The Digital Signage Insider

ANA Predictions Suggest Good Things for Digital Retailing

Published on: 0000-00-00

Now that we're all settled into the new business year, I want to take a look at some of the predictions that Bob Liodice, CEO of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), has made for this year regarding changes in the advertising world.  Reading through his blog article from about a month ago, Bob outlines four key events that he sees happening this year.  In my opinion, all of them suggest that more good things are in store for digital retailing-savvy advertising and marketing firms. Let's take a look at his predictions...

1. "Measurement takes a big ramp-up next year as Project Apollo, Nielsen commercial ratings, the Radio Advertising Bureau's Media Effectiveness Lab, the Advertising Research Foundation/Interactive Advertising Bureau's Cross Media Labs and overall technology play a critical role in this important developmental arena."

Measurement and accountability have been the Achilles' heel of traditional advertisers.  TV, radio and print ads are notoriously difficult to track, and marketing firms are often faced with the choice of either deploying an expensive (and not completely accurate) monitoring solution from Arbitron or ACNielsen, or making guesses about measurement based on existing CPM and circulation data.  While this seems a bit archaic compared to the reporting options available for networks of digital signs or interactive kiosks, it has been the industry's status quo for decades now.  However, as Bob suggests, there is a need for more.  It's getting harder to reach people via traditional advertising channels, yet prices have continued to increase.  So it's no wonder that more advertisers are thinking about measurement and accountability.  Needless to say, any promotions run via a capable digital retailing system can be tracked with an extremely high degree of accuracy.   Unfortunately, these are still the exception, not the rule.

2. "Marketing Organization Design will get on the drawing board as an important priority for the marketing community."

I don't understand how this isn't a priority already.  Granted, multichannel advertising strategies did stagnate for a while until the Internet came along and offered lots of new ways to run promotions and display content.  Now, TV commercials need to be synchronized with digital signage content, email marketing promotions, kiosk-based affinity systems, direct calling campaigns, and a host of other interactive and non-interactive systems.  So in this case, I don't think that digital retailing can really help the situation, but the benefits that these systems provide greatly outweigh any additional planning or logistical difficulties that they may create.  As these non-traditional branding channels become more commonplace and organizations need to bring on new experts to handle them, marketing organization design will become even more important, so it's better to address this now than later.

3. "CEOs and CMOs will move closer and get their agendas aligned."

Ok, I'll admit that this is a little outside of my area of expertise, any any comments would be totally anecdotal.  So while it's important for people to have different attitudes and opinions about major topics, it's not good when upper management can't get anything done because they're constantly butting heads.

4. "The advertising marketplace will be more robust than expected with overall spending increases across all media at better than 7 percent."

Aha, the piece de resistance, at least from my point of view.  More money in the advertising arena means more opportunities for kiosk and digitial signage systems to proliferate.  Take that in conjunction with this quote from a recent Wall Street Journal article, "The Ad World's Message for 2005: Stealth"

If marketers learned one key point over the past year, it is that reaching consumers by traditional means -- TV, magazines and newspapers -- is getting harder. American spenders are moving targets. They are seeking information from a broader range of sources than ever and, in the process, filtering out messages that don't resonate or speak to their specific needs.

But why try to be more stealthy when you can just move more of the advertisements at the point-of-sale?  Since the target customers aren't on their home turf, (where they might feel that more ads are just invasive), there isn't any need to camouflage the content-- it can be straightforward, quick and obvious.  And we've all heard the oft-quoted statistic that 70% of purchase decisions are made on the sales floor, so any influencing factors placed there can have an enormous effect.

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