IntelliMat


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Overview


With an ever-changing advertising world, advertisers must seek new ways to connect on a personal level with consumers; using an IntelliMat is one way of engaging consumers in their personal space, at the point-of-purchase. The portable floor display uses four vivid LCD screens placed within a mat approximately 1 inch thick by 3.5 - 4 feet wide with full multi-media capabilities to engage audiences. The four screens placed together create a 30-inch diagonal display, which can be seen up to 10 ft away (LevelVision, 2010). They are made with durability in mind; allowing for customers to actually walk or push carts/buggies across the mat. The IntelliMat, created by The Egg Factory in 2004 (eventually becoming LevelVision), is an effective way to catch the audience’s attention using the idea of the “proxemic effect” – engaging people within their personal space, which can increase the likeness to the messages received (“LevelVision and MetHodder,” 2008).

Currently, BroadSign™ Suite software powers the IntelliMat system, giving retailers the ability to generate proof-of-play reports, manage inventory from a central location, target campaigns specifically, and sell airtime (LevelVision, 2010). The built-in wireless, Windows-based PC presents an advantage for advertisers and retailers because anything that can be displayed on a computer can be played on system, from PowerPoint’s to animations (Kantor, 2005).

Advertising with an Intellimat


There are many advantages for using an IntelliMat. The biggest advantage perhaps is the effect it has on audiences because it engages them in their own personal space while they are making purchase decisions. LevelVision, IntelliMat’s product brand, says it relies on basic human psychology to support their product. "You look down for survival," said Jim Currie, LevelVision's president and chief executive officer. "And when you look down, you narrow your focus"(Adams, 2007). Since the mat lies in the line of vision of consumers, they are more likely to pay attention to the advertisements than looking up at TV screens or other advertisements that aren’t directly in front of them. With the help of digital animations, the ads will engage consumers in a different way than plain, static floor stickers.

The mat is also portable, and takes up virtually little space; an advantage for stores with limited wall space. With ease of placement and a single electric cord, IntelliMat can be placed in store entrances to attract traffic in or relocated in front of promotional items/products to drive sales (“LevelVision and MetHodder,” 2008). Currie says a lot of retailers want to use their IntelliMat in a variety of ways; some use it solely for entertainment purposes, while others use it to improve the customer experience in the retail environment or to accomplish various business objectives.

The software installed in the mat also provides a medium that administrators do not have to be tech savvy to use; once you plug it in, IntelliMat automatically boots itself and connects to the network for usage. Advertising content can then be programmed without hassle (Kantor, 2005).








Engaging people with IntelliMat

Limitations involved with using an Intellimat


Although the IntelliMat has the ability to grab customer’s attention, it may end up being just another advertising medium consumers learn to ignore. An Ad Age reporter, Mya Frazier, has her doubts about the long-term possibilities of the mat, saying, “I’m very skeptical about whether this in-store stuff really works. I mean, it’s annoying.” (Kantor, 2005) Consequently, the consumer may stop paying attention to the movement that attracts them to the mat in the first place.

IntelliMat can provide retailers with a medium to potentially reach a wide range of consumers. However, the mat has to be placed strategically in high traffic areas to effectively have a high reach. Even if the mat is placed in the right place at the right time, consumers may ignore the messages or content if they become desensitized.

Some retailers are so enthused about the sales IntelliMat may drive for them, if placed in high traffic stores, that they are talking about exclusive rights to the advertising placed on the mat. Proctor & Gamble is one of the companies that would like to see only their brands advertised within grocery stores using floor signage (Kantor, 2005). If companies do gain exclusive rights to the advertising, this could prevent advertisers and retailers from advertising different brands or messages, creating somewhat of a monopoly.

Costs of advertising


IntelliMat is a relative inexpensive way to advertise and reach a large audience. As TV advertisements become more expensive, advertisers are looking for effective media at a cheaper price; IntelliMat could be the answer. Industry sources indicate that advertisers on average spend $21 to reach 1,000 viewers on television, compared to the $6.95 to reach the same amount of viewers with the IntelliMat (Hanlon, 2005). Television advertisements only reach the consumer while they are not in a position to buy, sometimes generating awareness and desire, but potentially never leading to a purchase. The mat is at the point where buyers are making purchase decisions, and these consumers can be swayed; therefore, leading to an increase in sales.

The digital floor signage can also be used to generate revenue for retailers interested in purchasing the mat. If retailers choose to invest in an IntelliMat, they are able to run only advertisements that they choose or they can sale the air-time for a source of reoccurring revenue. Since each mat has the capabilities of network connection, advertisers can become a part of the network to increase their audience reach for out-of-home advertising (LevelVision, 2010). For example, the College Bookstore Network and IntelliMat teamed up to place the mats in over 300 college bookstores across the nation; content can be controlled from a central location and changed at a moment’s notice (“LevelVision Expands College,” 2008).


Scheduling, Reach and Frequency


The BroadSign software used to operate each IntelliMat makes it easy and convenient for retailers or networks to change the content displayed at different times. Content can be changed during different day parts to reach certain target customers, or frequency of messages increased during times to increase the number of impressions one customer may see. Retailers can also change the content if there is important, time-specific information that consumers may need to receive immediately, “such as severe weather messages or missing child alerts” (LevelVision, 2010). Therefore, scheduling can be determined based on the advertisers/retailers needs or wants. Frequency can be increased by the number of IntelliMats placed in one store; if a store has more than one mat, it is more likely that audiences will see more than one impression. By using IntelliMat as part of a circuit, like the College Bookstore Network, reach can be effectively increased to meet media objectives.


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Audience


The audience reached with an IntelliMat can vary greatly depending on the store and the traffic generated. With a mat placed in a grocery store, demographics can range from children to senior citizens and vary greatly psychographically, but if a mat is placed within a technology based store, it’s more likely that audiences are tech-savvy and have similarity in demographics. Since the Generation Y demographic, or Millennials, is known for their use of new media and technology, IntelliMat can become a way to catch their attention with innovative graphics and personal interaction. The College Bookstore Network taps into providing an advertising medium to reach the specific Millennial demographic that companies so often seek (“LevelVision and MetHodder,” 2008).

IntelliMat holds an advantage over most advertising mediums because it is placed in the store, where consumers are making purchase decisions. It has the potential to generate awareness, interest, desire and action, all in one place. The consumer can initially desire another product before entering a store, but be swayed by the advertisement or promotion that IntelliMat provides and instead purchase the advertised item. Studies show that products advertised on the IntelliMat saw sales increases of 6% to 240%, proving that the floor signage has a high response rate and the potential to drive sales (LevelVision, 2010).

The mat engages audiences on a personal level because it is in their own personal space. IntelliMat successfully uses the idea of "proxemic marketing" to drive sales within stores.

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Proxemic Marketing




Successful usage


Many retailers have integrated the digital floor signage into their environment producing successful results with increases in sales, higher store traffic and overall customer experience. After extensive research proved the mat was an effective way to advertise, prototypes were tested in 2004 at the Sony Store in New York City, Kroger stores in Virginia, a Nike international tradeshow and charity events (Hanlon, 2005). In late summer 2006, IntelliMats were placed at University Bookstore, Volume Two bookstore and Dietrick General Store, all located at/near the Virginia Tech campus, to analyze if the display was an effective marketing tool. Steve Glosh, assistant director of Virginia Tech services said, “We’ve actually run some very interesting tests for them [LevelVision] and found it to be a relatively effective marketing tool. The displays certainly help with a few items, like clothing” (Adams, 2007). The Sourceby Circuit City, located in Canada, also incorporated the IntelliMat in their 2006 back-to-school campaign. By placing the mat in their 30-ft. doorways, The Source immediately noticed an increase in traffic driven into their stores because the mat engaged passer-bys (Kohl, 2007). In 2007, C&N Sports Group, a performance and athletic apparel distributor, partnered with now LevelVision in a two-agreement to sell and distribute the IntelliMats to some 750 collegiate bookstores nationwide. The sell of the mats placed in bookstores not only benefited C&N Sports from the revenue generated from each sell, but the potential increase in sales due to advertisements placed on each mat (IntelliMat, Inc., 2007). C&N Sports Group’s president and CEO, Russell Gaddy became familiar with the digital floor display during the pilot program at Virginia Tech. He said, “Not only is the IntelliMat one of the most unique products I’ve ever seen, but it has an unparalleled ability to quickly capture and hold the consumer’s attention” (“LevelVision Expands College,” 2008).

Research Results



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Survey conducted by Mindset Creative. Shows consumer response toward IntelliMat placement in The Source stores.




Interesting Facts


According to IntelliMat’s Director of Manufacturing and Technology, Dave Strickland, the company is developing options in processor speed (1 to 3 gigahertz), hard drive space (60 to 150 gigabytes) and processing memory (512 megabytes to 1 gigabyte) in response to customer comments. “By offering choices in the areas of speed, hard drive space and memory, we are allowing our customers to tailor the mat to fit their needs,” Strickland said. “This versatility is cost-effective for customers who require a high-end computer and for those who don’t” (The Great Outdoor Network, 2006).

LevelVision also offers a smaller, countertop version of the IntelliMat: CounterVision. The mat lies on check-out counters in an attempt to engage the consumer while purchasing other items; it can be used to up-sell products with promotions, sales or warranties. The countertop mat has a single 19-inch screen and same processor-based platform used in the IntelliMat (LevelVision, 2010).



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CounterVision








References




(2007). Flooring Goes Digital. Chain Store Age, 83(6), 61. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.

Adams, D. (2007, December 27). Looking down makes profits look up. The Roanoke Times. Retrieved from [[http://roanoke.com/‌business/‌wb/‌144850]]

Great Outdoor Network. (2006, October 19). IntelliMats, LLC enhances on-floor digital display mats [Press release]. Retrieved from [[http://www.greatoutdoornetwork.com/‌new-products/‌1063-intellimats-llc-enhances-on-floor-digital-display-mats]]

Hanlon, M. (2005, October 22). Innovative digital display mat creates new advertising medium. Gizmag. Retrieved from [[http://www.gizmag.com/‌go/‌4868/]]

Kantor, A. (2005). Roanoke-based IntelliMat adds motion to floor-mounted advertising displays. Roanoke Times, The (VA), Retrieved from Newspaper Source database.

Kohl, S. (2007). Signage afoot. Display & Design Ideas, 19(3), 98. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.

IntelliMat, Inc. (2007, April 7). IntelliMat, Inc. partners with C&N Sports Group [Press release]. Retrieved from Marketwire website: [[http://www.marketwire.com/‌press-release/‌IntelliMat-Inc-Partners-With-C-N-Sports-Group-775328.htm]]

LevelVision. (2010). IntelliMat. Retrieved from http://www.levelvision.com/levelvisionintellimat.aspx

LevelVision. (2010). CounterVision. Retrieved from [[http://www.levelvision.com/ advertisingpatent investment.aspx]]

LevelVision and MetHodder launch best practices Website for advertisers and retailers targeting ‘Millennials’. (2008, August 4). RedOrbit. Retrieved from [[http://www.redorbit.com/‌news/‌technology/‌1509302/‌levelvision_and_methodder_launch_best_ practices_website_ for_advertisers_and/]]

LevelVision expands college bookstore digital network to 200 campuses. (2008, May 8). Digital Signage Today. Retrieved from [[http://www.digitalsignagetoday. com/article/ 163774/ LevelVision-expands-college-bookstore-digital-network-to-200-campuses]]