7th Annual 2015 Top 10 Digital Screenmedia Trends

digital-tunnel-wallpaper-0115All screens are part of the continuity of marketing and messages including the increasingly powerful pocket screen. It really comes down to what businesses we in are on the retail side, on the advertising side, and on the corporate communications side. These are all distinct categories of digital screen media, DOOH and digital signage. This is my 7th Annual Top Ten Trends for the industry that are changing in exciting ways that always includes the good, bad and sometimes the ugly.

Last year, my number one trend was Go Big or Go Small, and I submit to you how going small and big were high on everyone’s list from restaurant tables to corporate lobbies to conversion of billboards.

For 2015, I would like to open up the dialog with my readers with some thought provoking predictions and understand your reactions. For the first time you get to tell us what you think the number 10 trend is. The main goal of engaging the consumer is to have conversation between the brand and the consumer and ultimately sell something! I acknowledge to to you that everything we do is simple; the brand converses with consumer and vice versa. So as companies look at what they are really doing in this business, does this realign their goals and thinking?

And now… on to 2015.

  1. Moment of Truth is Now Moment of Everywhere

Brands and retailers are finding new ways to partner to increase sales and gain loyalty while aligning goals between them with omni-channel strategies, brand power, content and technology. Large brands are looking for and continue to support innovation to reach consumers in ways that are meaningful and provide ROI. Just like the video camera controversy five years ago, now tracking where the consumer is in store has taken front stage. This too will become a moot point as the consumer learns of the benefits of iBeacon, Wi-Fi technologies. This moment of truth is when, wherever and whatever the consumer buys. Yes, it still happens in retail environments but then again it’s everywhere, and it’s here now.

Look for the interconnection between digital screens and notice of where the consumer is (location) and the number of visits the consumer makes, their smart phone, their daily patterns both online and off line to arrive at the moment of truth.

  1. My Smartphone is Now my Button? Or is the IoT (Internet of Things) now the IoE Internet of Everything?

Internet_of_Things-0814It seems that one of the largest impacts on the digital signage industry is the smart phone. Although it really depends upon the type of network one is talking about, but no doubt we are connecting with the smart phone. Intel is driving the chipset down to the size of a button, and then there is Edison, a miniature computer based on the same technology condensed into the form factor of an SD card which has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi built in based on Linux. This wearable type technology can have impacts in retail that are just becoming apparent. This is an early trend in the marketplace. Imagine if you will, that my smartphone is a roll-up screen and the rest of my computing power is dispersed among the cloud, e.g., Chrome Book, where everything is in the cloud. With distributed technology, I could walk up to a shelf and the shelf knows what product I have been buying and even suggests another product that is complementary. What if my cart was using wearable technology that knows my list of standard groceries that I buy 99 percent of the time and then adds a couple of variations to my screen or a coupon offer to my loyalty program while in the store? Perhaps my favorite ice cream is now calling me, yes really calling me on my screen and a virtual cow is now moooving my purchase into reality. The integrated chips are so small and connected that every product can have one next to it for the latest in healthy snacks, or how to BBQ that steak with the new rub… the cloud knows everything.

Look for experimental projects that use this new found chip to drive new experiences in Retail.

  1. BYODBYOS — Bring Your Own Screen

Again with the smartphone, I know. But in the world we live in we must connect the brand with the smartphone consumer. Interactions can be driven with larger screens by creating deep experiences, even product specific experiences that are tailored exactly to the consumer and brand. In a world where everyone has a smartphone and they bring it with them one must take advantage of this as a brand and retailer. In DOOH, there are deployments using the connection between the brand and the smartphone in several ways. It’s not just one technology to drive this connection, but many.

Look for more inventive ways that brands will use all screens in the marketplace to make the connection to the consumer’s smartphone in an attempt to carry on the conversation, even if it means giving something away to get that phone number and the opt in.

  1. Go Big, Go Small or Go Home

This trend is still very strong in the industry, we see not only tablets being used in restaurants at the table, we see them used at the shelf in luxury goods. On the big screen side technology and costs are now allow us to deploy large screen experiences that drive highly experiential engagements in retail and DOOH. This trend will continue for years to come. Creating large screens experiences has a profound impact on the viewer in several ways:

  1. The mind converts 4K and Hidef into a window, rather than a picture, creating a false reality with a memorable impression.
  2. With large life size images the mind immediately goes into a flight or fight mode.

This is an instinct that happens in a nanosecond. Understanding these driving factors one can create large screen experience that have a lasting impact that laser burns the brand into the consumers mind.

Look for more deployments of small screens (tablets) and big screen experiences that are out of this world that connect with the consumer.

  1. emotion-0115Content and Emotive Understanding

Understanding what drives an emotional reaction and understanding when a customer is happy, agitated, angry etc. are at a basic level the key ingredient to create an experience with great content. The bottom line is we want to make the customer feel something and if we can make them feel happy, then guess what? They buy.

Using technology driven algorithms to see how a consumer reacts emotively will drive new content that will make the customer happy. Yes, we could actually create the happiest place on earth with every piece of content that is created.

Look for more feel good content that has been tested with software facial algorithms and proven to makes us happy.

  1. Digitizing America, Are we there yet?

The digitization of American business is well underway. How does this affect the digital screen media business?

As the Internet of Everything and back-end systems are becoming aligned with front end experiences something very cool happens… relevancy, personalization and conversation.

The Omni channel experience in which a story can start and end on any device or screen creates what is known as the Transmedia experience. Transmedia content is a several stories across multiple forms of media in order to deliver unique pieces of the story that makes up the whole. Content created to be displayed in such a way that the continuity and narrative of the whole is only apparent when we experience all of it. Combine the Transmedia experience with power to purchase with the back end digital infrastructure and — wow!

Look for experiences that cross not only the digital world but the physical world to create a total transmedia experience that crosses the path to purchase in personal and time interrupted chunks that bring us to the brand and the product to buy.

  1. Bigger Data, Smaller Chunks, Big Picture

bigdata-0115 Data collection of every move we make is more apparent than ever before. It’s been creeping up on us over the last few years. For anyone that has used Google maps you can go here on your smart phone and see where you have been. OK, did you look? A little scary… get over it. In combination with what I buy online, where I go and which stores I shop at, what I buy at those stores the big picture of me gets clearer and clearer every day to the brands that want to reach me. Yes I am plugged in, tracked down, and exposed to the brands I love (and don’t care about). And I’m OK with it. It makes my life easier to go somewhere where I have been before, to buy my favorite jeans or make reservations at my favorite restaurant. The Big Picture of Me is what the brands know I do. This translates to better personalized experiences for me.

Look for innovative ways that will take the collection of big data and make it useful for retail, hospitality and travel industries to capture attention and pamper you to purchase through every screen you touch.

  1. New Business Models

As retail changes up its business model and new cool technology arrives on the scene, this changes the very screen media business that we are in. This creates new business models that are taking advantage of the vast changes in technology upon the world. Anything from how we connect, shop, drive, to robots that will help us. We need to be nimble, innovative and aware to survive. It truly is a rush to 2020.

Look for new business models that will make the experience transparent and frictionless along the path to purchase.

  1. DOOH Growth

Yes, a decade in the making, but agencies are on board more than ever. Programmatic buying of media is also a significant factor. This really gets to the core of getting the brand message out to the consumer in multiple channels and it is changing the world for this industry. We say about time. Why is it changing? Standards, commitments from major agencies, the work the industry has done and proof that it is working. There is no better time to own an advertising network than now. We will also see consolidation as this trend ramps up this year.

Look for tremendous growth in this DOOH sector that will take it to new heights along with consolidation.

  1. keithkelsen-headshot-0155We Leave this trend open and up to you.

Send your insights and what you think this trend is to trends@5thscreen.com, leave it in the comments below or post on Twitter using #Top10Trend. Get your thoughts in today and look for the number 10 trend February 1st based on your input.

Author, speaker and innovator Keith Kelsen, chief visionary officer at 5th Screen Digital, is considered one of the leading experts on digital media. More information about his book, Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage — Content Strategies for the 5th Screen, published by Focal Press, can be found on the book’s companion website here. Reach him at keith.kelsen@5thscreen.com or on Twitter @Kkelsen.