Digital Mannequin for Retail Clothing

Digital Mannequin for Retail Clothing
Use a "live" model, display more views and more product

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Is "Social" Anti-Social?

This business of Social Networks is really intriguing.  Even the very term, and how it's used.

I will not argue here, about whether "Social" media is actually social or not.  I only observe, that while Social Media may facilitate more of a certain type of interaction and information exchange, it doesn't really totally do what its proponents claim:  that is, give you deep insight into prospective target markets.

Let me start with something simple:  From my perspective, what happens on Social Media looks arm's length and superficial.  The thing that seems to drive it mostly, is some kind of insatiable need to express one's self or one's opinions.  OK, let's say that provides insight.  What kind of insight?  Is it reliable for marketing purposes?  In other words, can you take someone's word about what they think or do, or might do, as authoritative and truthful?

I say no.  People are what they do, not what they say they do.  They are what they do, not what they say they think.  They are what they do, not what they say they are.  The truth is, most people cannot be objective about themselves, and largely, not even about what they think.

This is not to say that Social Media provides no meaningful insight.  It does.  But how to interpret that insight, how to divine the inscrutable intentions of the creators of all this "data"---that is another thing altogether.

Suffice to say, from a reliable marketing point of view, "it ain't that simple"!  Potentially useful, yes.  But reliably useful?  I am holding my fire and keeping my powder dry.

I see Social Media, as it relates to DS and DOOH, as powerfully connective.  People are using it, and to me, that's what matters most.  I advocate using social in concert with Digital signage networks and displays to connect people to the process of transacting business.  Now that tells you something!  Give them a suggestion, and see if they respond.  Give them an incentive and a quick, convenient, easy way to respond financially, and then you have something.

Of the gathering and analysis of data, there is no end.  Give me some people asking for my product or service, or responding to my sales proposition, (even if it's to get something for free,) and now I have something to sink my teeth into.  To believe in Social as a primary, necessary element to effective DOOH messaging or campaigns is to believe in the tail wagging the dog.

Powerful compelling messaging on Digital Signage displays is the engine that will pull Social more strongly into the brick and mortar environment.  There, you can harness the powerful connective properties of Social to actually sell something, and make some money!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Great Thing about TV in your window

Although LCD screens are becoming more and more ubiquitous in the retail environment, it is still somewhat novel to see an LCD mounted in a store window.  Even more novel is seeing one with anything compelling or interesting.

Having already done enough nitpicking at the shortcomings of many DOOH and DS displays in terms of their content and messaging, let me take the opposite tack:

If you've got a screen up, AT LEAST YOU'RE IN THE GAME!!!

You can't talk on the phone unless you dial.  You can't watch a good movie unless you get out to the theater or put something on your tv screen.  And you can't create an exciting digital display unless you get started.  Sure, everyone's seen LCD screens everywhere.  Sure, much of the content isn't that great.  But YOUR content will never be great unless you get the delivery system installed, and start using it!

Digital Signage, in nearly all forms, has the potential to be extremely powerful, because it is change-able, manipulatable, with endless possibilities.  And those message possibilities are, typically, cost effective.  You can get them up there quickly, without hanging signage, without ladders, and without delay.  If one campaign isn't "working", DS lets you get the next one up there instantly.  There's no sitting around thinking about it.  You develop campaigns as you get the ideas and implement them sequentially whenever necessary, eliminating the immense waste of LOST TIME!  And there is nothing more expensive than LOST TIME.

You think that by not getting around to changing your ineffective display, by not making an immediate investment in your message (whether financially, or investing the time and effort to implement a more effective display campaign) that you are somehow saving money???  WRONG.  The cost of that lost opportunity, or worse, business driven away to your competitors by your poor display, is perhaps the greatest threat to your business.

Digital Signage in your window is not only your friend, it is your very powerful friend.

For non-digital signage and messaging, that inability to change quickly and inexpensively is costing you.  Get your DS working and keep it working.  There is no more powerful marketing tool available in display than Digital Signage.  Invest in strategy and image delivery.  Focus on your selling proposition and how to enhance or re-create it.  Get the Message working!