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Call To Action


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As we see the number of connected devices and technologies continue to increase, the phenomena of the once spectatorial culture is now rapidly evolving into a participatory culture. Key drivers such as mobile, social and digital OOH have created a constantly connected consumer who has high expectations and more control over what he/she is willing to listen to, take away
and act upon. This has forced a collaboration of OOH with mobile, creating a new communication ecosystem that is revolutionizing how we interact with media while out of home.

Here we discuss how mobile technologies such as QR, SMS, AR, Bluetooth and NFC are changing the OOH advertising landscape, allowing brands to engage with consumers on a platform that never leaves their side.

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Call To Action

  1. 1. / Also visit us on View Our Whitepaper Series on Slideshare CALL ACTION Traditionally, Out of Home (OOH) has primarily been thought of as an awareness driver or as a final push to purchase close to point of sale. But with consumers more connected while out of home than ever before, OOH can now influence a variety of digital behaviors. As we see the number of connected devices and technologies continue to increase, the phenomena of the once spectatorial culture is now rapidly evolving into a participatory culture. Key drivers such as mobile, social and digital OOH have created a constantly connected consumer who has high expectations and more control over what he/she is willing to listen to, take away and act upon. This has forced a collaboration of OOH with mobile, creating a new communication ecosystem that is revolutionizing how we interact with media while out of home. Technologies such as SMS, Bluetooth, QR, AR and NFC have accelerated the evolution of media use while out of home, forever changing the way we use mobile devices, especially while on the go. Although consumers now look to have greater control of content and convenience in how they receive it when using this technology, they still must be educated on how the technology works overall. This then begs the question; who is responsible for educating the public? Based on a study conducted by Posterscope and Clear Channel Outdoor in 2012, 73% of respondents said it was up to the mobile phone networks as compared to 61% retailers, 51% mobile handset manufacturers and 33% OOH media owners. However, it is not simply about educating consumers on utility, advertisers must also be guided on how to optimize effective results when using the technology to drive brand engagement. It is imperative that when advertisers do use call to action technology that the benefits be clearly stated to ensure maximum opportunity for engagement as consumers will be more likely to engage when brands offer them tangible value in exchange for their time and attention. When the right technology is chosen and executed correctly, advertisers have the opportunity to leverage brand equity and audience engagement in ways previously unimagined. NFCQRBLUETOOTHSMS AR 1.6 BN3G and 4G subscriptions Currently there are Source: Wireless Intelligence 2013 44%Of US mobile users are more likely to make a purchase over mobile than a year ago Source: tnooz, 2013 2013 By the end of there will be more mobile devices on Earth than people Source: Cisco, 2013 SMS What is it? Text messaging is synonymous with mobile today as 80% of US mobile phone users claim to regularly receive/send text messages, making it the highest adoption rate of any call to action technology (Source: Pew Internet). Besides iMessage on iPhones and BBM on Blackberry devices, SMS is the service most commonly associated with the mobile device. In the context of OOH a person can text a short code number to interact with a message or receive SMS
  2. 2. / Also visit us on View Our Whitepaper Series on Slideshare QR What is it? Quick Response (QR) codes bridge offline with online through use of a mobile Bluetooth What is it? Bluetooth is a form of wireless technology built into a mobile device that uses radio waves to send and receive information from other similarly enabled devices. People with Bluetooth are prompted by advertisements through an opt-in message such as, “Would you like to receive information from this site?” If “YES” is selected content is then delivered directly into the palm of their hand. Perspective Fortunately you don’t need a smartphone to access Bluetooth, even the simplest mobile devices have the technology enabled, and by the end of 2013 97% of US mobile phones will be equipped with it (Source: Gartner). Unlike other technologies, Bluetooth offers a wide transmitting range (up to 200 ft beyond the physical trigger point) with no need for a mobile signal or WiFi connection. This allows for the technology to be used on a diverse range of media formats, but also dramatically limits its scalability and feasibility as a unique transmitter is needed for each media unit, driving the price up. A fault to Bluetooth is that consumers see it as utility driven and useful, for example, in cars for a hands free connection, which can explain why some consumers argue that brand activation through Bluetooth is intrusive. Advertising and brand messages can interfere with their daily mobile activity, so they may choose to disable the technology when not in use. If this doesn’t disconcert the user, the fact that Bluetooth is notorious for draining a device’s battery life may encourage people to turn their Bluetooth off. As a result of these technicalities Bluetooth is best used as an interactive supplement layered onto a larger campaign, as the technology is not compelling enough itself to garner an interaction. PROS - Wide transmitting range - Interactive - No need for Wifi/mobile signal CONS - Intrusive - Battery draining - Limited scalability content from an OOH format. The content sent through SMS could then be stored and viewed post experience, traveling with the user and creating longevity for a medium traditionally associated with pass-by impressions. This opt-in function allows advertisers to retarget users that decide to receive content, helping them identify an interested audience. Perspective SMS is a way of life for the average person today. It comes standard on almost every mobile device, which may be why it has the greatest interaction numbers in comparison to other call to action technology. However, there is a cost to consumers when they decide to receive and respond, whether it is a text message cost or data charge for download. This may influence whether the consumer chooses to partake in the execution altogether, creating a real barrier to usage if incentive or call to action does not out way the cost to interact. Allowing for multi-device capability can limit the executions creativity, as each text should be maximum 160 characters with no use of audio or animation. Although it is scalable, these challenges require brands to be even more mindful of messaging to drive engagement. PROS - Widespread awareness - Low educational curve - No need for external app CONS - Costs for public usage - Creative restrictions - Limited engagement BLUETOOTH QR reader app that scans a 2D barcode and redirects a user to a URL for content download, utility or
  3. 3. / Also visit us on View Our Whitepaper Series on Slideshare PROS - Inexpensive - Ubiquitious - Trackable CONS - Requires dwell time - Application download - Challenge to stand alone without incentive What is it? Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect view of a physical environment Augmented Reality purchase. While traditionally used in commercial shipping applications, many marketers and businesses have adopted QR codes as a potential way to connect with consumers. Smartphone owners can scan a QR code on an advertisement activating a link that automatically redirects to a web location. Trackable links can be encoded in the QR allowing the brand to know how many people interacted with the advertisement and the potential reach. Perspective QR is now a well-established technology but it has taken years to achieve this status due to poor education in the beginning. This bad reputation evolved from misuse and misunderstanding, causing consumer confusion over purpose and utility. Brands were placing QR codes on every type of creative as an imprudent attempt to draw consumers to their websites. But as consumers sought out content this push was rejected due to little value, engagement or reward. As a result, consumers were slow to adopt and take action when seeing a QR code, and advertisers found limited value for adding this utility to their messaging. Add in the fact that it is rare for a QR reader app to come standard on a device, and it seemed that the QR was doomed. However, time and trial have allowed for QR technology to redeem itself. Today 1 in 5 mobile users have scanned a QR code, and that number is projected to grow (Source: eMarketer). To ensure QR’s survival, it is up to advertisers to consider executions that drive efficiency by creating incentives and relevant engagement drivers along the path to purchase. Of all the call to action technology QR is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to share information through a mobile device, as the reader app is easy to download and use, and the cost to create the technology is inexpensive. However, when utilizing the technology the environment must be taken into consideration as well as dwell time, time of day, and placement within a creative. The call to action must be clear and the reward must be worthwhile to entice whose elements are amplified by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. The consumer launches an AR app and focuses the device’s camera on some form of OOH media to receive digital content on top of the real world through visual recognition. This technology is mostly used in association with direct response, PR initiatives, virtual hijacks and digital graffiti, and can be targeted specifically with customer-brand interactions that allow brands to turn any piece of physical advertising into an interactive and engaging experience. Perspective Through unprecedented engagement AR allows consumers to interact with brands in a portable and ubiquitous way, with instant content delivery from either 3D graphics hovering around a marker or video play. Within the next 3-5 years mobile AR is projected to undergo substantial growth, with global revenues expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2015 with 1.4 billion downloads (Source: Juniper Research). Developers will be allocating $670 million into AR app development, rising to $2.5 billion in 2018 with thanks to the entry of Google Glass that has disrupted the market, creating the need for better applications (Source: ABI Research). The options are endless when using AR as a supplement to a campaign. Its interactive element enhances the consumer experience through entertainment, utility, gaming, real time polling and content reveals. The technology itself has the ability to weave together online and offline content on various size screens, providing scalability across multiple formats and locations while also AR
  4. 4. / Also visit us on View Our Whitepaper Series on Slideshare What is it? Near Field Communication (NFC) is a Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) NFC PROS - Versatility - Simplicity - Accountability CONS - Limited proximity & formats - Limited penetration - Limited awareness technology that evokes interaction between a mobile device and a smart tag with one simple touch. The hyper-local NFC interaction allows consumers to download content and mobile apps, receive offers and launch a website. The technology is best known for its ability to send contactless transactions, allowing users to purchase an item through a linked bank account or other payment system such as PayPal. Perspective Beyond payment systems consumers remain unaware of the vast capabilities that NFC can offer. Overall awareness is now only at 10% and penetration of NFC technology is still low at around 15% in the US (Source: Blue Bite). In the study conducted by Posterscope and Clear Channel Outdoor it was discovered that most people don’t even know if their mobile device is NFC enabled or if the technology is embedded into their device, always on with no external app required. As a result, unless there is an investment in public awareness and education regarding the technology and functionality, NFC may continue to be overlooked or suffer from not gaining the critical mass required to be a ubiquitous part of consumers’ lives. However, when it does gain enough traction, NFC could become the new iteration of QR codes with enhanced utility and the advantage of being pre-installed into mobile devices. In fact, carriers such as Apple that do not facilitate NFC technology are already seeing a decline in sales in comparison to providers such as Samsung that are NFC enabled. Currently most exposure to NFC is being promoted through early adopter campaigns from advertisers that recognize the simplicity of the technology in allowing people and brands to share content in a more efficient way. Using NFC allows brands to extend the user experience through an instant tap and receive engagement hosted on a mobile browser as a web-based experience. Although the interaction is simple, the fact that NFC can only work within a short range of 1-3 inches in proximity to media, as well as the fact that is cannot be integrated within a digital OOH creative as a tag must be applied on the external infrastructure, limits the application of this technology to media formats in line of sight and in environments of dwell time like transit shelters, malls and airports. As well, every poster needs its own unique chip, which can affect the scalability and cost of the campaign. allowing consumers to take content away from the physical site, resulting in a measurable and quantifiable interaction. Similar to QR codes, AR does require an app download and not all mobile devices support the technology. If supported, the file size of the 3D content can slow down the viewing experience, deterring people from using it again in the future. Additionally, these apps tend to be created specific to a brand for a given campaign with a limited life span. Advertisers may be hesitant to utilize this technology as customized apps can be expensive to build depending on intricacy of execution. Currently there are providers who have developed a generic AR reader that brands can utilize, the benefit of which is accountability and data capture for brands and a consistency for consumers. However, this has yet to gain enough popularity for consumers to download a standard app that stays on their device at all times. PROS - Engagement - Innovation - Scalability CONS - Expensive - Application download - Large file size NFC
  5. 5. / Also visit us on View Our Whitepaper Series on Slideshare NFC QR Bluetooth SMS AR Airports ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Bar/ Club ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Billboards (Roadside) ✔ Cinema Lobby ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Digital Billboard (Times Square) ✔ ✔ ✔ Gas Stations ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Gym, Health Club ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Shopping Malls ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Subway/Rail (not including stations that are Wi-Fi enabled) ✔ ✔ Taxi Screen ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Transit Shelter ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Feature While limited in its range of engagement, what NFC does offer is the distinct benefit of unique tagging for each interaction, making that one tap contact easy to track and fully accountable, providing data to inform future planning and targeting. Capabilities Comparison • Although Bluetooth offers active push to phone and an always wireless, carrier-free interaction, it is still seen as utility driven and has yet to be optimized for brand messaging • SMS is the simplest technology and one of the only technologies that works on non-smartphone devices, but its simplicity can hinder its conviction • Uptake and usage varies enormously with newer options such as AR and NFC under utilized by consumers • There is a need for responsible design that works across all platforms • The format chosen should extend the experience, not mimic it • The best formats are those in an enclosed space to keep technology safe while allowing for a long period of dwell time • The technology works best when there is a captive audience who don’t have an opt-out message Format Comparison • With all call to action technologies there is a time lag between the education of advertisers & brands and the education of users; it must be decided whose role it is to educate the public. • Technologies that are embedded into mobile devices that do not require download will ultimately drive consumer interaction, which potentialy limits the barriers of engagement. • There is a need to take into account consumer’s attitude to technology; SMS and Bluetooth have many benefits, but consumers see both as non-innovative. • Technologies free to consumers are ideal, but technologies that are more intuitive are the most effective at gaining consumer attention Overall Key Themes & Observations: Proactively push content to phones ✔ Compatible with smartphones ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Compatible with non-smartphones ✔ ✔ ✔ Always free to consumers ✔ ✔ ✔ No need for external download ✔ ✔ ✔ Always wireless carrier-free interaction ✔ Ability to micro-target location ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Continued mobile interaction outside of venue/original contact ✔ ✔ Scalability across multi market/ format ✔ ✔ ✔ Current consumer adoption/market penetration NFC QR Bluetooth SMS ARFeature
  6. 6. / Also visit us on View Our Whitepaper Series on Slideshare The sophistication of devices available to the consumer is only going to increase as we see the rise of nascent technologies such as NFC grow exponentially. Although there is always going to be something new to market, it is important to keep in mind that innovation doesn’t have to come from the newest technology, it can come from how we use existing technology to create a more tangible and engaging user experience. Doing this will inevitably encourage greater participation and expectation of immediacy from users in receiving information, content, and ultimately, purchase. As well, since users opt-in to receive messaging through call to action this type of advertising will help us pull in a niche audience that is interested to know more about the product or service concerned. For advertisers it is imperative that the technology chosen to encourage this engagement and interaction amongst consumers is the right one for the job to get the best results. This doesn’t necessarily mean that one is better than the other or that they need to be used in isolation. In fact, combinations of technologies used within OOH will reach a wider audience base that will undoubtedly have varying degrees of sophistication in the device they own. With this in mind, as use and awareness increase, we must collaboratively raise public awareness to optimize engagement with these call to action technologies. Use within media has been analyzed, but in order to find value in the execution and messaging we now must understand how to adapt each technology to specific environments and ways in which brands can best utilize these experiences for maximum results, delivering content to consumers that is valuable and relevant in cost effective ways. To download a full presentation visit on Summary