The CONTENT of Dynamic Place-based Media - The Rise of the 'Content is King' Monarchy, Part V: Improving Content Practices
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The CONTENT of Dynamic Place-based Media - The Rise of the 'Content is King' Monarchy, Part V: Improving Content Practices

In Part V of this series, Content is King, we will examine awards, associations, publications, and events and training.

By Lyle Bunn

Dynamic Content Templates, Standards, Provisioning and Analytics

Clarke Systems Architectural Signage Systems Wayfinding ADA

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  • Improving content practices
    Awards
    Several award programs focused on Digital Signage content help to illustrate recognize and advance best practices. The following are the major award programs (at time of writing).

    DIGI: The long-standing annual DIGI Awards recognize state-of-art practices in Digital Signage applications, technologies and practices across 12 categories including five "content" categories as follows:

    • Best Digital Signage Content, Merchandising
    • Best Content, Ambient (non ad-based content model)
    • Best Content, Corporate Communications (non-retail)
    • Best Content, Interactive
    • Best Content, Advertising

    DIGI Award winners have been announced at Customer Engagement Technology World (formerly KioskCom and the Digital Signage Show), a major fall industry event by David Keene, Chair of the judging panel, and are profiled in Digital Signage Magazine, (of which David Keene is Editor). The next competition will be held in summer 2011 with winners announced in the fall.

    APEX: The Apex Awards have focused exclusively on installations with the Content Awards recognizing and honoring excellence in the creation of digital signage content. The 2010 Awards, which will be announced at a gala during Digital Signage Expo (DSE2011), include five non-interactive and five interactive categories. A new "Best of Show Content Award" is encouraging the display of outstanding digital signage content at DSE 2011, with entries being featured on a Self-guided Digital Signage Content Tour during DSE 2011. DSE has announced 22 finalists for its 2011 Content Awards that recognize originality in content applications tailored specifically for the many and varied global DOOH audiences. The categories for each of Non-interactive and interactive content include:

    • Advertising/Promotional
    • Educational
    • Entertainment/Experiential
    • Informational/Directional

    POPAI: The POPAI Digital Signage Awards will be presented at a Marketing at- Retail Awards Gala on March 29, 2011 during GlobalShop in Las Vegas. POPAI, the Global Association for Marketing at-Retail says, "The contest highlights excellence and offers recognition of the creativity displayed in digital signage networks and content." The POPAI Awards enjoy high levels of participation and offer excellent insights into innovations in retail communications. See contest.popai.com or popai.com

    Digital Screenmedia Association (DSA) has announced the DSA Industry Excellence Awards to honor the best self-service, digital signage and mobile technology deployments across all vertical market segments in the following categories:

    • Retail
    • Financial Services
    • Government/Education/Non-Profit Agency
    • Travel/Hospitality Deployment
    • Entertainment/Gaming
    • Healthcare
    • Restaurant/Food Service
    • Other (industry not listed above)

    Winners were announced prior to and showcased during Customer Engagement Technology World, held April 27-28, 2011 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. Winners were selected from each category and judges will select one project from among the entries which best demonstrates the integration of two or more technologies (digital signage, kiosks and/or mobile) for a Screenmedia Integration Award. Other awards in the competition include:

    o The Industry Deployer of the Year Award, given to an individual person from an end-user organization (retail, government, healthcare, casino, hotel, etc.). This award will focus on the strategic role this person has played in driving his or her organization's innovative screen media deployment.

    o The Network Operator of the Year Award, given to an organization that operates networks of digital signs or kiosks, often for the purpose of selling advertising. This award will focus on the company's success in creating a sustainable network delivering high quality, relevant content that reaches the intended audience.

    See www.digitalscreenmedia.org/dsa-awards.

    Fourth Screen Awards: While no longer taking place, the Fourth Screen Awards for Best Dynamic Content, which were operated until 2008 by The Strategy Institute brought early attention to the importance of content. Notable "Best of the Best" content spots included:

    2007 "Diageo Smirnoff Vodka" submitted by Alchemy. Dr. Bill Ratcliffe, Chair of the judging panel noted, "this spot illustrated that digital signage content can and should, both brand and merchandise simultaneously. The location of displays at or near a point of purchase uniquely positions the medium to reinforce customer loyalty, educate about product features, benefits and use, and activate the sale." He added "this spot effectively re-used brand assets such as logos and tag lines, while also introducing graphics that could be used in other promotional media."

    2008 "Gillette Razor" submitted by Premier Retail Networks. "The common thread seen among the winners was the execution of a powerful creative concept," said June Peoples of research provider DS-IQ who served on the judging panel. She reflected on the Gillette entry that "They took two seemingly simple things; the Gillette razor, and a familiar holiday tune, and came up with something engaging, charming, fresh and highly appropriate for the Wal-Mart in-store network." June Peoples noted, "This year's award winners represent a striking cross section of producers, venues, brands, and budgets. Great content knocks the roof off of sales. Content that doesn't resonate with shoppers just lies there. We know that learning what works and what doesn't is critical to making out-of-home digital media relevant, engaging, and effective."

    Associations
    None of the primary dynamic media industry associations have specific Content Committees (at time of writing), but other committees of each association:

    • Are addressing "content" standards (see section D3 Publications of this paper) and best practices through other committees.
    • Offer webinars, publications (See section D3 Publications & Instruction)
    • Host or support award programs (See Section D1 Awards)
    • Includes content producers in its membership.

    Industry associations include:

    • Digital Place-based Advertising Association (DPAA)
    • Digital Screenmedia Association (DSA)
    • Digital Signage Federation (DSF)
    • POPAI
    • InfoComm International
    • Screen Graphics Industry Association (SGIA)
    • International Sign Association (ISA)

    Clarke Systems Architectural Signage Systems Wayfinding ADA

    Publications
    POPAI, The Global Association for Marketing at Retail, Digital Signage Group has developed and published "Digital Signage Content Standards" noting that "the purpose of this standard is to develop a set of content files with known, generally accepted properties, that can be used as examples of what will or won't play on digital signage media players claiming support for the standard". The group, which has worked to define standard terminology provides downloads (480 Mb zipped file) of 27 file formats defining characteristics for common use.

    The Digital Place-based Advertising Association (DPAA's) Creative Guidelines and Standards Committee has published a 5-page draft report that recommends Standard Advertising Units as a way to reduce the cost and increase the efficiencies associated with executing multi-network Digital Place-based content and advertising placement.

    Industry publications have published hundreds of articles, columns, case studies and guidelines as the practice of "content" has matured. Some of these are as follows.

    Digital Signage Weekly, (which also includes the articles and columns appearing in the monthly print Digital Signage Magazine), lists about 900 articles, columns and features under the search criteria "content". www.digitalsignageweekly.com/

    Digital Signage Expo (DSE) lists over 300 articles under the search criteria "content" in its "Resources" section. http://digitalsignageexpo.net/Resources.aspx

    DigitalSignageToday.com lists almost 200 articles under the search criteria "content". See http://www.digitalsignagetoday.com/

    Other websites including DigitalSignageForum.com, aka.tv, DOOH.com, ScreenmediaDaily.com, DailyDOOH.com as well as discussion groups and blogs offer commentary and insights related to "content" on a regular basis.

    The Digital Signage Planning Guide: One of the five sections and 13 of the 110 chapters of the eBook "Digital Signage Planning Guide" as well as useful powerpoint slides are devoted to "content." The eBook, which is provided on CD ROM is now in its 5th edition and is used around the world by organizations in planning, operating and using and investing in Dynamic place-based media. See www.LyleBunn.com - Resources.

    The whitepaper titled "The new Madison Avenue Diet - The Strategy for Performance-Focused Dynamic Signage Content" , published by Alchemy (co-authored with Lyle Bunn) defines a content production framework for digital signage content to build healthier brands." Thousands of copies of this paper have been provided by Alchemy since first published in 2007. See http://www.alchemyinternational.com/madisonavenuediet/

    Best Practices for Digital Signage Content was published in 2008 by the Digital Screenmedia Association (DSA - formerly The Digital Signage Association). This document "was written to provide best practices for content - arguably the most important aspect of a digital signage deployment." It is provided free to DSA members and available at $750 to non-members. See http://www.digitalscreenmedia.org/best-practices-series

    "Lighting Up the Aisle: Principles and Practices for In-Store Digital Media" by Laura Davis-Taylor & Adrian Weidmann includes references to "content" throughout and includes a section titled "How to plan, measure, integrate and optimize that digital content to ensure that it's working". See www.lightinguptheaisle.com

    "Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage: Content Strategies for the 5th Screen" by Keith Kelsen and published by Focal Press offers advice to implement a successful content strategy that optimizes the return-on-message performance of the digital signage program. Keith Kelsen serves as co-Chair of the Best Practices Committee of the Digital Screenmedia Association.

    "Digital Signage: Software, Networks, Advertising, and Displays: A Primer for Understanding the Business" by Jimmy Schaeffler published by Focal Press describes Digital Signage, how it fits into the marketing and communications mix, and what to consider when investing in, deploying or using this proven and very high growth medium. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) includes this publication as part of its Executive Briefing Series. Outof-home digital display offers a powerful extension to broadcast business models and a cost-effective extension of, or alternative to television advertising.

    Events and instruction
    Digital Signage Expo (DSE) (www.DigitalSignageExpo.net) has included trade show exhibits by suppliers and conference sessions focused on "content" since its inception in 2004. The "Content University" program at DSE2011 includes six sessions addressing various aspects of content. DSE2011 "Lunch & Learn" sessions will include "Target Casting" and "Educational Facilities using Campus Alerts." It is anticipated that "content" will feature prominently in over 50 educational seminars, the pre-event "SPEED Digital Signage Training Program" and other pre-DSE programs as well as keynote and other addresses.

    Customer Engagement Technology World (CETW) (CETWorld.com - formerly KioskCom and The Digital Signage Show) has been focused on "content" issues throughout its history of twice annual spring (west coast) and fall (New York) events. CETW offers a "Content Court" starting at its April 27-28, 2010 San Francisco event to allow content developers, providers and creative agencies to profile their capabilities.

    Cooking Up Content: In addition to conference sessions, the past three CETW events have featured the "Cooking Up Content" demonstration program in short trade show floor sessions. The demonstration, which has been sponsored by Harris Corp and Samsung, and moderated by Lyle Bunn (author of this paper) have included in-depth, valuable, insightful demonstrations of the content development process from the creative briefing to presentation of the final content. Many of the preeminent content creators of the industry have presented real world case studies focused on the creative and content development process in "Cooking up Content." Presenters have included:

    Alchemy, A St. Joseph Company
    Arsenal Media
    Cineplex Digital Solutions
    (formerly DDC - Digital Display and Communications)
    Cisco
    Heads and Tails
    Noventri
    Saddle Ranch Productions
    SapientNitro
    Show and Tell

    The websites of many of these content producers include a wide range of samples of content spots.

    Digital Place-based Advertising Association (DPAA) Digital Media Summit planned for October 27, 2011 (www.DP-AA.org - formerly the Out-of-Home Video Advertising Bureau (OVAB) will include, among other program elements, a "lunch and learn" session hosted by Care Group networks CEO Phil Cohen.

    The SPEED Digital Signage Training Program delivered live at privately as well as at major industry events included one of eight modules on playloop strategy and "content." See http://lylebunn.com/speed.aspx

    The Digital Screenmedia Association (DSA) offers an online, download-able version of SPEED. Session 4 of the 4 session series focuses on "Content and the Best Sources of Additional Information. The "content" portion of the one hour session addresses Content Strategy and Composition including:

    • Content Samples - Best Practice
    • Style Guide
    • Standards of Content/Advertising
    • Playloop Strategy and Structure
    • Content composition guidelines
    • Best practices in content
    • Sources (RSS, PSA, Additional Info, etc.)

    Digital Screenmedia Association (DSA) produced two webinars on content in 2009, now available for free download; · Content Best Practices for Digital Signage Networks · Best Practices for Digital Signage Content at the Point of Sale

    "Cohen on Content" has featured interviews of 5 to 10 minutes duration with some of the leading figures of the dynamic media industry. Philip M. Cohen is the President/CEO of Care Media Holdings Corp. and it's brands PetCARE TV, Women's HealthCARE TV and KidCARE TV digital OOH networks.

    He is a founding force for the Digital Place-based Advertising Association and an active contributor to industry development. See www.cohenoncontent.com for interviews with these and other industry leaders (conducted during 2010).

    Susan Danaher, President, DPAA
    Kim Sarubbi, President, Saddle Ranch Productions
    Lyle Bunn, Strategy Architect and Industry Consultant, BUNN Co.
    Rob Gorrie, President, Adcentricity
    Stu Armstrong, President, EnQii
    Jason Kates, CEO, rVue
    Graeme Spicer, Head of NEC Displays VUKUNET
    Bill Meyers, COO & Founder, indoorDirect
    Tim Burke, CEO, Electronic Art
    Olga Jourova, Arbitron Analyst
    Alan Schulman, CEO & Chief Creative Officer, UDig
    Shaneeka James, President, America's Minority Health Network (AMHN)
    Charles Richardson, DPAA Board Representative

    InfoComm International regularly includes some digital signage instruction related to "content" in its national conference Digital Signage program. It is expected that its 2011 conference in Orlando will address this subject.

    We will wrap up this series of Content is King next time with Part VI, Critical Success Factors.

    Dr. Lyle Bunn (Hon.), Principal and Strategy Architect, BUNN Co. - Lyle Bunn has been recognized with an Honorary Doctorate for his significant contributions to education and the development of the Dynamic Place-based Media industry. He is one of North America’s most highly regarded independent consultant, advisor, commentator and educator to investors, operators, suppliers and users of Digital Signage and Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) Media. For more information visit www.lylebunn.com

    Read on, go to: Part 1, Part II, Part III and Part IV

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