How This Company Is Making Digital Signage Smarter in the Out-of-Home Space

Published: May 17, 2016

Digital signage opportunities are everywhere for integrators—from the casino market to the sports industry to the retail space.

Creating digital experiences for consumers is a trend on the rise in various markets, and companies across the globe are looking for opportunities to engage their customers through digital signage and other interactive and immersive technologies.

In addition to digital signage hardware, new software is now helping companies leverage digital signage in a different way. With a new proximity marketing platform from Gimbal, a provider of a mobile engagement platform, brands, retailers, advertisers, venues and out-of-home (OOH) networks are now receiving a better understanding of who their customers are and what they’re looking for.

Leveraging location intelligence, Gimbal’s proximity marketing platform provides companies with contextually relevant consumer information.

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“That fits into a lot of what OOH providers are looking to do—to build upon their inherent message in a physical perspective. We can provide that bridge to a digital experience,” says Ray Rotolo, senior vice president of OOH assets for Gimbal.

Incubated in Qualcomm for four years up until May 2014, Gimbal has partnered with a number of different retail partners as well as publisher partners such as Shazam since its two years out of Qualcomm.

“That’s how we connect [to consumers], through our publisher partners,” says Rotolo. 

Using proximity technology called beacons, Gimbal aims to give companies leveraging digital signage a better sense of their audience.

By giving consumers a digital experience on their devices, Gimbal aims to help companies extend the physical connection created through digital signage.

“Our proximity is based off of two levels—macro, which is geo-fencing, and the second of which is where our strong legacy is—beacons. The beacon itself is a transmitter, it stores no information and collects no information,” explains Rotolo. 

“It sends out a signal. All of the smarts is in our software development kit (SDK) which is integrated into our publisher ecosystem. Our SDK is always listening to see one of those signals from a geo-fence or a beacon signal. When that signal is picked up by our SDK, it then reaches up to our cloud to reconcile that. So it pulls down either a notification to a consumer or a video or whatever that reconciliation may be and then delivers it through the application to the consumer.”

The beacon works from 50 meters down to centimeters, while the geo-fencing works beyond 50 meters. Rotolo says that the geo-fences can be built in any shape or form to create a perimeter around a specific location, helping to enhance the opportunity to connect with a consumer and understand their behavior.

Gimbal aims to set itself apart from others in the out-of-home space by providing companies with a new way to connect with customers and learn more about their habits and behavioral patterns.

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Gimbal also aims to provide companies with the opportunity to extend the physical connection created through digital signage by giving consumers a digital experience on their devices.

“We’re giving them intelligence, giving them a better sense of audience so they can create more value from current inventory. We give them a new path to create digital experiences that create even more value and gives them a proposition to sell to advertisers to make connections to consumers,” says Rotolo.

When it comes to the integration industry, there are countless opportunities to work with digital signage. According to Rotolo, those opportunities are about to expand even more.

“I think where digital signage is moving towards, especially in the partnerships we’re creating now, is it can become this bridge that connects to consumers to provide them with really relevant information that could be useful to them. It’s not just an interrupter or a disruptor within a consumer’s journey throughout the day, but it can become a useful part of their journey throughout the day,” says Rotolo.

“If there’s anything [integrators] should know it’s that digital signage isn’t just a stick in the ground. It is much more than that and can be much more than that.”

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