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THE PERCEPTION OF TIME

By Blog

What can be really annoying in a retail environment? I’m pretty sure most of us would agree that waiting is close to the top of that list: Waiting at a till, waiting for a changing room, waiting for customer service or waiting for our shopping companion to browse through items that do not interest us. Standing idle and frustrated, feeling precious leisure time slipping away. We’ve all been there!  A recent study shows that 41% of consumers in the UK would leave the queue for the till if the wait was considered too long whilst 76% say they feel retailers should be doing more to reduce these wait times. 

In a busy shop there is only so much that conscientious, hard working staff and a premium, frequently modified visual layout can do to minimise waiting times and the subsequent negative impact on the customer. What more can be done? 

There is an easy tool at the retailers’ fingertips that can have a magic effect on our sense of time – music. 

In truth, this is no secret. This is one of the main reasons why telephone customer services often opt to use music during a waiting period. Background music has the potential to distort our sense of the passage of time, especially if it is well selected, enjoyable music. And – just a note for all the phone music planners out there – as long as it doesn’t repeat all the time! As soon as we are bored by music any transcendent effect wears off. If anything, repeating music is a reminder that we have been on the phone for longer than we would like. 

What is behind the musical ‘time travel’ effect? One of the most influential concepts in the psychology of enjoyment is the concept of flow. Flow is a state of mind where we are fully absorbed in our environment; it represents the perfect balance of cognitive involvement that means we lose all track of time. Colloquial terms for this state include being ‘in the zone’ or ‘in the moment’. 

Flow is often used to refer to a perfect state of concentration, for example at work, but one of the key elements to flow is that we lose all track of time. This is one of the powers of music. 

The music in our environment has the potential to capture lagging attention and to bring our level of concentration up to an optimum level where we are engaged in the present and enjoying our surroundings. One thing is for certain about flow states – they are never boring! If music can capture some of the joy of a flow state then there are clear potential benefits for a retail environment. We are likely to browse for longer and not be so aware of unavoidable service waits. And we appreciate the sense of quality and care that is triggered as a result. 

Evidence for this comes from a 100% genuine Facebook update that a friend of mine put up just the other day. I have removed the name of the government agency to which she referred: 

“Dear _______, If my call is so important to you then why have I had to listen to this poor quality music for over 20 minutes now? I’m beginning to think you don’t care! ” 

A well chosen music strategy can help create a bubble of time where the consumer is cushioned from the inevitable sense of boredom and frustration that is caused by having to wait. No-one likes to be ‘on hold’, but now and again it is inevitable – so why not try music as a way to dissolve the time and create a good impression. 

Background music

POWER OF BACKGROUND MUSIC

By Blog

The power of Background Music: Background music can put a spring in our step or a crimp in our day. But the power of music over us is not limited to us enjoying a favourite tune or marching for the door at the sound of a melody that gets on our nerves: musical sound has the power to affect us through automatic physiological responses, to the extent that we can respond emotionally to sound even when we don’t hear it. 

The noted music psychologist Patrick Juslin has suggested that our emotional reactions to music are based partly on subjective responses; on how we interpret our body’s response to the sound. Here are two examples of how music can influence our physiology and consequently have ‘hidden effects’ on how we feel. 

1) The “Darling, they are playing our song” effect 

One of the key forces behind musical responses is our own memories. Music plays a role in everyone’s life because it is present in so many celebrations and big life events, such as weddings, birthdays and religious ceremonies. The important nature of many of these events means that we attach strong emotional memories to certain pieces of music. 

Think of a favourite song for a minute, perhaps form your youth. Does it have a pleasant memory attached? Now…if I ask you to think about that memory for a minute…did you smile? 

Most people will smile while experiencing an enjoyable memory recollection. It is automatic. And one of the automatic consequences of smiling is that we feel better. In 1988 a famous study led by Fritz Strack had participants rate how funny cartoons were while holding a pencil in their teeth or their lips. The group who had the pencil in their teeth had their face artificially pulled into a smile – and the result was that they rated the cartoons as funnier than the group who were not permanently ‘smiling’. 

This study illustrates the power of a smile, even an artificial one, to improve our mood. And music has the ability to trigger smiles by stimulating our favourite life memories. So enjoying the music in our environment is more than just a simple happy response – that resulting smile can boost the rest of the day! 

2) The “Good vibrations” effect 

Humans can hear sounds in the range of 20 Hz to 20000 Hz. Sounds outside of this range are classed as infrasonic (like a dog whistle). Infrasonics are important to music because instruments often produce sound waves that we can’t hear; church organs have been using infrasonic music tones since the 15th century! 

So how do we respond to sounds below 20Hz? A fascinating experiment called ‘Infrasonic’ found that sounds below 20Hz can have a significant effect on our emotional responses to music. When infrasonic sound was played under a concert floor people experienced more chills down the spine and heightened emotional states. This experiment demonstrated how, once again, bodily responses can drive emotional reactions to music. 

Summary: When we respond to music, we are reacting to more than just a combination of sounds. If music triggers memories that make us smile, then we feel happier. If ‘soundless’ music raises the hairs on our neck, then we feel emotionally moved. These are just two examples of how music can have hidden and automatic effects on us, because we react with our body as well as our mind. 

Discover Immedia’s In-store, on-brand background music solutions. Click here.

Immedia PlC -Retail customer engagement specialist

DRIVE TRAFFIC THROUGH CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT

By Blog

Future of Retail features an interesting article this month by Mark King discussing ‘Driving Traffic and Conversion Through Customer Engagement’ referencing Immedia very own partner JD Sports.

“Stores are the perfect place to bring brands to life. With engaged customers it’s easier to ramp up conversions…”

Should we be facing back in love with bricks-and-mortar space? Certainly, the bar in-store customer engagement is being raised all along the high street. They’re calling it the ‘Retail Renaissance’, a term which is thankfully replacing Armageddon’ in 2018’s industry parlance.”

“There’s no denying that traditional retail is under intense pressure, and that the sector is undergoing change the like of which hasn’t been seen since the industrial revolution. So, there is an urgent need for traditional retailers to outdo online competitors by offering incredible levels of engagement in stores, as well as operational efficiency that will keep costs under control, and shoppers loyal.”

RESURGENCE OF STORES AS ENGAGEMENT HUBS

“We see JD Sports delighting its customer base with prestigious athleisure brands, the latest in-store tech and lighting, and DJs popping in to provide a dynamic look, feel and sound. Down the road at value-led Primark, price continues to be the incredibly engaging, but the retailer is also cleverly keeping pace with mobile-obsessed shoppers and now using its massive 5.7million Instagram following to create conversations and drive shopper traffic into stores.”

“The specialist team at Immedia have the skills, knowhow and experience to enhance your individual brands customer experience, in-store and in app. Our expertly curated in-store music, in-store background music, marketing communications,  audio or visually with 3D,2D, video,  animation or virtual reality solutions and more. Speak to our team today for an award winning solution.”

Click here to discover the range of services Immedia Group PLC offer to help brands engage customer, improved the customer experience in-store and increase sales. Click here.

Discover Immedia & JD Sports success story

Merry Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS

By Blog

Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2020 from all of the team at Immedia and AVC. 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your business
and support over the past year and we look forward to working with you again in 2020!

 

Increase Employee Productivity

INCREASE EMPLOYEES PRODUCTIVITY

By Blog

Dr Becky Spelman a specialist in Cognitive Behavioural comments on the study of over 2,000 employed Brits commissioned by commercial radio Scala, found many wear headphones and listen to music to help concentration while working as bid to block out colleague’s noise.

“Music has a really powerful impact on the brain, it affects mood and mental and physical performance.” Dr Becky Spelman

A third of those studies even think they work harder whilst listening to music, and a further two in five of them believe their productivity is improved. 47 per cent claim to feeling less stressed when listening to music while working.

“Many people find that listening to certain types of instrumental music can help them with their productivity levels. The music can function as a sort of ‘white noise’, cancelling out potentially distracting ambient noise.”

“Provided the music has a calm, regular beat, it can actually help us to stay calm, reducing our stress, slowing our heart rate, and moderating our pulse.”

“This makes it easier for us to focus on the task at hand rather than entering into ‘flight or fight’ mode, in which it can be very difficult to think clearly because of our elevated levels of adrenaline and cortisol.”

The results come after an experiment saw four office workers given a 600-word task to complete to see how music affects their productivity compared to being in a silent room. The results found that workers completed the task three minutes faster than they did with no background music.

“Many people find that listening to certain types of instrumental music can help them with their productivity levels. The music can function as a sort of ‘white noise’, cancelling out potentially distracting ambient noise.”

“Provided the music has a calm, regular beat, it can actually help us to stay calm, reducing our stress, slowing our heartrate, and moderating our pulse.”

“This makes it easier for us to focus on the task at hand rather than entering into ‘flight or fight’ mode, in which it can be very difficult to think clearly because of our elevated levels of adrenaline and cortisol.”

The study also looked at those who worked from home, discovering that of those who listen to music in the workplace, six in ten are based in an office, with 49 per cent either always or sometimes working from home.

More than two thirds of those who work from home would “struggle” to concentrate without having music to listen to. Overall, 71 per cent of those studied who work from home on occasions listen to music throughout their day with 28 per cent saying it helps them feel less alone.

A quarter of those polled, via OnePoll, even said music is encouraged within their current workplace and 24 per cent feel it keeps them alert and awake.

Discover how Immedia’s solutions can increase employee productivity – click here.

Read full article click here.

HOUSTON, WE HAVE LANDED!

By News

IMMEDIA GROUP PLC OPEN AN OFFICE IN USA

We are delighted to announce the opening of our office in Houston, Texas.

Heading up the office is Kacey White. Kacey has worked with Immedia on numerous projects over many years throughout the USA offering businesses and brands award-winning visual & audio content to engage and inform consumers and employees alike.

Kacey is a native-Houstonian with more than 20 year’s experience and brings a breadth of relationships in the energy and technology, helping companies to develop effective marketing strategies with measurable results. Prior to working with Immedia, Kacey worked for various traditional and interactive agencies in Houston, and is well-known for her diligent project management style and dedicated work ethic.

With Kacey’s location, knowledge and understanding of Immedia’s extensive capabilities Immedia can offer existing and future customers a regionalspecialist, account managed service across Oil & Gas, Retail, Hospitality, Banking, Leisure and Healthcare and more.

For further information please contact Kacey White
on: +1 (713) 516-6614or Email: kwhite@avcimmedia.com

64% SAID CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE PRODUCT

By Blog

Essential Retail’s author Alastair Lockhart provides an interesting insight and research into the customer’s experiences perception over online buying. 64% said experiences are more important to them than products – rising to 73% for 18-34 year olds.

Currently online sales account for one-fifth of total retail sales and the evidence suggests the proportion will grow further. But with a growing appetite among shoppers for experiences and a number of online retailers exploring physical spaces, could there be light at the end of the tunnel for high streets?

While online retail is convenient, and is becoming more convenient as delivery times shorten, it struggles to deliver the level of experience stores can. Some 85% of shoppers tell us that online can never create the experience of physical shops. What’s more, shopper demand for experiences is growing rapidly.

It’s perhaps not surprising therefore that a number of online retailers are exploring physical spaces, from pop-up shops to more permanent stores

Click here to read more

RESTAURANTS: MUSIC AFFECTS THE TASTE OF FOOD

By Blog

The Telegraph’s article looks at the affects of music and the taste of food within the hospitality industry following Nigella Lawson declaring that she is “allergic to all noise”.

According to a new study by the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford (co-authored by Charles Spence, an expert in sensory science and the author of Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating), auditory stimuli can impact both our experience and our consumer behaviour more than we realise (more on which later).

And there’s no doubt that the UK’s restaurants are noisy. According to charity Action on Hearing Loss, 79 per cent of people – both with and without hearing loss – have experienced difficulty holding a conversation while eating out, thus sabotaging the social aspect of the occasion.

According to Professor Charles Spence, there’s a line for restaurateurs to tread – since sales go up as noise volume increases. This is because it causes excitement, encouraging people to spend, drink and consume more (however, in extremes this can be unconsciously perceived as danger, making us feel anxious or threatened and leading us into fight or flight mode). Read more, click here.

Immedia was awarded ‘European Supplier of the Year’ for its services to international restaurant chain Subway. Click here to read more. 

Call us today to discuss how we can help you provide an entertaining and engaging customer experience in your restaurant brand.

FORBES: HOW BANKS CAN TURN MILLENNIALS INTO LIFELONG CUSTOMERS

By Blog

FORBES ARTICLE By Steve Carlin

Smart banks know that the future generation of growth depends on a very specific group of consumers – Millennials.

As a group, Millennials are lost at sea when it comes to managing their personal finances, with 34 percent reporting they are unsatisfied with their current financial situation, and over 60 percent burdened by debt.

Unfortunately, while Millennials need the support of financial institutions and leaders, this generation has traditionally shown disdain for big banks, and a skepticism about financial wellness in general. Only 27 percent of Millennials have sought professional financial advice in the last five years, and four of the leading banks were ranked by Millennials as a least loved brand.

But while Millennials may have little interest in personal banking today, as this audience grows and matures, so will their financial needs. For example, 90 percent of Millennials expect to be impacted by a major financial event within the next 36 months – such as taking on a student loan, or buying a home or car. Only 8 percent believe they have the high levels of financial literacy needed to deal with these life events.

As Millennials experience increased levels of financial complexity, they will need somewhere to turn, giving banks an opportunity to shine – or get left behind, as new competitors enter the space in droves.

Can Banks Overcome Negative Millennial Attitudes To Drive Growth?It’s not surprising that Millennials have shown skepticism toward the banks. In addition to coming of age during the 2008 financial crisis, Millennials have long been ignored by traditional bank marketing and product strategies. As of 2017, 34% of financial marketing teams allocated over 50% of their media budgets to traditional media, and as recently as 2018, bank marketers ranked “attracting a younger audience” ninth on their priorities list.

Because banks fail to cater to the Millennial audience with personalized, differentiated messaging (and refuse to engage through their preferred channels) it’s no wonder that brand loyalty is low – with 53 percent of Millennials believing their bank doesn’t offer anything different than other banks.

In spite of the current state of affairs, there is opportunity for banks who are willing to invest in products, services, and marketing channels to charm and engage their Millennial audiences. Here are some tips for success.

Tip #1: Get Mobile
Millennials and Gen Z customers expect things to be fast, easy and self-service oriented. They want to be able to do things when and where they want to do it. This means investments in mobile.

Today, according to Salesforce’s 2017 Connected Banking Customer Report, “Nearly one-third of Millennials with a checking or savings account stated that they leverage their bank’s mobile app for most routine transactions such as deposits and transfers, compared to just 17 percent of Gen-Xers and six percent of Baby Boomers.” Millennials are accessing their financial information via mobile device eight and a half times more often than other generations; a trend that is only expected to grow with time.

Tip #2: Embrace Big Tech
In addition to embracing mobile solutions, banks must keep an eye out on the competitive landscape, as disruptors are emerging by the day. In order to compete, banks must launch more sophisticated personalization strategies that enable more targeted marketing and personalized experiences, which means investments in AI and data science.

Additionally, banks must take a more social approach to product development, that focuses on easy access to money, fluid exchange, and convenient payments. Millennials are less worried about risk, less afraid of technology, and more focused on convenience than any other generation. It’s no wonder this audience is the most likely to embrace expense-sharing – with FICO reporting that 52 percent of people aged 18–34 are already using or considering non-traditional payment company like Venmo, versus 27 percent of people aged 50 years or older.

Tip #3: Reinvent The Branch
There’s no denying Millennials love experiences. The success of the engineered-for-Instagram Candy Museum is a testament to that.

Millennials want to make memories in everything they do – even if it’s just a trip to the bank. In order to make banking fun, banks must gamify the experience, and offer Millennial-appropriate rewards – like hard-to-get concert tickets – to customers that open a new account.

When it comes to creating an experience, and an environment where Millennials will spend time and money, banks aren’t just competing with other banks – they are competing with retailers like Sephora and Apple too. So the branch experience must be memorable, personal, and strong enough to get people off the couch, and into the branch.

This is one reason banks like HSBC are investing in customer engagement solutions like Pepper, the humanoid robot that offers visitors a charming, charismatic, and fast alternative to waiting in line for a teller. Pepper can help customers address basic needs, without having to wait for staff support, and can free up staff to focus on better customer experiences. Not only has Pepper helped HSBC improve employee morale, but within the first five months of adopting Pepper, HSBC saw YoY growth of 44 percent.

Tip #4. Become A Trusted Advisor
While banks must invest in mobile, personalization, and other customer-friendly technologies to be at parity with the emerging tech players, in order to really differentiate banks need to double-down on their strengths.

Banks have always been a place where consumers can go to make big life decisions – about managing a portfolio, taking out a loan, and becoming more financially secure. But many Millennials don’t see banks that way.

If banks want to be seen as the place that Millennials can come to build financial stability and security, banks must find more effective ways to promote personalized products and services, and the branch interactive, educational, and engaging. By doing this, banks will have more opportunities to build relationships with Millennials, and do what they do best – provide financial advice.

There is Still Time To Win Over Millennials
While there are a lot of roadblocks for banks in the race to win Millennials, there is also a lot of opportunity. Because Millennials have been under served by big banks, they haven’t committed their loyalties to one bank or another. This gives banks that focus their attention on Millennials to build high value, long term relationships with them, ensuring a future of mutual success.

Discover how Immedia have help Nationwide and HSBC. Contact us today.

Creating media content for brands

IMMEDIA GROUP WIN FIFA

By News

Another Win for a Partnership Spanning More Than 25 Years!

Multichannel OMNI solutions provider Immedia Group will be creating video content to highlight FIFA’s partners and sponsors presence and participation at the tournament, as well as capturing on-site and behind-the-scenes footage in and outside of the host stadia. The team will film on location across all nine cities and twenty-four games for the month of the tournament.

Keith Robertson, General Manager, AVC Immedia commented:The surging interest in women’s football makes this year’s world cup a pinnacle moment for the sport, and we’re looking forward to working with FIFA to capture the atmosphere and excitement on the ground. Our relationship with FIFA goes back more than 25 years, but we’re as thrilled to be appointed now as we were in 1990 when we were awarded our first contract.”

The video content will be distributed via FIFA’s Facebook and YouTube accounts which have 4 million followers and 7.6 million subscribers respectively, and distributed to global media outlets.

AVC Immedia has vast experience within the live tournament sphere and has worked with FIFA for nearly three decades, most recently at last year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, the most engaged FIFA World Cup™ in history. Record-breaking interest from fans online resulted in over 7.5 billion engagements across FIFA digital platforms during the tournament.

Creating media content for brands

Our History with FIFA

Our work with Fifa takes us around the globe. From World Cups to live press conferences and training videos we have captured it all for over 25 years.

FIFA TV

FIFA TV is all things FIFA on YouTube. It brings you the best in football videos, including FIFA World Cup™ highlights, classic stories, exclusive interviews, fantastic goals and documentaries.

Below is an example of us producing a film for the channel of a once in a lifetime surprise for a group of children at the U’20s World Cup in Korea.

IMMEDIA GROUP HAVE 4 VIDEOS RANKED IN THE TOP 25 MOST VIEWED ON THE FIFA TV YOUTUBE CHANNEL THAT’S OVER 25 MILLION VIEWS COMBINED!