Wade Rifkin, Clear Channel Outdoor: “A groundbreaking opportunity”

“A groundbreaking opportunity”

While new channels like retail media and connected TV have been dominating the headlines in 2023, there is an industry stalwart that has delivered results for marketers for decades - out-of-home. In recent years, technology has brought significant innovation to the media channel, and as a result, out-of-home and digital out-of-home is thriving more than ever before.

In the latest episode of our Identity Architects podcast, InfoSum’s VP, Product Marketing, Devon DeBlasio, sat down with Wade Rifkin, EVP/GM, Programmatic at Clear Channel Outdoor, to discuss out-of-home, programmatic, data clean rooms, first-party data, and more.

“We have a data-driven solution that we call Radar that we built out seven years ago in order to offer up the kinds of audience targeting and planning capabilities and attribution that folks have been expecting that are table stakes across the industry. [...] We can determine exposure and use that to do things like audience targeting and attribution across KPIs through the funnel”

Traditionally, out-of-home has been seen as a top-of-funnel tactic. But as Wade says, Clear Channel Outdoor gives marketers the table stakes they expect in today’s data-driven world.  Thanks to advances in technology, digital out-of-home has evolved significantly and offers more advanced capabilities than many people may realize.

“More has happened over the last few years than a lot of people understand or give credit to. [...] There's a lot that can be done today in terms of buying in an omnichannel capacity through a DSP or in terms of what we're doing from a measurement space and an audience targeting perspective. So there's a lot that people assume may not be doable or is in its infancy that's actually a lot more mature in out-of-home.”

Clear Channel Outdoor hasn’t stopped there though. Cementing its position as an industry leader and its drive to innovate, the company has recently adopted data clean rooms to bring privacy-safe data collaboration to out-of-home. This new and exciting collaboration empowers marketers to combine the accuracy, reach, and relevancy of first-party data with the impact and visibility of traditional and digital out-of-home, opening up a new era of hyper-localized advertising. 

“We are the first to market in terms of an out-of-home media owner that's leveraging clean room partnerships. [...] It’s a real groundbreaking opportunity that's breaking the door open with certain advertisers and buyers that want to learn more. They want to understand how data collaboration can happen on a channel that it hasn't historically been able to or not in the privacy-centric way or through the workflow that they wanted it to. So it's been great to [...] help advertisers figure out how to extend and amplify their use of data through our channel.”

There’s little doubt about the vital role first-party data will play in the future of data-driven advertising. But even advertisers without access to large amounts of first-party data will benefit from the out-of-home and data clean room tie-up. By bringing data clean rooms into the fold, Clear Channel Outdoor empowers marketers to securely leverage second and third-party data in their out-of-home campaigns and amplify campaign performance.    

“Data clean rooms are a key arena for that type of privacy-centric data collaboration, first-party data enrichment, or activation that buyers are choosing to use, so we now can play in that space. [...] Second-party and third-party segments are absolutely things that we can not only collaborate on through data clean rooms but use to plan and buy against our inventory, and we definitely see use cases”

With all this data in play, out-of-home provides value beyond a brand awareness play. Out-of-home can be utilized to drive performance further down the funnel and deliver tangible outcomes, whether that’s site visits, store visits or sales uplift. 

“I think what's most interesting and exciting is what you wouldn't expect is looking from the mid-funnel on down and that could be online engagement. So, how does out-of-home actually drive a consumer to a site or a mobile app? And then going further down the funnel into sales lift, whether that's CPG offline sales, or auto sales, or pharma scriptlift. Some advertisers come back to us with great results that showed how we helped grow the bottom of the funnel and help provide an assist for some of their other channels and tactics to convert more effectively and efficiently.”

And while some media channels have declined due to the move to digital over the years, out-of-home has largely been immune to these changes given the nature of the channel. Out-of-home and digital out-of-home provide a unique opportunity for marketers that should be seen as complementary to their omnichannel strategies.

“It's not suffering from, you know, the reach erosion that some other traditional media channels are suffering from and will continue to as they're projected over time. [...] We can lend touch points to those first-party audiences and help find them out in the wild, quite literally in the physical world, in a way that helps build reach and frequency against those audiences that will be supplementary and complementary to what's being done in CTV and desktop display, mobile display etc.”

With so much on offer to marketers, we asked Wade how advertisers should approach out-of-home when thinking about incorporating the channel into their media plans.  

“Out-of-home is here, it's part of the omnichannel ecosystem. [...] Out-of-home can play a role in driving impact and the outcomes that advertisers are looking for, and now that can all be facilitated through data clean rooms. [..] We've touched on a test-forward mentality or an experimental mentality. [...] So just keeping an open mind and think about ways to meaningfully test your way into that. I think that a great mentality to have for an advertiser or an agency buyer.

Thanks, Wade, for the chat!