Ask the Board – January 8, 2018 | MARGOT MYERS


Does the typical viewer – on the streets, in a retail venue, mall or airport – truly want hyper-curated contextual one-to-one “Minority Report” messaging? Or do they just prefer a surprising, powerful and clear messaging?”

I can’t speak for the “typical viewer.” I’m not “typical” because I pay particular attention to the technology, the content and viewer reaction when I see interesting digital installations.

Earlier this year, CPG Matters reported on a test conducted in Albertson’s supermarkets in conjunction with The Coca-Cola Co. digital end-caps display “targeted messaging (that) can range from brand campaigns to store-specific promotional offers or even app-guided shopping lists.”

The article was interesting, but as is so often the case, the comments were even more telling. I especially liked one from Sterling Hawkins, co-founder of the Center for Advancing Retail and Technology. He commented that, “The key is having the value exchange such that consumers look at it as a value-add and not simply a loss of privacy. Done right, there’s a sweet spot between a retailer’s best customers and a brand’s best customers, which can clearly pay off in ROI for all involved.”

Therein lies my answer to this question. It can’t have a simple yes or no answer because there’s a fine line between what’s cool and what’s creepy, and the line moves depending on the customer. The only way for brands to know for sure is to test it, see how their customers respond and decide which side of the cool/creepy line they need to be on as they focus on their bottom line.

About Author

Director, Global Marketing & Communications
The Platt Retail Institute

Industry Consultants Council

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