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Don't Just Advertise, Sell

Transit agencies embracing new digital signage on stations, trains and buses are about to see another big change in technology as advertisers look to take their message to a new level this year and focus on interactive media.

“It’s not just about throwing the brick through the window and getting their attention,” Monster Media CEO Chris Beauchamp said. “It’s about having the customer doing the heavy lifting of your product...and making a sale right then and there.”

Beauchamp said transit agencies have begun using new technology, which not only has riders or potential customers interact with ads, but gets them to purchase items. One example was a digital ad that looked like a refrigerator Monster Media set up for the grocery store chain Tesco in Gatwick Airport in the United Kingdom during the Olympics, where customers would come up to the sign and be able to purchase items and arrange for delivery to their homes at a later time. The machine was up for two weeks, he said, and during that time, about 4,000 people interacted with the display, spending more than four minutes at it, with 50 percent of them making purchases.

He said Monster Media also did a project with the New York Water Taxi, where an interactive display was put up in Times Square in New York City, where people could have their picture taken and purchase water taxi tickets. Within a 30 day period there were 12,000 customer interactions with the display, 20,000 photos were taken and 3,753 water taxi tickets were sold at $20 each.

“That’s kind of where this is all going,” Beauchamp said. “At the end of the day, everyone is trying to sell something and it’s our job to help you do it in the most seamless way to help you sell more.”

Beauchamp was one of three speakers who took part in a Digital Signage Connection webinar Jan. 29, where industry representatives discussed the needs and trends in signs for transit and the transportation industry.

Jansen Davidson, account manager for Com-Net Software, said transit agencies are also looking for multi-modal digital signage in order to streamline systems and to keep digital signs from cluttering stations. One of the ways of doing that is the replacement of old LED signs with LCD monitors, which can cut down on the number of signs by increasing the amount of information a unit can display.

There is also more demand digital signs be ADA compliant for transit agencies, Davidson said, which companies are working to implement.

“If you’ve ever been to millennium station about the only thing you’ll hear are the signs talking to you,” he said.

For more inforamtion like this, make sure to attend the Digital Signage Expo Feb. 26-28, in Las Vegas.