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Markets: Digital Signage

ncreasing so-called ‘engagement’ has long been the pursuit of advertisers. Increased engagement – in which the consumer is involved by the use of humour, or celebrity endorsement, or empathy, for example – means increased awareness and increased likelihood to buy. Greater market segmentation has helped to drive engagement as advertisers seek to make their advertising more relevant and thus more engaging. Database marketing, for instance, allowed advertisers to identify groups of consumers such that recipients would recognise the relevance of a communication or offer to their interests. Research into direct mail has proved that, of all the characteristics that will determine success, relevancy of the offer is the most significant.

It’s getting personal I

And, of course, the ultimate segmentation is at the individual consumer level. Given the opportunity – and assuming the dialogue can be cost-effective – advertisers would prefer to initiate a one-on-one conversation with every prospective purchaser. That’s what has made social networking so attractive to business. There is another emerging phenomenon that is, necessarily, capturing advertisers’ attention. A much-watched YouTube video ( XV-yaFmQNk) entitled A Magazine Is an iPad That Does Not Work implicitly claims – perhaps disturbingly – that a generation is growing up for whom interactivity is not only desired, but assumed. “In our daily lives, we are surrounded by interactive technology – we carry

Interactivity in digital signage can be beneficial to businesses and consumers but using the technology effectively is key, writes Ian McMurray

Key points

. Interactive digital signage is a natural evolution, given the growing prevalence of interactivity in everyone’s lives

. Creating one-on-one conversations and developing ‘personal’ relationships with potential customers is an advertiser’s dream – and interactivity helps achieve that

. Interactive digital signage is more expensive to deploy – but the returns are also higher

. Measuring effectiveness is key for advertisers – interactivity can provide accurate feedback on the value of a campaign

JCDecaux and Kinetic launched the UK’s first large-scale deployment of NFC technology in March with six-sheet poster sites going interactive in Reading

smart devices in our pockets with which we are constantly interacting,” notes Guy Phelps, corporate sales manager at NEC Display Solutions. “This digital experience is creating an expectation that all technology can be interacted with in some way.”

Active involvement

The most personal experience is, therefore, an experience in which we play an active, rather than a passive, part. It’s no surprise, then, that advertisers are increasingly looking to engage us as individuals through interactivity – and interactive digital signage is a hot topic in the industry.

“It’s important to understand that it’s a development that is not driven by digital signage itself but by the change in communication from brands to consumers,” notes Oliver Schwede of Invidis Consulting, a digital signage consultancy company. “In parallel with traditional one-to-many

communication, advertisers are looking for media formats to enable direct contact with the consumer. Today, digital signage is mostly one-to-many at the point of sale – but to collect leads or to enable a sustainable contact with a consumer, the need is to engage with the consumer – and this is achieved in an interactive process. info@ateis-eur

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. There are numerous pitfalls in interactive digital signage – but the fact that they are recognised makes them easier to avoid

That’s why interactivity is becoming more important.”

“It’s the natural evolution for digital out-of-home advertising,” claims Neil Chapman, head of create at Clear Channel, one of the world’s leading out-of-home advertising network operators. “Consumers, driven by changing behaviour and smartphone technology, now want information or content whenever they need it; they want experiences and to be rewarded for these experiences – and then expect to be able to share these. Brands, meanwhile, want to create positive lasting personalised connections with their audiences,

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