If you watch the local news on television, you may notice that the stories get a little more graphic, the news a little more sensational and the anchors a little more solicitous in February, May, July and November. Why? Because that’s when ratings are measured in more than 200 television markets nationwide to determine who’s watching what, and how many of people are watching it. We are able to provide signs to all businesses in Australia and our aim is to provide you cost effective signwriters Sydney solutions, manufactured by qualified tradesmen.
If you work in a specific industry, you may subscribe to one or more trade magazines with articles of interest to your peers. If you recommend, specify or actually authorize the purchase of new products and services for your business, you probably receive these magazines for free. If you happen to forget to re-subscribe, you may have been on the receiving end of a phone call from someone –not trying to sell you a subscription, but attempting to get you to provide the verbal equivalent of filling out a subscription card. Why? Because you are a member of a sought-after demographic that those advertising in that magazine seek to reach.
If you follow Internet marketing at all, you may have read stories over the past couple of years about click fraud -an artificial inflation of online reader responses to banners, buttons and other ads. Click fraud has caused a lot of grief for some of the biggest names on the Internet. Why? Because advertisers pay for each click on their ads based on the representation that there was actually someone with some bit of legitimate interest in their product or service that clicked.
What in the world does any of this have to do with digital signage? Simple, each example illustrates the importance ad agencies and advertisers place on reaching the number of people they pay to reach and often the demographic “type” of person they are targeting for their commercial messages. Audience ratings, circulation audits and bona fide ad responses are critical to monetizing media. Advertisers must be assured that their dollars are paying for something they actually wish to buy. Measuring audience metrics via independent third parties has served both the media and the ad communities by establishing an essential component to the ad buy, namely trust. It all comes down to the expression former President Ronald Reagan made famous when negotiating with former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev on nuclear arms reduction: “Trust but verify.”
For digital signage networks to be taken seriously by ad agencies and their clients, they must deliver a level of audience verification similar to those available with other old-line media, such as TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. Fortunately, advancements in digital signage technology are on the horizon that will allow this exact type of verification. Digital signage cameras mounted on or in the bezel of flat panel displays combined with the right software can count viewers, track where they are looking and catalog some demographic information, such as gender and approximate age, about digital signage viewers are on the doorstep of the industry.
As this technology rolls out into the mainstream, it could give digital signage advertising networks a significant boost among media buyers as there finally will be concrete, verifiable metrics upon which to make ad buys and allocate budgets. Whether or not, media buyers will take a digital signage network’s word that the audience numbers they are representing based on this technology are actually true is another matter. But that issue seems easily addressable by bringing an independent third party to verify these findings into the mix. I could even imagine a scenario where a digital signage network “ratings” service would foot the tab for the measurement technology to separate it from the signage network and add legitimacy -of course for a fee, probably paid by the signage network.
Certainly privacy advocates have raised concerns about this sort of technology. However, steps can be taken to mask the identity of individuals being tracked by the cameras and allay fears about Big Brother tactics.
It seems to me, this type of technology promises to deliver an important component that has been missing from the digital signage ad network arena. Look for the financial success of these networks to grow as this sort of audience measurement technology -or some other yet to be defined approach that gets answers for the same need of verifiable metrics- gains momentum.
David Little is a digital signage enthusiast with 20 years of experience helping professionals use technology to more effectively communicate their unique marketing messages. He is the director of marketing for Keywest Technology in Lenexa, KS, a software development company specializing in systems for digital signage creation, scheduling, management and playback. For further digital signage insight from Keywest Technology, download our Six Basic Digital Signage Applications [http://www.keywesttechnology.com/component/option,com_performs/Itemid,0/formid,4] white paper and case studies. Or, visit our website for many helpful tips and examples on how digital signage can benefit your business.
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