Nimbus: Offering Measurability, Data With New Digital Signage Screens
By Azeez Disu
“Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation. “ Dean Kamen once said.
Truly, the unveiling of the new digital signage screensinstalled at Ikeja City Mall, Lagos recently by Nimbus, an indoor advertising company is a hallmark of innovation as related to the above quote. The company has lighted up the Out of Home (OOH) advertising industry in Nigeria and put the country on the global map of countries fully deploying Digital OOH and impacting brands’ bottom-line.
This lofty idea by Nimbus is a welcome development especially at this period when clients are currently seeking to measure the impact of their exposure displayed on a billboard on their Return on Investment (ROI).
Recently, there has been a shift of clients‘ ad budget to social media and others Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) sectors in the country with the resultant drop in revenue to the OOH due to lack of proof by some players to provide data to clients on visibility.
However on the global scene, digital outdoor advertising has increased 35 percent since 2010 according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, and is projected to overtake traditional outdoor ad spending by 2020.
Interestingly, the new Digital Signage Screensdriven by Content Management System (CMS) is a game changer and set to change the digital OOH landscape in the country.
Tayo Osikoya, Managing Director, Nimbus stated, “It is actually a free standing display screen, powered by features such as audience measurement and little bit of interaction with the camera and also with internet enabled technology. It is actually controlled from our office with the use of a dashboard.”
Speaking on what informed the technology, Osikoya said, “At Nimbus we are always looking into the future. We are always looking at how to improve on our platforms and ourselves. We thought of how we can measure what is going on now in the market.”
He added that advertisers demand for data and ask for report of how many people saw their advert, their sex, age and other information encouraged them to upgrade their board which will help them alien with current realities globally.
“No other company in the country has this kind of board currently, this is something that is unique for now and we will keep improving on the technology from time to time,” he explained further.
What The New Digital Signage Screens Can Do
The New digital signage screen is driven by Content Management System, and three of such indoor high definition freestanding digital signage screens can be found at Ikeja City Mall, Lagos.
Basically, the Content Management System (CMS) is a software application used to create, customize, and manage information such as still Image and video advertisement on a digital signage screen.
Some advance features of the CMS solution are: Multi zone layouts, schedule playlists, scrolling text /RSS feeds, display live webpages, and display live input.
An exciting element of the technology is that it can be integrated with social media. The CMS solution can also take Facebook reviews written by clients and share them direct to the digital screens. It also filters reviews by rating and see new reviews appear on screen without having to do a thing.
Instagram gallery can also be showcased by creating a live scrolling wall of Instagram posts matching a #hashtag or @ (Your Account) and much more.
Secondly, the new screens come with an inbuilt web camera that would be used to measure the audience demographics in the mall.
Audience measurement basically is the collection of key information about viewers: number of viewers, their gender, age group and emotions, attention time.
One important feature about this solution is that it makes each ad personal, by showing targeted commercials you can also check the statistics online anytime and anywhere you need it.
Some keyfeatures of the audience measurement solution include: measure foot traffic and know customer age, gender and emotions; optimize product merchandising by analyzing customer behavior, target product advertising, and measure interest in specific products.
In less than a second this solution determines and tracks every person looking at the screen estimating their age, gender, emotions and viewing time with complete respect for individual privacy.
The collected data is then sent to the server in real time with availability of statistics online 24/7.
According to marketing Toolbox online, measuring the effectiveness and success of OOH advertising has historically been near impossible. At best, marketers generally only been able to estimate the correlation between their outdoor campaigns and positive results that may or may not have been a result of those ads.
In essence, out-of-home was traditionally a subjective, location-based real estate play. In this respect, however, the integration of digital has well and truly changed the game as DOOH links the physical world with consumers’ digital identities. As such, more measurable KPIs are available to advertisers, from foot traffic reporting to website visitation, to online and offline sales, to return on ad spend.
On the measurability functions of the technology and its impact on ROI, Osikoya said, “You will notice because of the advent of social media and its popularity, a lot of marketing budget, is taken away from out of home advertising to social media, primarily because of its measurability.
“If you can measure your advert on social media for example, you can determine who saw it, how many clicks and all of that, it will attract more attention. However, Out of home adverting doesn’t really have that, we are now trying to bring that into the system by introducing this technology.
“It is the kind of technology that prompt interaction, clients can see who saw their adverts, who interacted with it, is it a man, is it a woman in her 50s or is it a kid? Also, the technology goes a step ahead, if for example ‘am working towards the screen and am a middle age man, it can trigger the content management software to display something to speak to me directly at that age.
“So, if a client has a product for example, has another variation product for female, if a male is working towards the screen what will display on the screen can be something for a man. Also, if it’s a woman working towards the screen, what it would display can be something for a woman. That is one of the features of the screen. You use this kind of innovation once clients call for such technology. For us, we just decided to go a step higher than the normal displaying of adverts.”
He also revealed the company is putting everything in proper shape to produce such technology locally, “The technology is a foreign initiative that we are paying subscription for, but we are working on developing our own here. We have a set of developers that we partnered with, to see how they can develop this technology locally. If we can produce it here, there is no need paying for it in foreign currency again. With the time frame of a year and half, we should be able to have this technology here in the country.”
Core Focus and Plans Ahead
Stating the services of the company, he explained, “We started operations in 2013 at Ikeja City Mall and we have grew to have operation in over 10 premium shopping malls across Nigeria including Airports. We operate in the niche of indoor and destination advertising. We don’t operate on road side. We operate within destinations like malls, Airports, train stations, bus stations, even hospitals that have high traffic, supermarket and others.
“We currently run the largest network of indoor advertising screen in Nigeria from Lagos to Abuja to Port Harcourt, Calabar to Kano, Enugu and others. We also plan to replicate it across other malls so that our clients can have more value for their money. They can see who is interacting with their adverts and the ages of those who interact with the adverts and host of others benefits.