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.

Posted by: Admin AT 02:12 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  |  
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.

Posted by: Admin AT 09:20 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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  |  
Monday, 09 December 2013

When considering templates, don’t be tempted to merely copy from one DOOH network to another. Every network has different needs, and the assets available and the type of templates created will be unique.

I have seen it WAY too many times where someone puts a picture over a picture with some text-urrgh! Templates are not just another power point message on the screen.  They can be sophisticated, elegant and agency level design that runs across the entire network and bleeds off onto other screens like mobile and tablet.

If we are talking about a point-of-sale network (POS)—specifically an in-store network—the content will always have overarching brand messaging that appears along with product offerings. One can create brand elements and templates that will be used throughout the year to drive that brand messaging while leaving central locations for a product offering to appear. One can also create a layer within the brand messages for product offerings that will have their own brand. Creating elements to drive these offers is just one example of a template that can be reused and changed slightly to keep the messaging fresh.

Menu boards are another great example of how templates can be used to change the pricing, pictures, or specials that need to be updated from breakfast to lunch and dinner. For any network, one needs to create a set of templates that are refreshed at least once a quarter. This isn’t an exercise in rebranding 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.

At Adspace, for example, they create templates for POS networks that allow weekly content changes and a complete shift with each retail season. They have a spring set of templates, a summer set of templates, a fall set of templates, and so on. Then within those templates they have different creative for holidays. In addition, they are following the customer: ‘What is Mom thinking for back to school or the holidays?’”

Also consider a series of community messages and good old eye candy that can give retail employees a reprieve in the daily grind. Give them something to smile about, too.

There are many methods to generate viewer interest on an internal communications network, and the digital signage communication offers power. It is also important that the templates create an overall look for the entire network—something that gives graphic consistency across all screens. This is where we can take a lesson from the 2nd Screen. TV stations create that kind of identity so that even catching a brief glimpse of local programming or a promo spot will visually tell viewers they are watching Channel 5. Network owned and operated stations take that a step further; one can tell they are part of a particular network by the consistent visual cues like typestyle, screen layout, and even the shape of the station’s logo. Not only do digital signage networks benefit from this kind of continuity; the fact is that after many years of TV exposure, the viewer expects, even subconsciously, that certain standards of appearance and identity will be met.

Within Target TV you know you are watching Target TV because a nice chunk of content playing is advertising an event or sale that is Target and Target’s ID plays a huge role in establishing the network look and feel. The station ID or brand is a breath of fresh air.  It’s a bright shiny spot and they’re fun. It really starts off to give the channel a Target branding moment. It gives it cool factor. It is designed to surprise and delight their guests. In production they go into a treatment that is part of an existing campaign with specific art. They take those campaign elements and slice them up and add the motion. In addition, Target looks at all of the content that runs across their network. Target does not throw just any content up on the network simply because the vendor wants it there. The Target network is much more of a collaborative affair than a mere purchase of airtime by a vendor.

Next article, I will discuss how many templates does one need and how does one figure it out?

Posted by: Admin AT 10:38 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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.

Posted by: Admin AT 01:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Wednesday, 09 October 2013

I have often discussed the idea of making the content on a digital signage network relevant. Simply put, that means 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.  In other words “Who’s watching?”

By combining audience understanding with the remarkable attributes of digital signage, marketers can begin to map out the content that will make their digital signage investment pay off.

If one can create content that understands the viewer and relates to that viewer with specific traits to that demographic, then one can drive messages that are very effective in making that connection with that consumer.  What are their key characteristics that drive their emotions? What events most influenced their lives? (see Illustration)

Fig 3-2 Demographics_chart

The demographic landscape has changed in the last five years significantly. Baby Boomers are retiring at an accelerated rate and now have different concerns and motivations.  And then there is the digital consumer who is born after 1980. They grew up in the back of the car with an ipad or using mom’s cell phone.   They are a completely digital generation that thinks and acts differently than any generation before. It’s non-linear thinking. It’s any screen, anytime. It’s multitasking. The “Millennial” generation is more informal with their communications having growing up texting in short thumb. The style in language one choses to use to communicate will be important.

With most teens today it’s a continuous life on stage with “selfie” pictures on Facebook.  The “selfie” acts almost like a location scout for a movie.  They will even choose a location, friends and clothing, they think will make their perfect stage presence for the “photo shoot”.

The big news in creating content for the digital “Millennial” generation is it has to be interactive and has to provide for a two way conversation. For instance, a place to create the photo and then share it.  It can be a “Magic Mirror” in the dressing room where outfits the Selfie tries on are shared across their social network and the feedback is live.  Digital signage content cannot be passive for this young digital consumer.  It must have relevant interaction and serve their need to share with the rest of the world and must provide a positive experience.

Posted by: Admin AT 04:22 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Monday, 23 September 2013

One of the strongest aspects of digital signage in connecting with viewers is its ability to present an ever-changing mix of content. That, in turn, adds a level of complexity to the content decision that doesn’t exist in paper forms, such as determining how long each piece of content needs to be on the screen and how frequently the entire set of content pieces—the playlist—will be repeated or replaced by a different playlist. The wait time and length of the playlist loop are directly connected.

One component that directly affects how many times a piece of content plays on any one screen is determined by frequency of visits at the venue, which is a huge consideration that will keep the content fresh and watched. This is more or less difficult based on the type of network. In a Point of Sale (POS) network, for example, in a department store, content can be changed once a month because most people are unlikely to visit more frequently and therefore have less chance to become overexposed.

Changing content based on what time of day it is and what day of the week it is can critically affect the impact of digital signage content on customers and associates. The same loop that is effective for the demographics of morning customers or midweek customers will not necessarily appeal to customers who frequent the business at other times.

The time of day, the activities in which the viewer is engaged, and even the weather can be important considerations in developing content. Combining the viewer’s profile with the network’s environment will help the programmer make important decisions about how to assemble individual content elements into complete programming loops and how to determine the length and frequency of change of each element and loop.

Posted by: Admin AT 08:15 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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  |  
Tuesday, 06 August 2013

In every DS network type, whether it is POT, POW, POS.the message changes as we arrive closer to our point of decision to make a purchase

In my last three blog posts, I talked about each type of digital signage DOOH network and how it directly relates to the content that one would put on that particular type of network and why recognizing a network type will get your mind wrapped around what type of content works.

It is interesting to note that as the consumer travels along the path of purchase and as they come across each type of network the message changes, not only by what type of network but also where in the path to purchase the consumer is.  So if one can keep the branding, the story, the look and feel similar and change the message then one can transform and peak the purchase decision at the right point in the path.

Transmedia is  to tell the story across many platforms.  If one can use the types of networks to begin the story and end the story, then one can influence the purchase at the right time, in the right context and lead the consumer.  For instance if we can start the story in a Point of Transit (POT) or Point of Wait (POW) network and end the story at a Point of Sale (POS) network then curiosity for the rest of the story can take place, even if the rest of the story is on a mobile device and the purchase takes place there.

The relationship between the story and stages of the story and the path that the consumer is on is something that in an omni-channel world is more likely to be a coordinated effort.

So start the story ACT I on a POT network, ACT II POW, ACT III POS.  Another way to look at this is to “peak the purchase moment”.  Leading up to the sale is the journey and it ends with a purchase.

As a brand, one would like to travel with that consumer along the journey all the way from the beginning, the middle and the end.  The brand can potentially tell a cohesive story with the right messaging at the right time using the various digital signage/DOOH networks and then prompt the purchase in-store or on a mobile device.  This is the true transmedia experience.

Posted by: Admin AT 09:13 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Is socializing the corporate environment killing the digital signage screen for corporate communication networks?

The purpose of internal communication digital signage networks are to help connect the disconnected employee and to help communication between HR and employees, management and labor, to help get everyone on the same page and backroom training. They are also used of course in the lobby with a differently targeted message.

This is a case where digital signage may have seen its day, and the pocket screen may be the killer.

We are now seeing a new wave of corporate communications where employees within a specific corporate group are using Facebook-/Twitter-type applications within the corporate environment.

It works like this. If I am in sales then I can share what I am doing with the rest of the group and what wins, meetings, prospects I am pursuing ... real-time ... and in turn anyone that is part of my group can comment, like, etc. my posting. This goes a long way in to making employees feel part of a team. In addition, I can also collaborate with my team on documents live in the cloud.

So now each individual is updated real-time on their smartphone or desktop with key messages from key players and have their own group that is focused on their mission.

One can post pictures, video and of course text and audio.

In addition some companies are requiring that you follow a few key players such as Human Resources, the CEO and Corporate Communications. This happens in a live, real-time environment.

It's personal, engaging and connected.

Now some rules need to apply, and some companies have put in best practices and rules around postings to remind everyone that this is a corporate social mission network not Facebook.

If you were born after 1980, you are digital; you think in a digital world — and that thinking is different than someone who grew up in an analog world. I for one am a digital wannabe ... but I often have wondered what happens when the digital generation who are texting, creating instant opportunities, instant social meetings and getting instant gratification reaches the analog business world?

Well there you have it ... Yammer, which is just one of the corporate-mission social software applications that bring teams together quickly and in real time, is used by 5 million people and more than 200,000 companies worldwide, including 85 percent of the Fortune 500. A company's network is stored in the cloud, they have instant access to all of their coworkers, conversations, shared files and notifications ... not by email but in real time.

So how does that kill the video screen? Well I leave that up to your imagination, but it just got a whole lot easier for me to share my messages to my colleagues (and not get bogged down in email) within a micro business mission network and not have to create a playlist of content to get there.

Keith Kelsen is the author of "Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage — Content Strategies for the 5th Screen." More information about the 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 09:33 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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