Now Consumers Can Enjoy Social Media In Line And Online

Guest Contributor, Stephen Randall

On Monday morning LocaModa announced that we have signed an agreement with Premier Retail Networks, Inc. (PRN) to deliver cross-channel social media on their Checkout TV® Network in supermarkets.

As mentioned in the press release, PRN and LocaModa will jointly develop a suite of cross-channel ad units designed to enhance customer engagement at checkout by integrating mobile and Web with digital place-based media. PRN’s advertising solutions now include the ability to display filtered, localized social media components with curated user-influenced content and trending topics collected via mobile texts, Twitter and Facebook. The new place-based ad units are measurable and connect PRN’s Checkout TV® Network to mobile phones and social networks. The ad units can be configured to display the most important shopping items according to local customers’ comments. Audiences can participate via mobile phones, Facebook, Twitter or brand Web sites, and see aggregated results on the Checkout TV® Network screens as well as online.

The above screen shots show one example of a place-based social media application that displays the popularity of celebrities trending locally, determined by shopper mobile votes, on-line Facebook votes and changes in the number of fans for celebrity Twitter accounts. In the lower right screen shot, the place based social media ad unit for the Checkout TV Network displays near real-time results on a branded right hand panel of the DOOH screen, complimenting a video ad unit.

What our recent announcements with Posterscope and FUJIFILM Imagetec have in common with today’s news is the tsunami-like demand from brands and agencies for mobile and social media connectivity.

As Cathy Stauffer, PRN executive vice president, market development states in the press release: “Today’s audience enjoys media that is socially connected. LocaModa’s platform helps us create a dialogue between our advertisers and consumers through content displayed on Checkout TV® Network screens in supermarkets that can be continued on other platforms, helping to contribute to even deeper brand engagement.”

Anyone in a media-related business knows that they have to have a good answer when their customers ask them for ‘mobile and social media solutions‘. As challenging as our industry can be (prize for understatement of the day goes to me!), it is telling when influential players across the value chain start to align on the message that “all screens are connected” and a strategy to “make sure we’re connected too.”

A final comment (and candidate tag line) – Now consumers can enjoy social media in line and on line.

9 Responses to “Now Consumers Can Enjoy Social Media In Line And Online”

  1. Chris Heap Says:

    Congratulations to both PRN and LocaModa – this clearly moves the needle in a retail context which is most welcome as it’s been a while since we’ve seen any significant developments in this vertical.

    It will be fascinating to find out how this cross-channel initiative contributes to shopper engagement and commercial returns and the extent to which these two channels, when combined offer some sort of compound value. I have no doubt that the convergence of these types of complementary media will be a big talking point for 2011 and it’s good to see companies like this leading through example and we can now move from the academic phase into something more practical and measurable.

    Looking forward to seeing what this looks like in the flesh Stephen and which retailers pick up this new engagement channel.

  2. eric u Says:

    ok so social is now connected at the checkout. now shoppers will know what’s trending before they leave the store. hmm. i don’t get the relevance.

    but i’m sure the smart people at locamoda have a plan.

  3. Stephen Randall Says:

    Hopefully DOOH doesn’t need smart people to get the relevance :)

    To be more engaging, media needs to be more relevant (eg localized), timely and offer consumers the ability to participate – even if they don’t actually choose to participate there and then. An ability to participate translates into a more authentic experience by consumers.

    And this blog is arguably more relevant and interesting because you just participated!

  4. eric u Says:

    don’t get me wrong, i’m pulling for this to be successful. i guess what i was trying to say was;; i don’t understand how this makes money.

  5. Stephen Randall Says:

    Good question. Connecting DOOH screens with social media opens up conversations with brands and agencies that have digital media budgets (much larger than pure OOH or DOOH budgets). It also creates a more measurable ad unit which can be charged at a premium (or preserve rate card rates that might otherwise be under pressure due to not being so engaging). Another point is that social and mobile ad units actually help sell traditional ad units as well as the conversation that is opened with a brand/agency via the new ad units raises awareness for the network’s entire inventory. We often end up selling video + place-based social ad units together. Thanks for the comment.

  6. Mark Says:

    Stephen…that was loaded answer. You obviously don’t sell advertising, and if you did, you should know this will make it more complicated to sell ad units to planners because its not pure DOOH anymore, nor is not pure social media ad units. You mentioned the tsunami like demand for social media connectivity? No offense, this is not the solution. The answer to local/social content will reside on the smart phones of consumers…not on DOOH screens on check out screens at Wal-Mart. Companies like Yowza! and Foursquare are going to bypass you all together with relevant content for retail promos and tips from other like-minded local consumers. Nice effort on the PR’s, but in my opinion this is not significant at all. Sorry.

  7. Stephen Randall Says:


    1. We sell a ton of advertising.

    2.Yes, it’s more complicated but based on your line of logic, DOOH would still be OOH.

    3. As a founder of Symbian, I know a little about smart phones, and it’s too simplistic to state that “the answer to local/social content will reside on the smart phone of consumers”. Actually consumers are drawn to the most compelling screen. When that is a smart phone, its often because the other screens suck. Every screen will compete for the user’s attention, and by being relevant and connected, some will win, others will lose.

    4. We were the first company to roll out Foursquare (and ditto Twitter) in DOOH – they are a great company. Foursquare is a platform for location-based services, not content (as is Facebook Places) and companies like LocaModa.

  8. Mark Schroeder Says:

    I am sooo desperate for there to be a really substantuve connection between location, mobiles and display screens…but sadly I too am not seeing this as providing the answer. It’s interesting that you answered the question “how will this make money” in terms of it making money for Loca Moda, but your revenues will only accrue with and be sustained by demonstrated marketing effectiveness ie ROI for the advertiser and/or the retailer. So the important question is, how will it make money not for you, but for them? I think you’ll probably answer by talking about enhanced engagement however I’ve always considered a customer in the store to be highly engaged in the shopping/buying process already, certainly compared to somebody waqtching TV at home or driving past a billboard. So when you write that “PRN’s advertising solutions now include the ability to display filtered, localized social media components with curated user-influenced content and trending topics collected via mobile texts, Twitter and Facebook” I’m simply left thinking “sounds cool, but how the hell is that going to deoiver an ROI to advertisers?” What am i missing here?

  9. Stephen Randall Says:

    Any platform that helps brands give consumers an ability to participate in the brand experience and conversation helps that brand become more relevant and valuable.

    Brands want to be part of a dialogue not monologue. Old media = monologue.

    Mobile and Social also provide metrics that are otherwise unavailable in an OOH or DOOH context such as # of uniques, local data (eg area codes) etc.

    It’s easy to over think this, but simply stated, media that moves towards greater participation is perceived as being more authentic and valuable to audience and marketer alike.

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