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Mobile Innovation in Out of Home Media

18 Nov

An evening on integration ‘traditional’ with ‘new’ media. In this event of our Amsterdam Chapter, we’ve showcased/discussed innovation in the field of Out of Home advertisement.

Local from its origins, mobile and social in this present time, the billboard has been transformed from a static surface to an interactive and geo-targeted advertising hub. Whether it’s free WiFi offered at a busstop or digital screens dynamically adapting to passing traffic, modern day OOH media are a blend of the familiar and the surprising. Or more importantly: a testing bed between what advertisers know to buy and what they would like to try!

Chapter President PJ Verhoef opens the event with an introduction to the speakers and a video on Screenscape: an example of how disruptive web-first business models can turn a traditional model upside down.


LocaModa Founder and Monster Media EVP Stephen Randall discusses how social, mobile innovation is used to amplify reach and results of traditional outdoor marketing campaigns.


Layar is represented by Marjolein Stromeier and VP Product Rags Vadail. They present inspiring examples of using augmented reality in out of home marketing.


Guy Grimmelt, director of Host and sponsor CBS Outdoor, presents local examples of how the outdoor media industry is transformed by using social, local, mobile marketing.


Check out the photos for an impression of a typical LBMA MeetUp!


The Changing Art of Location Intelligence

9 Jun

Mobile marketing and commerce is finally starting to deliver on the promise it has been for the past decade. Not in the least due to location based services, which are allowing the delivery of value and relevance to customers in a new way. But what’s still missing in most campaigns are the market analytics that allow for targeting a message or offer to relevant audiences. Help is underway from several platforms.

Most mobile marketing campaigns and apps that rise above the noise of daily hypes and trends, seem to have a creative/fun or discount angle, such as BMW with their Mini Getaway games or the many Coupon offers being developed.  From the headlines of tech blogs, you’d almost get the idea that the “old-fashioned” way of using market research to reach an audience is all but forgotten. Contrastingly, the potential of using location signals to do targeted mobile advertising is as promising as cookies once were. Ad platforms are starting to support the hyper-local awareness that’s now available through apps and search on smartphones.

It is not new that sales can be analysed on location, such as a country, city or postal code. Enterprise class GIS systems such as ESRI ArcGIS or simpler tools such as Microsoft Mappoint can be deployed to do geomarketing analysis on “big data” sets that are gathered from point-of-sales data. Brands use this to determine shelfspace in stores, new QSR locations or catchment areas of their sales staff.

Mobile scenarios however, promise new ways to locate an audience in realtime, allowing marketing strategies to target them at a physical place at the time they are there. These strategies should be informed and planned through the use of location focused marketing research tools. Below are some examples.

Search platforms

Though there are more mobile ad platforms such as AdMob, Smaato, WideSpace and Apples iAd, Google has the unique combination of its company’s search assets and mobile platform to lead the pack in location based intelligence and targeting. In Analytics, you can research to great detail where people are looking for your product. Through the revamped AdWords location targeting, mobile search engine marketing can be focused on a maximum of 10,000 individual locations (with an optional radius). Google claims that location targeting lowers paid search CPC by as much as 36%.

(Geo)Social networks

Although an increasing part of search is mobile, there’s more to mobile marketing than search. Social platforms are also increasingly being used on mobile devices and deliver an additional wealth of signals. In addition, geosocial apps and networks such as foursquare and SCVNGR,  provide the “opt-in” permission of a check-in, making a brand engagement easier.  “Traditional” social media monitoring tools however only analyse “keywords” in relation to a brand, which creates a “location blind spot” where this may be of great interest to a brand.

The Local Blind Spot

The Local Blind Spot

Burger King for example, may be quite interested in gathering a facebook comment like “this place is a mess” if it has been made at their restaurant, but that sentence would never qualify as a reasonable search term for monitoring platforms such as Sysomos or Radian6. In 2010 new platforms emerged that specifically analyse this space and in some cases allow for cross-platform targeting of ads. A non-comprehensive list:

Geotoko: recently acquired by Hootsuite, this tool analyses daily check-in data from foursquare, Gowalla/Facebook and Twitter. A neat feature is the location heat map, which visualizes the relative popularity of venues around the promoted location on these platforms. It emphasizes heavily on its promotional features that allow for a variety of sweepstakes, scan-to-win and other frequently used marketing tools.

Venuelabs: which is a smart pivot from the analytics platform Valuevine in 2011, is now positioned to become the “Klout of storefronts”. It’s Venuerank rating produces a score for brands to better understand how their local storefronts are doing. This scoring model is designed around an array of location-based dimensions, including, Reach on platforms, the frequency and levels of customer engagement at storefront level, the size and influence of a storefront’s community and the (expressed) sentiment of customers at the location.

Momentfeed: positioned as the “Google Analytics of the real world”, aggregating data from across various geosocial networks to present a more complete look at consumer, real world behavior. It is currently using data from the API’s of Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook (with ever growing plans to pull in activity from other platforms. On top of filling a large database with check-in data for cross-platform and historic analysis, it competes with Venuelabs with a proprietary algorithm to determine the level of engagement at a location.

Operator and in-store marketing intelligence

Operator driven geofenced offersand indoor position technologies are allowing for a new field of location based marketing, triggered by the customer’s presence nearby or even inside a venue.  In the (UK) example of O2 More, over 6 million subscribers opted in to receiving SMS coupons, triggered by their preference (e.g. movies) and their vicinity to a participating venue (e.g. theaters). In the US, Shopkick offers promotions to mobile customers that simply walk into a participating venue, eliminating the need for people to check-in altogether. Larger malls are actively experimenting with smart indoor positioning technologies, that use (an app on) the visitors phone to push information and advertising of their merchants. All these platforms are creating loads of valuable marketing data that are currently already accessible to participating brands and merchants. New technologies, such as used by WifarerViewsy, Yfind, and others, even make it possible to identify hotspots, dwelltimes and return visits to indoor locations as detailed as shopping aisles.


Indoor Heatmaps

Indoor Heatmaps

Advanced location targeting

Companies such as Localsensor and PlaceIQ use anonimized traces from Ad Exchanges and Real Time Bidding platforms to allow for highly focused customer profiles. Imagine targeting “Double Income No Kids couples on a beach in France when it’s starting to get cold”. Or perhaps you’d want to retarget ads to an audience that has just visited a (not your) festival? Sounds creepy? Click-through rates on these ads are phenomenal so we’ll have to see what the audience will decide. Below some interesting case studies that use location targeting to increase the relevance and impact of the campaign.

Creepy? Funny? Let us know which one you (dis)liked most and why!

The Dutch SoLoMo Ecosystem

14 Dec

ESA-BIC LogoIf the engagement at last night’s LBMA Event at the European Space Agency incubator ESIC was any indication, there is great future ahead for the SoLoMo community in The Netherlands. With speakers and panel members from local start-ups like Scoupy, Whatser, Spaaza, Localsensor and Flirtmart, the attendees were treated to excellent content and discussion on entrepreneurship in this space. Add in those speaking on behalf of incubators RockstartStartupbootcamp and Rhodan and people walked away with understanding the phases of a start-up, from incubation through acceleration to adoption. Big thanks to the sponsors of the evening, ESA-BIC and GeoRun for making this event free for most attendees.

Intro by PJ Verhoef

Local chapter president PJ Verhoef kicked off the evening by thanking “Amsterdam” to travel well outside their comfort-zone to meet each other at the intersection of rocket science and business incubation. Going through the background of The LBMA in Europe, he invited attendees to apply for (“founding” or regular) membership by detailing the benefits of each.

The Role of the Incubator by Martijn Weeber

Martijn explained what incubators and accelerators can offer to start-ups in general, and space related technology in particular. After showing some of the rocket science start-ups under their roof, he put forward an attractive  invitation to apply for the upcoming call for proposals, with grants of up to 50k euro for R&D. Incredulous start-up entrepreneurs asked how they could make money if no equity was involved in the deal. The answer is that ESA is looking to transfer their technology to society through entrepreneurs such as present.

Scoupy from Incubation to Acceleration to Adoption by Valentijn Bras

With a pace as fast as the growth of his company, Valentijn went through the history of his mobile couponing start-up. Along the way, many decisions were taken that proved to provide a basis for their current success. Amongst which were the choice to invest heavily in (expensive) SME sales from the start and to be very selective on the type of venture partners to use at pivotal moments of the growth cycle. Valentijn ended in style, by announcing their new branding campaign and offering a special “LBMA” location based coupon with some great prizes for the attendees.

What we Learned at Whatser by Michiel Verberg

Michiel helped all existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in the room with a great talk on lessons learned in his company. Starting out as a mobile city guide, Whatser discovered a few pitfalls  about the market that can be avoided, but more importantly, distilled new opportunities from these challenges. The Dutch LBMA had its first scoop in its history with the announcement of Whatser’s pivot business concept. Michiel will likely have spent a lot of time at the networking party answering questions on detail. We’ll all just be looking towards further announcements, coming very soon.

The formal part of the evening ended with a great discussion by our panel on topics ranging from the threat and opportunity of LBM to retail and the investment climate in The Netherlands through the most interesting/important developments for 2013. During drinks, many attendees said they liked the combination of high quality speakers and attendees with a more intimate setting. “At bigger conferences (that attract the same bigger names) often one is lost in the crowd, looking for interesting and relevant networking contacts”, was heard several times. We’ll commit to keeping our events focused and intimate like this for the coming year.

Sounded interesting? Come join us at next event or contact us for further information on membership.

Bridging the gap between Clicks and Mortals

16 Nov

Why do I get a coupon in a local magazine for a shop nearby, while the brand I buy at this shop is pushing a mobile ad with a discount to a webshop? Why does this billboard tempt me to travel to Turkey for  a weekend, without giving me the option to book (or at least bookmark) the trip online?

I don’t want this color, I don’t want to stand in line for the cash register and I want an instant comparison between 5 products in this category. Why can’t I order this product directly from their webshop, with my smartphone? Oh wait, let’s just scan the barcode and buy on Amazon.

Smartphones & tablets will present both the diversity and comfort of webshops, as well as an augmented shopping experience at local retail. In that sense the technology could provide for a level playing field for pureplay ecommerce and bricks & mortar retail. All too often, digital marketing & commerce innovations are developed in silos, benefiting only an online or offline retailer, while the consumer has no need or benefit from a fragmented buying experience to answer questions like the above.

Bridging this gap for retail and brands is not an easy feat, since the pace of chance is simply breathtaking. We’re rapidly bringing the web with us into the streets and into shops, which are only just trying to figure out how to deal with the challenges of eCommerce. It’s difficult to choose which trend to follow and which to wait out. It’s particularly difficult to choose which technology to bet on and which to discard. The rumored move of Google into same-day delivery services is a great example of how ambiguous the benefits of new technology can seem for retailers.

The idea behind the new delivery service is that people searching for products online or on their phones could buy something from a local retailer or the local branches of nationwide chains, and could then take the next step –delivery– through Google. Over the past years, it has enhanced its product search and introduced new (mobile and online) ad formats for retailers. It now shows sites that carry an item and compares prices and shipping fees, and connects with stores’ inventory feeds to show where the item is in stock nearby. The new service would be an extension of that.

“Same-day delivery through Google could help physical retailers compete with e-commerce companies, by offering the convenience of shopping without leaving home. At the same time, online retailers offering same-day delivery could make life even harder for physical retailers, because letting people own something the same day has become physical retailers’ biggest remaining advantage.”

The online and offline worlds are merging and commerce is one of the first realms to see the result. Health, government and education are trailing closely. With the smartphone, we’re connecting our human experience and preference, augmented by advanced sensors, to the wealth of online information and social sharing. According to some knowledgeable sources, there’s a freaky, contextual and automatic world coming. As the phone (or the cloud that it connects to) learns our daily rhythms, travel patterns, product preferences, health status and whatever next personal need we’ll be using apps for, we can use this for delivering on a big promise.

The end game is a world where -through advanced marketing technology-, production and sales can be tailored so closely to consumers requirements, that we eliminate most of the waste caused by imperfect information.

Waste in creation of dispensable products and services. Waste in overproduction and stock. Waste in logistics & distribution. And yes, waste in marketing, selling and servicing those unwanted products.