“What are the pros and cons of combining different types of messaging (such as wayfinding and advertising) in one display?”
This is all about balance, the environment, and ultimately, consumer (or audience) experience.
There is no harm in mixing your content categories as long as they contribute to your overall objectives. Let’s break it down…
Often, a content loop can contribute to brand fatigue. Too many brand messages can numb the audience. A different piece of content can give something else to catch the audience’s attention.
As long as it doesn’t detract from the business objectives, take advantage of your channel. For brands that own their network, there is no limit to the messaging you can insert into your content loop. If done with strategy and planning with consideration given to traffic movement, audience composition and dayparting, there is a tremendous opportunity to maximize your network’s performance with mixed messaging.
Move your audience! Let’s use the example of wayfinding messaging. A simple directive message, inserted after a key piece of content, can make the audience aware of experiences they might not have ventured into or assist them in getting to the very source of what you are driving them towards.
There has to be balance. Most screens are in areas of transition and traffic, meaning there is a limited window of true audience exposure. You have seconds to capture attention, so no one piece of content can take too long. Otherwise, it will be at the expense of an alternate message. In a high-traffic area, run your branded retail piece followed by alternate messaging and then go back to the branded messaging. Think about how long your audience is truly exposed to your messaging, observe them, measure their engagement, and be brutally honest. Once you have that understanding, alternating content will become simpler.
Also, make sure there is context for your alternate messaging. It might be an important, even helpful message, but make sure it is a helpful message delivered to the right audience at the time they will need it. Otherwise, you are wasting that precious audience time.