, using advanced data tools to unearth what’s working and what isn’t to make inflight changes in real time.

Privacy Changes Making DOOH More Relevant

Contextual targeting has been at the heart of OOH media for years. With the recent changes in privacy impacting other, more precisely targeted mediums, contextual targeting will once again be the standard across advertising mediums. DOOH stands to gain from this shift as it can be deployed in an environment where there is known purchase intent. With the ultimate demise of third-party cookies down the road, Catalina has the unique ability to assess, reach, and convert audiences in-store with precision-- driving future sales via digital messages where consumers live, work, and play.

DOOH as a Tool for Conversion

DOOH not only drives awareness these days, it sparks conversion. While brand equity-building signs in Times Square and large, eye-catching displays still have their place, the aforementioned trends are opening up new opportunities for DOOH. The once siloed medium can now be integrated into mainstream media plans because it addresses additional use cases.

For more advertisers to embrace DOOH as part of their omni-channel strategy, the metrics for success must be consistent across media channels. CPG brands expect all aspects of the marketing mix to directly drive sales.

More Consistent Success Metrics

Going beyond impressions to be able to track the audience seeing an ad and their buying behavior is an industry game-changer. OOH has matured into an increasingly more measurable and quantifiable solution - and a sought-out, key discipline in the marketing media mix. DOOH is now measuring ROAS and sales lift.

Catalina anonymously matches people who saw the ad with purchases within its retailer network. In addition to being able to report how many buyers converted, Catalina allows brands to understand exactly who converted. And its data unearths granular details like the percent of purchasers who were existing brand buyers, new buyers, or repeat purchasers, and identifies the brands they previously purchased. Talk about a unique value proposition!

With 1:1 deterministic shopper insights from an average of 499 million store trips a month, 812 million mobile IDs, scan data from 3 million consumers, and 6 billion annual store trips, Catalina is not just diving into an average shopper data set. Our massive reach sets brands up for success by helping them understand the impact of their media via standard and modern methods.


With shopper behavior changed for the foreseeable future - and consumers likely to resume quick shopping trips - increasingly relevant DOOH is poised for continued growth.

OOH has long been a trusted awareness vehicle, and, today, DOOH is a proven conversion vehicle for marketers focused on wooing, winning, and retaining shoppers.

Visit Catalina’s OOH Solutions page to learn more about adding digital OOH to your marketing mix to disrupt the shopper journey and drive conversion.