A Vancouver media company is bringing emerging technology and services into retailing to help brand marketers communicate more effectively with consumers, just when those shoppers are making buying decisions. Tava touchpoints, based in Vancouver, is bringing in-store digital media screens down to eye level where they’ll be noticed, adding interactivity and turning on Pulse Analytics, a sophisticated audience-easurement report that tracks the activity and success of in-store digital marketing programs. Today most advertising and marketing screen networks installed in chain retail use flat-anel screens suspended from high ceilings or mounted on available wall space, but tava touchpoints president Alex Karch believes this is not the future for digital signage.
“If those screens are not carefully positioned, they will have limited success in engaging consumers. Industry experience tells you that approach doesn’t work unless the execution is perfect,” she said. “We’re using technology that gets the screens down to eye level, where people see them, and we’re developing compelling, useful content that engages and educates consumers.” The company has established a partnership with Toronto-based Planet-Tek Systems, which operates a successful network of shopper-focused advertising screens in Canadian and U.S. locations of the organic grocer Whole Foods Market. Tava touchpoints is using the company’s EcoStream and interactive EcoTouch display units, which are built using eco-friendly material, use minimal energy consumption and have Apple technology driving them. By using displays that are part of custom pedestals or ready for mounting on shelves and high-visibility aisle ends, brand marketers can promote products and educate shoppers using integrated touchscreens. Part of the Planet-Tek partnership incorporates the use of audience-measurement technology developed by Markham, Ontario-based CognoVision, which uses sensors and automated biometric face-detection tools to count shoppers who look at screens. Through CognoVision’s measurement system, Pulse Analytics reports are generated to provide audience analytics that break down how long people look and parse the audience numbers by such things as time of day and even gender. Tava touchpoints was born out of a growing frustration with traditional mass media, says Karch, a much-honored BCIT grad with a background in print media sales and marketing.
“The marketplace is saturated with marketing noise, and most of it is irrelevant to consumers and doing very little for the brands,” she said.
Tava’s management team includes people with several decades of directly relevant experience in investment and international business.
Karch sees tremendous potential in bringing media efforts inside retail’s walls, but not as it’s been done to date.
“We are not in the business of capturing as many eyeballs as possible,” she said. “We are in the business of delivering compelling programming and relevant marketing that educates and entertains the consumer, and has a quantifiable impact for retailers through sales and shopper experiences.”
Tava touchpoints is in active discussions with chain retailers, with two models under consideration: ad-based digital programming in which the company will deploy, operate and sell media time; and private retail networks in which tava will operate and manage content programming on behalf of the retailer.
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