Why and how did Doohlabs pick up a winning ticket?

Teemu Kurri
This is a story of how Doohlabs focused on in-store advertising automation while at the same time the tide was about to turn heavily in favour of Retail Media.

The death of 3rd party cookies announced both by Apple and Google is changing the marketing landscape forever, causing different kinds of shock waves through the industry. One of the most interesting twists is that retail has found itself in a perfect position to reshape its business models to act as a media with its valuable data-based audiences. The other one is that digital out-of-home (which was already before Covid-19 one of the fastest-growing advertising channels globally) has gained new strong momentum as advertisers look for the best channels to reach specific target groups. 

The idea for Doohlabs started in 2018 when we sat down to think of the reasons why DOOH still lagged so far behind in technological solutions compared to online advertising. We found that although there are some structural differences in channels causing this, the main reasons seemed to be historical: the actors in the field have not been digital by heart and have rather just tried to keep up with changes happening in the business environment. Also, not all players in the field actually would benefit from the change and therefore resist it. We decided that our journey would be to change this for the better.

At first, we wanted to crack one of the biggest issues: the lag of proper means for targeting audiences in digital out-of-home. As half of our team originates from the online industry, we quickly found means to solve the challenges and built the base for our platform.

Secondly, we built a way for retail to safely and anonymously use their customer data to build valuable target groups for sale to advertisers. By deciding to focus solely on building in-store advertising automation, all of our efforts are concentrated on serving both single brand and multi-brand retail to better target people in their retail spaces as an integral part of their omni-channel offering and enabling media sales – both direct and programmatic.

The world of advertising changed at the same time we developed our platform. As the death of cookies and its wide-reaching consequences got understood better by marketers, two themes for succeeding in the business got the most attention:

1) The use and ownership of 1st party data and

2) Contextuality – as means of reaching the customer in places where she/he has presented interest in a specific subject

As it happens – in-store advertising is in the epicenter of both of these development themes. Retail – as they own their customer data and also know the actual effects on sales – can offer closed-loop advertising. They can measure and optimise continuously throughout the entire customer journey. In-store advertising, on the other hand, is in the heart of contextuality in the sense that it is able to reach the customers right where and when the decisions are made.

In Doohlabs, we follow closely the rapid evolution happeningin retail. Now not only the largest retailers but businesses in all sizes - see their business opportunities in becoming a media. Besides selling audiences to advertisers and promoting their products they are starting to open digital channels for their partners and suppliers too. 

We are spot on to accelerate this change with Retail and feel that we have picked up the winning ticket with our existing and new retail customers. We have been lucky to have customers who dared to be forerunners and we are always eager to help others in their way to becoming a media.

Teemu Kurri

Teemu Kurri

Co-founder, Chief Business Development Officer

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