Elbe Smith, CEO of tech communications firm TQ Group, believes that it is critical for retailers and financial institutions to know their customers and understand their aspirations so that in-house digital content can be customised to respond to those aspirations.
“AVA is key to being able to understand and serve customer’s needs and ultimately for providing proper measurement and ROI on the money spent on marketing.”
Smith explains that traditional use of AVA provided basic information on the number of people that passed a digital screen but little more. But adds that this technology is now being used in much smarter ways.
TQ Group, responsible for in-house digital content for some of Africa’s major financial institutions and retailers, have taken their use of AVA several steps further in order to enable them to gather information on the length of time customers engage with digital signage and thereby tailor the content accordingly.
“Using embedded camera sensors to detect and scan the face of the customer and, using sophisticated algorithm analytics, we are now able to identify the age and gender of the customer and the length of time that the customer engaged with the screen for but most importantly what or which piece of content the person watched on the screens.”
Smith adds that this information used in combination with scheduling software makes it possible for TQ to deliver and play captivating and relevant content that will hold the customer’s attention for longer.
TQ is able to tell their customers who engaged with specific pieces of content and for how long. They then take it a step further by monetising the interaction in order to prove ROI to their customers.
Smith adds that TQ’s follow-on project is to trigger content to display according to the audience engaging with the screen, this allows the retailer to target advertising to existing and potential customer segments.
Important to note, says Smith, is that unlike facial recognition software where the programme matches a specific face to a database, AVA is entirely anonymous and uses pattern detection.
“The live data, taken from the video camera, is then converted into statistical information – which can then be imported into a spreadsheet for evaluation purposes and because only data is being saved for reporting purposes, privacy legislation such as the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) is never breached,” she concludes.