We’ve all seen signs like this. Companies with inventory and other assets to protect invest heavily to protect them. But given that marketers are integrating analytics with digital video, (please see yesterday’s Blog) this is a sign we’d like to see:
After all, we already have face recognition applications in use for security in public places; but before a customer steps foot in a retail building, why not know more about them as they’re driving into the parking lot? Using similar technology, look at the illustration below to think this out, starting at lower left, going clockwise.
Digital video technology could scan vehicles coming into a parking lot and (1) identify the type of vehicle (compact, luxury, SUV, etc.) based on a geometric profile library (in this case an SUV); (2) identify color of the vehicle utilizing spectrophotometers (Victory Red); (3) identify make and model based on a branding/logo recognition library (Chevy Silverado) ; and (4) origin of the vehicle and even some affiliation based on the existence and recognition of a “vanity” tag (West Virginia, NASCAR fan – specifically, Dale Earnhardt).
It shouldn’t be considered an intrusive method of data gathering; each of those data points are quite public statements of who the owner or driver of the vehicle is. Given hundreds of vehicles coming to “big box” stores such as a Home Depot or Best Buy or Wal-Mart over time, without knowing who the owner or driver is, a retailer can still gather peripheral data and eventually act upon it.
In the long run, there are some assumptions that can be made and conclusions that can be drawn about the owner or driver of the vehicle that can be substantiated or discovered by the datamining and business intelligence capabilities of a platform like those provided by Microstrategy or Business Objects, especially when cross-referenced with other store data such as sales, nearby branch sales, and perhaps secondary research concerning demographics and psychographics.
The arrival of a particular vehicle with the characteristics illustrated above could eventually trigger well-placed outdoor digital signage (such as from Reflect Systems) featuring sales information of products most likely to interest someone who owns or drives that type of vehicle. Other things could be possible but I’ll stop here. This complex a system won’t happen tomorrow. But…
Is this really feasible? Yes. Expensive to build? Yes. Problematic? Absolutely. Inevitable? Maybe.
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