Ten years ago, a report from the University of California found that we take in 34GB of information every single day-- roughly the equivalent of reading a book a day.
This was before 1.47 billion of us began logging into Facebook or watched 1 billion hours of YouTube videos every day. Before hundreds of social media platforms, fast video streaming, or decent mobile internet. Just imagine how much data are you exposed to now.
One thing is certain-- your customers are bombarded by more messages than they can handle. We all are.
So how can you capture consumer attention when you’re fighting thousands of distractions and dozens of competitors? How can you get your business, and your products, top of mind?
Walk alongside your customers
Think about your daily routine. You pass through the same streets, see the same shops, glance up at the same billboards.
On the train-- or on your regular stop at the gas station to top up your car-- you are exposed to dozens of messages projected on screens. Some you ignore, but others-- the ones designed to appeal to you-- you notice.
Everywhere, people go about their daily business, running personal and business errands. One way to get them to notice you is to show up at these locations-- show your ads and marketing messages to your customers as they go about their day.
Get physical (the digital way)
You reach your customers on their personal devices through social media campaigns, ads in their favorite online publications, or through a well-executed content marketing strategy.
But what about public screens? Digital signage is growing in popularity. Part of the world of out-of-home (OOH) advertising, experts estimate that by 2019, advertisers in the US alone will spend 4.5 billion on DOOH advertising.
Let’s put this in the context of the larger marketing spend in the US. In 2019, the estimate for general ad spend is 245 billion. DOOH makes up less than 2% of ad spend in a country known for its marketing budget.
In the Philippines, total media ad spend sits at 1.73 billion US dollars-- digital ad spend makes up 20% of that with digital signage accounting for a tiny portion. This creates an opportunity to capture consumer attention with tech by going where they spend their time.
But where is everyone?
To use digital signage effectively, you need to show your message on the screens your future customers will see.
One way to do that that is by buying digital signage space on a programmatic basis. You can use analytics software to develop specialized profiles of your best customers and buy space based on your audience characteristics.
You can also run digital surveys and ask your audience to tell you where they hang out-- ask them about the type of transport they use, the businesses they work for, the gas stations they top up at, the grocery stores they visit. Then analyze that data and buy digital signage space at those locations.
Use your ideal customers’ physical habits-- like heading to the Shell gas station every Wednesday after work or catching the 6:45 commuter train every morning-- and show up there consistently with messages relevant to their day. Show them how your product or service can improve their current situation because the only way to really get someone’s attention is to make your message about them.
One of the best things about digital displays is the potential to get interactive and link them with the mobile experience.
You can use beacons-- bluetooth powered transmitters that send push-style notifications to nearby Android and iOS devices-- to support your DOOH campaigns.
Here’s what using a beacon can look like in practice. A restaurant may use a digital billboard at the downtown train station between 6:30am and 8:30am to show an ad for the lunch menu. As people walk by, the beacon can link to the bluetooth on their phones and send a personalized push notification with a special offer they can trigger by booking a table or ordering lunch for delivery. Or you can just wish commuters a good day with your brand colors in the background.
This helps you reach people who may not notice your sign. Plus, beacons are great for analytics tracking-- you can see click-through rates and impressions and measure each ad’s performance just like a Facebook ad.
Variations on a theme
When you notice something for the first time, it’s probably not the first time you actually saw it. It’s just the first time you paid attention. Before we notice a company or product, we often have to come in contact with them more than once. So if you want people to notice you, you need to keep showing up.
Thanks to analytics software and tracking tools, you can measure the success of a lot of your marketing campaigns. For example, when you run a Facebook ad, you can measure the conversion rate. So how does that help you get people to pay attention?
By measuring your campaign, and noting what is and isn’t working, you can create variations on successful messages and push them across different channels. These variations should be similar enough so that we’ll notice them, while offering a little bit of novelty every time a potential customer actually sees (and reads) the ad.
These changes are impossible to make with physical ads, but thanks to tech they can be quickly implemented in digital campaigns and you can easily track their effectiveness.
By appearing in multiple locations with variations on key branded messages-- on Facebook, at the airport, or on gas station TV-- you increase the chance you’ll get noticed (and remembered). At the same time, your messages will still feel fresh to the consumers that saw you the first time around.
Keep showing up
To capture user attention you need to consistently show up across different media. Tech can help you find out where your audience is and show up there with attention-grabbing messages that show them why they should pick you.