Digital Signage Asia 2007, the first expo and convention for the digitalised media industry, kicked off in Mumbai on November 21, with eminent professionals from India and abroad sharing their views on the future of the medium. According to the experts from the industry, digital signage as a medium is relatively new in India, and has promising future if treated in an appropriate manner by the media planners and advertisers. Outdu is presenting the two-day event.
Some of the industry stalwarts who shared their views on the new medium included Partho Dasgupta, CEO, Future Media India; Ravi Kiran, CEO-South Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group; Rajeev Sharma, Founder and CEO, VideoMining Corporation; Bill Gerba, Co Founder and CEO, Wirespring Technologies; Sridhar, President, Outdu; and Govind Shrikhande, CEO, Shoppers Stop.
In a presentation titled ‘Hidden in Plain Sights’, Outdu’s Sridhar addressed several structural issues that prevail in the business of digital signage. He explained that the ‘hit and run approach’, screens in retail outlets and other media platforms did not work, and that engagement significantly mattered for inducing action from prospect buyers. He further commented on the importance of giving a choice to the consumers, as to what kind of displays should be placed in particular areas. “If you don’t let consumers choose, you will not see an increase in sales. Digital signage is an unconventional media, and the conventional thoughts and practices wouldn’t work while delivering messages,” he said.
Future Media’s Dasgupta took the audience through several examples of how his organisation had effectively utilised digital signage as a medium to advertise in malls and retail outlets. Comparing the Indian industry scenario in an international context, he said, “The market dynamics of in-store TV in India is completely different from that of other nations like the US and Japan. International techniques would not succeed in India given the difference in culture and demographics.”
Talking on the probable constraints, Dasgupta pointed that the audio medium was not as effective as the other static or audio-visual medium, especially in the format of large retails outlets like malls and the multiplexes. Giving his views on the way forward, Dasgupta said that investments should be made in right directions such as in learning, co-creating content and more importantly, in creating an industry body that would look after the measurement metric.
Speakers were of the view that while the measurement metric still remains a matter to be addressed, integrating digital signage networks into a brand’s media plan was equally important. In his presentation on ‘Metrics for integrating digital signage networks into a brand’s media plans’, Starcom MediaVest Group’s Kiran emphasised on the need to shift focus on intent and behaviour, while considering the 3Es of exposure, engagement and experience. “The measurement metric should focus on covering the 3Es. Exposure will tell you about the awareness factor, while engagement and experience will give you an idea on the consumer liking and purchase decision,” he said, adding that that awareness and attitude metrics were traditional, and that metrics based on ‘intent and behaviour’ should be given more importance. “We have to move on from exposure and counting metrics, to the much more effective experience and connection metric to measure effectiveness of this medium,” he concluded.