Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Dom Kozak, Head of Programmatic, JCDecaux UK

Dom Kozak, Head of Programmatic, JCDecaux UK, has been at JCDecaux, the world’s largest OOH advertising company, since 2013. A key figure in the digital OOH and programmatic OOH industry, and winner of the Adtech Hero award at the inaugural NDAHeroes awards, we asked who his digital hero is.

Who is your digital hero?

Tom Elder, Strategy and Planning Partner at Open Partners

What has he done to win hero status in your eyes?

In 2019, when Programmatic Digital Out of Home (prDOOH) was a relatively nascent idea, Tom (then at Dentsu) bravely leant into the opportunity.

His ideas resulted one of the first – if not the first – multichannel programmatic campaign that included prDOOH in the UK. Working towards the goal of driving footfall for Virgin Active, the campaign seamlessly combined mobile display and prDOOH to reach audiences at key moments in key locations.

Furthermore, Tom worked with multiple stakeholders to be able to combine third-party footfall tracking and first-party visitation data to prove the effectiveness of the campaign.

Tom’s work and this campaign, is heroic to me as it proves that prDOOH truly has a place in the digital planning process instead of being siloed in specialist OOH teams but also highlights the importance of innovative thinking to spur the industry forward.

How has his heroism helped drive digital?

Firstly, Tom’s heroism proved that sometimes, going against the grain and cutting through silos and politics delivers results.

It’s in no small part down to Tom that today, we see far fewer silos in OOH and more and more digital teams learning about and embracing prDOOH.

What are the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?

To me the biggest challenge is one that has been talked about for years yet remains unsolved – joining online and offline. Although there has been some progress in this space if we can crack this, brands, publishers, and consumers will benefit from more relevant advertising and a better value exchange.

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?

I’m extremely proud of the work the whole team at JCDecaux have done, and continue to do, to deliver solutions that enable brands to not only reach target audiences at scale but to engage precision audiences with relevant advertising that reflects the unique communities in towns and cities across the UK.

I also want to do a shout out to the whole OOH industry that has faced extremely tough times over the past two years when people spent more time at home than out-out-home!

I’ve witnessed, all sides of the industry – media owners, agencies, brands, DSPs, SSPs, data providers, and more – come together to create flexible solutions often in a very short amount of time.

Yes, this was vital to the survival of the industry – but what I’ve seen was often above and beyond. We’ve not only ensured OOH survives, but the innovation that occurred throughout the pandemic has spearheaded new, strategic, long-term approaches to OOH and prDOOH.