New Kid on the Block

As we come off the spring trade show season and finally get time to… how do I put this? Men don't really shop, do we? If I listen to the current agency jargon, I'm not sure I exist at all. In agency speak the shopper is now officially a "she."

OK, as I finally get time to do some in-the-field research in retail, I'll try to forget about gender politics in the pursuit of the elusive shopper. It's summer, so I'll put on a pair of flip-flops, and head to the mall as a kid, and see what the new kid on the retail block, digital signage, is up to.

We'll be reporting in the coming issues on what's new in dynamic signage at-retail. And we'll be following up on some new developments that hold a lot of promise for those that are betting that digital signage will revitalize the retail space in a way that will lift all boats-digital or traditional media.

POPAI's Digital Signage Group has launched a new blog, www.popaidigitalblog.com, to address all aspects of this growing and ever-changing market. The group has recruited a panel of experts with the sales, marketing and technology know-how to update the industry on new developments and new ideas. And as POPAI's newly expanded Standards Committee begins to develop technical and content standards, they will use the blog as a test bed for ideas, and to solicit comments and feedback. Some of the topics being discussed include Mobile Consumer Media, ROI for media, creative for place based media, audit and measurement, digital signage to create brand recognition and shopper engagement, and digital signage in non-traditional environment. The list of contributors includes: Stuart Armstrong of EnQii North America; Carre' Dawson of eVision; Laura Davis-Taylor of Retail Media Consulting; Jeff Dickey of See Saw Networks; Bill Gerba of WireSpring Technologies; Rob Gorrie of ADCENTRICITY; Bryan Meszaros of Openeye; Jeff Porter of Scala, Inc.; and Michael Willems of EnQii.

At NewBay Media, we're constantly pushing the envelope of digital signage. We've just entered into a new relationship and a new platform for our industry gold standard DIGI Awards for digital signage. NewBay Media has announced that Digital Signage magazine together with the Digital Signage Group will present the DIGI Awards at The Digital Signage Show beginning this fall. The Digital Signage Show is a fall expo to be held at the JacobK.JavitsConvention Center in New York City, October 15 – 16. And because we're moving the home of the DIGI Awards from a spring to a fall schedule, we are restarting the cycle with a whole new DIGI Awards program this year, instead of waiting for fall '09. And, importantly, we've now added 'best product' categories to the DIGI Awards, to reward innovation in product design for digital signage hardware, software, and peripherals. The DIGI Awards will begin accepting 2008 nominations this summer with official winners selected in October. More details can be found at www.marketingatretail.com.