Ask the Board – April 3, 2018 | JONATHAN DODGE


What is the future of data-driven content?

Brand marketers have accelerated the pace of data-driven advertising over the past several years. Personalized interactive content is a key part of that marketing strategy. The digital signage industry has been slower to adopt these technologies and has instead focused on improvements to the creative and visual experience—the “wow” factor as it’s called. But now, digital signage companies are beginning to realize that future success depends upon a blend of both creativity and data. We are seeing a shift to data-driven content with digital signage, and the industry is adopting the thinking that data must inform content creation. The strategy of “going with your gut” to generate content that you think will resonate is not working anymore. You can’t guess in the world of digital media. Measurement is the key to understanding how to stay engaged with your customers.

The future of data-driven digital signage can be seen in the retail grocery industry. With the rapid evolution of technology and the onset of ever-changing lifestyle demands, grocery stores (and other retailers) are using data-driven digital signage content to create a more streamlined shopping experience and better inform customer decisions. Dayparting is a key part of this strategy. Grocery stores use shopper loyalty data to understand when shoppers are in the store, what products they are purchasing, and what hours of the day are most popular with specific demographic segments. The content on an entry kiosk, an end cap display, or an electronic shelf label is personalized to the type of shopper at that moment. The signage uses historical data to identify if the shopper is a Millennial, Shopper Mom, Single Parent, or Empty Nester and the content changes based on their needs. Pricing changes based on traffic surges and brand promotions based on weather are good examples. Another example is the use of beacon technology in displays, which allows retailers to communicate their brand and promotional messages before consumers get to the stores and once they are in the stores. RFID tags are also being used by retailers to trigger messaging based on barcodes.

The future for intelligent, data-driven signage solutions is bright. There is tremendous growth in technologies that help signage providers offer analytics and optimization to help clients better understand and fully realize the value of dynamic digital signage. Merging consumer insight data and predictive analytics with exciting new hardware technology will be the catalyst for the explosive expansion of the digital signage industry.

About Author

EVP, Business Development
Freshwater Digital Media Partners

Content Council

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