“If you could create a magical tool, resource or component for digital signage, what would it be and how would it revolutionize the industry?”
Right now, billions of dollars are budgeted each year for online marketing. Marketers can easily justify their spending because online clicks allow them to clearly measure the success of each piece of content. The physical economy does not have a direct return signal like this.
The tool I would create for digital signage is software that analyzes and measures content effectiveness. The software would not only confirm marketing success, but also give a clear reading on which individual piece of content actually generated the purchase. A tool like this would revolutionize our industry and help marketers see digital signage in a whole new light.
During my time at 3M, I actually worked on a project that attempted to mimic the online click for digital signage. 3M developed software that was linked to the cash register. Its algorithms would monitor purchases and create a similar return signal. The software was piloted by a number of companies in the QSR industry. Unfortunately, 3M was unable to gain enough traction and discontinued the software. I personally believe they were a bit ahead of their time.
The next closest thing I have seen to a clear return signal for digital signage is facial recognition software. Facial recognition software allows us to detect live reactions by monitoring facial expressions. As consumers pass by the screen, the software captures their reaction. Sadly, facial recognition does have one glaring flaw; environmental noise. How do we know the consumer’s reaction wasn’t to a conversation, sound or smell in the environment? Questions like these make it difficult to have a high level of confidence in this type of technology.
Clearly, measuring content effectiveness is challenging. The good news is, technologists will continue to push forward with new ideas. Hopefully, we will see a reliable content measurement tool surface soon. The result would definitely elevate digital signage to a whole new level.