DSE Take-Aways: Analytics, Content, Investment Value

Lyle Bunn- The “Dynamic Media Digerati” who attended the 9th annual Digital Signage Expo held in Las Vegas March 5-9, 2012 agree that it offered the highest value yet in profiling and advancing Digital Signage use, project planning, project execution and operations. Pre-DSE events, 32 conference sessions, 170+ exhibits and the discussions among a record high 4000+ delegates (not including exhibitors) all focused on one question – “What are the best ways of getting the most from digital signage - dynamic display media?”

DSE helped to develop a better collective understanding, define new directions and advance the value in media display and engagement.

Strategic, tactical and operational perspectives were offered on a range of issues including business models, advertising, technology infrastructure, links to other engagement and messaging devices. Enabling technologies were front and center, but through all this, 3 areas dominated DSE - Analytics, Content and Investment-worthiness.

“Visual is our new language,” had said Paco Underhill, acclaimed business author and CEO of Envirosell in his keynote address at a previous DSE that has helped define media industries.

John Underkoffler, Chief Scientist, Oblong Industries in this year’s opening keynote address spoke of the “primacy and spread of displays” and of the interface between media technologies and people. In focusing on the future of what has already been 30 years of human/media interface, he set the stage for the day 2 panel titled “Digital Signage 2020: Eyes on the Future.”

Together these keynote sessions addressed the media display, messaging and engagement models that communicators and marketers could expect to move into. Keynote sessions will be available at www.DigitalSignageExpo.net.

Digital Media is underpinned with technologies, innovation, creativity and the application of knowledge. The “mosaic” – or “the melting pot” of technologies will continue to make the nature of communications the most powerful force in our time and generations to come. The contributions and convergence of media display, connectivity, distribution, processing and analytics continue to advance and to empower brand, retailer, consumer, staff, student and organizational communications and engagement.

Analytics define the value of investment in technology infrastructure, advertising and network operations while empowering the audience targeting and optimization of dynamic media, notes a comprehensive whitepaper “Digital Place-based Media ROI Analytics - Defining Value. ROI or Die!” released just before DSE12.

Content was referenced by many conference presenters and exhibitors, as each noted that the relevance of messages to intended target audiences in the context of the viewing environment is critical to achieving the value that dynamic place-based media can inherently deliver. A paper titled “The CONTENT of Dynamic Place-based Media - The rise of the “Content is King” Monarchy” describes this while offering insights into content strategy, planning and composition.

Some of the busiest exhibitors at DSE12 were providers of content including Accuweather, Agence France-Presse, Blue Fox, Blue Pony, Flypaper and Saddle Ranch Digital.

Investment value was framed as ROI (quantifiable Return on Investment) and ROO (Return on Objectives – less measurable than ROI, but valuable outcome) by virtually every presenter, in itself defining the importance of the value-driven requirement of the media investment.

In demonstrating the maturing of the industry, user and suppliers of dynamic place-based media fully agree that “the investment equation starts with well-defined objectives, followed by a definition of the content required to achieve these objectives, when delivered with reliability and economic efficiency by technology infrastructure.”

A report of the National Retail Federation “Big Show” held January 2012 “NRF Shouts Technology, Engagement and Talent” described the themes, through the lens of dynamic media, of the retail sector’s major event. It was good news for dynamic media providers and project leaders, given the inherent characteristics of this place-based medium. Retailers and brands who attended DSE12 and assessed its discourse through the lens of retailing would be happy by its themes of analytics, content and investment-worthiness.

Dynamic media as an industry has moved into early adulthood. While the media enters the mainstream in supporting business, communications and marketing goals, and many market sectors enter the “early majority” stage of innovation adoption, benefits will grow for the most capable providers and users.

Download documents referenced from www.LyleBunn.com/aboutus.aspx

Lyle Bunn is an independent analyst, advisor and educator to users, network operators, investors and suppliers of Digital Signage and Digital Out-of-Home. Lyle@LyleBunn.com

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