2015: The year Digital Out of Home, Live Data & Mobile will become best of friends

For brands, the onset of App fatigue, as written about by Forbes a year ago could be seen as a hindrance to communication with mobile audiences, but I think it’s a great opportunity, here’s why.

Getting people to download apps is difficult, especially as the bigger players like Google adopt a multi-app strategy. People are bored with downloading and updating new apps, they’re are focussing on the apps that they need, not the apps you want them to use. Utility is king. Or is it?

In parallel, average time spent using smartphones is increasing dramatically. According to Neilsen in 2012 it was 23 hours per month, in 2013 it was 30 hours. But in that time, the number of apps hardly increased at all, meaning they’re spending more time on social, search and gaming than ever before. People are turning to their phones whenever there’s a moment of downtime. Rather than read a paper or pull out a Filofax (remember those?), we reach for our phones and…well what comes next depends on you. Candy Crush could hardly be categorised as a ‘Utility app’, could it?

For better or worse, this is your audience’s behaviour, and while that app they’re reaching for probably isn’t yours, you’ve got a whole new set of opportunities to give people stuff to do, stuff they want to do, you probably just haven’t done it yet.

While the term ‘second screen’ can be misleading these days, there is a simple truth; human beings in almost every country and every walk of life often within several meters of more than one screen and at least one of them is a phone or tablet. The other one might be a TV, digital signage in a burger joint, or a Digital Out of Home screen at a train station, airport or bus stop.

Digital signage, and Digital Out of Home screens are increasingly the focus of bricks-and-mortar businesses and traditional outdoor media owners like ClearChannel and JCDecaux. Why? Because they animate, they’re more interesting and eye catching, recall is higher and of course you don’t need to send people out to paste new posters every week.

The chances are, you’ll be near of one of those screens sometime today, but how many of them are providing you with something interesting to do while you’re hanging around? Put it another way, why aren’t you using that attention to give commuters something to make their wait, or their journey, a little bit better? If you were able to inspire those people to engage with you on mobile, you get the benefit of measurement, data capture, re-targeting and influencing purchasing decisions.

Most digital screens are of course, connected in some way to the internet. It’s now possible, through some fairly convoluted tech integrations, to feed them with real-time data. One of the most awarded out of home campaigns of 2014 was Ogilvy’s #LoopUp idea which dynamically altered video of a baby so that he pointed at planes flying over the billboard.

But here’s where the marriage between digital out of home, live data and mobile starts to look exciting; live data is a very effective way to inspire audience action. In TV we know that the most effective call to action is one that has ‘social validation’: evidence that others have already taken part. Maybe a live vote result, a countdown to a big competition with “23,405 people have already entered”, “Girls just outperformed Boys”, or “Bradley from Wigan just won”.

Live stats fed into TV programming to encourage mobile uptake

Sure, live data is already being incorporated into creative, for example Amazon are selling products this Christmas on the New York Subway with live product and pricing data.

But though they benefit from adaptability they also lack motivation power, urgency, scale and accessibility; often the creative is passive and targeted to just a few locations and still relies on obscure mechanisms to invoke engagement. The BA example only really works in London, and in the Amazon case ehen was the last time you used a QR codes or NFC? Do you even have a QR code app? Oh wait, you’re bored with new apps aren’t you?

If there were an easy way to inspire the masses into action, wouldn’t you do it?

We’ve helped TV businesses all over the world embrace ‘second screening’ with our LViS platform (think of it like an Avid for interaction running on 1000 servers), and we’ve helped make hit shows such as Channel 4's Million Pound Drop and Sky’s Got To Dance. Now we’re integrating LViS with a raft of Out of Home media owners so that we can facilitate much bigger, more involving mobile engagement at scale across the whole of the UK.

They don’t need apps, so app fatigue isn’t an issue; they can play games, enter challenges, vote or buy products through live HTML5 apps that live at very simple URLs or are opened up in Facebook or Twitter. Everyone uses a web browser even if its built into their social app of choice like Facebook. If you don’t believe URLs and HTML5 work, read here how we got over 100,000 people (9% of the TV audience), to respond to an in-show challenge on BBC America’s Doctor Who premiere.

But the even greater benefit is that with LViS as a platform, developers can make those apps quickly without re-inventing the wheel each time. It delivers experiences that scale to massive numbers of users, providing all the mechanics for gaming, voting, competitions and lead generation. The response so far has been amazing, watch this space for the first wave of examples in 2015.

Originally published at www.monterosa.co.uk.

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