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5-Minute Interview: Ken Goldberg

Ken Goldverg, Chief Executive Officer, Real Digital Media. Headquartered in Sarasota, FL,Real Digital Media provides Internet-based solutions and associated services to support digital signage in advertiser-supported networks. Goldberg was a source in a recent Forrester Research study on digital signage in retail environments.

Ken Goldverg, Chief Executive Officer, Real Digital Media. Headquartered in Sarasota, FL,Real Digital Media provides Internet-based solutions and associated services to support digital signage in advertiser-supported networks. Goldberg was a source in a recent Forrester Research study on digital signage in retail environments.

Pro AV:What have been the major trends in retail AV over the past several years?

Goldberg: On the audio side, there's been an increased interest on the part of retailers to incorporate music and messages into the store experience. On the video side, there's been an evolution from VCR and DVD-driven video “loops” to PC-based systems, and finally to dedicated media players. Additionally, the move from non-networked (freestanding) media devices to networked devices has given rise to narrowcasting and a mixture of chain-wide messages with site-specific content. Also, the evolution and acceptance of interactive kiosks has been dramatic in recent years.

Pro AV:How does selling AV to the retail market differ from other vertical markets?

Goldberg: In a retail organization, there are many organizational functions that will normally get involved in an AV decision; store operations, marketing, and merchandising will almost always have a stake. Depending upon the nature of the system and its applications, IT and human resources may also be at the table. As a result, selling to the retail channel requires the ability to build a consensus and to understand the specific needs and potential benefits for each constituency.

Pro AV:What kinds of AV solutions are large retail clients looking for?

Goldberg: Right now, they're looking at how to leverage the benefits of digital signage and interactive applications. Bigger ticket retailers have also explored 3D presentations. In general, the dominant videowalls are starting to give way to smaller, location-specific digital displays. Their challenge is the desire to integrate new AV applications with existing in-store systems.

Pro AV:Who makes the AV buying decision in the retail market?

Goldberg: The decision maker will vary from company to company, and will be dependent upon whether the technology is freestanding or networked. The more complex the technology is, the more likely that IT will be a gatekeeper or decision maker. Typically, there's a project budgeted and a team identified. Often that team is cross-functional. Nailing down the consensus, and therefore the decision, is a matter of understanding who's at the table, and helping identify unique benefits for each stakeholder.

Pro AV:Do retail buyers see a distinction between AV and IT — or is it all considered “technology?”



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