Reaching In-store Content-ment

When it comes to your in-store digital solutions, I would wager that 1% of your customers care about the brand, bezel size and resolution of your hardware. I would further wager that 100% of those customers care about what they are seeing when they look at your digital solutions; the content.

The problem is that most installations focus mostly on the hardware (that’s the 1% of customer care), and content is an afterthought, often rushed and backed by no strategy (so much for the 100%). It saddens me when you spend $10k, $50k, or even $200k on in-store digital solutions, only to have static images or incorrectly formatted low-budget content to display. Your customers definitely aren’t impressed, and your solution does not reflect the value put into it.

They care about content image

Everyone likes to say the old adage of “content is king” dubbed by Bill Gates twenty years ago, but unfortunately very few are translating this in-store.

The average Australian marketer currently allocates 30% of their total marketing budget to content marketing, with a key focus on social media, website articles, e-newsletters and videos. This suggests that it’s understood by most that content is the currency of the modern marketer. As Darren Guarnaccia said, Sitecore’s US based EVP of Customer Experience, it’s the coin with which you purchase attention from your audience.

However, more often than not, this budget isn’t spent in-store on digital solutions. Instead we are often seeing content created for print or TV being transferred over onto digital screens in-store. It is of vital importance that each marketing communication channel portrays a unique message; taking into consideration the intended audience, location and timing. The right message, in the right place, at the right time.

“But to be successful online, a magazine can’t just take what it has in print and move it to the electronic realm. There isn’t enough depth or interactivity in print content to overcome the drawbacks of the online medium.”

Bill Gates was on the money back in 1996.

“If people are to be expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will. They need to have audio, and possibly video. They need an opportunity for personal involvement that goes far beyond that offered through the letters-to-the-editor pages of print magazines.”

This was said over twenty years ago, yet still relates today; if people are expected to come in-store, they need to be offered an experience that they cannot get online. Technology is constantly advancing and, with that, customer expectations are rising. Today, customers are willing to pay more for an in-store experience. An experience that seamlessly merges online and in-store. An experience that provides the right message, in the right place, at the right time.

To create the right experience, Australian marketers should be allocating a minimum of 15% of their in-store hardware spend on content.

That’s the initial content at launch, with a view to continue development throughout the year.

Content should determine the location, size, quantity and type of hardware you implement. Knowing your customer and the flow of foot-traffic throughout your store will help determine the correct messaging to display at points of entry, passing, idling and purchasing. Each of these areas will need a different message supported by specific hardware.

If you don’t consider the movement and flow of your customers through your store, then you won’t know the correct placement and quantity of screens. If you don’t consider your viewing angles from outside your store, you won’t know to capitalise on the video wall which can attract attention.

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The type of content you implement can be almost anything, depending on your needs. From custom touchscreen configurators, endless aisles, educational/sales tools for staff, through to interactivity, augmented reality or projection. The possibilities are endless, and can be integrated with more traditional forms of in-store communications such as decals or large format prints. The content your brand needs can be determined with an in-store content strategy.

A well thought out strategy supports your technology plan, and ensures your solution is correctly integrated and has a plan for the future. The strategy should be determined by a professional with expertise in all areas of digital solutions; content, interactivity and technology.

As Featured In: Digital Signage Magazine

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