How digital advertising is improving consumer engagement

In the wake of Covid-19, many industries have been struggling to get customers back in to physical stores, restaurants, gyms and much more.

There has been a significant drive to re-attract, re-engage and recoup lost sales and rebuild consumer confidence.  As of July 1, 2021, 22% of gyms and studios in the US were forced to close their doors, losing almost $29.9 billion in revenue. Similarly, the Yelp Economic Average Report found that 26,119 retail stores felt the hit of Covid closures, with 48% permanently shutting, and shifting their business online.

One of the avenues organisations are exploring to ensure they are maximising consumer attention, as well as encouraging them to return, when in a physical environment, is through digital advertising. 60% of our interactions with companies are now online, and when consumers engage with websites and mobile applications, media owners can deploy software code for digital adverts in a quick and scalable way. And Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as kiosks, elevators, and fitness equipment have the potential to maximise digital advertising revenue for businesses. This can be a major differentiator for equipment manufacturers as it enables them to provide fresh revenue opportunities to customers or, depending on requirements, distribute ad revenues to subsidize its own investment.

Fitness: Working out the best way to target consumers with digital advertising

The Covid-19 pandemic scrambled fitness consumers’ habits. The first six months of the USA being locked-down saw health and fitness equipment sales increase, and revenue almost double. And according to an independent study by The Washington Post, the sale of treadmills increased by 135%, while the sale of stationary bikes nearly tripled.

Industry participants have been given the opportunity to reset, and gyms need to offer more when it comes to the overall consumer experience within the gym vs. at home – as well as the virtual experience. Digital advertising offers a win-win opportunity for both manufacturers and customers.

Gym equipment often has razor thin profit margins. Equipment manufacturers can offer gyms an additional revenue stream – increasing their chance of securing a sale – by embedding digital advertising into their equipment. Programmable, embedded adverts give gym owners a way to monetise their gym equipment. Products such as, nutrition plans, tailored classes and branded clothing can be pitched to consumers – all while they work-out.

Hospitality: ‘Elevating’ the customer experience with a single touch screen

Hospitality is another industry that was hit hard by the pandemic, with the US food and retail sectors experiencing a 50% loss in employment opportunities – and they are still trying to regain stability today. Hotels, bars and cafés and restaurants were all forced to close their doors. But embedded digital advertising offers a new layer of customer experience engagement and monetisation opportunities, via engaging adverts in lifts, vending machines and kiosks.  

Many elevators come equipped with some sort of digital interface. Screens can be used to display a plethora of messages and digital adverts to users, and by creating a single user interface (UI), that merges the controls, messaging and digital advertising elements into one screen, organisations can bring additional income opportunities for any business that has a publicly accessible elevator. And by consolidating all of these elements into one screen can bring about tremendous hardware yields; installation and maintenance cost savings whilst maximising digital advertising revenue.

Self-service kiosk manufacturers have a similar opportunity to create more engaging customer experiences through interactive advertising. The end goal is to make the customer feel as though they have received excellent service, and have access to relevant deals while checking in to a venue or hotel. Manufacturers can also offer both local businesses, and global marketers an additional advertising avenue. With solutions offered in this way creating a win-win for the manufacturer, and advertiser, who both stand to benefit from increased revenue streams.

Smart mobility: Driving home the software advantage for native digital advertising

This new ‘experience ecosystem’, undoubtedly offers huge potential to media companies and marketers, who should take an active role in developing this area to make the most of the opportunity. A large majority of electric-powered mobility makes use of multimedia screens. Unprecedented levels of micro-targeted marketing communications can be enabled through access to more data, more touchpoints and more formats for advertisers. Drivers and passengers alike, are targeted, but the challenge for the industry is creating a consistent user experience.

The automotive industry has a continued opportunity to leverage software to further enhance the consumer experience, and increase car sales, amongst other uses. Eye tracking, facial recognition, AR technology and vehicle sensors can work together and deliver personalised messages to consumers while they look out of their windows. But in order to monetize these opportunities, manufacturers currently need to make use of third-party software, which is not always natively compatible with the code they are using.

Embedded in-vehicle-infotainment (IVI) should feel like an intuitive extension of the product, or a smartphone companion app. Users should feel connected to the device, and it should be a comfortable experience. Making use of a single code-base when incorporating a digital advertising solution to a multimedia screen can create this seamless experience for consumers, making them feel more comfortable and likely to want to buy the product.

Manufacturers of smart-mobility products, as with other industries – fitness, and hospitality – all face the issue of cost-efficiency. While looking to maintain different monetisation solutions, making use of a single code-base means that development costs can be lowered, and time to market can be improved. This is when compared to user interfaces developed across multiple development tools and methodologies. Simplifying development of products that will make use of digital advertising for monetisation can help industries to be better equipped to boost revenue, and improve customer engagement and experience.