Next gen in-store links digital signage to cellphones

Artisan Live and MyThum Interactive are creating campaigns with the push of digital signage, the pull of mobile technology and pinpoint measurability for marketers.

Mobile marketing via digital signage has been revving up in Canada for the past few years. But Michael Brown, VP mobile marketing for Toronto’s MyThum Interactive, tells Media in Canada that ‘the challenges have been how do you give people a call to action when they’re in a buying environment they’ve chosen, and how do you build in measurability to create business models around that?’

The conundrums were cracked, he says, by combining the capabilities of MyThum and Markham, Ont.-based digital sign developer Artisan Live and applying them to 6,305 digital signs across Canada. ‘So if I’m shopping in a store or a mall, or at a restaurant or bar, I can see a very explicit message onscreen, text in and get the coupon or a bar code for a discount on my cellphone and redeem it by simply walking up to a counter.’

And for marketers, there’s a surefire way of measuring the response to each sign in each venue, Brown explains. ‘On one network, the call to action might say to text the word ‘win’ and on another, it might be ‘enter.’ The consumers are not aware that they’re being measured, but each network operator knows exactly how many people were brought in by their (respective) word. And that means payment on a cost-per-acquisition model, which you could never do with digital signage before.

‘So this is about more than just broadcasting a message,’ Brown continues. ‘Network operators will be able to not just say 500 people per day saw a given sign, but actually prove how many responded to a mobile campaign on that sign. It’s almost like measuring click-throughs.’

Clients who’ve signed up with MyThum and Artisan for this service so far include Nissan Canada, which is running a contest through November to win a Versa, with digital signage across the country in taxis, bars, restaurants and stores. As well, Molson Canada has been using the technique in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto for its Molson Canadian Rocks Revealed contest, which offers chances to win tickets to Billy Talent concerts in those cities. And, says Brown, the strategic partners ‘will be rolling this service out across a number of our clients, the next being Rogers Sportsnet for their wireless alerts service.’