As business and technology continue to expand, they leave a wake of data that never ceases to exist. The more we put into the digital arena, the bigger the repository—like a snowball, it will continue to grow as long as you push it.
Eventually, this information becomes what is known as “big data”—something that’s incredibly helpful in every facet of modern business. Big data is a means of collating information from a variety of sources to reveal something about human behavior. These outcomes can then be used to create personalized messaging, including engaging digital signage content.
A Data-Driven Content Strategy
Digital signage is driving rapid change in how we process big data. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Dynamic and interactive digital signage provides an opportunity for people to interact with the technology and thus gives the signage a chance to collect environmental data. Prior to creating any content that is data-driven, you must identify your business objective and understand the target audience. An initial campaign can be started to collect a base amount of information. This is what you can use as the floor for measuring your progress.
Once you’ve gone through a digital signage marketing campaign that has collected results, you can now start formulating content around the metrics. The type of data you choose to collect depends on your audience and the products or services you seek to offer. For example, parking facilities are now using big data and digital signage to facilitate operations. They review metrics like “length-of-stay,” payment transactions and sensor data to define their offers and the content displayed on the parking lot signage itself.
Integrating Big Data
The digital screen is typically the first touchpoint for the customer journey and thus collecting data is the easy part… it’s knowing what to do with the information once you have it that’s tough. Integrating big data is all about knowing your audience and continually improving your content strategy.
Despite the idea that all this information can lead the way to perfect customer experiences, it’s never an exact science. Trends and patterns in human behavior can change, just like an individual can change their mind. That’s why metrics must be measured on a set schedule, and changes must be made accordingly. Sometimes this entire process can be automated.
For example, some digital signage in parking garages has license-plate recognition software installed that can do everything from scanning and entering the car in the system, to charging the renter’s account automatically. This completely cuts out any need for a live parking attendant and additional labor costs.
Banks are integrating big data into their interactive digital signage and creating dynamic multi-channel campaigns. Customers can respond to an online campaign via a hashtag prompt on a digital display while waiting in line for a teller. This is reinforcing their brand image while also sourcing more data for future campaigns.
Why so Much Measuring?
There are a variety of cases that can be stated for the collection of big data. What many businesses do not realize is that at this point, much of that collection is inevitable. Big data can’t be stopped and, in fact, it’s growing fast so it is best to set standards now. The reason for big data can usually be stated with the three V’s:
- Volume: Companies collect data from a variety of sources including social media, transactions, machine-to-machine data and sensor info.
- Velocity: Companies are collecting data at breakneck speeds that must be immediately dealt with in real-time (think interactive digital signage content that responds immediately to external data).
- Variety: Data is funneling in through a variety of formats, from numeric, to structured and social. Why not use this to focus marketing efforts?
Accessing Big Data
The best place to start measuring big data is areas in which you are seeing a strategic impact. Some ways of measuring and accessing big data to produce useful metrics for marketing include:
- Efficiency measures: This includes metrics for productivity and cost-effectiveness.
- Quality measures: These gauge effectiveness of expectations like accuracy, competence, responsiveness and compliance.
- Outcome measures: The end result of whether services met proposed targets.
- Project measures: These metrics show progress against an initiative.
Big data collected by digital signage campaigns can include everything from customer response time, how long they lingered in front of the sign, if they responded to any multichannel campaigns or whether or not they became a lead.
There is no book on the foolproof means of collecting big data through digital signage, but there should be no argument that it must be done. If your company has already invested in digital signage, it makes it that much easier to collect the data that you need and use it to increase things like sales, efficiency and productivity.
Some industries are using data-driven content strategies to run entire operations of their business. When done correctly, smart content on smart screens leads to the highest brand impact one can obtain in the current marketing world.