Media Follows Consumers Outside the Home

Discussion
Apr 03, 2009

By George Anderson

It’s the holy grail of advertising. What
medium, what message will it take to break through the clutter and influence
consumers to buy whatever it is that is being pitched?

Most advertisers and agencies today have
accepted the notion of targeting messages to specific audiences as the
means to most effectively generate the type of response desired.

Rocky Gunderson, co-founder and vice president
of marketing and network development for SeeSaw Networks, believes that
digital signage networks are a solution that literally can go wherever
consumers go to work, play, shop and socialize.

He pointed to research conducted by OTX
(Online Testing eXchange) for SeeSaw that found the average consumer notices six
to eight digital signs in different places over the course of a week. That
number goes up to eight to 10 times with younger consumers.

Reaching younger consumers is a key selling
point for in-store digital signage. Today, the young are greater consumers
of all media and frequently are making use of a variety of message delivery
systems all at the same time.

"Companies are looking to brand a new
consumer base as the older one is leaving. It should be easy for an advertiser
to see they’re not going to be able to brand the new consumer base with
TV the same way they did with the old consumer base,"
Mr. Gunderson told RetailWire.

Digital signage also holds the promise that
comes with connecting with other media.

Although a relatively small number of advertisers
are making use of digital signage and mobile or online technology today,
there is interest and signs of progress.

Mr. Gunderson pointed to a campaign run
across a variety of digital signage networks to support a campaign for
a new Bloomingdale’s in Orange County, California.

"We ran a highly targeted campaign
within zip codes with an invitation to a pre-opening party and a coupon
offer. We put texting capability into the program and had the campaign
running at gas stations, health clubs and coffee shops. We tried to pick
areas where we could target Alpha Moms, places where they would hang out
during the course of their daily routines," said Mr. Gunderson.

Consumers were provided with texting directions
to receive the invite and coupon. Bloomingdale’s was able to assess the
effectiveness of the campaign through the texting component.

Mr. Gunderson sees more campaigns linking
digital devices as a growing number of agencies seek to move "toward
a more full digital or digital 365 experience."

He talked about the opportunity for messaging
at gas stations and coffee shops where while waiting in line or for the
tank to fill, consumers can be given website or mobile information to receive
details on promotions, schedule test drives at auto dealerships, get directions
to the closest location for a retailer in a non-competing category, etc.

One area where SeeSaw sees opportunities
for growth is in sports venues such as stadiums and racetracks. "It
really gives us an opportunity to build around events. We find that event-based
networks bring some sizzle to the messaging and are great for retail and
QSR," he said.

Discussion Questions: Do you see a convergence
of digital signage and other digital media, specifically mobile and/or
online, taking off anytime soon? What digital venues do you think hold
the greatest promise for brands and retailers looking to 1) drive consumer
traffic to stores and 2) driving purchases once consumers are in stores?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

Join the Discussion!

14 Comments on "Media Follows Consumers Outside the Home"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Herb Sorensen, Ph.D.
Guest
13 years 1 month ago

I see a large number of votes for “gas stations.” These and other “wait” locations obviously have the advantage that time is on the erstwhile shoppers’ hands. This makes the milieu more like watching TV than many of the other venues.

The store, on the other hand, offers the possibility of immediate fulfillment. That’s why in-store media is likely to dominate the business. It is also why PDA (phone or otherwise) is likely to have a watershed of whether the goal is to reach the shopper at-the-point-of-purchase; or to lead-the-shopper-to-the-point-of-purchase.

This same watershed is playing out within the store, with a lot of focus on using various media to try to move shoppers around the store. This is largely a fool’s errand. Far more effective to work on converting shoppers to buyers, right where they are, wherever that may be.

John Morgan
Guest
John Morgan
13 years 1 month ago

While in-store audio messaging is not as ‘sexy’ as digital signage, it has the capacity to reach every shopper in the store, at a much more efficient cost. And by utilizing a recency planning strategy with any type of in-store messaging–consistent messaging at low-GRP levels–manufacturers can keep their brand in the shopper’s purchase consideration set and reach shoppers with a call to action at the right moment in the shopper’s purchase cycle.

Bill Bittner
Guest
Bill Bittner
13 years 1 month ago
One of the interesting displays at NRF this year was the new symbology introduced by Microsoft that allowed consumers to take a picture of a poster with their cell phone and receive a promotion on the phone related to the poster. You think about how this all links the cell phone user’s personal profile with the content of the poster displayed wherever it might be appropriate and it take this whole concept to the extreme. Posters could be actual placards or newspaper and magazine ads or fliers distributed in a parking lot. Having said all that, there is an interesting conflict here that seems to ignore the natural lifestyle changes that occur as people mature. Sure, the younger generation is more mobile while they live with their parents, attend college, and are about town socializing with other young people. But at some point, these folks are going to graduate college, buy their own home, and start raising their own children. That is probably when they will begin their most intensive buying. Does this buying require… Read more »
James Tenser
Guest
13 years 1 month ago
I stand in solidarity with Max on this topic. What some proponents today call advertising innovation is little more than the 1950’s “Gutenberg Galaxy” print publishing model re-writ on electronic paper. How different, really, is an electronic billboard from a poster mounted in the same public location? Well the digital sign moves–and it’s a lot more expensive. Stepping back from the archaic push model for a moment, let’s consider that the ubiquitous computing device (laptop, smart phone, skull chip or whatever) is rapidly converging with other forms of media as a kind of universal response mechanism or feedback loop. Will all advertising become direct response advertising in the glorious new age? “Click, scan or text to learn more” may be the next huge advertising tag line, eclipsing even “But wait! Act now and we’ll double your order.” Finally, I want to use this forum to unveil my newest patent-pending advertising invention: The IET – or “inner eyelid tattoo.” Since the human being blinks 16,200 times per day (during 18 hours of wakefulness) the CPMs can… Read more »
Steven Collinsworth
Guest
13 years 1 month ago

This will take off, but not explode exponentially. For those companies who wish to take advantage of this medium, caution should be your watchword for every campaign.

Overexposure is the death knell for virtually everything. Think of how annoying some ads you have seen over and over on television or heard on the radio have become. We all become either numb to it all or begin to tune it out, only to periodically here a word or two. And then what no marketing department or advertising firm ever wants to hear, the consumer begins to confuse it with other brands or ads for other brands.

Charlie Gouge
Guest
Charlie Gouge
13 years 1 month ago

Really, Digital Signage? Sounds to me like the tried and true just don’t measure up since they are not new and exciting. The best is always what you say, not how you say it. Radio, TV, Print or Digital Signage, doesn’t matter; all these mediums come with plenty of customers who hear, see or feel your message. They key has to be what your message is, if your product or service is in need, people will find it and listen to/see what you have. Marketing has one goal–start word of mouth advertising, it is still the best.

Max Goldberg
Guest
13 years 1 month ago

This topic is so 20th century, in that it’s all about push advertising. Consumers are tuning out push advertising in favor of pull advertising. Consumers will decide what they want to see and how they want to interact with it. They will give permission to advertisers to reach them when an advertiser has their trust. Bombarding consumers with advertising messages while they are pumping gas or waiting in line at the bank only contributes to consumer distrust of advertising. So what if consumers notice 6-8 digital signs a week. They ignored thousands more.

Retailers must build a bond with consumers through trust, superior customer service and value. Then they need to ask for and get a consumer’s permission to communicate. By communicating in a way that reinforces the bond of trust, the retailer can interact with the consumer in a way that benefits both.

Lionel Tepper
Guest
Lionel Tepper
13 years 1 month ago

“Hey Google Adwords guys–want to discuss a license? James Tenser, Principal, VSN Strategies”

Funny you should mention Google and Digital Signage–They’re already looking at the space and should be launching soon.

If you’re interested in learning more about the digital signage space and where this medium is really going you should read about the efforts of associations like OVAB (Out-of-Home video Advertising Bureau) are doing to promote the medium. Here is a link to an article from their summit from last October.

Jeff Dickey
Guest
Jeff Dickey
13 years 1 month ago
There has been a significant shift in consumer behavior driven by both macro and micro issues. Over the past 30 years the pendulum shifted drastically to credit driven over-consumption where consideration became limited to a handful of big-ticket items and most other purchasing was largely driven by want instead of need. This trend actually began in the 1980s as the “designer’ brands trended down from the upper income brackets into all income brackets (I want my Calvin’s, etc.) and consumers stretched their budgets to satiate these aspirations. The current economic downturn has created a new normal, where the baby boom generation is now behaving more like their parents and have rapidly downsized their expectations and reverted to a need vs. want purchasing behavior. This is a classic over correction that has pushed the majority of goods and services into the “considered purchase” category and eliminated a significant amount of impulse purchasing. Digital signage and other forms of media reaching active, mobile consumers will be a critical component for marketers to rebrand their products, restate their… Read more »
Gene Detroyer
Guest
13 years 1 month ago
The change is generational and media better follow consumers out side the home. Consider even with baby boomers like me, in-home advertising is becoming less and less meaningful. My wife and I have about 4 or 5 TV shows we like. With the exception of sports, we DVR all of those shows. We NEVER watch them in their original time slot. “Never” is not an exaggeration. Even if we decide to watch TV in the timeframe that one of these shows is broadcast, we will watch one that is recorded. Why? Because it only takes about 40 minutes to watch a one hour show, by skipping all the commercials. If we want to keep watching TV, we can start watching the show that is being recorded from the beginning and again skip all the commercials. My thirty something kids record every show they might want to watch and I am sure never watch in real time. Since the limit on the DVR is to record two shows at a time, my daughter will record two… Read more »
Susan Rider
Guest
Susan Rider
13 years 1 month ago

The move will be more gradual than “take off.” The cost of the components vs. the old print media is primarily the reason. You’ll see more product demos in-store and in-store infomercials popping up in strategic locations.

David Biernbaum
Guest
13 years 1 month ago

Digital signage will grow and have impact to a point; however, once digital signage becomes overused and clichéd, the impact will decline.

Devangshu Dutta
Guest
Devangshu Dutta
13 years 1 month ago

The dynamism of digital video display has the potential to make them more impactful but, from my experience, most of the advertisers and the agencies have little clue about how to really make it work. So many companies are using digital displays as animated billboards, with the same messages in a different format. John Wanamaker’s lament still applies and, possibly, it is more than 50% of the advertising that is getting wasted now. Either the Digital OOH industry will wake up some day and spruce up their act, or digital signage will become like fluorescent safety jackets – everywhere and unnoticed.

Laura Davis-Taylor
Guest
Laura Davis-Taylor
13 years 1 month ago
I think we needed one more option for the survey: it depends. CharlieG above is on the right track and, to quote Doug Hall, “it’s not the gun, it’s the bullet.” These emerging DOOH screens are powerful marketing and media “guns,” but the bullet for impact depends on if the content and executional strategy are adding value to the viewer and motivating them to do something with the message conveyed. They will become cliched and overused if they are just hollering out ad messages to supposedly “captive” viewers. They won’t if they are carefully activated to be useful and valuable rather than, as Max noted, moments of bombardment. Who you are trying to reach, what is happening while you reach them (are they bored at a gas tank or harried and busy in a store?), the level of relevance and the value of the messages you’re conveying are but a few of the many things to be carefully plotted out with these devices in advance. How to measure that they are indeed being received positively… Read more »
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