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Five minutes with … Vistar Media's Ben Baker



The out-of-home industry is constantly evolving. From programmatic DOOH to 3D billboards, there is always innovation making it a more powerful advertising channel for brands.


Keeping up with the sector can be difficult, so each month Veridooh is speaking to experts in the field for their insights and predictions.


This week we speak to Ben Baker, Vistar Media APAC managing director.


How long have you been in the OOH industry?

16 years now. That's a lot of time selling rectangles.


There has been a lot of buzz around programmatic OOH. When will it reach its peak?

The buzz is certainly gaining momentum as more and more brands are seeing the benefits of targeting audiences at scale. Probably even more exciting is seeing the brands come back to pDOOH time and time again. The peak will be when OOH is a strong consideration to achieve any marketing objective whether it be top or bottom of the funnel.


What are some hurdles the industry needs to overcome to accelerate the growth of programmatic DOOH?

The growth is certainly here. pDOOH category grew 300% YOY in 2022 and is set to grow 70%+ in 2023. One hurdle that was recently overcome was that of a “unified currency”. The launch of Move 1.5 (OMA audience measurement) gives buyers the ability to compare apples with apples when it comes to impressions for programmatic trading.


How is the growth in Australia’s programmatic OOH compared to other parts of the world?

pDOOH is certainly more advanced in the USA and parts of Europe, though APAC is quickly catching up by way of client knowledge and engagement. Lessons we can learn from other markets when it comes to pDOOH are predominantly how both traditional OOH and pDOOH can work together to drive optimal client outcomes. We’ve seen the best industry growth globally when teams on both the sell and buy side are educated across programmatic and traditional, rather than operating in silos.


Can you give us some insight into Vistar Media’s plans for 2023?

As above, we expect to see pDOOH grow 70%+ across APAC in 2023. More than ever, clients are going to want to tie media spend to real-world outcomes and pDOOH offers metrics such as brand uplift, footfall analysis and web conversion which gives marketers the ability to see what's working and optimise their OOH spending (even mid-campaign).


When it comes to DOOH verification, do you think the industry understands how far the technology has come?

Like with any rapidly emerging media, it seems as though marketers are all on different parts of the pDOOH journey. Some are fully aware that the likes of Veridooh can be used as third-party verification for pDOOH and others are still under the impression that pDOOH is a “black box” into which they have little to no insight. One of the key focuses of Vistar’s for Q1 is to help educate the market on just how much control buyers have at both the planning and now reporting phase with pDOOH.


What goals do you have for 2023?

To see the OOH category continue to grow and thrive as it plays multiple roles within the marketing funnel.



Want to be part of our ‘Five Minutes with’ series? Reach out to mariam@veridooh.com.

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