Blog: Keith Kelsen 

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

Tuesday, 03 June 2014

4 of 4

As with any good business process, Gamification follows a formal design framework.  This framework identifies the essential elements of the concept and the outcomes that they generate.

The Gamification framework starts with the business and marketing objectives. These could range from attracting new customers to increasing basket size or simply promoting the brand.  Next, what shopper behaviors will the game change and what metrics need to be collected to measure the results? For example, the business objective may be to increase sales but the behavior change may be to encourage return visits.

The most complex step is defining the personas of the desired players. Who are the shoppers who will be participating in the gamified activity and what is their relationship to the brand? This information is then used to design the game’s structure and determine what feedback will best motivate the players to engage in further actions.  This includes rewards and other reinforcements the players could receive such as custom offers. But the most important element is offering a game that is fun. Ensuring that the gamified system is fun remains as important as the game design.

The final step is to determine how the player will engage with the game.  Will it be on a mobile device or some other platform such as a large interactive screen at the ‘Point of Purchase’? The games used in a Gaming Digital Destination can also be downloaded to the shopper’s smartphone to continue the connection once they leave the store.

The overall goal is to create compelling interactive applications using gamification to drive emotional connections across all screens.  These include in-store touch-points, tablets, smartphones and online at home.

What shoppers remember about a Gaming Digital Destination experience is determined by the intensity of emotions created in specific moments – not the overall experience. For a digital experience to address the emotional equation, it must trigger one or more of the 8 psychological drivers. To do this for busy shopper’s in-store – one that encourages brand loyalty and advocacy – it’s essential to have a deep understanding of what triggers theses emotions and motivations that drive their brand preference and behavior.  These rich media experiences serve to educate the consumer about products and services that are potentially not on their current shopping list. And gamification makes every customer visit an opportunity to create loyalty, add value and tell the brand story.

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 in the right type of game and ultimately create a conversation with the brand and the shopper while driving more sales.

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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Part 3 of 4

Until recently, 90% of all purchase decisions were made at the store shelf. Now, the moment of truth is no longer at the store shelf. It’s about buying anything, anytime, anywhere. According to a recent PriceGrabber Survey, 13% of consumers shop online. And of those who still shop in stores, over half also shop on-line or use their smartphones to shop in-store.

So what has changed? Not too many years ago, the sales process was linear. The shopper would view an ad, probably on TV or in a magazine, go to the store, compare options, choose the best option and buy the item. Now, the sales process is non-linear and cross-channel, creating the phenomena of Web-First for many shoppers. But this has resulted in a chaotic landscape of inter-connected channels. And today’s empowered consumer demands a seamless brand experience across all channels. They will only shop where they find it. This is causing a major business disruption for retailers, brand marketers and agencies alike and the rapid transition to omnichannel retailing.

The challenge now is to create a technologically enabled, compelling shopping moments that culminate in lasting, consumer-brand relationships.

To accomplish this, the brand and the retailer must develop an integrated plan built around ”A deep view of the customer at all stages of interaction.” This is OMNICHANNEL RETAILING and includes:

Mobile POS – A recent RIS survey found that 87% of retailer’s plan to deploy POS on a tablet over the next few years

Save the Sale transactions when products are not in stock or not carried in the store

Clientelling for uninterrupted relationship-building and on-going exchange with the customer

Business Analytics to allow associates to inform the shopper in-store of their purchase history, order status and product specs

Most retailers and brands are still driven by the 4P’s – Product, Price, Promotion and Place. Today, they must shift from the 4 P’s to the 4 C’s in the new omnichannel world:

Connections:  In an omnichannel world, retailers need to connect very early in the consumer journey, when they first start researching online. And the shopper expects to continue that connection in-store.

Choice: Store-based retailers must connect their virtual shelf to the store shelf to enable “seamless” shopping.

Convenience: Today’s time-starved consumers are expecting the convenience of shopping online in-store.  Also, they demand the convenience of ship to home, pickup in store or even pickup at another location.

Conversation: Shoppers are looking for conversation and connection with brands they value. Continuing the conversation AFTER the initial sale is critical for today’s brands and retailers.

Studies show that sales opportunities are lost when the consumer can’t get assistance or find a product. Products out-of-stock, products in-stock but not found, or items not carried in the store can reduce store sales by as much as 20%. Lack of sales associate availability can reduce store sales by up to six percent.

The best way to overcome these issues is through in-store Gaming Digital Destinations. This shifts the store’s focus away from simply making a sale to cultivating an immersive brand experience. It also connects physical space to the digital shoppers and brings a level of discovery, fun and education to the in-store experience.

Next article we will dig into the emotional connection of Gamification.

Posted by: Admin AT 01:46 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Part 1 of 4

According to the Forrester Group, ecommerce accounted for eight percent of total retail sales in the U.S. during 2012.  By 2017, it is expected to account for a full ten percent of all retail sales. This still leaves 90% of retail sales generated in the retailer’s store.

But shoppers today are more demanding and frustrated than ever with their in-store shopping experience.  This dissatisfaction comes from increased competition, including on-line sales, that drives the need for higher service levels and greater differentiation.  A recent study found that 80% of the retail CEO’s surveyed believe they now deliver a GREAT customer experience.  Unfortunately, only 8% of their customers AGREE.

To attract and converse with today’s ‘Digital Everywhere’ shopper, the store must meet the consumer on their own turf by providing a true “Digital Destination.”  Digital Destinations are captivating, fun, bold engagements within the retail environment.  They also carry on beyond the four walls of the store by enhancing the Omni-channel experience. They create an entertaining experience where the shopper is motivated to come back to the store to engage again and again.

Digital Destinations are an elusive blend of psychological, emotional and social ingredients that engage the shopper’s persona, augment the store’s physical environment and enhance the brand’s image.  And the heart of any effective Digital Destination is ”Gamification.”

Gamification is the study of how games can be designed and used to engage shoppers and create a more stimulating, fun and recurring shopping experience. It relies on an in-depth understanding of human psychology to be able to inspire and motivate shopping behavior. It is a formulated combination of one or more psychological driver, personalization and selfie-sharing.

An effective Gaming Digital Destination must motivate shoppers to take time out of their time-starved lives and connect with the brand; then continue that connection on their pocket screen or online at home. But each retail vertical holds its own unique challenges so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all.

In the next four weeks, I will write about the framework for developing effective in-store Gaming Digital Destinations including a major brand case study.  I will explain how brands and retailers can meet the digital shopper on their own turf by creating in-store Digital Destinations that are bold, engaging and unique.  I describe the process required to connect emotionally with the shopper and keep an ongoing conversation once they leave the store. It is a Win-Win for the retailer, brand and shopper.

The math is simple; to maintain equivalency, a 10% growth in eCommerce only requires a 1% lift in store sales.

Posted by: Admin AT 09:47 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Tuesday, 22 April 2014

With spring here, I thought it’s time to talk about color. The basics of color can summed up by saying that there is a rainbow out there– so use it. BUT…use your rainbow sensibly. Some color combinations a pleasant to view; others are jarring, even ugly; while still others send messages based on our common cultural background (red and green mean Christmas in the U.S.; red, white and blue imply patriotism). And some combinations simply make it too difficult to present text in a readable and comprehensive way.

First, let’s look at the typical color wheel that is most familiar when choosing colors while working in PowerPoint or Word. (Figure. 1) If one looks closely at the color wheel, one notices the outer edge of the color wheel displays the darker colors while the center shows the lighter colors. This is based on the 32-bit color standards of RGB (red, green and blue, where values of zero for each creates black, while R, 255 G, 255 and B,255 is white. A value of R,255 G,0 and B,0 is pure red, and so on. Setting different values for R, G and B within this range of 0-256 gives several million possible color choices, although a very slight change in a single value rarely produces a color that the human eye can distinguish from the original.

When selecting colors from the wheel one can use the combination of inner wheel colors and outer wheel colors to set a contrast to any presentation using text. Figure 2 shows how choosing contrasting values — such as white on black and grey on black — directly affect how well the content will be comprehended and the speed at which one can comprehend the message.

Similar thinking can be applied to color in practical ways while choosing contrasting colors that work. First and foremost, choosing a dark color for the background and a light color for the foreground or vice versa will have a direct impact on the ease of comprehension (Figure 3).

Which colors work best with other colors? Take a look at the basic color wheel (Figure 1), you will notice that in its original design there are twelve colors that make up the wheel. The first circular color diagram was designed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666. The color wheel is designed so that virtually any colors you pick from it will look good together. While important aspects of the color wheel and color theory are well known to artists, they might not be fully appreciated by someone that has a technical background. Although the wheel is made of twelve shades of colors, there are basic primary colors that are made of red, green and blue (Figure 4). This is different from the primary colors we learned at a very young age, which are red, blue, and yellow. These new primary colors are based on the medium that we are working in – projected light rather than reflected light.

The colors adjacent to the primary colors) are the three secondary colors of cyan, magenta and yellow. The final six intermediates are formed by mixing a primary with a secondary are known as tertiary colors, for a total of 12 main divisions.

Analogous colors are directly next to a given color. If you start with blue and you want its two analogous colors, you select purple and red . A color scheme that uses analogous colors usually matches well and creates natural and comfortable designs. When choosing an analogous color scheme, however, it is important to make sure you have enough contrast. Choose one color to dominate, a second to support. The third color is used (along with black, white or gray) as an accent.

Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel (for example, red and green). The high contrast of complementary colors creates a vibrant look that is undesirable for digital signage, especially when used at full saturation. Complementary colors are best used as accents or when you something to stand out, but is particularly inappropriate for text (Figure 5).

Warm colors and cool colors are on the opposite side of the color wheel (Figure 4). One can use this basic warm or cool scheme as a guiding palette.

As with any media there are colors that work together well and combination of colors that collide. When choosing colors that work well together, one can reference the color wheel and remember to look at the contrasts (light over dark) even within the same color. For the RGB scheme of colors, yellow and blue work, as well as red and yellow. Just the opposite is true on colors that fight each other or vibrate on the screen (Figure 5). Color combinations to avoid are typically the tertiary complimentary colors.

Applying these best practices will get you great results.  Working with brands and company colors, one can use the color wheel to create tasteful backgrounds and other graphics that will work well with the company’s color scheme. Remember however each display is different from one manufacturer to another.  Colors will vary out in the real world from display to display, so corporate colors will never be a perfect match.

In creating any message, choosing the right color combination can make or break the comprehension of the message.

Author and speaker Keith Kelsen, chief visionary at 5th Screen, is considered one of the leading experts on digital media. More information about his book, “Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage – Content Strategies for the 5th Screen”, published by Focal Press, can be found on the book’s companion website at www.5thscreen.info. Reach him at keith.kelsen@5thscreen.com or on Twitter @Kkelsen.

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Wednesday, 02 April 2014

One fundamental question about displaying content on the screen goes back to the real estate analogy. Should there be a single structure taking up the whole display property, or is it better to subdivide and put something in two, three, or even more distinct areas? In digital signage, these screen areas are called zones.

Some networks will take the full area of a 16:9 screen and split it up into three areas: one that retains the 16:9 format, another next to it in the 4:3 format, and a short, wide zone along the bottom of the 16:9 area. One would use the first zone for branding content, the second for informational or secondary ad content, and the third as a ticker.

Indeed, the question of how many zones to use—or whether to use any at all—often arises when a network will use data-driven content, such as news headlines, weather forecasts, or stock prices.

Although at first the zone approach appears to deal with a number of issues—from providing a way to display the full images of content in multiple ratios to creating variety for the viewer—there is a fundamental question to ask…Is it preferable to display this content at all times or does that create a distraction that confuses the viewer or prevents the viewer from focusing on the revenue-generating content or the main message?

Another study clearly shows that doing so many different things at once can actually impair cognitive ability. In a 2009 study, Stanford researcher Clifford Nass challenged 262 college students to complete experiments that involved switching among tasks, filtering irrelevant information, and using working memory. Nass and his colleagues expected that frequent multitaskers would outperform nonmultitaskers on at least some of these activities.

They found the opposite: Chronic multitaskers were abysmal at all three tasks. The scariest part: Only one of the experiments actually involved multitasking, signaling to Nass that even when they focus on a single activity, frequent multitaskers use their brains less effectively.

This conundrum is not an easy one to solve, and the answer often depends on the type of network involved. So let’s look at a few types of networks that have zones and some that do not understand why the given choices are inappropriate.

NOT

As a rule “Point Of Transit” (POT) networks do not employ zones. Why not? Because the function of these screens as something akin to a live poster, combined with the limited time the viewer is exposed to them, means that a powerful message needs to be conveyed in just a few seconds. Advertisers understandably want full command of the screen so there is no interference with their message. Although the message on the screen will change periodically, at any given time there should not be any competition for the viewer’s attention from secondary zones.

There are occasions, however, where even a POT network can be more effective with zones, provided they are used in a creative manner. Keep in mind the issue of viewer relevancy. At an airport, weather and other information about a destination is of great interest to a viewer, and having such information displayed in a zone on the screen could attract and hold a viewer’s attention for a somewhat longer period of time, exposing the viewer to ads in the main zone. But it cannot be a moving ticker at the bottom or motion zone on the right or left.  If it was a single text with weather Icons and with NO movement and it changed every 60 seconds then this would not be distraction from the main message, and could attract the viewer and expose them to the main message.  At the same time, the weather information could also be displayed full screen as part of a loop that also contains advertising like a convertible BMW on a sunny day. Care needs to be taken with such choices given the existence of several credible studies that suggest zones in POT networks do not work and detract from the message the advertiser is trying to get across.

NOT

Point of Sale (POS) Networks typically are driving a single message to purchase.  We see zones used in this environment way too often. To the viewer who is surrounded by many products on the shelf a screen with zones becomes nothing but noise in the retail environment.  Instead one zone should be used and the purpose should be to offer a helpful message that needs to say “How can I help you buy this today”.  POS networks need to understand their function.  So many times we see ad related networks in a retail environment that has ads that are not relevant to the shopping there and now experience…but I digress.  POS full screen one message at a time and interactive if possible is very effective.

IN THE ZONE

One subset of Point of Wait (POW) networks that is amenable to the use of zones is the elevator network. Although there is still a limited amount of time to get a message across and a relatively small amount of screen real estate to do it, the fact is that the average person in an office building rides the elevator six times a day, and each ride lasts an average of 1 minute. This sort of network is ideal for presenting short bursts of content (15 seconds or so) in a few different zones on the screen. The viewer who chooses to focus on one zone during one ride may well choose another zone on the next ride, maintaining interest in the screen and making this approach a viable option for this type of network.

The other subset is internal corporate communications (not lobby screens), where the viewer sees the same screen many many times.  Zones here are very useful precisely because eliminating the chance for boredom is an important concern.  These zones help keep the messaging fresh.  Providing zones of information lets viewers focus on different parts of the screen because they are engaged frequently over a longer period of a week.  In addition one can catorgorize the look and feel of each message type to cue in the viewer.  Safety messages for example can have a yellow and black ICON to signify that his is a safety message.  Then the viewer that is concerned about these issues will notice the messaging and pay attention to this subject matter.

With zones, keep in mind that it is all relevant to the mind-set of the viewer and the type of network. Viewers will ignore the screens if their mind-set and the type of network do not match the purpose of why the shopper, person with dwell time, or person on the go is in the venue in the first place.

With changes in both content and technology, the perception of the viewer is becoming altered as well. Smart phones and tablets are part of our appendages, and are part of the tool kit of high school students. Digital signage is now that ubiquitous, and viewers are more accustomed to them and pay less attention to the screen on the wall.  Continual evaluation is the only thing that will clarify how this element of digital signage will be perceived.

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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, 29 October 2013

Well is it? Your viewers might think so…

Boredom –It’s the moment in time that drives us to do something better.

Hopefully not better than watch your screens!

Content is King and to the viewer that content better be great or risk the bored viewer. The bored viewer is a brand nightmare.

Funny thing is boys tend to be bored more often than girls, said Stephen Vodanovich, a professor of psychology at the University of West Florida, especially when it comes needing more, and a variety of, external stimulation.

“Boredom is the brain’s way to tell you, you should be doing something else,” says Gary Marcus, a professor of psychology at N.Y.U.

Jennifer Schuessler wrote about boredom in an essay in 2010 and said; “Boredom may itself be a highly useful human capacity…as an important source of creativity, well-being and our very sense of self.”

On the other hand Anne Gosling wrote; “People who are often bored are at greater risk of developing anxienty, depression and drug or alchohol addiction, display anger, aggressive behavior and lack of interpersonal skills….”

When it comes to feeling bored frequently it may be ones physiology…individuals with fewer dopamine receptors need more excitement to stay stimulated.

Brands want a positive emotional response to their image even on DOOH and digital signage and boring content does just the opposite.

Robert Plutchik created a wheel of emotions. He believed there were eight primary/bipolar emotions: joy versus sadness; anger versus fear; trust versus disgust; and surprise versus anticipation. His model also connects the idea of an emotion circle and a color wheel. The primary emotions can be expressed just like colors at different intensities and you can mix with one with the other to form different emotions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Plutchik’s color wheel; positive feelings  such as optimism, love and submission are the results of feelings that are interest & anticipation, serenity & joy, acceptance & trust. As a brand one would want content that is cool, exciting, fun that brings out positive emotions like optimism, love, submission and awe that ultimately bring on feelings that are positive to the brand. These are feelings that we strive for in creating great content.

On the opposite side of the wheel is boredom which is on the way to disgust and lothing…just the feeling of what bad and mediocre content will impart to the viewer.

In my travels I have seen many many really bad pieces of content so, I’m going to vent here….

Ask yourself; Is my content boring? If you don’t know or if it is, then you are hurting your brand or the brands you have on your network. A bunch of text on PowerPoint does not equate to good content, it’s boring! If you are not putting up great content then take the screen down. I’m not suggestion that you spend $250K on creating content, but for goodness sake recognize your limits and bring in the pros for some help or find out how to create great content. Digital Signage is its own medium and it’s unlike any other medium. Content must be created specifically for DOOH/Digital Signage.

Ok…how do you create great content? Follow a few tried and true rules listed below.

In section above, I wrote about boredom and how it directly affects all brands on the screen…

“Content is King and to the viewer that content better be great or risk the bored viewer. The bored viewer is a brand nightmare.”

Content must be created specifically for DOOH/Digital Signage. So how do you create great content? Here are ten tried & true basics to follow.

1. First and foremost understand who your audience is and tailor your message to that particular demographic.

2. Make the message relevant by understanding why the viewer is standing in front of your screen in the first place.

Now the nuts and bolts;

3. Analyze the current traditional media that is being used. Most digital signage will be deployed as an additive component to existing marketing and advertising campaigns. it’s important to keep campaigns on digital signage aligned with the images and messages of the overall campaign. Operators should closely examine all the raw assets available for each of the other screens—TV and Online, primarily—for material that can be pooled and then reused or re-purposed in digital signage content.

4. Leverage existing content from other media assets. Existing content can consist of both finished and raw advertising footage, still photography and graphic images, animations, sounds, and voice-overs, in addition to the basic graphic elements and in addition to considering the screen-based assets that are available, don’t neglect the potentially large volume of assets intended for use in printed materials. Because print preproduction today is almost entirely digital, the photography, illustrations, and even text are likely to already exist in computer files that are immediately useable on a digital signage screen; images are almost certainly in sufficiently high resolution to take advantage of even the highest of high-definition screens.

5. It’s important not only to collect the available assets but also to take a complete inventory what’s on hand. There are two reasons for this. The first is that one will need to understand what’s available before deciding on what the most relevant and useful pieces of content are and how they might be reused. This will save considerable time when creating the final digital signage content.

6. Networks that are successful have a consistent set of guidelines that dictate the styles, tone, and other characteristics that will make it instantly identifiable to viewers. This includes colors, fonts, position of photos, showcasing products, etc.

7. Choosing contrasting values — such as white on black and gray on black — directly affects how well the content will be comprehended and the speed at which one can comprehend the message. Similar thinking can be applied to color in practical ways while choosing contrasting colors that work. First and foremost, choosing a dark color for the background and a light color for the foreground or vice versa will have a direct impact on the ease of comprehension

8. Simplify text - less is more. Shorten your message and bring forth the highlights. Another issue to avoid in general is the use of text over pictures. This tends to make the message very difficult to read, especially when the picture has shadows, dark colors, or sunny areas with light colors.

9. Define up front the action you want your viewers to take. Tell them the specific benefits. Use curiosity as a motivator to the solution. Headline the most compelling benefit. Call for viewers to take action.

10. Remember that digital signage is a moving, living medium. Using motion to emphasize and bring attention to one’s message, even in text, can be an elegant method to help recall. Use motion and strong bold graphics to make your messages clear and instantly understood.

In summary, creating content is best achieved by following a process that begins at the highest level of your network’s identity and works down. Networks that are successful have a consistent set of guidelines that dictate the styles, tone, and other characteristics that will make it instantly identifiable to viewers.

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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Relevance; constructing content to carry a company’s messages in a manner that has meaning to the specific audience whose behavior the company is seeking to influence. OK…now how does one do that?

Even before companies decide to make DOOH part of their marketing and communications strategy, they usually have a good idea of who the most likely buyers of their products or services will be. The choice of network depends in part on the habits of those buyers—digital signage needs to reach them in places they are most likely to be, at the times they are most likely to be there. But it is the content itself that takes its cue most directly from the intended audience.

As with any type of marketing, a solid understanding of the audience is what will provide the keys to creating compelling content. Further, because digital signage allows marketers to take advantage of so many variables—from the length of a content segment to the time of day it appears—it is vital for marketers to understand their specific audiences at a high level of detail…including Behavioral Attitudes, Demographics, Emotional Relevance and making the content relevant to one’s environment and what the audience is doing in that environment.

If one looks at the Golden Triangle of Digital Engagement, one can see this is just a portion of considerations for creating a successful digital signage engagement.

TRIANGLE3 

Technology/Audience/Media

When engaging the digital consumer one must keep an additional three things in mind. 1. Create a Two Way Street.  Let them share the experience and talk to you the brand. 2. Create a Compelling Experience…where the consumer actually looks up from their pocket screen and engages with your retail screen (s). 3. Create the Latent Conversation. If the experience is engaging enough, the consumer will give up their personal mobile number or email and opt in.

Remember that it is no longer about the screen on the wall or the kiosk in the corner, that is quickly becoming glance media in the retail environment.

Posted by: Admin AT 09:17 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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 www.5thscreen.info. His company, 5th Screen, is at www.5thscreen.com Follow him on Twitter @KKelsen.

Posted by: Admin AT 12:18 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Monday, 28 February 2011
One of most appropriate interaction methods for most digital signage networks is touch technology. Most of us have seen this technology deployed in both public places (for example, ATMs) and private devices (for instance, smart phones like the Apple iPhone or Palm Pre). The technology is proven, costs are constantly declining, and most importantly, users are generally familiar with and comfortable using it.
Once digital signage becomes interactive, several things occur. The content is different, the reaction is different, and the data collected is different.

First, let’s consider how the content changes. Remember digital signage is a new medium, and it is different from the PC. It is encountered in different places and circumstances than the PC and Web sites, and its purpose is different. This means you must resist the impulse to take your Web site and simply transfer it to the digital signage network to create an interactive experience. The result would be a larger, public version of a Web site — and not at all an effective experience in this context. (It is also unlikely that the digital signage network would have access to or allow full Internet access and browsing ability.) Therefore, micro sites would be developed specifically for digital signage implementation.

First, understand that content for touch screens must be designed to both engage the viewer, and to lead the exploration of the interaction. That is, you are not simply throwing open the doors to the user; you are attempting to direct them and elicit inputs and choices that will drive them toward the goal you’ve set for the network — finding and choosing merchandise, exploring a brand, or the like.

There are three key considerations that go into creating great interactions:
  • Create the right attraction. First and foremost one needs to get the viewer to participate because the viewer may not expect to have the ability to interact with the content, as she does with a PC; the first job is to let her know she has that ability here. Creating an attraction loop, message or some piece of upfront content that will motivate the viewer to engage is the first step. This loop needs to be more in line with a typical content found on digital signage following the advice in the previous chapters of this book. The one exception is the attraction loop is just that: designed to attract the viewer to touch the screen.
  • Present one thing at a time. Once you have gotten their interest, keep them engaged and moving through a logical progression. Lead the participant in a guided manner through each step of the interaction you want to encourage. Provide focused layers of information that make it easy to comprehend what is being presented, and direct them to the layer of information that follows. A major difference between digital signage and a PC or smart phone is the amount of time that one will spend with each. Because the time is more limited with digital signage, you need to provide a clear, logical path for the viewer to follow. Offering too much information that is not directed will not motivate the user to continue with the interaction, because they will perceive it too time-consuming and unlikely to provide them with enough value for the time invested.
  • Offer choices. Interaction must be more than simple “next page” buttons in order to engage the viewer and direct toward a goal, such as a purchase. The value of interactivity comes when the user is presented choices, allowed to personalize the information presented, and perceive they are seeing something “special” for them.

Digital signage is powerful, and good content makes it that way. But the next level of effectiveness comes when one truly engages the user through enabling them to interact with the network. Touch screen technology today provides an excellent and proven method to let users decide the “path” they take through your content and personalize the experience. New technologies such as gesture interfaces extend that to another level, and combine interaction with group entertainment. Finally, a linkage with the user’s personal screen on a mobile device extends the interactive component of the network in a way that can stimulate longer interactions, interaction away from the digital signage itself, or motivate a purchase. In all of these cases, the content you create must account for the interactive factor and be purpose-designed for this type of network. Much more than porting a Web site to the digital signage network, this requires thinking in new ways – and like a user.

Posted by: Keith Kelson AT 07:57 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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