Your business has information you want to deliver to your audience in hopes of inspiring emotions within them and actions from them. To determine how effective your messaging is you need to classify whom you are reaching out to and how your messaging affects their behavior. What kind of people are viewing your content? What are they doing next? How can your display content be improved to better affect your desired outcomes? The answers to these questions can be informed with analytics directly from your digital display, assuming it is equipped with the right management technologies.
No matter what display management solution you use, there are a few bedrock analytics you absolutely must demand. Listed below are some of these fundamentally important tools, along with some illustration of their particular utility. It is crucial for a display owner to understand the value each of these analytics brings, but it’s similarly important to acknowledge that any of these individual analytics can only tell you a small amount. Just as any single baseball statistic only describes one element of a ballplayer, any single display analytic will simply paint a fraction of the full picture. That being said, not all analytics are made equal and the ones below should provide you a solid baseline.
You may not always be the one scheduling and choosing the content for your display, but you should always be able to see what was played. For one thing, without knowledge of your content history you won’t have any reference point for the other analytics you gather. Second, display owners surely want to check if everything played according to schedule. Also, it’s always good to keep a record of what you (or your team) are showing the public. Content played isn’t so much something to analyze on its own as it is something on which to apply other analytics. Who looked at your content? How long did they do so? What did they do next? The only way to answer these questions fully is to know what your content was in the first place.
Depending on your data gathering operation, you may be determining the gender breakdown of your customers in a variety of ways. Still, knowing who patronizes your business is not the same as knowing who looks at your display content. Purchasers and viewers are separate groups, but the goal of any display operation is obviously to turn these viewers into purchasers. Knowing the gender breakdowns of each group is therefore important and you’ll want as many data points as possible. For instance, imagine you register that 62% of purchases in your store are made by females but that 51% of the people viewing your display content are male. That is useful data that may inspire you to make adjustments.
Without actually asking customers or viewers personally, it is not realistic to expect analytics tools to determine exact ages. Still, technology has advanced to the point where it is sophisticated enough to get close, especially over large sample sizes. This insight will be particularly useful in crafting the copy that your display showcases. Word usage varies widely between age groups, and language target at the wrong age group will likely miss the mark. For instance, it’s hard to imagine an octogenarian finding interest in display copy describing a product as “lit.” The average age of your audience is something you may already understand, depending on where your business or organization is located. But just as gender analytics from a display are different from those gathered in other ways, so too is age data. And as always, the more data points, the better.
Other than by tracking purchases, it’s hard to gauge how interested your audience is without knowing how much time they are spending viewing your content. Just as websites measure figures like time on site, your display ought to measure the physical version of that: dwell time. Display owners frequently use dwell time as a metric to determine effectiveness when a/b testing different types of content. If your display management platform can tell you that audiences are lingering for only nine seconds, you know that the content you loop ought not to be longer than that. That simple piece of data can be the difference in providing effective content.
Movement throughout the Space
Similar to dwell time in that it concerns physical location tracking, this information will help you figure out how your audience is behaving while in your space. What is catching their eye? Also, where are they? You want to know who your audience is, but you also want to know how your audience behaves. You have got to collect as much information about your audience as possible in order to effectively communicate with them. Movement data will be particularly useful in crafting content that is spatially relevant to your audience; content that relates to where they are actually standing or moving, and what they might likely be doing. It wouldn’t make sense to say “Welcome” to an audience near the point of purchase, right?
Each of these analytics are valuable in their own right, but taken together they paint a more defined picture of your audience and your business. Knowing the gender of your audience is great, but you need to know their age too. Understanding how long your audience looks at your content is critical, but so is knowing where they move afterwards. And all of that is hard to put into action unless you know what content you showed in the first place. There are countless analytics beyond these few that can inform your decision-making, but these are the basics without which no management platform is complete. So when integrating digital display technology into your space, make sure you get more than just the physical parts. You need the analytics tools that go along with it, too. To learn how these tools can be useful in more specific scenarios, read this.