Tag Archives: Kioskcom

My InfoComm Thoughts Without Even Being There

I’m sad to say that I missed InfoComm 2010 in Vegas this past week.  Things back at the ranch are just crazy busy and I couldn’t break away, even for a couple of days.  I’ve been observing the action through my Twitter feed and while I missed seeing my buddies, I don’t think I missed much in terms of complete, industry-wide “mixing.”  Like the Digital Signage Expo and Kioskcom (now Customer Engagement Technology World), these shows are void of brands, marketers, and media-buyers.  They are filled with hardware and software makers that show the latest, greatest in technology, but these shows do not attract people from the other side of the equation.

So, here we go, any one of those show organizers who are listening:

Do something to recruit members of agencies (advertising, communications, media) and get them involved.  Create panels centered around less talking and more doing.  Create working sessions where challenges are given, require the entire “team” to put together and solution, and let’s watch them make it throughout the conference.  Bring together all at once the strategists that sell the idea, creatives that create the content, software makers that enable it all to work and hardware makers that show the thing.  And I’m not talking about static, push-messaging digital signage.  Show interactivity.  Utilize the agencies to bring consumer brands if you can’t get them there on your own.  Hold roundtables with these people.  Don’t forget about social or mobile integration, both of which are really nonexistent, unless you’ve got LocaModa or Aerva there.

These shows need to be moved from being “technology” shows to being emerging-solutions (not emerging-technology) shows if we really want to expand the audience.  Otherwise, I can watch all of them from the periphery, via my Twitter feed.

Build-A-Bear Doesn’t Do “Just Because”

This is the second part of this two-part series on Build-A-Bear’s complete brand experience, one that I totally dig.

Now that I’d left the store, Tex in tow, I was directed to continue my (& Tex’s) experience online at Build-A-Bearville.  My behavior/attitudes as a 35-year old male is a bit different than Build-A-Bear’s target – a tech-savvy 10-year old girl – so I didn’t go straight home and hop online to visit the community.  But when I was ready, the first thing I did was take a look at something I received in-store – Tex’s birth certificate included two codes on it that allow me to register him in Build-A- Bearville.

This Build-A-Bearville is a great community for the audience.  It’s set up like a virtual world with custom avatars – both of you and your new best friend – where you can explore, make friends, buy things, and make your own home, among many others.  Some quick stats that I found to be very interesting, via Brandon at Kioskcom – users of Build-A-Bearville have created 1.5 million avatars (mine is below), 1.2 million unique visitors a month, avg. 30 min visit in the community.  They have created a sticky experience online. 

This process, getting set up in the community, personalizing it and everything, takes a bit of time, but once you get set up, you’ve created the foundation of your presence in the community.  Everything you do from that point forward builds and strengthens your presence in the community.  All of these actions drive you, as the consumer, deeper into the brand.  Every moment of engagement is an opportunity to build loyalty.  Their essence is woven through this entire experience in such a great way.  It’s even evidenced by their user agreement – their “Golden Rule” – that everyone who joins has to agree to:

Be kind.  Treat others the way you would like to be treated.  Never give out personal information.  As a parent and as someone who gets/understands/encourages the use & impact of technology on my kids’ lives, these are rules that I want them to see everywhere they turn, certainly rules that I want them to see in an online community.

The “Be kind” and “Treat others the way you would like to be treated” must be engrained in their corporate culture, too, because everyone in-store embodies these characteristics.  Some might see all of this – the kindness, the language, the spirit of everything – as a little hokey, but for a brand who is made for a 10-year old tech savvy girl, they do so many things right.

I think one of the keys to this success is that they completely understand their audience.  They know exactly who they’re talking to, they believe it, (and it’s right), so everything they create as a brand is purposeful.  And as a result, is meaningful to their audience.  Purpose and meaning transcend technology and trends and slick marketing.  They enable much more probability to be sustainable over the long-haul.

This also enables them to be “channel agnostic.”  They don’t care about “screens” (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, whatever), they care about their experience.  And they let the experience drive particular messages/content in each channel, whatever they perceive to be the best to deliver those messages to this audience.  If digital signage doesn’t make sense to the experience, they don’t utilize that channel.  If it does, they do.  This alleviates the “just because” syndrome that many brands and marketers tend to fall victim to, particularly with DOOH/digital signage.

Brandon said they are looking for the right ways to integrate mobile into this equation.  Since these guys can be purposeful in everything they do, I would only expect this mobile integration to be another fitting piece to the puzzle.  I said earlier that they have created a sticky experience online, but in fact, they have created a sticky brand experience all the way around.  Kudos to them.

PS – some of the cool things offered in the community are:  online newsletter/paper, tasks & challenges, virtual badges, mini-games, pre-written chat messages.  My avatar can do things like wave and dance (yes, the dancing is fun!)  Tex can even roam around the community with me and play fetch.  There are lots of things to do in a safe environment.

Would love to know your thoughts, impressions, etc…Shout if you want.

Build-A-Bear’s Complete Brand Experience

I think many of my blog posts are too long.  In an effort to try to balance giving you complete thoughts and short(er) blog posts, I’m going to break this one up into two.  This is the first in a two-part series on Build-A-Bear’s Complete Brand Experience.

Leave it to a toy maker to get it right. 

Last month, I sat in on a session at Kioskcom and heard Brandon Elliott from Build-A-Bear speak.  I’ve been in Build-A-Bear before with my daughter, but didn’t recognize the superb job they do in creating a complete brand experience.  Yes, their sales associates are super friendly and use “bear” in as much of their vocabulary as they can – that’s not what I’m talking about.  What I’m talking about is extending the in-store experience (the offline experience) well beyond the store.  What I didn’t understand was how effectively they’ve created a cohesive, multi-channel brand experience.  Merging the offline with the online.  Using multiple “screens” as compliments to each other, not duplicates.  Creating brand evangelists, in part, by being channel agnostic.  So, after hearing Brandon speak, I had to go back into Build-A-Bear and experience it all for myself.

I was hypersensitive of my surroundings, so of course, the first thing I saw when I walked in was:

Score #1.  This company has a purpose.  They’re not in the business of making stuffed animals.  They’re in the business of making best friends.  Big distinction and one that is the foundation that enables them to create such a deep experience.  Relationships with stuffed animals end in time, for one reason or another.  Relationships with best friends are timeless.

So, here I was, faced with the joy of picking out my new best friend.  And although he wasn’t a bear, I knew him when I saw him. 

Score #1.5.  Every time one of these particular friends are chosen, Build-A-Bear donates $1 to the World Wildlife Fund.  Once I picked him out, the next step in the process was to bring him to life.  And here, in the store, you do that by picking out a heart, of course.  Before the heart goes in, you make a wish and give it a kiss.  Nice touch.

Score #2.  Details, details, details.  It’s not about picking out a non-stuffed animal and then getting it stuffed.  It’s about bringing this new best friend to life in a real & meaningful way.  This is part of the brand experience and there’s not a friend that gets made who doesn’t have a heart with a kiss and a wish.

Once I brought him to life, I was able to make him a legitimate member of the Cearley family by creating a birth certificate on the in-store kiosks.  While these kiosks are purely designed for utility, they are designed for a specific audience – kids (to be specific, 10 year old girls.)  All of the prompts on screen and buttons on keyboard are color & shape coded.  It’s a very easy process to go through – right in line with the rest of the experience.

And so my new best friend, Tex, was officially born.  With a heart, a kiss, a wish and a kiosk.

Score #3.  Personalization.  As you can see, Tex is a baseball fan.  I could have made him anything I wanted through all of the clothes and accessories available to me in-store.  Although not a huge deal for me, kids love this part of the experience because they get to personalize their new best friend from head to toe.  Socks, shoes, sunglasses, purses and everything in between. 

This is the point, in-store, where my experience ended.  I was handed Tex’s real birth certificate, Tex himself, and directed to Build-A-Bearville online.  Just as the purpose statement that I saw when entering, I was left leaving with this new promise:

Isn’t this experience great?  Even if you don’t care for making new best friends, you have to hand it to Build-A-Bear for creating such an immersive brand experience – the details – from what you see, to what you hear, to what you do, every step of the way.  And this isn’t even the complete picture, but it’s here, my friends, where we’ll pick up next time…

Great Mobile Engagement from Kioskcom

Yesterday, I wrote about Pongr, a new mobile technology that I experienced over the past week and found to be valuable and easy – two traits that should aim to be the bedrock of any campaign, certainly any mobile campaign.  Today, I’ll show you another example, but from the standpoint of a brand doing this, through the use of another valuable & easy technology.

Kioskcom/The Digital Signage Show – the brand in this case – did a commendable job of extending the experience through mobile last week during their conference, particularly with the use MS Tags and SMS.  I was delighted when I registered and picked up the guide/agenda/planner and saw a MS Tag at the bottom of the guide:

With instructions, no less.  Again, it’s such a small thing that is often overlooked, but I think you can never be too detailed on instructions with new technology.  They provided step-by-step instructions so anyone (literally, anyone) could follow:

Since I’ve done work with MS Tags, I already had the app installed on my phone, so I immediately took a picture of it.  I was directed to the Kioskcom home page where I could navigate wherever I wanted.  This wasn’t necessarily what I found to be the most valuable.  It was when I opened the guide and saw MS Tags on every page:

This was where the value to me came in.  First, this guide was the only reference material that I used throughout the conference and I actually liked it.  It fit in my bag, was easy to manage, included everything I needed about the show, to the succint detail that I needed, and then with the use of these tags, I was able to get the one-off details that I needed, when I needed them.  For instance, if I wanted to see one of the speakers’ bios, I could easily access it through the tag.  If I wanted to see details on exhibitors, I could easily access them through the tag.  I didn’t have to thumb through a big, hard-to-manage show guide that most often comes with any of these shows.

And if that weren’t enough, they set up a special short code to “opt-in” to receive regular show updates via SMS.  So, instead of relying on any of the kiosks or digital signs (ironically enough) or audio announcements, I was again able to get the information I wanted when I wanted it, through the channel I wanted it on.

This, really, is a perfect example of a brand utilizing many channels to engage with their audience in the most appropriate way – here, the intention was to extend utility.  Mission accomplished.

I think the true power of “out of home” as an advertising and communications platform is that it can bridge the gap in the story – the story that you can get from your TV, then all of the different stories you can find on your computer, and now even more on your mobile phone.  Marketers utilize these channels on a daily basis and they’re engrained in the ecosystem.  I think traditional out of home is in this mix, too, but I think we have such a unique opportunity in front of us with all of the new technologies at our disposal that the true value is extending the story through interactivity outside of the home.  And “out of home” to me is not necessarily billboards or kiosks or “digital” signs.  It can really be anything that we interact with outside of our homes – tables, floors, cars, magazines – whatever.  Pretty soon, everything will probably be considered a “sign,” so I like to think of the space as extremely broad.  (Tangent – in fact, “digital signage” is still immature right now and I don’t know that we’ll see it become mature.  I think we have a great chance of leapfrogging its maturity and welcoming something entirely different to the mix.  This would be everything around us.  For another post, I know….)

Valuable and easy.  Two traits personified again through the use of mobile technology, thanks to Kioskcom/The Digital Signage Show – or should I say the new, appropriately named brand, Customer Engagement Technology World.

Shout if you have other examples of valuable and easy through mobile.  I’d love to hear them.

My Floor Observations at Kioskcom

Walking the convention floor at these things is just sensory overload.  Or in this case, kiosk overload.  Kiosks everywhere.  Every kind of kiosk you could want, you could find it here.  (It’s funny, I was talking to someone and they said they specifically came to look for a kiosk to replace their old one and they didn’t find one here.  I couldn’t believe it.)  There were also lots of touch screens.  Lots of really slick looking applications.  But when you boil it down, it’s basically the same thing.  Here’s what I observed – most everyone wants to be in the everything business.  They want to be hardware providers.  They want to be software providers.  They want to be content providers.  They want to be advertising providers.  They want to be the data house.  Enough already.  Please.  The best solutions I saw were ones that were focused  and were trying to solve 1 problem.  Three good companies made my short, I-commend-you-for-knowing-your-business-well-enough-to-focus-on-one-thing-list:

Nanonation – these guys are big time.  Software providers.  They developed the software that runs the Greenopolis (Best of Show, Self Service Excellence Awards) kiosk (more on this solution later).  They have software to serve the enterprise level and they just developed software to serve the “lite” level.

DigiKomp – These guys are in the hardware business.  But instead of showing up with kiosks or large digital screens like veryone else, they stole the show (in my mind) with these small (320×240) LCD screens that they call “the last nametag that you’ll ever have to get.”  They’re sweet.  Basically, really small, really sharp looking digital frames.  They play .jps, .avis, .mp3s.  Battery life of 12 hours.  I bought one.  But didn’t take it with me because I didn’t have the cash.  The ATM was far from the convention center and I never made it back.  I’m going to follow through with my purchase.  Just to have it.

RFIDeas – I got a little bit of an education on RFID from these guys.  My biggest takeaway – there are 3 “levels” of RFID (I really don’t know the right nomenclature): proximity, HF (High Frequency), and UHF (Ultra High Frequency).  The Mini key fob/billboards used UHF.  These guys deal primarily with proximity – think of the security cards that allow you to go in/out of your workplace/parking garages/etc..  My 2nd biggest takeaway – they don’t think of anything for marketing/engagement purposes.  When I told him why I was interested, he looked at me like I had 3 eyes.  All good.  He gave me knowledge, which is all I want.

There were others that I heard were good, but really of no interest to me. 

I think it would be cool to get creative, developers, software providers, hardware providers at one of these things and over the course of 1 or 2 days, get them to actually make something right in front of our eyes so we can see the true capabilities and something worthwhile come to life.  Then, we would really find out the strengths of all of these companies.  And to me, that’s the whole point.

Library of Congress Keynote (Day 2)

Speaker:  JoAnn Jenkins (COO, Library of Congress)

These kiosks installed in the Library of Congress are awesome (as shown by initial video):  Location-aware, personalized, builds/gets smarter as you go through the experience (barcode on passport), extend experience online, game (Knowledge Quest)

myLOC.gov – check it all out there (this is the online extension)

“Don’t use technology for the sake of using technology – use it to enhance experience.”

3 keys to LCE Program Success

  1. Visitor Engagement was core objective
  2. Interactive Technology engage and sustain a connection
  3. Internal environment conducive to adoption of new tech solutions

Introduce technologies of tomorrow to bring in a new audience, but maintain integrity of library/collection

Installed 60 kiosks – designed to address all users, from kindergarten to older, more experienced users , specifically of touch screen tech

“Remain on the content, not on the technology.”

Unmatched level of access to the collection items – can literally touch history

Now the curators can’t imagine these kiosks/this technology not being here…

WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) was used!  Silverlight, too.  Sharepoint – this is the largest use to date.  This was what we were working towards at my last agency, when building the IOOH software.  Great to hear. 

Over 105,000 users have registered via myLOC.  Over ½ of myLOC users in the library use the experience online – excellent extension of experience!

Knowledge Quest (incorporation of game) – success unlocks content, provides further level of visitor involvement, extends experience

All this required internal changes – past was driven by vision defined by individual department, silos – building the LCE required much more.  Created the centralized program management office – cross departmental, etc..”Team” approach including everyone.  This evolves every day.  For instance – IT research in looking at Barcode vs. RFID – studies by IT revealed that marble floors would interfere with RFID.

Created experience for first time that could greet visitors at front door, immerse them in many ways while inside, and allowed visitors to take experience home with them.


How long did it take to come up with the vision and draft scope and implement? 

The LOC celebrated 200th bday in 2000 and then, they talked about their audience.  At that time, they went out and did survey – what came back is that people loved the LOC, had no idea they could use it.  Then, they followed up and asked if you could see this, would you?  And overwhelmingly, it was yes. 

Over 60% of their audience is from K-12.  Dramatic shift of audience.  This is amazing. 

The LCE started in 2008.

Was there any 1 key lesson learned?  Anything you would have done differently?  Specifically to the tech?

One of the things that they had to do – tech was changing so rapidly as everything evolved.  Disney worked with them re: how you move crowds around and how tech is involved in that.  Curatorial staff deeply involved, too.  Using Microsoft Sharepoint was big discussion.  They constantly put together levels of review.  Just being mindful that tech is changing so rapidly.  Solutions being developed daily.

Some of the lessons when doing research with other institutions – one of the most important things – scalability was extremely important to success.  Right now, they only have 1,000 items that you can save/share.  The vision is to build your own Library of Congress so you can share/save many more.  The most important way to make it scalable was to make a CMS that would manage online & onsite experiences.  Completely seamless.

Did you have in-house team to do tech?

We had wonderful team at the library, but brought in 8-10 different companies to work with the team.

Then, they went into some tech speak – WPF wrapper.  Some Flash-based.  They used Flash & Silverlight both.  Interesting.

What project mgt methodology?

Brought in Sapient as primary consultant, served as PM.  Above that though, you have to have a person who can make decisions, buck stops there.  They have sole responsibility. (this was her)

Session 1: Customer Engagement – Communicating with Your Customers through Integrated Technologies

Panel:  Randy – MGM Grand, Paul Wolff – Greenopolis, Brandon Elliott – Build a Bear

Challenge – how do you effectively communicate and engage customers at right point in time?  “Right message, right person, right time” leaves a lot out.  It’s starts w/ engagement.

How do you really connect with that customer and create that moment? – moment of Magic

It’s also about integration – both with physical space and all of the other business components.  Deliver on the brand promise – no line, no wait (Budget) – they’re using in their TV spots (kiosks)

Randy (MGM) – over in City Center, spent more effort on 9 slot machine toppers than 400 screens.

Everyone is a content critic

Told a story about how an escalator takes 24 seconds – this is important b/c it dictates content and animation.

His vision of the future – smarter content mgt (data + content to the right device)

Very interesting that they create everything in 1280 x 1280 and then they have a hotspot in the center and so they don’t have to resize everything

This dude has a lot to manage – I wouldn’t want his job

Paul (Greenopolis) – in the business of tracking trash

SM angle – corp partners who get involved in site – rewards program – connect people who care about this

People can play with the program wherever they are – mobile, kiosks, computer, etc…

Brandon (Build a Bear) (I will write more about these guys later) – 10th largest toy retailer in the country

Over 1,600 kiosks in all of their stores.  The technology – wanted to enable the experience – you don’t go to Build a Bear to sit in front of the kiosk.

Target:  Tech savvy 10 year old girl.

His 3 year old knows how to use iPhone.

If you ask a 10-year old girl what she wants for Christmas – 8 of the top 10 is technology based.

Buildabearville.com – 1.5 m avatars created, 1-2 m unique visitors a month, avg 30 min visit – this extends the in-store experience – this is great – there’s a whole story online

POS – receipt code – for every item you buy, every dollar spent in the real world, you get virtual currency

1 of 3 guests visit them online before making a store purchase – nearly 1 in 2 guess in core demo bring their animals to life online

They have lost bears, they open them up and can return to owner

You’re seeing everything interact with each other – seeing points, games, etc…”fun”/personal


All this comes down to understanding your customer very well before you actually do anything – or as you refine

You need to be able to look at metrics and what comes out of that


Randy (MGM) – Geolocation integration with MGM/Mirage? – they just released 2nd iPhone app..they started pulling data back from that, the thing that intrigues them is the SEARCH feature – look at the phrases, words – craziest search group he’s seen is “darts, donkeys, drugs” – the point is that there are so many things out there that people want and how they search

For Randy (MGM) – development of content, how do you start the process? – has all changed in the last 24 months, there was so much cash flow here that you could do whatever….now it is scrutinized.  They now pick their spots, where can they have the most impact with the lowest capital risk? 

Paul (Greenopolis) – value prop – what’s the experience? – it is reprocessing material…the kiosks are ergonic billboards.  Recycle, reprocess, reward (this is good)

BrainJuicer Keynote

The keynote this morning was centered around creating outstanding engagement and winning customer’s hearts and was brought to us by Bill Ratcliffe from BrainJuicer, a consumer-focused research firm.

While the talk was a little scattered, it was good.  They’re all about “feel.”  And for me, this is something that really resonates.  I’m very much a “feel” person.  I decide many things, in and out of work, based on “feel.”  So, these guys center their research around emotion and at the end of the day, want the customer to leave with a “little gift,” feeling happy (as we all do.)  This was just an interesting way to look at research and then think about how it could be applied to create the best content for the best channel.

In these days, getting attention, much less engagement, is very difficult.

Within the industry, we think of pushing out information (talks to the brain), providing some form of entertainment (talks to the heart), or transactions (talks to both).  Consumers really know when you’ve hit the mark.  When they feel an emotional reaction, they talk to other people.  How do we become part of that conversation?

Where we’re going with this was best summarized by James Brown – “I feel good!”  Emotions drive our motivations and our decisions – we think less than we think we think.

We move too quickly (in mkt research), we look too quickly to “evaluating” things, not particularly audience emotions.

People know when it works – they just feel it.  But why is it that we never ask people how they’re feeling?

If you win hearts, you’ll make money.  Just ask Apple.  You can have the same measure of effect and greater efficiency by really tapping into emotional response.

Key message ads – one piece of advertising looks a lot like the other – falling within existing expectations, your content/creative won’t stand out.

How do we know if we are winning hearts?

Paul Ekman – did a lot of work universally recognized facial expressions – ID’d 7 emotions – sadness, fear, disgust, anger, contempt, surprise, happiness.  These guys (BrainJuicer) added another expression – neutral – no reaction.  They put all of these together in an emotion wheel (actually 12 different types of happiness) .  Then, they ask people how they feel.  Their formula – “Which of these faces best describes the way you feel?”  And “How intensely?” And then “What triggered these emotions?”

He showed a 1:30 ad with a gorilla, playing drums – to Phil Collins “In the Air Tonight” – was by Cadbury – on an emotional scale, this is one of the top performing ads, but from a marketers key message POV, didn’t score high.  It was a gift, not a “selling” ad – they went out and bought the product, sales rose and sustained before Kraft bought the company (“of course.”)  The thing that really works is not going into something that’s way out there that will put people off  – you want to create a little bit of surprise and then leave them happy.

You can go for the “same ol” or you can go for “crazy new” – we’re starting to see more going to “crazy new” – this is good.


Any books that you can recommend on topic?  Wisdom of the Crowds, Pow – Right Between the Eyes

Real-time facial recognition implementation into these?  This would require high powered analytics behind the scene.  Could be in the future, we wouldn’t have to ask.  But we would have to ask the drivers.

Three Bloggers’ Perspectives

Was on a panel with Adrian Cotterill from DailyDOOH and Dave Haynes from The Preset Group.  This is our perspective.

14 people at beginning, easily doubled in 5 minutes

We all went through intros first.  I could have framed myself a little better.  Lav mic is weird.

Dave – been around for a really long time, 2006 started blogs, 1,500 posts, much more of an opinion piece – why you should look at this, bit of a filter for the industry

Q1:  How digital media can improve customer engagement and increase sales lift?

Adrian:  Does digital really need explaining?  Surely, we’ve seen sales lift

Dave:   Digtal media still a little mysterious to people…when we talk about sales lift, we see in the past year that results that are shared around.  Walmart showed up at conference last year and showed results on their smart network – they were getting phenomenal sales lift…industry avg 10 -15 % lift

Mike:  I think you have to separate those two objectives.  Engagement is very different than conversion – it can certainly play off of each other.  Dynamic, moving images have an impact.  When talking about OOH, placement is part of the equation.  Then, f/u with the most appropriate content so it can achieve that goal – sales lift. 

Q2:  Examples of successful implementations and their impact on brands?

Adrian:  Harrods – amazed at how well they’ve done retail…screens embedded into the fabric of their environment

Dave:  Believes that there are more unsuccessful implementations vs. successful…Tim Horton’s (donut shop in Canada) – they see real sales lift on just “digital” amid their menu boards….Microsoft’s retail stores, baked right into it

Mike:  Mini/BMW – digital billboards, RFID, AR

Nike – virtual shoecase, matching shoes kiosk, Chalkbot

 These brands have a very good understanding of their audience so they’re able to use various mediums really effectively.

Q3:  Measurement methodology & ROI?

Adrian:  taken from keynote this morning, the emotions

Dave:  not so down on the research and analytics, yes it’s imperfect, but it does a good job of showing how long people are looking at screens…typically the viewer engagement on these screens is 3 seconds…wow

Mike:  DOOH is passive so measure it like any OOH installation – eyeballs, traffic, etc..

IOOH is active so measure it on actions

 This is why I think interaction is so important.

Q4:  Successful trends we are seeing?

Adrian:  People don’t need an excuse or prompt to touch a screen these days.  Mobile interaction is something that is also taking off.  Audio/music/sound – this being explored more now, too.

Dave:  Mobile & social….extremely early days for that….this industry has to open its eyes a lot wider as to what’s going on around them……the days of “captive” audience is over…no one is really captive anymore

Mike:  I think you have to look at social and mobile separately from OOH.  Both are gaining traction and both will play a large part in OOH.

Aside from that, people are getting more familiar with expectations that they can interact with their surroundings.

Q5:  Who needs to be involved in the process for success?

Adrian:  Surely everyone in the company!  Merchandisers, marketers, IT, and don’t forget retail staff!

Dave:  All about objectives and are you getting return on those?

Mike:  Client side – Brand managers – marketing, communications

 Agency side – brand teams, advertising teams, media buyers, research, analytics

 Implementation side – content creators (developers, designers), system admins (tech)

 End user from the standpoint of acceptance

Q6:  What makes a project a winner?

Adrian:  Microsigns…put them underneath mobile phones in stores

Dave:  Most of the really good projects in this space have come from outside the industry…..

Mike:  Depends on what the objectives are.

 If you want to change perception, can do.

 If you want to deepen engagement, you can.

 If you want to drive sales/conversion, you can.

 It’s all about:

Who are we talking to?

What are we trying to say?

How are we going to say it?

 Q7: What brands and venues can do to succeed through the use of digital signage and DOOH? 

Adrian:   Spend money, don’t try to do anything on the cheap, get good advice, think creatively, don’t forget content, integrate mobile..

Dave:  change in business models

Mike:  Have to be clear about your objectives.  What are they trying to do?

Hope that they have smart people around them.

Agree with cheap and the content.

Q8:  What does the future hold?

Adrian:  Where you now see cardboard and print, you will now see digital.  More installations will be interactive, responsive by touch and gesture, and mobile.

Dave:  I don’t know what he said.

Mike:  Technology gets better, people get smarter.  It’s not about “digital” out of home screens, it’s about interacting with our spaces around us.

And We’re Off at Kioskcom..(Starting with a New Name)

So far, so good.  I’m digging the feel here, particularly around the sessions and the content that they are providing.  I’ve been to 3 back-to-back sessions all morning and have not had a chance to recap any of them.  (I still don’t understand why we don’t have wireless access in any of the sessions.  It sure would make it a lot easier.)

My general takeaway up to this point – this is much more geared to an agency audience.  There’s lots of talk about content and audience.  In fact, starting in November, this show will be renamed Customer Engagement Technology World.  As you can see in the logo, the emphasis is on “Customer Engagement,” which I find very refreshing.  I also like the fact that “Technology” is included because although not the primary emphasis, it is a vital element.

I get into conversations all the time of the importance of technology in this industry.  From a marketer’s standpoint, these are just “other channels” – the technology doesn’t “really matter.”  I can see that point and agree to an extent, but when the technology is so new and evolving rapidly, it can’t be treated as just “another channel.”  It has to be mentioned in the conversation and it has to be treated a little differently.  At least until marketers start to treat it like like the other channels – TV, radio, print, Internet, and to a lesser extent mobile.

This is a good show.  Much more to come soon!