Why more brands are chatting with customers via out-of-home advertising

Powder Room Interactive Media’s MD and founder Michelle Davis reveals why chat is the new OOH feature more brands need

Traditional out-of-home advertising has been a one-way display. But today’s interactive customer needs something with more dialogue and interaction, according to Powder Room Interactive Media’s MD and founder, Michelle Davis.

And that's exactly what the vendor is looking to provide.

“OOH media is an effective way to drive awareness and reinforce other market activity, bringing the campaign together – and the creative executions of this are endless,” she told CMO. “However, one of the biggest challenges is that the conversation has very much been one-way between the consumer and the brand. There is very limited information flowing back to the brand manager in terms of critical marketing insights, new customer leads and product trial.

“This means marketing and brand managers are restricted in their ability to analyse campaigns, test out new ideas and widen their database. But we know brands want to establish a closer, more targeted connection with consumers in the out-of-home environment. Similarly, consumers aren’t as receptive when they don’t seek out the interaction, so our interactive digital portals create the perfect storm for these two opportunities to converge.”

The Australian interactive media company recently pioneered a touchscreen portal that allows consumers to “chat” with brands and buy or sample their products exactly when and where they want them. Each digital portal features a 32-inch HD LCD interactive touchscreen with app-style software that can also run TVCs with audio, display point-of-sale and product content as well as allow simple “tap and go” credit card or cash transactions, a customer-focused application for today’s cashless society.

“Our portals are Wi-Fi enabled, therefore if a brand wanted to have a ‘live chat’ feature, we could easily accommodate,” she claimed. “Most Web chat technology is driven by artificial intelligence, and in this instance, brands provide us with dialog and scripting to ensure the interaction is authentic and on brand for their campaign and consistent with their key messaging."

PRIM served up a marketing hit for Blackmores utilising AI for its Well Bot campaign at the Australian Open in January this year.
PRIM served up a marketing hit for Blackmores utilising AI for its Well Bot campaign at the Australian Open in January this year.

A recent example of this was the Australian Open Blackmores WellBot campaign. Davis said customers were provided with a series of multiple-choice questions about their day and their health. Based on the response we received, a specific sample was dispensed.

In addition to the more engaging interaction, the digital touchscreen portals can gather instant, valuable consumer data for brands, bringing them closer to their customers. It does this by tracking real-time analytics on customer interaction, data capture and product trial, Davis said.

“This is driven by the ability to have one-on-one interaction and relevance of our product, we have created a two-way dialogue between the brand and consumer, which will ultimately drive deeper engagement and expand the capacity of brands for current and future campaigns,” she said.

According to Davis, by combining a highly engaging interactive portal with the most relevant brands and content, PRIM has created a network where the customer is actually seeking out the interaction – and the interaction is happening on their terms. 

“It’s about bringing the brand and consumer closer together at exactly the right moment, in exactly the right environment, driving deeper engagement helping marketing managers overcome the restrictions of traditional OOH advertising,” she added.

To date, PRIM has signed up a growing number of major brands including Colgate-Palmolive, Blackmores, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Nivea and napoleon Perdis to leverage its 300 retail portals and digital displays at Australian airports located across the country. These reach 280,000 people each day.

Following PRIM’s success at Australian terminals, the company has been approached by airports in the United States, Europe and South Africa to bring the technology to their shores. PRIM is also expanding its national presence to shopping centres by providing a customised application for parents’ rooms providing products tailored for the baby and toddler market.

David said the future holds very exciting things for PRIM and the brands the company is working with.

“I think our ability to obtain refined customer data, and provide this data to marketing managers real-time and in any format they require, will drive growth for our business,” she said.

Another exciting feature PRIM is looking at is working with brands to integrating a new interactive social media feature. 

“For instance, our portals will be able to take photos, apply a filter and post to social media channels in order for the consumer to receive a sample, really reaffirming the content sharing capability of our technology and the possibilities for marketing managers,” she said. “Creative sampling will also be another focus, that is working more closely with creative specialists to develop fun and meaningful interactions that enable marketers to obtain valuable insights, as well as drive product trial.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

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