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Accretive Media Exclusive Interview with Digital Signage Pulse – June 2018

Programmatic DOOH ad platform Accretive Media succeeds by providing “never-before-available targeting and measurement” of campaigns

Guest post by Mel Stott

Craig Benner, Founder & CEO of programmatic DOOH buying company Accretive Media, sat down recently with us to reveal how his company is helping brands to target consumers more precisely with digital out-of-home campaigns.

This is the latest installment in an ongoing series featuring interviews with senior executives of DOOH companies who are members of DPAA.

Please tell us a bit about your programmatic DOOH ad platform in terms of where and how it is being used.

Accretive Media provides brands with a unique and highly effective way to connect with targeted consumers on their terms, across over 100,000 roadside, transit, and place-based digital out-of-home screens.

The Accretive Media platform is the first and only programmatic DOOH trading platform powered by deterministic consumer profile data, shifting the approach from ‘advertise on my board or screen because a lot of valuable consumers spend time in front of it’ to ‘we know where your target market spends their time, and we’ll reach them with high impact digital boards and screens and then measure the effectiveness of those ads on results you care about.’

This fundamental change in thinking can and will make out-of-home a more addressable and accountable medium and put us in a better position to secure a larger share of an advertiser’s spend.

Billboards don’t buy products, consumers do, so we’re changing the focus to consumers and proving out the value of calculated, targeted, and now data-driven OOH exposures. That’s how we will move the industry forward.

Your website says that you offer brands “the best targeting and measurement in out-of-home, period.” How do you accomplish this, and how are your targeting and measurement capabilities different/better than your competition’s? 

Targeting and (more importantly) measurement has always been a huge challenge in OOH.

Recent advancements in mobile location data and technology have tried to address this, but it only tells half the story.

Ultimately, while location data alone provides value in counting devices present near boards and provides brands the ability to re-target a portion of the exposed audience, it doesn’t actually bridge the divide between physical presence and digital identity or outcomes – which is critical to close the loop and prove the effectiveness of OOH advertising.

The only way to do this accurately is to build out a very large data repository inclusive of near-census deterministic consumer data, highly scaled mobile location data, and all the processing and organization required to support it. The most critical piece is the deterministic consumer profile data. This is what allows for the linkage between a consumer in real life and a consumer digitally.

This dataset is effectively information provided by a group of consumers who have opted-in to accept targeting and measurement from advertisers in exchange for free services on and off the internet.

The companies that control these highly valuable datasets have direct relationships with and have obtained clear consent from consumers. That’s the distinction and that’s the advantage of this type of data for this application, particularly with data privacy such a hot button issue these days.

The challenge was and continues to be, there are only eight true near-census deterministic consumer datasets in the world that support this use case; platforms that have an opt-in, direct relationship with the volume of consumers needed to scale.

You probably know all of them by name, they are the largest media and tech companies in the world. To put it in perspective, four of them are Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook. So, there are eight in the world and seven of them have no interest and/or lack the infrastructure required to execute this strategy.

We were able to strike an agreement with the eighth, which gave us a huge opportunity to do what we are doing in a privacy compliant way – it was a massive win for us and the industry at large.

With this agreement, Accretive Media quickly developed and filed a patent for the proprietary construct and process to combine these disparate datasets and build the Accretive Data Lake.

This is how our programmatic DOOH platform brings never-before-available consumer targeting and measurement to market.

For example, we can target online behavior, media consumption, offline purchase history and a host of other consumer attributes in out-of-home.

From a measurement standpoint, we can tell brands whether a consumer who was exposed to a DOOH ad went to their website, submitted a lead, completed an online purchase, or even bought something in-store.

This has never been available before Accretive, and it had been sorely lacking. We’ve seen our clients completely change the way they look at the out-of-home channel after being able to evaluate these types of metrics, which they never could before working with Accretive.

You tout your proprietary Accretive Data Lake platform as one of the most advanced consumer data platforms in the ad-tech space, and first-of-its-kind in digital out-of-home. How is it different from the many other programmatic DOOH platforms that are in use?

The ADL is the only data platform that uses a patent-pending combination of deterministic consumer profile data and geotemporal mobile location data to allow for more advanced consumer segmentation, targeting and people-based measurement than anyone else in the digital out-of-home space.

Per my previous comment, this platform is impossible to replicate based on the scarcity of privacy-compliant, near-census consumer profile data and patented approach to combining, processing and organizing the disparate datasets.

Your web site says: “Accretive Media has assembled a network of the most valuable screens in the United States.” Do you own those screens or do they belong to existing DOOH networks?

The screens belong to existing DOOH networks.

Could you please name the digital signage networks that use your programmatic DOOH platform?

We have access to all the major screen networks that make their inventory available programmatically, including major roadside, transit, and place-based providers. Dozens…Clear Channel, Zoom, Ad Space, et al.

What are your business relationships with those networks?

We have different levels of relationships with different DOOH media owners. Some we have close direct partnerships where we do unique custom programs (PMPs, advanced measurement, etc.), some we merely purchase inventory based on our data.

Please walk us through the process: how are the DOOH campaigns that use your software booked, executed and reported on?

Advertisers and/or agencies approach us and tell us who they would like to reach, and what their campaign goals are.

From there, we identify and segment their target audience and where those people spend their time relative to our screens. This allows us to layout the right mix of inventory to reach said audience (screens, impression weight, locations, timing), and develop a success measurement plan (pixel deployment, online/offline sales, web visitation).

Then we’ll activate the campaign in the Accretive platform and deliver campaign reporting to the client showing progress.

Post-campaign, we deliver comprehensive analytics and attribution that document the impact of the campaign on the defined success metrics.

For example, let’s say a car company wanted to reach consumers looking to buy a new vehicle. We would identify consumers who actively visited endemic auto sites, researched new vehicles, and exhibited other auto shopping behaviors, we’d then reach those consumers with high-impact DOOH ads, scrape device IDs of exposed consumers and measure which exposed consumers went to the advertisers website and performed key activities like locate a dealer, build and price, and submitted a lead.

Furthermore, we could then discern over time whether that consumer ultimately purchased that vehicle and close the loop entirely. It’s very powerful stuff.

How do you measure attribution?

The workflow is very simple.  We did all the heavy lifting upfront so the process is simple for brands. It’s a three-step process:

(1) Define what you want to measure, whether it’s web visits, online sales, offline sales, etc. Measure those success events and link them to Accretive IDs in the ADL.

(2) Identify device IDs that were exposed to Accretive Media DOOH ads via mobile location data and link them to Accretive IDs in the ADL.

(3) Compare overlap of Accretive IDs in the ADL based on measurement rules.

Voila! You have OOH measurement of digital outcomes.

Can you name some of the advertisers for which you have run campaigns?

We are running campaigns for advertisers in the retail, e-commerce, financial, tech and real estate industries.

Things have been going very well since launch in February and we continue to prove out our original hypothesis that DOOH, especially programmatic DOOH, is a highly effective medium in driving metrics you wouldn’t normally associate with it – demand generation, web visits, sales, etc.  This is not because it never worked before, but because nobody could prove it worked.

We are about to launch a couple of very interesting campaigns in the automotive and theatrical space too – which should be highly illuminating to those industries and the broader advertising market. Stay tuned.

As for client press, one brand that recently deployed our full complement of targeting and measurement capabilities was Ticketmaster. We are in the process of working on a comprehensive case study with them that outlines campaign strategy, targeting approach, success measurement plan and overall results.

It was the first time that an e-commerce platform could accurately (and with scale) measure the impact OOH had on web traffic, online sales and return-on-ad-spend, and the results were staggering.

To learn more, visit Accretive Media’s website:


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