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Digital Signage, Ad Targeting a Concern for Holiday Shoppers

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Digital Signage, Ad Targeting a Concern for Holiday Shoppers


November 26, 2013

By Michael Guta, TMCnet Contributing Writer

With only two days away from Black Friday (News - Alert), shoppers and retailers are getting ready for the busiest shopping day of the year. While in the past, retailers relied on ads using print, radio and television to get shoppers in their stores, today they have high-tech applications capable of tracking their every move to offer them the best available deal. Digital signage and ad targeting is giving retailers more access, but this access to the consumer comes with a double-edge sword that could potentially block companies from accessing their customers and drive them away forever.

The ISACA 2013 IT Risk/Reward Barometer survey found 67 percent of U.S. consumers thought personalized promotional campaigns used by retailers in physical stores invasive, while only 55 percent found the same campaigns invasive when they were shopping online.

Digital signage uses remote control distribution and playback of digital content on network of displays such as billboards and small screens at single or multiple sites. This technology is used by many different organizations in healthcare facilities, hotels, restaurants and more. It allows advertisers to engage customers and deliver up-to-date relevant message to improve the customer experience.

Ad targeting is used by advertisers to reach a specific consumer audience using different sets of technologies to recognize consumers when they are in a particular location. This generally requires opting in by consumers before they can be targeted, but increasingly there are many companies that are overlooking this very critical step before they address potential customers.

Even though we provide a lot of information to many different organizations, the vast majority of people still greatly value their privacy and want to be asked before anyone accesses their mobile device with an offer. As the mobile devices we use become part of everything we do, retailers and other organizations must understand the relationship people have with their devices and the value they hold. Violating the device is tantamount to violating the user.

"Despite how much information people share online, they still cherish the concept of personal privacy. Retailers that use technology to try to save shoppers time and money without asking permission first may actually do more harm than help to their bottom line this holiday season,” said John Pironti, risk advisor with ISACA and president of IP Architects.

Forty-six percent of respondents said a clerk calling them by name and receiving a text while in the store about specials is invasive. Retailers are able to find this information using a variety of technologies including facial recognition, geofencing and Bluetooth-enabled beacons.

The ISACA 2013 IT Risk/Reward Barometer polled 1,216 U.S. consumers to study the global attitude  regarding the trade-off consumers are willing to make while balancing the risks, rewards and other inconveniences when using new technology. 

Image via Shutterstock

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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