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Digital Signage – More Than Just Signs

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Digital signs are a great way to attract people’s attention with moving graphics, movies, informational banners, and more. But how well do these displays work? Audience-measuring technologies allow real-time monitoring, metrics, and analysis; which allows marketers and advertisers to know who is viewing their displays, how many views have occurred, how long people stay at a display, and during what time of day they are there. This information can provide great ROI for both digital and static displays. Advanced software detects and isolates the faces of people viewing a display and can determine gender and race and even estimate a person’s age. While this may seem a bit intrusive, the software applications that perform this type of analytics do so anonymously. To respect privacy, it is a general practice not to record images or other personally identifiable information. In most cases, the camera that is used to capture information is not easily detectable by people near the display, which reduces the creep factor for consumers.

In the picture, you can see that the display I am in front of has recognized me as watching the display. It has determined that I am male and has dynamically begun to show me information about a new razor, versus a product more geared for women. This technology allows marketed information in real time based on the current audience. Content is key to any digital display. Having dynamic content displayed based on who is viewing it can have a direct impact on purchase decisions. It has been stated that 75% of guest purchasing decisions are made in store*. Imagine having a dynamic digital display in a personal-health aisle at a retail store. If a male is viewing the display, information regarding a brand of men’s shaving cream could be shown. If a female is watching, product information regarding nail-care products could be displayed. If male and female couples are watching, products relating to bathroom tissue or batteries could be presented.

By placing these types of dynamic digital displays, along with analytics, in strategic locations at retail stores and showing content based on real-time audiences, the possibilities of persuading potential buyers are endless. Collected statistics regarding product sales compared with audience viewership can be used to create even better content and promotions in the future.

Have you seen digital signs in stores? Try to see if you can
find the camera!

*The Nielsen Company, Oct./Nov. 06; 2007 Marketing

Presentation; POPAI/The Global Association for Marketing at Retail 1995.

Contributed by JR Hayden

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