It’s always a pleasure to report on companies in the Digital Out Of Home space that not only know what they’re doing, but are also moving our industry forward in a positive way.Freshwater Digital Media Partners out of Grand Rapids, MI, is one such company blazing a trail with local retailers by offering a one-stop solution from network set-up to content creation.
Founded in 2010 by ex-PRN’er (we are a legion of many) Matt Downey, Freshwater DMP’s credo is simple: help businesses realize the potential of interactive media in their place of business. For any business, developing a realistic network strategy can be daunting, Freshwater DMP specializes in partnering with both customers and providers to help source hardware, software, content and developing revenue projections.
Over the past year Freshwater has been managing the network strategy for a local Grand Rapids retailer, adding a digital screen solution at the entrances in a few pilot stores. These are 55inch vertical screens displaying vendor ads and retailer specific promotions.
I will personally be interested to see the sales lift or viewership numbers on this when the research is complete. I think entrance screens are a challenge: the shopper mindset at this point in their trip is pretty focused on getting to the products they came in for.
If the content and promotions are compelling and relevant enough the screens can be effective, if not, it’s just more clutter and noise. No doubt with Matt’s years of experience in managing the Sam’s Club account while at PRN, Freshwater have all this figured out.
Freshwater has also partnered with the Interpublic Group, and is providing select programming for their new IPG Lab based in New York, targeting agency executives and key decision makers with interest in digital signage solutions.
Digital signage in the retail environment is an easy one to get wrong – it took Walmart years to figure out the right solution. As more retailers test the digital network waters there’s a real need for companies with the breadth and experience of working in this space to guide and advise them on every aspect of running a network.