Tuesday, 22 June 2010
This forward was published in the April 9, 2010 Wall Street Journal, East Coast Edition as part of a special supplement on Digital Signage/Digital Place-based Media published by MediaPlanet. Lyle Bunn served as principal writer and editor of this supplement.
Digital place-based media has been growing and maturing during the economy of this decade, which started with a downturn and has included post-9/11 uncertainties, a recession, a rocky business environment and a cautious investment climate. Advertising-based networks give markets reach and recency, while an equal number of displays improve branding, staff and student communications, and the patron experience at a location.
The term “digital place-based media,” has a descriptive ring to it, and reflects the refinement of a high-growth industry finding its place.
As the “supply push” inherent in any new technology-driven improvement has shifted to a “market pull,” its naming has served to position it within business structures and budgets.
“Digital signage,” a frequently used, all-encompassing descriptor, reflects the economies of a fully digital supply chain for media creation, management, connectivity and presentation. Terms such as “electronic display networks,” “video networks” and “private media channel” have been used to describe the technology infrastructure.
In seeking its place in advertising plans and budgets, other descriptors have been used. “digital out-of-home,” or "DOOH," generally describes ad-based networks seeking out-of-home ads; “in-store TV” sought a share of TV/broadcast ad spending; and in being called “the Outernet,” the medium has tapped into Internet ad budgets.
Through this maturing of its identity, the inherent characteristics of the medium have not changed. It is a highly targetable, viewer-addressable display media. Central control of message delivery to digital displays gives communications flexibility and assures 100-percent compliance of message presentation to audiences at a time of day, in out-of-home locations where people shop, wait, work, commute and gather. Messages have high relevance when delivering content in the context of the location, time and viewer to achieve measurable business goals. It can provide a laser focus of message delivery to time and audience, wide demographic or geographic coverage or anything in between.
It is highly measurable, very cost-effective and is the sharpest tool in the communicator’s tool chest.