We might call the Jan. 27 JADN conference in Montreal a case of ‘lessons learned’, since all speakers were able to help the audience gain from what their experiences and challenges had taught them along the way. Along with Michael Girgis’s ‘10 Top Things to Think About’ here’s what some of the other speakers had to say…
Loren Thibeault, vice-president sales and marketing, Métromedia Plus (national transit advertising rep house) and Metrovision (screens in Montreal’s metro (subway system)), said that digital is ideal for people on the move. In an aside interview, she revealed that the digital screens in Montreal’s metro system – developed in association with Montreal-based iGotcha Media – will be increased from 12 to 15, including one in Central Station (train station) because they’ve been very successful with 87% reach.
“There are obstacles we must get over in implanting digital networks,” said Thibault. “These can include technical problems; the need to reinforce the role of digital with advertisers and agencies; discomfort of representatives learning to use and sell new products; the fact that sound cannot be used in some environments.
“It’s important for those in the digital industry to get their stories out and to give recommendations.”
As examples she noted how the use of a digital campaign by Koodo helped in relational marketing, and how the use of digital on the side of one bus in Vancouver can deliver multiple advertising messages as well as Amber Alerts.
Olivier Debin, president and general manager, Dagobert, Paris, gave numerous creative examples of work his digital agency has done for major in various fields, including mobile and dynamic TV. One example was for Française des jeux (lottery games) where 12,600 screens at 40,000 points of sale were used to add to the visibility of products. Another case was for SNCF where the objective was to present the variety of its commercial offers.
In discussing efficiency in creative, he stressed that when you launch an offer, you need to introduce the idea; to remember that a picture is worth a thousand words; the message should be short; and that the digital can be used in synergy with other products or offers.
François Bourdeau, commercial communications counseller, Loto-Québec, traced the development of the lottery’s digital screenage from conception of the idea in 2004 to today’s more than 8,700 screens (and increased sales), with lessons learned along the way.
Among the factors Loto-Québec had to consider were that traffic in the point-of-sale areas greatly varied in malls, dépanneurs, pharmacies, gas stations, and food stores; the competitiveness in the environment; the quality of information in the store; its ‘green’ face; the commercial context of Loto-Québec itself; the opportunities; the size of panels and the number of places for digital screens.
Bourdeau stressed the need, in installing a network, to keep everyone, including all company management, aware of everything going on. “You have to assure a good level of comprehension, and must both manage and communicate well,” he said.
The location of screens was especially important for Loto-Québec, not only for its own impact on sales, but also because 20% of each screen is given to the point-of-purchase retailer to run his own advertising for free.
“You must create an ambiance,” said Bourdeau. ” A pharmacy might want to advertise L’Oréal products whereas the store attached to the gas station may want to promote the station’s services or present a promotion. And you must look at the length of the message. We found that for commercialization, 100 seconds was appreciated by both consumers and retailers.”
Among the many lessons Bourdeau imparted was that it is important not to underestimate recurring costs when analyzing the technological needs and choosing the right type of screens.
Denys Langlois, organizer of JADN conferences, president of Arsenal Media, and one of the founders of the Association canadienne de l’affichage numérique (ACAN), a Quebec arm of the Canadian Out-of-Home Digital Association (CODA)., said that a major problem, especially in retail, is how to develop a project from the initial phase.
“People know that they must integrate digital signage, but don’t know where to start,” said Lavigne. “A successful project may not be that complex, but people need a recipe, a game plan. They have to develop a strategy and adjust to their own needs.
“We think it’s important to have conferences and interactive workshops to help them limit errors and figure out costs, size of screens needed, positioning of screens and other details. And we have to reach the agencies. This is a growth industry and they must learn about it.”
Seeing that JADN’s audience was composed in large part by advertisers, Langlois is right.
Marie-Claude Cusson of Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal was the winner of a three-month pilot project offered by Cisco during the conference.