Digital Signage Summit 2016: What´s next?

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Two days packed with keynote speeches from all walks of the industry: Digital Signage Summit Europe 2016 in Munich, Germany. Netural sent Lab headmanager Markus Pargfrieder and Strategist Peter Gollowitsch to gather interesting insights into “Digital Out of Home” (DooH) – including media, Smart City and inspiring best practice cases.

“Challenging the fundamentals of consumer engagement – strategies for tomorrow’s advertising, retail and public spaces” was the lengthy subtitle Digital Signage Summit Europe 2016, which was held und July 23rd and 24th in Munich. 503 participants attended interesting presentations and lively panel discussions.

The main focus was on future retail concepts and their underlying technologies. Speakers from a wide variety of industries presented latest hardware, referral marketing trends, location-based services and innovative shopping experience approaches. Storefronts, mirrors and glass panels – nearly everything is a potential display now, offering huge possibilities for advertising, sales and the utilization of public spaces. Here is a theme summary for both days of the summit:

Day 1: Why DooH and not via App instead?

Competing against TV and web, mobile and video streaming, DooH is of rising importance, carving out its role as a media channel in its own right. Transitscreen´s Ryan Croft reports from the San Francisco metropolitan area where 180 bus and train stops will soon be equipped with DooH to display transport and schedule informations in real-time.

“Why DooH and not via App instead?”, came the question from the crowd. The vehement reply offers plenty food for thought: Washington´s very good metro app provides the same kind of information, but only a disappointing nine per cent of the passengers really use it. People expect relevant information at the point of use, and they do not want to fumble with pocket devices to get it. It pays not to ignore the difference between „personal information“ via smartphone and location-/situation-based „individual information“.

A controversial approach which man participants regarded skeptically was “programmatic media”. This refers to applying smart big data filtering and analytics with the intention to show media content precisely where they produce the best impact. “Minority Report”-style science fiction is quickly approaching technical feasibility, allowing us to show personalized advertising in public spaces, perfectly timed to get the target groups´ attention. Google and Amazon have been doing this for a while now, and with enormous success. In DooH the technical difficulties are greater, but they are not unsurmountable any more.

Most impressive was Frankfurt airport Fraport´s Kai Schmidhuber´s presentation of an innovative multi-channel shopping experience, created in cooperation with German airline Lufthansa. It enables passengers to do their shopping via the inflight entertainment system and just pick up their shopping bags at the landing gate. Fraport also offers time- and destination-based advertising in relevant zones of the airport.

Day 2: The “Glass Man”

On day 2 of the Digital Signage Summit, behavior tracking specialist Vizualize impressed with tracking and measuring applications for sales situations and in public spaces like, e.g., subway stations, explaining that the performance of video-based real-time shopper intelligence is about to relegate established WLAN- and Bluetooth-based systems to mere supporting roles.

Vizualize impressed with tracking and measuring in sales situations.

Vizualize software analyzes in real-time sales transaction numbers, shop visitor numbers, individual customers´ visit frequencies and even date and time of last time they visited. Results can be broken down to individual shelves. Visualize can report on how often a single pair of shoes gets touched or on the sequence in which customers view products in a shelf. Special filters create a degree of anonymization, and asking if the glass consumer was now here for good, we came away with this answer: “We do not store video data, only metric counts. What retailers do with the video data is not our business.”

Analysing the success of in-store promotions.

Retailers often amass all available data without engaging in meaningful analysis. Razorfish Germany CEO Sascha Martini describes retail space as one large blank spot on the map: All the data are available, but we are not yet able to give them relevance. Which begs the question what comes next - and what consumers are willing to accept.


Article: 01.07.2016

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Kathrin Hausberger

Netural GmbH
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