To a large degree, relevance can be determined by the state of mind of a viewer at a particular place and time. That is, no matter the demographic or other fixed characteristics of individual viewers, one can’t think of them as unchanging. The same individual, who is in a hurry on Tuesday morning, may be relaxed (at the same time and place) on Sunday morning.
One way to understand this important concept is to consider the difference between the types of viewers the "consumer" and the "shopper." We can look at most individuals as consumers – that is, they have the potential to purchase products and services aimed at individuals or families. But one is a consumer at home, at work and at play. In each of those circumstances, an individual may be thinking more or less about purchasing anything, or making any kinds of decisions surrounding a potential purchase. One can reach this consumer with certain messages – branding, for example – but making a direct offer is more difficult.
When in front of a Point of Sale (POS) network, the consumer has become a shopper. The mindset of a person who has deliberately entered a store is much more attuned to cues and opportunities related to their needs and the wares on sale at the particular store. They are now reachable with more direct offers about products – and particularly offers that now take into account their gender, age and income. Putting all these together creates real relevance for the content of POS signage, because it can create an emotional response that drives desired behavior.
Looking at things from another angle, consider two additional types of viewers including the “dweller” and the “on the go.”
Dwellers are in situations where they are either patient, have little choice but to remain passively in the area of the screen, or they may be in a situation where there they are relaxed in an out of home situation like a food court in a mall. A dweller can be in an elevator or a doctor’s office, but in either case is stuck with a wait. All have dwell time, but for entirely different reasons, and it is those reasons that need to be considered when creating content that is relevant.
On the other side, are the consumers who are on the go, such as people who are walking or driving. These are people in circumstances where their mindset is firmly fixed on reaching a destination or taking a journey; usually in areas where point of transit networks dominate. They are on a mission to get somewhere, and that’s the key to relevance. Where are they headed and why? This is a very complex question with a range of answers. It certainly depends upon the subcategory of the Point of Transit (POT) network and time of day. This is the first place to start to understand the mindset of the on the go viewer. If it is a billboard then during morning commute traffic you can guess that most on the go viewers are heading to work. On a subway it will also apply. What is on their minds? More than likely, it will be something involving work or coffee. They are also thinking about where they came from. Home and family issues, things they may need to find time to deal with during a busy work day. Conversely, on their way home they are recapping their day and looking forward to home, friends, family and dinner.
These examples are, of course, basic thinking around the mindset of the consumer, shopper, dweller and the on the go viewer. Depending upon the subcategory of network, this can be fine-tuned to match relevancy.
When you think about content and categorize by type of network and the mindset of the shopper, on the go viewer or dweller, it immediately helps to organize the thinking around content.