Finding the interaction sweet spot

With all the talk of mobile activation on physical out-of-home ads, a medium seemingly devoid of the boundless possibilities of online advertising, a rising subject of discussion is not so much the ways in which people can interact, but whether or not they will at all. When the question is how people can interact, it’s easy to hail the latest enabler technology like NFC or Beacons, as if this alone is the answer.

By this stage, the industry understands that there are many ways for users to connect with a static poster by using their mobile device, but attention is still too heavily focused on the enabler technologies when it should be directed rather to the motivation for the user. When an OOH campaign is run featuring a call-to-action, advertisers wait anxiously for the results in the hope of something significant to report.

The industry reflects a mixed bag, with some showing a roaring success, and others an underwhelming disappointment.

So what is the reason for that? There are many, and this brings us to the science of OOH activation. Whenever a problem is based on multiple compounding factors, it is often very difficult to diagnose precisely what went wrong.

If you solve one issue the next time without solving another, then the results could still be poor and you won’t know why.

So it’s very important in cracking this space that we attempt to isolate what intersecting factors exist, so that we can deliver campaigns that get the best interaction rate possible.

The Interaction Sweet Spot.

So recent tests have shown that there are clearly 3 factors that have emerged to work in harmony to drive up interaction rates.

It’s all three components in the right combination that leads to users being inclined to interact with your OOH advertising

Enabler, incentive and creative.

  1. Enabler refers to what technologies are employed to allow users to connect.
  2. Incentive is in finding the right value exchange, the perfect motivating factor to drive a user to commit to getting out their device
  3. Creative is the way in which these enablers and incentives are presented in the mix.

When these 3 factors are given the right treatment and consideration, interaction rates are at their highest. If one is strong and another weak, that could have a devastating effect on the total interactions.

For example, if you have a great incentive and a strong creative treatment, but only a single QR code with no other enabler, then you have 2 out of 3 boxes ticked and this will not produce the optimal result. Perhaps also you have an array of enablers to suit all users, and it is beautifully designed with ample prominence to those enablers, but there is nothing for the user to gain except go to a web site – there will be a low interaction rate.

The trick is in getting these 3 factors to work together: 1) due prominence to the variety of enablers 2) which are incorporated neatly into the creative message (not too big or too small), and 3) supported with a worthwhile incentive that gets attention and motivates people to act.

Therein lies the best result that will validate mobile interaction campaigns in OOH and prove to brands that it is a worthwhile thing to do. Get it wrong, and these brands could be burnt from ever trying it again.

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