By Dan Trotzer, VP of Business Development, Verifone Media
As digital out of home media continue to evolve, the role of software is increasingly important. Software is the gateway to processing the mass amounts of data now available to advertisers to shape and direct their messages, providing an unprecedented level of visibility into return on their media dollars.
The twin performance goals when investing in digital out-of-home media are addressability and attribution. Addressability ensures that the right messages reach the most finely targeted and receptive audiences possible. Attribution provides the proof that this in fact has happened, with data that tie specific consumer purchasing behaviors to the consumption of specific messages.
Here's what advertisers should look for, in both software performance and network performance, to be sure their digital marketing spends are meeting the most ambitious addressability and attribution targets.
Performance of digital-signage software can be evaluated on two key variables: The flexibility of the system to meet the increasing complexity of client demands and the objectives and reliability of delivering media to screens.
In terms of flexibility, advertisers should evaluate if a digital-signage provider has targeting capabilities that can identify consumers and trigger different content based on second- or third-party data. Digital-signage software that can tailor programming and ads based on consumer attributes derived from external data can dramatically increase the performance of a campaign and the relevance to a brand's target audience. Even the most basic level of addressability can have a profound impact on an advertiser's ability to align spend with sales objectives.
Software is only as good as the network it integrates with, hence the need to also assess the impact of an addressable network, in particular, its ability to deliver attribution data.
Mobile attribution is especially critical as the industry overall is migrating to messages designed to reach consumers "on the go" — that is, messages delivered via smartphones or increasingly to "fourth screens" such as screens in convenience stores, taxis, gas stations and other high-mobility locations.
Mobile-friendly networks are akin to "cookies for the real world." The attribution platforms they deliver move beyond traditional brand metrics that focus on survey-based recall and brand awareness and instead use third-party data to measure the proven impact and efficacy of a media campaign.
Other methods of network-driven attribution, such as transaction-based models, are also evolving. Software platforms can now integrate with multiple attribution data sources.
Halls gets it right
Halls, the leading provider of cough drops and allergy-related products, identified an opportunity to extend the reach of its radio and television campaigns to consumers at the gas pump.
The company's goal was to boost sales by linking an opportunity to purchase cough drops and allergy products to specific weather and environmental conditions that would encourage immediate purchase decisions.
Halls identified a digital-signage provider with software capabilities that could deliver this granular, localized content to on-the-go consumers exposed to screens at gas pumps. The software's integration with third-party weather-triggering data delivered a highly relevant message alerting allergy sufferers of the local pollen count and encouraging them to "pick up some Halls" to alleviate symptoms. The message had a 93 percent recall rate by those who suffer from allergies, and 97 percent of consumers who viewed the ad agreed it was relevant.
Advanced software programming that incorporates geographic variables, micro-targeted messaging and the flexibility to reach highly mobile consumers can deliver extraordinary advances in addressability and attribution. The software's ability to seamlessly integrate with third-party data providers, as well as with compatible network platforms, is key.
When brands closely align their specific product attributes with highly targeted customer demographics, the right digital-signage software will more effectively deliver messaging, increase recall rates and, ultimately, lead to an increase in sales.