Acting as a judge over the last few weeks for one of the major industry awards programmes has been a heartening experience, on the whole. It’s confirmed that the standard of real, live digital out-of-home deployments is continuing to improve, and that in the best cases the sector is providing near-faultless executions that work for consumers and work for the businesses striving to communicate with them.
There were a handful of all-too-common errors, though. I’m not going to name names, but next time you’re planning a rollout – or putting together an awards submission – please do bear these in mind.
First, screen position is absolutely critical.
I saw some sad cases of clever, potentially very effective networks let down by screens that were just in the wrong place for easy viewing. (But remember, too, that when it comes to touchscreens you may want to limit easy viewing to the interacting individual: for some applications, they won’t want the neighbourhood watching.)
Second, the proposition to the consumer has to be simple. Throwing together digital billboards and smartphones and Facebook and Twitter and Dogs.com (okay, nobody actually used Dogs.com) is very nice and cutting-edge and makes a sexy presentation, but if it’s not easy for a busy – or only marginally interested – person to grasp what benefit they’re going to get from all this texting and tweeting, they’re not going to engage.
Third, consider delaying your competition entries until you’ve got some real metrics. You don’t have to publish all of them, but selected highlights are a lot more persuasive in telling your story than an unsupported assertion that the client/their customers love what you’ve done. I didn’t actually mark anyone down for not having metrics or KPIs, but they do help.