Digital Signage Asia 2008: Digital signage is not about USP but UBC

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | October 06, 2008
Rajesh Chakrabarti of Reliance Capital shares his experience with digital signage and eggs on solution providers to invest in developing the right content

On day

one of the second edition of the Digital Signage Asia 2008 conference held in Mumbai, Rajesh Chakrabarti, vice-president, branding, Reliance Capital, threw light on the uniqueness of digital signage and shared why he believes in the medium.

Chakrabarti's initial comment at the event met with good response and applause when he said, "There are many who believe that this medium (digital signage) does not work, but I am not one of those people. I believe that this medium delivers."

He shared an example of his experience while working at DCB, when a sales person tried to convince him to put up digital screens in the bank and he asked for one screen. After discussions with the salesperson, and realising that it wouldn't reach out to customers across 72 branches, he decided to go in for 20 screens instead.

Rajesh Chakrabarti
He explained, "At the bank, usually there are no more than three-four customer service people. On the other hand, about 40 people are waiting to be serviced, just sitting or reading a newspaper. We realised these screens could actually answer peoples' questions such as what is the minimum balance of a savings account. It could speak to them about our different products. We created a 40 minute long template loop for these screens. From 20 screens, the bank now uses 50 screens."

However, Chakrabarti emphasised that 'Content is King'. Digital signage, he said, is not created for TV ads. It is important to know where to place your ad. For example, in a hospital, you cannot place an ad for a holiday or a cruise, but you may place an insurance ad. Similarly, in a gym, a Nike ad or a health food ad works well.

He said, "This medium works because it is unique - not because of duplicating. It is not about unique selling proposition (USP) here, but about 'unique buying compulsion'(UBC). Why is it that I have to have digital signage?"

He went on to give an example of how a store could play ads on digital screens. "In a shirt store, instead of some random ad, the screen could play an ad for a holiday while a man is looking at shirts. This could be followed by a holiday loan ad, as he thinks 'I'll need Rs 3 lakh for this holiday'. Next could be the shirt store's ad for a Hawaiian shirt that a person could wear on that holiday."

Thus, spacing and mixing of content is extremely important, claimed Chakrabarti. He added that digital signage is non-intrusive. "But it is important to know who I'm talking to, where they are and what content they see," he said.

Giving an example of how digital signages add to a company's bottomline, he said that suppose Domino's or Café Coffee Day runs a contest for customers. The contest requires that the customers wait for about 40 minutes for the end of the contest and the declaration of the winner.

In all probability, participating customers will stay back. "Do you know what this means for the business? This means that the customer staying back buys more pizzas, or more coffee. You have added value to the business," he said.

Chakrabarti ended his discussion by saying that rather that investing money into 5,000 screens, one could have 1,000 screens and spend the remaining money in developing content for those screens.

Chakrabarti has more than 14 years of experience in media, research, marketing and sales. He has worked with companies such as ORG-Marg, the Anand Bazar Patrika Group, Radio City and UTV. He later moved into finance at the Development Credit Bank, where he was instrumental in the rebranding of the bank into DCB. Subsequently, he moved on to Reliance Capital.

Digital Signage Asia 2008 is presented by Scala. The associate sponsor is Vu Technologies, with network partner Business Q. Media partners include Point-of-Purchase, Outdoor Advertising,, DSW, The Brand Reporter and afaqs!.

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