Mobile devices, digital signage working together

Mobile devices, digital signage working together

By Nate Remmes, Vice President, Corporate Development, NanoLumens

In the world of digital signage, beacons, facial recognition and audience measurement have become regular vocabulary in our lexicon. But what was once "thought leadership" or a future idea, has since become possible through the tiny computers sitting in our pants pocket. The interaction between our mobile phones and today's DOOH intelligent displays is enabling a creative dialogue between brands and their customers, and has mobile phones and digital displays working in tandem for a truly personalized experience.


Just by having a digital display, brands can interact with audiences through screen-smart device interaction. This is accomplished by using URLs to have a smartphone talk to a display, most commonly through having audience members play games on their phones, which relays information to the display.

Personalized communication via a proximity network

Companies are working overtime to differentiate themselves in this new digital world. Their goal is to create an experience that elicits an emotional response so people will want to take a specific desired action.

To create that experience, businesses are using beacons to latch onto a customer's smartphone and deliver hyper-targeted messages. Beacons allow brands to curate the messages received by the customer, so he or she is only receiving information that is relevant.

For example, if a man walks into a clothing store, beacons can allow the store to recognize the customer is a male and can send to his smartphone information about men's jackets on sale. Companies can use multiple beacons to impart multiple messages to consumers as they move through a space, like information on products, discounts and web promotions. By triggering multiple messages, businesses have more control over their customers' experiences.

The data gathered from the customer can be analyzed individually and in the aggregate. It also allows businesses to continue to have a conversation with the customer, long after he or she has moved beyond the proximity of the display.

Audience measurements via analytics

Mobile is essentially being used as a tracking and tagging device that displays can use to develop more effective messaging over time. Brands have the ability to track an audience's movements through Wi-Fi communication or Bluetooth. And, if they have partnerships with a proximity network company or beacon provider, they have a software development kit (SDK) on the back of applications.

This means that if any person who walks within the proximity of a display and has one of these apps on their phone, the proximity network can read the data on the smartphone. Such technological capability gives businesses a better idea of the identity of customers approaching the display and what they like. 

These interactions between display and smartphone don't necessarily have to include a dialogue, but they can be useful in harvesting data that can help a business determine what kind of messages should be displayed — and the frequency of the appearance of the messages. If a business understands to whom it is communicating, the "when" and "how" it is communicating the messages may differ depending on the audience. If a display owner is selling advertising space or is trying to develop content, a more compelling story can be created. Advertisers are given more audience data to help make the sale, so they know their content is relevant.

Businesses have been trying to bridge the gap in the digital display world. Using smartphones seems to be the most logical way to achieve this. The overarching goal for the implementation of digital displays is to create more relevant experiences for the audience. By integrating smartphones with digital displays, this goal can be realized through recognizing a display's audience, analyzing the data about the audience set and curating content accordingly in order to deepen the relationship with the audience.

By deepening these relationships, businesses are able to get more feedback from customers and learn how to target their audiences more effectively, resulting in increased revenue.

Nathan Remmes is Vice President of Corporate Development for NanoLumens. He can be reached at 

Topics: Advertising, Assisted Selling, Assisted Selling/Point-of-Decision, Audience Measurement, Content, Customer Experience, Digital Merchandising, Distributors / Resellers, DOOH Advertising, Mobile Interactivity, Retail, Retail Digital Signage, ROI

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