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New aggregated DOOH publisher network Polygon looks set to change the face of media  

Polygon, a new company and concept in traditional digital out of home (DOOH) media, has launched – and looks set to change the media industry forever.

With Remi du Preez (formerly Commercial Director at Tractor Outdoor and a well-known voice in the DOOH arena) at the helm in the role of Managing Director, Polygon offers advertisers a programmatic aggregated publisher network, making up a “mega network” of hundreds and soon, thousands of digital screens available through its media owner partnerships. The network is specifically designed to maximise omnichannel advertising campaigns while integrating accredited audience data using world-class technology.

Du Preez says that Polygon will offer advertisers a single point of entry into the continent’s largest network of DOOH inventory, allowing them to target audience sets across multiple touchpoints and venues along the customer journey.

It was early on in his career that Du Preez realised the challenges facing the programmatic DOOH industry. ‘This included a shortage of suppliers where smaller companies had no seat at the table. Secondly, buying DOOH involved dealing with a myriad of publishers, which is messy from the client’s point of view. Lastly, there was no audience data consistency among publishers,’ he says.

‘Previously, outdoor media owners could only offer advertisers access to their own networks, which was limited to digital roadside inventory,’ he expands. ‘Furthermore, an advertiser needs to have relationships with multiple media partners to activate a deal.’

He says that Polygon aims to address these issues through its business model. ‘By consolidating the inventory of multiple media owners under one marketing/sales house and platform, we can drive those conversations on behalf of our partners, freeing them up to focus on other aspects of their media business.’ Importantly, from a buyer’s perspective, Du Preez says that this means that marketers will only need one point of contact to access thousands of sites.

Imagine a brand serving an advert to a consumer on their mobile, first thing in the morning. That ad then “follows” them on their commute to work via a digital billboard; popping up again on a screen at the petrol station in the forecourt they visit after work on the way to the mall. Again, that same ad appears on a screen at the shopping mall, and finally, in a bar, where they stop for a drink. This is the key opportunity that Polygon plans to offer advertisers, says du Preez, connecting what were previously separate sites into one seamless ecosystem that is easy for digital marketers to access.

Du Preez believes that collaboration is critical to the sustainability of the outdoor media industry. ‘By establishing an aggregated publisher network, we aim to bring a new supply of media owners – with smaller networks across multiple venues that were previously not programmatically connected – into the fold. We feel that there is an exciting opportunity for us to support black media owners in maximising their inventory by making it more accessible through a larger network, supporting the broader success and sustainability of the outdoor community,’ he adds.

‘Our aim is to complement our publisher partners’ existing sales teams, helping them access previously untapped internet budget without having to invest in new tools or software.’ Du Preez says that Polygon is currently on a big recruitment drive and will have offices in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. Its in-house platform is connected to some of the largest Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) globally, including Google’s DV360, Adform and Trade Desk, to name but a few. This will enable advertisers to buy into the network without requiring an additional software package.

‘Our platforms also allow advertisers to assess their campaigns similarly to how other digital campaigns are currently measured. We need to provide clients with credible and transparent data.’

Du Preez says that the media landscape is currently seeing a big shift, with a growing demand for DOOH to be integrated into omnichannel campaigns. ‘We’re increasingly seeing digital agencies trialling DOOH alongside their traditional digital campaigns,’ he explains.

‘This is a great thing for DOOH: Not only to increase revenues into the outdoor arena, and sustain and futureproof the category, but it will also encourage DOOH to entrench itself more firmly into the marketing mix. However, creating a seamless experience for digital marketers and a platform that allows them to compare apples with apples is key, which is what Polygon’s premise is based upon.

‘I believe that what Polygon offers marketers is truly client-centric; it removes the current ringfencing and enables one clear point of contact while creating consistency in audience data methodology. It creates a seamless opportunity for brands to target consumers across the entire customer journey – with demonstrable results,’ he concludes.

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