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Planning with Technology

Kim RamserOut of home is not just outdoor advertising anymore.  Out of home incorporates the attributes of all the other media’€”radio, television, print and Internet. This advantage makes its positioning and definition constantly in flux. It is a key strategic part of a media campaign, rather than an old fashioned afterthought. Advertisers and brands can integrate their social, mobile and local media strategies to bring improved results, greater economic efficiencies and higher consumer engagement.

It doesn’t matter how long you have been in the industry, it seems that you can never really ‘€œcatch up’€ or anticipate the next trend in out of home. For a ‘€œslow’€ moving industry, we move pretty quickly! New technology, elements and products have taken the medium from location-specific inventory that’s inflexible, and hard to buy and measure, to a medium that’s strategic, social, audience-driven and more accountable. Planning season is getting more difficult with all of the choices.

How do you stay abreast of all the trends, products, technology and information regarding this industry? Now that it is planning time (again!), I hope you have a lot of resources at your disposal.  Just in case you were thinking about new technologies to include in next year’s campaigns, here is a partial list of the most searched on DOmedia, and how they are typically used.

Quick Response (QR) Codes

The best uses for QR Codes are for calls-to-action and coupon or offer downloading. QR Codes are a great way to help build your email list if you provide email opt-ins on the landing pages. One key point is to make sure that the QR Code isn’t directing the consumer to the company’s main homepage. The landing page should be something that will excite prospects and not bore or disappoint them.  Think of ways to make the process fun, such as by providing a QR Code scavenger hunt. Give the consumer a reason to come back.

The best places for QR Codes are in high pedestrian areas. For obvious reasons, they should not be placed in billboard creative unless the location happens to be in a parking lot or side of a building.  Also keep in mind the height of the ad and the time the consumers need to be able to pull out their smart phones and click the picture. The Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) has established some guidelines for using QR Codes. For instance a good rule of thumb is that a board shouldn’t be any higher than 20 feet off the ground.

Placement in the ad is also critical. If a bus shelter design has a QR Code in the lower right hand corner, the pedestrian may have to get down on his knees to properly scan the code. Always test your creative when using new technology. Also, take into consideration the environment.

Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology

There has been a lot of information lately about NFC technology. NFC allows for the transfer of data between compatible devices simply by placing them near each other (within four centimeters).

Some of the ways NFC is being used:

  • Airline ticketing/boarding passes
  • Sharing files between phones
  • Using your phone as a credit card
  • Getting information by touching smart posters
  • Brand Loyalty cards

Imagine buying products right off of a bus shelter. Many of the same creative guidelines that apply to QR Codes also apply for Smart Posters (NFC-enabled). However, there is a little more flexibility in that the consumer doesn’t have to take the time to snap a picture or find the NFC label in the lens. The consumer just has to be within the 4 centimeters to enable the technology.

Adoption of NFC technology may take a bit longer due to available technology, education and production costs of Smart Posters. QR Codes add virtually no cost to the production budget. But Smart Posters might be a little more prohibitive.

Wisdom of the Crowd Technologies

Does the crowd know best? Sometimes. Retailers have started using digital billboards, shelters and placed-based media to sell popular items, as well as items that aren’t selling. Stores can now communicate items and pricing with the public based on the inventory that is currently selling.

For instance, if a retailer has merchandise that is a ‘€œhot’€ seller, and they run out of stock, they can quickly change the digital creative to another item and price point. Also, if an interesting ‘€œconversation’€ is trending on their Facebook page, they can opt to change their creative to tie into what interests their customers.  These campaigns are easy to implement with social media, inventory visibility and the flexibility of Internet technology.

These are just a few of the technologies that DOmedia can help you find and plan.

Search our online database for location-based (QR / NFC / Blue Tooth) technologies, research, social media apps and projection technologies.

DOmedia has over 700 companies registered and listed with information to help you. Whether you are looking for new technology or want to compare street team companies, just log on!

Resources: Outdoor Advertising Association of America; Social Media Examiner, How QR Codes Can Grow Your Business

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