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Four new ad trends push limits of tech, privacy

October 6, 2010

Four new ad trends push limits of tech, privacy
By Oregon Small Business Association

New marketing strategies in Japan allow a vending machine to capture an image of the consumers, track gender and age and even offer a suggested drink. NEC Corporation, the third largest computer display models, says it can accurately guess the consumers’ age by 10 years, 70% of the time and the correct gender 90%. Cameras with facial recognition software view how many people walk by, their attentiveness and their gender.

Signs that monitor customers:
Digital signage in Japan is growing in popularity and is expected to more than double this year. Japan has no specific laws that require notifying the onlookers that they are being photographed and their images could be stored. A vending machine at East Japan Railway includes a camera but NEC Corp. says the digital signs are not capable of storing images, but it records information as text-based data.

Digitizing in-store shopping
Retailers, faced with declining customer satisfaction and sales declining 15% each year, are increasingly looking for more options to sell, including interactive dressing rooms, virtual sales associates and even digital scanners that offer discounts to customers. Customers are flocking to online shopping, where they get more information, including product information, customer reviews and items that other customers bought. Essentially, shoppers have grown accustomed to higher expectations and retailers are looking for ways to make the in-store shopping experience more personal for the consumers.

Interactive mirrors:
Retailer J.C. Penney has added a “FindMore” fixture at some locations, a 52-inch touch screen that allows customers to see the full range of merchandise and offers information typically found online, such as product information, recommendations and reviews. Retailer The Limited is considering installing interactive mirrors in dressing rooms to warn shoppers when items don’t match or even offer styles that do match. Retailers are putting more emphasis on in-store marketing to get consumers in the door, connect with them and get them to make a purchase.

E-Book ads:
The new realm of personalized advertising is now coming to your e-book. Overall sales of books have been steady or decreasing over the last decade. Now publishers are producing physical and digital books which adds an increased cost of production. E-books are far less profitable than hardbacks, forcing publishers to look for more revenue. Some say e-books will prove to be a popular place for advertising, because, unlike the hard copy version, they have an integrated system which the user logs into their account periodically, allowing advertisers to update and adjust to the readers’ preferences. The addition of advertising in e-books is likely to introduce a new territory to writers, agents and publishers will have to negotiate new arrangements to address new costs, revenue sources and control rights.

  
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