• DOMedia’s Ken Sahlin On Online Outdoor Ad Buying

    Columbus, OH headquartered DOmedia provides cloud-based technology to facilitate online ad buying and selling. The company’s products have powered over $1 billion in ad transactions. Yesterday DOmedia announced an extension of online ad buying tools. Insider DOmedia CEO Ken Sahlin about online outdoor ad buying.

    Ken, give us a short overview of D​O​media’s products and how they benefit outdoor companies
    DOmedia is the industry’s most comprehensive, “free to search, free to post” OOH marketplace; some of the largest agencies in the US search DOmedia and connect with sellers. Connecting buyers with sellers of all sizes has helped us drive hundreds of millions of dollars in media transactions every year.

    DOmedia’s advanced media mapping tools, which are now available to anyone who signs up for a free account, help agencies look at OOH inventory in proximity to their client’s needs. Users can map all the assets returned in a search or all of the responses to an RFP — even if the assets are from different vendors. This helps buyers get exactly what they need and helps vendors get the maximum value out of every asset. It also creates substantial time savings for media buyers and sellers.

    DOmedia logoDOmedia created a standardized RFP for out-of-home and alternative media, an achievement some industry insiders said was impossible when we started out. Introducing standardization and automation to the RFP process saves media companies time when responding to agencies. Vendors like the DOmedia RFP because they know what to expect when building a proposal for an agency using DOmedia, but the software is also flexible enough to let vendors include any extra material they feel is necessary for the proposal.

    Information in the DOmedia RFP system is instantly pulled through to contracting when an agency decides to make a buy. Contracting tools may seem mundane, but they save vendors countless man​-​hours of data entry every year.

    W​​​​hat benefits will opening up the platform to small and mid-size agencies create for the industry?
    Opening up the platform to small and mid-sized agencies will help them realize the same benefits we have provided to some of the largest US agencies for years. They will be able to find precisely the locations that best fit their clients needs through advanced searches including proximity, demographic and venue information. They will be able to create interactive maps of every buy and send them to clients with just a click. The DOmedia RFP system will empower them to leverage marketplace effects to ensure their clients are getting the best deal for their media dollar. Most importantly, however, they will be able to shift the focus of their buyers and planners from email and spreadsheets to creative and strategic work that adds value for clients.

    ​Ken, how will the online ad buying marketplace change over the next five years?
    Automation will continue to increase as standardization allows computers to handle the tedious data entry that plagues today’s media buyers. DOmedia has already made a substantial impact in this area. As data becomes more structured, transparency will also increase — there is already massive demand for this among brands. Brands will drive further agency adoption of technology that removes low-value work and enhances strategic work. As agencies adopt more platform technologies, this will drive media sellers to integrate the same tools in order to win business. Ultimately, vendors will begin to make pricing and availability data more accessible; we are already starting to see movement in this direction. Powerful media buying tools with access to asset pricing and availability, combined with the increased conversion to digital formats, will lead to a future of programmatic out-of-home media buying.

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