Blog: Keith Kelsen 

Keith Kelsen (bio)
Chairman & CEO
5th Screen Digital

Monday, 29 April 2013

Every day the consumer becomes more and more involved in a digital world. From movie screens, TVs and PCs to smartphones, tablets and digital signage, the screens are converging on several levels.

The consumer demands a rich media experience across all screens. They expect each screen to look and act similarly. The lines used to be very clear between a TV and a PC, but today the lines have been blurred by interactive TV and TV on PCs. And then the consumer is watching TV and movies on mobile and tablet screens.

It is no longer a separate screen for a separate purpose; it's really "One Screen." And in a "One Screen" world the consumer can change to a shopper in a matter of seconds and buy anything, anytime, anyplace. This has far reaching effects in retail.

Today the consumer disposition changes based on two things: where they are and what they are doing. For instance, a personal screen (tablet, mobile) or the screen on the wall becomes a point of wait whenever the consumer has "Dwell Time." They could be in line getting coffee or at a doctor's office. When the consumer is driving down the road, or at a train station or airport, the consumer is "On the Go," and their screen or the screen in the venue or on the roadside becomes a point-of-transit screen, where the messages are brief and about the brand. And when the consumer is either in a retail environment or just sees something they want to buy, the screen then becomes a point of sale, where the consumer is now a "Shopper."

Now the content must change according to what the consumer is doing and where the consumer is located. It doesn't matter if it is their pocket screen or tablet or the interactive screen in the venue. What does matter is the content that is on that screen and how the consumer interacts with it.

The major shift we see in the marketplace is this interaction with any screen. A screen on the wall is not as compelling an experience as a screen with which the consumer interacts. This interaction can be on their own screen in the venue with specific content that is related to the that particular venue, or it can be on a "Digital Destination" screen that is there to create a fun entertainment or an educationally engaging experience. A "Digital Destination" is a place in reality that ties into the digital frontier while enhancing the consumer experience. One might consider that in the very near future, not only are all screens converging into one screen, so also is the multiverse/virtual reality converging on reality.

The consumer has become a "media monster" that needs to be fed. The new digital consumer has developed and appetite for media like no other generation before — and it's not just consumers born after 1980 (the digital generation); it is the baby boomers (analog digital wannabes) too. Changing the strategy to accommodate these newfound consumer interactions is critical. As content creators and strategists, we must take into consideration what particular mindset the consumer is in (on the go, shopper or dwell time) and create media that addresses that need in that particular mindset and in the particular venue. In addition, we have to consider how we create content and create it once for all screens and not just one-off messages for a particular screen. This means that we have to create media in such a way that the final message can easily be assembled for any screen in automated ways.

To create final messages that are close to the mindset of the consumer at a particular venue, one needs to consider data-driven intelligent messages that are assembled to create a more relevant message that match the consumers mindset and what venue they are in. It is this customization on digital signage that is driven by anonymous video analytics (like Intel's AIM Suite) that helps drive more relevant messages to the consumer in specific age and culture groups that are also "Shoppers," have "Dwell Time" or are "On the Go."

Data-driven intelligent content will be designed so that the ecosystem (defined as connected devices) knows and learns from our choices and patterns that are created in our lives while delivering the experience that we desire. In addition, information from other connected devices adds to our experience. Because ultimately content is designed to give each of us a memorable experience, the more tailored that experience is to me based on data that's about me the better experience I might be able to have.

Big intelligent data in retail can drive content to do one of two things: learn my behaviors to help me find and buy products that I might be interested in, or bring me in-venue information that is relevant to my experience. This convergence of venue-driven data versus my personal data is on an impact course that can only produce spectacular experiences. The more sophisticated the data and the learned behavior the better matched the experience tailored to me will be. For instance, an auto parts store in the U.S. uses big data to find out what kind vehicles residents are driving in the proximity of each store and then they focus on creating advertising around the most popular vehicles.

The bottom line is, it will not matter which screen I am engaged with, because behind all the screens is one intelligent media data landscape and what the consumer ultimately sees is "One Screen."

Keith Kelsen is the author of "Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage – Content Strategies for the 5th Screen." More information about his book and the book's companion website can be found at His company, 5th Screen, is at Follow him on Twitter @KKelsen.

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