Tag Archives: Consumer Experience

My CETW Session – Teaser

I’m speaking at CETW next week.  If you’re in NYC at the conference, let me know.  I’d love to catch up.  My session is called, “Strategy First: Incorporating Digital/Interactive Out Of Home Into Campaign Strategy and it takes place on Thursday 11/11 at 10:30.   Out of the two industry shows this year, I really enjoyed the focus of CETW.  I think DSE focuses more on the technology aspect, and CETW is trying to focus on the audience (consumers) and engagement.  (From what I understand, DSE is trying to shift the focus of their sessions to be more diverse and address elements like audience and engagement.)  Anyway, CETW was nice enough to reach out to me in the Spring and work with me on creating a panel that addresses an agency’s POV on OOH (notice I didn’t say “digital signage.”)  I’ve observed that there haven’t been many agency & brand-friendly panels at these two conferences and as a result, they aren’t attracting many agencies or brands.  I feel like this is a great opportunity for both of these conferences because the reality of OOH as a new, more powerful media channel is right in front of us.  Agencies and brands must understand how technology has impacted the ability to engage consumers outside of their home and all of the possibilities that brings.  And if that were presented from a realistic, practical level – talking about what we (agencies) deal with every day in getting work done for our clients + what we believe the potential of this new medium brings – from people conceiving and doing the actual work, seems like it would provide some much-needed insights from a different, critical POV.  So, that’s what we’re doing.  We’ve got a panel made up of different roles (CMO, Account Planning, Strategy/Execution, & Creative Direction) from different types of agencies (media, advertising, and PR).  It’s designed to be an interactive session, with minimal “formal” presentations.  We’ll give an overview of who we are, where we come from, what we do, and then take turns answering questions that address how we get work done, what we think of “OOH,” its potential, its role, executing it, brand story, our relationships with brands, and the bright, shiny object syndrome.  If nothing else, it will be a fun panel, full of energy and good discussion.

The “New” OOH, as Seen in my Mind

I appreciate drawings.  I’m a big visual thinker.  And particularly at work, I draw more than write.  I’m not a good artist, but I don’t think it takes a good artist to draw effective models – I like to think I make by pretty good.  Anyway, I’ve been working on distilling my thoughts into something that is easy for people to understand what this space is all about.  Here’s where I am:

Basically, I believe that all OOH solutions are made up of 3 main components:

1. Equipment

2. Place

3. Content

The Equipment really speaks to the “How” the message is delivered.  It has 2 components: hardware and software.  I know there are many other pieces included in those two (network, installation, maintenance, etc..), but in the end, you’ve got hardware and software that need to run the actual solution.  It’s as easy as that.

The Place is the actual location the solution will be seen in – the “where”.  From my standpoint, this is a strict media play – it’s either “Paid” media (you have to buy placement) or “Owned” media (you own the place where the solution will be seen).  Again, I think pretty easy.

But the final component – one that is easy in concept, but hardest to execute in my opinion – is the Content component.  Content is the “what” part of the solution and there are different pieces that make up the “what,” most notably Planning and Strategy.  These two pieces are critical to storytelling because it provides the proper context in which to tell the story.  Not necessarily what story needs to be told, but who exactly you want to tell the story to and how.

And around everything, there is an Execution piece.  There will likely be multiple players in the game that are responsible for executing their component.  This model helps identify what kind of players those are so you can create your own OOH solution.

Where this gets interesting, and I have to thank one of my partners-in-crime here, Matt Dickman, for seeing this – it’s the intersection of these components and what they really define.  The result of “How” + “Where” is “Environmental Design.”  What is this installation going to be in the place where it’s going to be seen?  What opportunities do you have based on where it’s going to be seen?  How much does that dictate what exact equipment is used?

The result of “Where” + “What” is the Consumer “Experience.”  This is how the consumer is actually going to experience the solution.  My experience is different if I’m in the middle of Times Square experiencing a billboard than it is if I’m in the middle of a tradeshow booth experiencing a kiosk.  More, if I know where this story is going to be seen, I can optimize it to create the best “experience.”

And the result of “What” + “How” is the type of “Engagement” that the consumer is (or is not) involved in.  This is where enabling technologies come most into play.  What equipment do I need to absorb (and hopefully, literally, engage with) the story?

These results are the deeper components of the solution that I feel need to be thought about if you really want to maximize your OOH solution.  These are the components that really define what I believe to be the power and potential of the “new” OOH.

So, that’s where I’m at.  What do you think?  Would love to hear opinions!