Blog: Keith Kelsen 

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

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

In a recent article I wrote about creating great content templates and how that templates can be used effectively.  The biggest issue is determining how many templates that I may need for my network based on day parting and the potentially diverse demographics in front of my screens.

For any network, one needs to create a set of meta-templates that are refreshed at least once a quarter. This isn’t an exercise in re-branding the company or building an entirely new visual language for the network, but one should create variance that introduces new elements into the ones that have already enjoyed a 3-month run. For example, create a series of templates that have corporate branding elements for a specific purpose. You may have a series of compliance messages that you need to get out, so create a template that is designed for that type of message. The viewer will learn that when that particular template is up, the content pertains to workplace compliance. Creating templates with branding elements for other types of messages will also play well with viewers. If you use the same template for everything, the viewer will get tired of the same look all the time.

To better understand how many templates one will need to keep a network fresh and relevant to the demographic, a simple formula can assist in creating the right number of templates: D × V = T or (day parts) × (visits) = (demographic templates). This is based on each demographic one takes into consideration, then one can take all the demographics and add them up for the TT (total number of templates) required using a message template similar to the example (Figure 1). One can lay out in a spreadsheet the number of versions of the message one needs in a given month and understand what time of day the specific demographic is in the venue. This will tell one how many versions of the message one may need to keep it fresh and when to put the versions in the schedule. For this example the monthly visits (V) for demographic 1 is 3. So to create the right number of fresh templates for demographic 1, simply multiply the day parts (D) = 5 by visits (V) = 3, which totals 15 templates (T). One can do the same for demographic 2, where day parts (D) = 2 and visits (V) = 6, which totals 12 templates (T). And a grand total for all templates is 27 total templates (TT). One then knows that during the week between 8 and 10 o’clock in the morning, one needs to play demographic 1 on Monday and Wednesday, and between 10 o’clock and noon one needs to play the ad targeted toward demographic 2. The target demographic ad versions can be altered slightly based on the templates.

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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

What drives the consumer to engage?

I believe that there are a number of ingredients that need to be considered while creating great content.

First and foremost the content must be visually appealing. Second the content must be relevant or in context. And thirdly the emotional connection, and that depends upon the disposition of the consumer, where they are at, what frame of mind they are in and what is their emotional demographic.

Let’s break it down, Visually Appealing; This is often subjective, but there are rules to follow that will help one create more appealing content.  First composition, second color, third motion.

Composition – Adding a little math may help some of us that are not artistically inclined. Yes composition can be based on science. The Golden Ratio.  The Golden Ratio is a special number found by dividing a line into two parts so that the longer part divided by the smaller part is also equal to the whole length divided by the longer part (see fig 1) a/b = (a+b)/a = 1.618. Historically, this ratio can be seen in the architecture of many ancient creations, like the Great Pyramids (the Golden Triangle is also based on the Golden Ratio) and the Parthenon.  The Golden Ratio was used to attain beauty and balance in many paintings and sculptures. Da Vinci used the Golden ratio to delineate all of the proportions in his Last Supper.  He also used this principal in his Vitruvian Man and the Mona Lisa. Many other artists like such as Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Seurat, and Salvador Dali also employed the Golden ratio.   Ok so we may not be Rembrandt, but add a little math and we may get even better content on our screens.

Color – Contrast is your best friend when it comes to quick and easy read and comprehension.  Without going into all aspects of color here, please see the recent blog post on color here.

Motion – Adding motion to any part of you messaging is going to garner more attention and could be the link between your brand and the consumer creating an emotional connection.  The best approach is to create a storyboard.  Storyboards are going to allow you to see the sequence of movement of objects in a 16×9 frame (see fig 2). Storyboarding is the process of sketching, in advance, the sequence of events, images, and effects that will make up the final product. These can range from a handful of simple pencil sketches, with a sentence or two on each describing the action, to a detailed layout of every angle, shot, and image. In effect, what a storyboard does is create both a proof of concept for whoever must approve the content and a set of instructions for those who will actually produce the content. The longer a piece of content, or the more complex the action, the more detailed a storyboard must be to do these two jobs. But even a simple piece of content benefits greatly from the use of the storyboard process. This storyboarding process helps to get everyone on the same page. It is a very visual medium that takes the script one step closer to production. When everyone agrees on the look and feel that the production is going for, then one can take it to the next level.

Relevance and Context - This is often a very difficult concept to get one’s brain wrapped around.   So let’s keep it simple.  Relevance and Context is really understanding three things; 1. How does my message relate to the viewer? 2. What type of network (PoS, PoT or PoW) are my screens in or where is my viewer? 3. What frame of mind is my viewer in?

Any team that is operating a digital signage network or is planning a network has a unique opportunity to bring excellence to this emerging industry and set some precedents. We can already see this in the work of some network professionals who have focused on research. Their innovative approaches use content as the source and cause for relevant messaging that is useful, helpful, and provides a positive experience for the viewer. Aligning consumer mind-set with network type is a large part of this exploration that brings success to some of the most prominent networks in the United States and abroad. Recognizing that mind-set is critical to matching effective content to the network is key.  In otherwords, why is the consumer there and what are they doing?

Recognizing that mind-set is critical to matching effective content to the network. One may want to create content that reflects ones specific audience in ways that are more relevant to them. It is the  research that will get you there.

The Emotional Connnection – There are 8 emotional triggers that help connected the consumer to the brand. Creating a connection with the consumer by triggering one or more of the eight psychological drivers: Self-Creation, Mastery, Dreaming, Security, Playtime, Sport, Sanctuary and Connection.

SELF-CREATION is an emotion that reveals itself through creating, enhancing and expressing one’s identity by stimulating self-reflection, status, bragging rights and values.

MASTERY is evoked by learning, performance and sharing. For example, consumer electronics is a category where knowledge transfer creates a feeling that the shopper has mastered a complex product.

DREAMING is hope, inspiration, ambition and looking at the possibilities. To evoke this emotion one must create content that is relevant to these aspirations. Department stores that carry kitchen products and bedding and home improvement stores are great examples of locations where Digital Destinations can be created to inspire shoppers and encourage them to buy products that lead to their dream home, patio or deck.

PLAYTIME is engaging in child like fun, expression and amusement.  The engagement that triggers this emotion needs to be entertaining and include aspects of creativity and stimulation. Although this can apply to many different types of products, certain ones are very good fits – like amusement parks and cruise lines.

SPORT Similar to playtime is sport, which drives the emotion of adventure, being on the hunt, competitive contests and strategic. Sport is pursuing a goal with enthusiasm and then completing that goal with a sense of personal achievement.

CONNECTION develops, maintains and deepens relationships that help the customer feel like they have bonded with the brand and belong to a special group. Deepening the relationship with the members is best done by offering free samples, coupons and free downloads of music for example.

SANCTUARY represents a safe, calming escape and relaxed emotions.  When a shopper is rushing around, the location can create this emotion which helps slow down the shopper’s pace and provides an opportunity to introduce the brand message.

SECURITY Preparedness, replenishment and nesting are key factors that evoke the emotion of security.

Creating content that is relevant to these emotions will be helpful to the shopper, engage them and ultimately create a conversation with the brand and the shopper while driving more sales.

Posted by: Admin AT 01:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  
Tuesday, 07 January 2014

My title of these trends has changed this year to reflect the industry morphing into something new, something connected to the digital consumer….for all screens are part of the continuity of marketing messages including the increasingly powerful pocket screen.

As I reflect on last year’s predictions, (you can see here) it struck me how this industry is shaping up and what forces are driving new innovation and how each and every one of us in the industry is one of the forces that count no matter if it is one big screen or 500 small screens all connected to the mobile digital consumer.  I believe that 2013 marked a few changes in the industry; some that were subtle but important and others more obvious and game changing.

And now…on to 2014 PART II (see previous post for Part I)

#6. From Digital Signage/DOOH to Digital Screen Media

 2014 marks the year of significant steps of transformation from an industry that calls themselves Digital Signage/DOOH to an industry of Digital Screen Media.  As we look at the trends over the last 4 years digital signage/DOOH has been fighting to keep its place ahead of mobile and tablets…and as it turns out tablets are being used for marketing messages at the shelf aka digital signage.  I contend that in this colossal wave of change in the way that we implement marketing messages on screens in the marketplace, and that one can no longer separate out one screen from another.  Clearly the definition of what the industry was just 4 years ago is not the same and is a branding challenge for most companies in the industry.

Fundamental steps in transformation from a Digital Signage/DOOH industry to a Digital Screen Media industry

#7.    Innovations

Innovation has continued to awe us at every turn, and 2014, I believe, is headed for unprecedented technological innovation.  I say this not because I have the next big thing, I say this because we are coming out of a down economic cycle.  And when there is a down turn in the economy,  there is cycle of innovation, people create and they innovate something better than what we had before.  The rate at which we are seeing new products and innovations even in 2013 eclipsed all prior years with over 200 new products in our sector alone from a hand cranked powered kiosk to the introduction of 4K screens and 2014 promises to make that look like a walk in the park.

Look for a number of useful products, new experiences and new connections

#8.    Solutions Not Pieces

A major change in who is making the decisions for the brands and retailers has taking place.  The  marketing department is now in charge.  After years of IT making the decisions for our industry, the paradigm has shifted.  This is in part and partial to the omni-channel marketing push and who is driving this.  Screens, CMS, Cables, Media Players are not a solution, they are the pieces.  Marketing wants solutions not pieces.  Marketing gets it. Do the suppliers?  We see software companies and screen manufactures partnering up to supply a “solution”.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news but, a screen with CMS is not a solution.  Marketing wants great concepts to drive their vision.  Marketing will need total solutions to accomplish this.  And because the concepts are now experiences, the concept will be given priority and the pieces that make up solution will follow. Not the other way around.

Marketing is now in charge and they want solutions for experiences

#9. Consolidation

This has been a significant trend in the industry for the last 3 years. Some say it’s a sign of industry maturity…I say the industry will morph into something completely different.  Among the feverish 22 M&A’s in 2013, some were significant changes; RMG bought Symon, CBS Outdoor was bought by PE Firm Platinum  and became ExterionMedia, Cineplex buys EK3,  Bell buys Astral Media, Stratecache buys Carmanah Signs and PE Firm Generation Partners funds Captivate .  Some of these trends are consolidation to buy market share and some are other industries buying into the marketplace and a few are PE firms expanding the current business.  The other news comes when Intel introduced RCM and this will have significant impact on CMS pricing. Pricing has gotten so aggressive that there are only a few Saas platforms that will survive the next phase of the industry. I have another thought on the industry consolidation; Remember when AOL bought Time Warner? Who would have thunk? With mobile growing at a rate of 146%, I believe we will see some cross platform investments and acquisitions that may surprise us.

Look for cross platform M&As as the industry morphs

 #10.  Growth

As I look in to the crystal ball in this number 10 trend I see growth in certain areas of the market within our industry. They include Corporate Lobbies where the experience is now amped up.  Just take a look at what Arsenal Media did with Christy, or Array Interactive did with Adobe’s lobby.  This new lobby inspired experience trend will see growth in the market place.  QSR will continue to grow with new innovative experiences based on menu boards and queue line promotions, just take a look at Dee Da Restaurant. Retail is changing and requiring less space and virtual aisles and engaging the digital consumer will have tremendous impact this year with brands.  Healthcare will continue to expand for obvious reasons, but the model to capture more purpose of these screens will also change.

Growth- Corporate Lobbies, QSR, Retail with experiences that engage the digital consumer and Healthcare for sheer necessity

Posted by: Admin AT 10:23 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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