Interactive Marketing of the Future: Digital Signage and Proximity Marketing

Only a decade ago, the concept of receiving data and content at your fingertips without an outlet or modem was considered revolutionary, but technological advancements made that view out-dated. From a cultural perspective, our lives today increasingly rely and thrive on mobility and connectivity, and on any given day we are exposed to information and content through a wide array of platforms.

We are also more connected to our mobile phones; in fact, by 2012 analysts predict that over 50% of digital content will be accessed on mobile phones rather than the standard computer browser.

Since consumers are spending so much time on their mobile phones, mobile has become an essential channel through which marketers should reach consumers -- both via social media, apps and digital marketing. That being said, it can be overwhelming for consumers to navigate the barrage of information coming at them from so many different mediums, including Digital-Out-of-Home (DOOH) channel.



Similarly, for marketers, it can be very difficult to break through the "white noise" and really capture consumers' attention. So what's the solution to rise above all this noise? Proximity marketing, a growing medium that leverages a number of trends including mobile coupons, location-based services, geo-targeting and digital signage, into a robust and interactive marketing platform.

It works by automatically detecting mobile customers within close range of a retail presence and sending relevant content, such as coupons, videos, competitions and other engaging media.

Location, Location, Location

Proximity marketing is a well-matched addition to the marketing portfolio, as it seamlessly integrates and supplements DOOH advertising efforts. It expands the scope of interactive marketing in public places to offer a more spontaneous and direct interaction, targeting consumers with messages that are useful and delivered in a timely manner. The result? Consumers are more likely to take action.

And because consumers are targeted only while within a radius of 300 feet or less, marketers have the ability to instantly connect and interact with consumers, in real-time, as they are in-store. This takes the concept of "location-based" marketing to an even greater level of "local."

Additionally, proximity marketing can support social networking, price matching, coupons and real-time transactions to consumers at the point of sale, allowing marketers many options for interacting with consumers.

DOOH, Promixity Marketing Future Impact

• The Time of Mobile: The average American spends nearly three hours a day on their mobile phone. Proximity marketing allows marketers to leverage the mobile channel as a way to connect with consumers in the palm of their hands.

• Instant connection: Marketers can connect with consumers as they are shopping, in-store and primed to buy. A recent study conducted by IBM found that 72% of consumers are more likely to take action after receiving a message while "on location" compared with messages received off-site.

• Here and now: Because proximity marketing is done in real-time, marketers can manage and measure their campaigns immediately, helping them improve the effectiveness of advertising campaigns in the short and the long-term.

• Steer clear of privacy issues: Marketers avoid privacy issues as proximity marketing uses Bluetooth technology and does not involve consumers' email or phone numbers. Consumers can opt-in if they want to receive SMS or email alerts as well.

• The new shopper: For consumers afflicted with ADD (Analog Deficit Disorder), static signage is visually processed as nothing more than wallpaper. Proximity marketing allows marketers to reach these shoppers with interactive touch points that catch their attention.

• No delivery fee: Low cost of entry -- marketers and consumers avoid any mobile carrier charges to deliver or receive marketing messages. Proximity-based marketing allows marketers to capitalize on consumers' in-store location, target them in real-time and encourage immediate action on the consumer's part. Through digital technologies, it allows brands to leverage their strengths and foster interaction to develop consumer loyalty, increase ROI and cultivate repeat customers -- a win-win for brands and consumers alike.

4 comments about "Interactive Marketing of the Future: Digital Signage and Proximity Marketing".
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  1. Stephen Randall from LocaModa, January 17, 2011 at 4:55 p.m.

    Proximity is a key to connecting to mobile screens BUT it has to be PULL not PUSH - i.e. not "by automatically detecting mobile customers within close range of a retail presence and sending relevant content, such as coupons, videos, competitions and other engaging media" without first getting the consumer to opt-in to such a service.

    The problem will still be to cut through the noise and get the consumer interested enough to opt-in. That can only happen when there marketer offers something of value or fun to the user. And, with over 300k+ apps on just the iPhone platform, it will not be a simple matter of using an app on your phone - rather the discovery process is likely to be triggered via DOOH or other screens that can be controlled by marketers.

    A user's INTENT drives navigation of PC and mobile screens. Marketers often forget this and imagine that merely by being proximal via other screens (such DOOH) will get the same level of attention. That can happen, when the user is offered something in return for her attention (eg an offer, or fun) but the social contract needed to achieve it has to also be trusted, or it will be a short term advantage for the marketer at best. Hence PULL not PUSH.

    Stephen Randall

  2. Kathy Sharpe from Resonate Networks, January 18, 2011 at 6:06 p.m.

    Stephen is absolutely correct, Failing to heed him will cost more long term than any short term gain. That said this sector suggest a whole new set of functions within the brand manager or agencies skill sets. It another fun day at the digital office.

  3. John Grono from GAP Research, January 19, 2011 at 5:34 a.m.

    Stephen - 10 out 10.

    Timo - 0 out of 10.

  4. Alex Romanov from isign media corp, January 19, 2011 at 12:44 p.m.

    Stephan- Your comment is well taken and ultimately the end goal for our iSIGN proximity solution. We are trailblazing in new applications and solutions over which we have defined limitations as and until the mobile manufacturers integrate specific features to automatically integrate with Pico-cell/Micro-cell systems. We try to make it PULL by announcing a proximity zone or "enable your Bluetooth to get a special offer"by poster or signage messages in stores or malls.
    However our current solution is a very credible and sophisticated alternative to carrier enabled Macro-cell solutions that are not relevent because they are seldom the right message at the right time and place. For all of our exclusive alternatives that so far elusive PULL feature eludes us. Thanks, Alex Romanov CEO iSIGN Media

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