Thousands upon thousands of fans are gathering in New Orleans right now, in anticipation of Sunday’s Super Bowl.
They think they know who’s playing in the annual NFL Championship Game, but they may not be aware that a small Ontario tech company is playing on the big New Orleans stage, too.
If they’re carrying a smartphone, however, they will soon find out.
iSIGN Media Solutions is installing its interactive mobile messaging systems at Mardi Gras World, site of several pre-game parties, events and festivities.
Based in Richmond Hill, ON, iSIGN has been working with the New Orleans Super Bowl XLVII Host Committee to install thirty Smart Antenna stations in the downtown New Orleans facility.
Loaded with iSIGN’s patent pending software, the wireless platform reaches out to consumers’ mobile devices within 100 metres, sending specific messages about nearby activities, with special offers, discount coupons and other local information.
That’s highly-targeted advertising: geo-fenced, in fact.
With the iSIGN system, message delivery can be fine-tuned in terms of physical distance and broadcast range: one specific area can be covered with one specific message, and an adjacent area can be blanketed with another message, bringing added relevancy to the content as people move from one location to another.
iSIGN’s software-driven platform uses Bluetooth, Mobile, Wi-Fi and location-aware technologies to deliver permission-based messages to consumers’ smartphones. Rich media and interactive content is often used in the messages, so it’s a lot like street level TV broadcasting.
Promotional content from Super Bowl event vendors and partners delivered to willing passers-by includes eating and dining information, with full restaurant menus and reservation options. Musical artists and other performers are highlighted, with links to artists’ websites, music downloads and more.
When the system is connected with big widescreen TVs, the message can be displayed in its full HD glory, not just a portable three inch screen. Content can be changed every four minutes on the system, if desired.
The iSIGN system also gathers business intelligence and real-time metrics about mobile usage and message effectiveness, noted company CEO Alex Romanov. Consumer data collection and analysis is becoming an ever more important component of his company’s marketing and messaging service, and a big part of retailing efforts overall.
This is ‘big data’ from a mobile perspective; the data gathered from interactions with consumers can describe their behaviour, such as time spent at any one station, or in between stations. The system tracks specific coupon redemption, too, and thus can deliver an added ROI to advertisers.
It’s said that targeted, relevant mobile messages can achieve a 20 per cent redemption rate; that’s sky-high compared to broadly-based ads that may bring in just a couple of percentage points at the best of times!
So Romanov was highly enthusiastic about the opportunity that Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans presents to his company, much less his partners.
“For this little Canadian company, it’s a great chance to put our product on display in front of a very large audience at an event that attracts a tremendous amount of attention. It’s introducing us to the rest of the sporting world, and we hope it will get us included at other sporting events,” he said.
After the Super Bowl festivities, Romanov added, the iSIGN equipment will remain in place for some time, as part of his company’s arrangements with the city and its popular tourism facility: Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World is a well-known and oft-visited New Orleans venue, with its 200,000 sq. ft. arts & entertainment, dining and retail space.
iSIGN already operates a network of in-store digital signage in Canada with more than 5,500 digital signs in 1,400 locations; if you’ve been inside a Mac’s Milk, you may have been messaged by one of its systems.
Romanov mentioned new initiatives in China, as well, with the opportunity for tens of thousands of international iSIGN installs coming up for this Canadian tech company.