Blog: Keith Kelsen 

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

Monday, 19 September 2011
When DSA decided to create the Crown Awards, I thought to myself, "How is this different from any other content awards competition? And who determines who gets to be king?"

Building a competition on integrity is the first building block. So who are the judges? DSA has rounded up the greatest minds around content creation that one could find in the industry. The best of the best. People who know and understand the nuances of great content. They have been there done that. These are not only experts in the DOOH industry but also experts in content creation. These two combinations are rare in a new medium.

The judges include Michael Chase of St. Joseph Content, Paul Flanigan of Rise Vision, Pat Hellberg of The Preset Group, Keith Kelsen author of Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage, and Anne White of PRN.

The second thought that comes to mind is how does one separate the objective point of view, from the subjective point of view?

DSA set out to create a judging process that is significantly objective with some subjective in a weighted format that truly determines who is king. Here is the way it is laid out for the competition:

1. Did the content meet the objectives? (50%) 
2. Was the content engaging? (30%) 
3. Did the content fit the environment? (10%) 
4. Did the content fit the audience? (10%) 

Let's look at these one by one.
Did the content meet the objectives? The objectives are what the client put forth to accomplish its goals and purpose. Did the content meet the goals of the project? DSA weighted this as an objective point of view with 50 points out of 100.

Was the content engaging? This is a combination of objective and subjective points of view relying upon the expert's reaction to the piece and potentially measured results providing the objective side of the equation. This is worth 30 points of the total 100 points.

Did the content fit the environment? This is objective in that the criteria for judging is based on the relevance of the content to the venue. This is worth 10 points of the total 100 points

Did the content fit the audience? Again, this is objective in that the criteria for judging is based on the relevance of the content to the audience. Does it fit the demographic based on purpose and objectives and goals? This is worth 10 points of the total 100 points.

The third question is how does one categorize content based on the many types of networks in the marketplace?

DSA took three categories that have sub-categories underneath them.  This was done based on what attributes content has relative to the type of viewer and the mindset they are in. This brings similar content competing with similar content in the competition.  

A Point of Sale (POS) network is what you might expect: digital signage that consumers encounter close to a product or service for sale. These screens are usually comprised of in-store or retail digital signs. Sometimes, they include screens placed on the end of an aisle, or end cap, near the deli in a grocery store. These viewers are considered shoppers or patrons. The power of this type of network is that the call to action is immediate; the screens are placed where consumers make their buying decisions. The content is attention grabbing, relevant to product and brand, while the consumer is focused on buying.

• Bars (music sales)
• Quick-service restaurant (QSR) menu boards
• Restaurant promotional boards
• Retail
Digital billboards, along with screens associated with transit hubs and store windows comprise the second type of installation, Point of Transit (POT) networks. These are arguably the "live poster" of the industry. They work by grabbing the attention of passing consumers for a brief period of time. The consumers here are "on the go" viewers. These screens are mostly focused on establishing brand identity or value, and parcel out visually attractive or active content in short bursts. Many consumers are already familiar with these types of POT networks. Even an exterior screen on a taxi which functions as a moving billboard is considered a POT. 

• Airports
• Bus stations
• Digital billboards
• Sidewalk
• Subway stations
• Train stations

The third type is known as the Point of Wait (POW) network – one targeted to consumers waiting for a product or service. Usually we encounter these in retail lines, healthcare, and hospitality locations, as well as corporate lobbies. The consumers watching these screens are "dwell time" viewers. A typical POW network is found in retail banking, where consumers are entertained in queue while also exposed to advertising and general feel-good content. Good content, usually lengthier, results in a happy customer for the teller. It is all about perceived wait time. The digital screens installed inside elevators that present a quick news bite, an ad, and perhaps a weather forecast during the short trip from one floor to the next that enable the advertisers to reach the viewer during this dwell time.

In the work place corporate communications screens are putting everyone on the same page. Simply put, one cannot avoid the messages in a corporate environment. Some of these networks are interactive, such as screens facing passengers riding inside taxis. In those cases, the viewer has more "dwell time" and can take in a longer message or series of messages. The common thread is that consumers viewing a POW network screen are both receptive and have sufficient time exposure to allow for longer messages and several repetitions.

• Bars
• Casual dining (waiting for a table)
• Enterprise operations
• Healthcare
• Hospitality
• In subways, trains, buses
• In taxis
• Internal Communications
• Office buildings
• Quick-service restaurant (QSR) dining area
• Waiting in line (retail, banking, etc.)
• Museums
So the last question remains…Who is going to be King of Content for 2011?

To submit your piece of content, click here. The deadline is October 3, 2011.
Posted by: Keith Kelsen AT 02:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Thursday, 13 January 2011

As another year in the digital signage/digital out-of-home industry rolls by, I'm again this year revisiting the biggest trends of 2010 while looking forward to 2011.

The industry is growing up and is now part of the mainstream. I contend that we reached the tipping point in 2010, and here is why: As defined by Malcolm Gladwell, the tipping point is "the levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable." Are we unstoppable now? I say yes. Signs of ad spend, consolidation, standards, mature business models and the increasing digital landscape in our world have driven the tipping point. Five media screens are now in play and DOOH/digital signage is more of an integral part of the campaign to reach consumers. In a 2010 Arbitron study more consumers see DOOH in a month than have ever texted a message or have a Facebook profile or have seen an online video. This is 71 million viewers per month. The lower cost of technology and big names in the industry, including HP and Intel, are now in full force, which has tipped the industry into the mainstream.

You can see my picks for 2010 trends to see how I did at prognostication; check out Part I of this year's trend picks; and at the bottom of today's piece you can vote on the one you think will be the #1 trend in 2011.

Here is Part II of the top 10 trends to look for in 2011:

6. Measurement and acceptance

In 2010 measurement has been upgraded with anonymous video analytics (AVA). This of course has been percolating for a few years. In addition, Arbitron and Nielsen both came out with credible studies that catapulted the proof of our industry.

More and more networks have been spending the time and money to get the independent metrics to deliver real numbers to the agencies. OVAB fine-tuned the requirements on how to equate the currency of audience.

With metric standards in place and AVA on the rise, the acceptance of our media will depend upon the measurements and results of the networks. And with those results in hand agencies can trust that the audience is delivered every time.

The trend? Measurement metrics will be part of everyday ad and retail network ROI business.

7. Progress in content standards

As predicted in 2010 we made progress here, but was it the right progress?

H.264 adopted by DPAA just recently is a great stride, but what happened to Flash? Standards will reflect the true state of the industry. Most of the software that has grown up over the last 10 years has struggled with Flash simply because the current playback application does not support it. Now most recent software players in the last five years for the most part include Flash. But most of the larger networks are built on software that is more than five years old and does not support Flash. This needs to be fixed, and Flash needs to be part of the playback media. Even with a stake in the ground (H.264 is a good stake), it will not work without incorporating Flash.

The other problem that shows itself when incorporating Flash is that on some of the established networks, the power of the PC running in the field just does not cut it. Flash tends to suck up the CPU's power, and even three-year-old systems have difficulty running this media. The standard layering of Flash elements can be limited to address CPU power issues.

I predict the standard battle is not over and Flash will still be incorporated in official and unofficial standards.

8. Large-scale 2011 projects will march forward

The RFPs in 2010 that were not fulfilled will be given a second life as the economy improves in 2011. During any economic downturn, innovation and new businesses are created. Even though in the past we had a number of failures, the number of successes outnumbers them. In any industry that is coming of age, failures happen less and less often as the experience and solidified business models prevail.

Growth of networks in 2011 will dwarf the expansion that happened in the last four years. Look for multiple new networks being built in 2011.

9. Managed services

Cost savings for network operations, the complexity of managing and creating content, AVA and metrics will drive a new category of services. These bundled services will save individual smaller networks money.

Why have network operations, content creation, measurement and analytics within a small business ad or retail network company, when the math shows outsourcing these services is cost-effective?

Managed services for scheduling, managed up-time, content creation and AVA will be a new trend for 2011 because of simple economics.

10. Retail digital world

This trend is similar to trend #1. Retailers are changing their models to be more inclusive of different paths to purchase. It used to be easy to put an ad on TV or in the newspaper and, voilà, sales went up.

The path to purchase is now so complicated, and the technology is so incongruent, that retailers are looking for complete solutions that will help them wrap their arms around the digital world.

Digital signage in retail is about "How can I help you buy something today?" So these digital signs will be focused on that alone in retail and not on ad networks in retail. Those old business models will not apply in the future. Brands have been deploying screens at the shelf for years. The brands understand the model. Now the retailers are taking control of their space.

Look for retailers to implement inclusive, integrated digital signage solutions that include social, desktop, in-store and interactive that will help you buy something today.

Whether it starts online or in-store with digital signage, mobile will be part of it all.

What will be the top trend in digital signage in 2011?
1. Screen Media - Cross media platform and technology integration
2. Content will continue to be at or near the top of the list
3. Mergers and Acquisitions and investment - The big shakeout of 2011
4. Even larger amounts of ad dollars will migrate to DOOH
5. Experience, engagement and interaction
6. Measurement and acceptance
7. Progress in content standards
8. Large-scale 2011 projects will march forward
9. Managed services
10. Retail digital world free polls
Posted by: Keith Kelsen AT 01:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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