More and added acceptable integrators and IT casework companies are award their way into the agenda signage industry, but I can’t anamnesis seeing one of them accepting actively into the media ancillary of business … until now.
A absolute IT managed casework aggregation based abreast Toledo, Ohio – alleged Velocity – is not alone accouterment abstruse casework to agenda out of home media companies, it’s anon affairs media.
The aggregation describes its media solutions business assemblage as actuality an an end-to-end agenda signage provider – accomplishing hardware, software, installation, tech support, media sales and aggregate in between.
Velocity runs and owns agenda awning networks in groceries, cinema lobbies and hotels, and is attractive to abound its footprint.
I had an absorbing babble with the company’s Senior VP of Agenda Media, John McCauley.
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John, acknowledge you for abutting me. I was absorbed aback I heard and started account about Velocity that actuality is a managed casework company, a managed casework provider that does a lot of IT work, but they accept a media addition and I thought, oh, that’s different.
John McCauley: Yes it is, and I anticipate we accept a actual agog CEO, Greg Kiley who has absolutely taken to the place-based agenda out-of-home media’s bulk basic and how it stitches calm with our all-embracing managed casework business, and I anticipate we’re starting to absolutely see the allowances of it with the investments that we’ve fabricated in both assets and aloof alliances through COVID. So it’s agitative times.
Okay. So let’s aback up a little bit. Can you acquaint me a little bit about what Velocity is all about, area it’s based, how ample a aggregation it is, those sorts of things?
John McCauley: We’re based in Holland, Ohio. It’s abreast Toledo and the aggregation started 15 years ago. Greg Kiley, the CEO, created a rollup of local, bounded articulation and abstracts services. And from that you actualize some calibration and you actualize some efficiencies for customers, acceptance array of one-stop boutique beyond like assorted locations beyond assorted areas of the country, and that accustomed to be a actual abounding business, extenuative money of course, and absolutely creating some delicacy amid customers.
The managed services, the arrangement services, what abroad can you do on that connection? That was like a bearing of area added aspects of the aggregation could grow, and sectors that we’d like to be in including retail and accommodation and entertainment. All those things started to absolutely assemble and the aggregation had a lot of success apparently for a acceptable 15 years and two years ago, added or less, we got into array of the agenda out-of-home business and consistently had affiliation to our barter and absolutely in acknowledgment to the barter thinking, what abroad can we do on the connection?
Starting with affairs signs, cerebration about hotels and maybe retail, those locations would use those to advance offerings and again over time, we alpha to analyze with our customers, can we about-face this into a media opportunity, which acutely would accommodate acquirement aback to them, creating addition acquirement befalling for the company. And I anticipate the timing of that is all actual accidental for us because agenda out-of-home, and technology enabled affairs are all converging, and that’s a big allotment of the advance in agenda out-of-home is this array of the technology and the digitization of signs, and we accretion ourselves in a actual absorbing and agitative abode appropriate now.
Did you accept end-user barter who were blame Velocity on some array of a cost-recovery model, saying, could we put in signs and accomplish money aback on these things or was this added article that Velocity came up with?
John McCauley: I anticipate a little added on our ancillary and again the audience acutely are the beneficiaries of it. I anticipate a aggregation like us is cerebration about all sorts of advance opportunities and additionally cerebration about means for added barter to appear into the fold. We appetite to be able to accommodate as abundant delicacy as we can. So whether you would appear in through our arrangement casework ancillary of things and we accompany agenda signage solutions to you or addition comes in through the agenda signage solutions and we’re able to extend them arrangement services.
The aggregation is actual focused on actuality abysmal and beyond the lath with as abounding solutions as we can for our customers.
So appropriate now, if I’m attractive at your website, you do alarm centers services, adjustment depot, onsite techs, aback appointment support, action management, all the affectionate of acceptable things that you would accept out of IT managed casework and telecom managed services.
I bethink accepting a applicant in the auto area that had a agenda signage administration and they declared themselves as the acreage of misfit toys. They didn’t absolutely fit in with the blow of the company. Culturally, how does the media addition fit aural a accomplished agglomeration of guys or bodies who are IT casework people?
John McCauley: I anticipate we fit actual accurately together. There’s a lot of similarities aural that. Aboriginal and foremost, we’re actual chump centric, right? So I anticipate aback you alpha as actuality chump centric, whether you’re accouterment an actual band-aid for a chump or a array of technology managed casework solution, you end up in the appropriate abode accumbent about that. There’s additionally a lot of cross-pollination, whether you assignment with CMS systems, or agenda signage array of capabilities, you’re alive actual carefully with your IT group, and again additionally as you’re acknowledging your customers, right?
We accept a grocery arrangement and a accommodation arrangement and others, and the responsiveness, we all assignment able-bodied together, right? If a assurance goes down, you’re borer into your managed casework group, the alarm centermost is contacting us and it’s actual symbiotic, and I anticipate the way the aggregation has put these pieces calm has formed well. I can absolutely see in added places area they may be accumulated against orchestrated, you’d apparently see a bit of a difference.
So the media solutions business unit, if you appetite to alarm it that, what all is in that?
John McCauley: So we accept networks and hospitality, grocery. We accept a accord with cinemas and Cinema lobbies additionally aural Redbox in video toppers on top of Redbox kiosks, and again through addition group, as allotment of a media solution, we accept a absolute sales accumulation that represents account aural bars, alteration centers, and accessibility stores.
So that admixture of that portfolio of media opportunities allows us to advantage a absolute sales accumulation that is alive on aloof a representation base to advice accompany into the bend of accurate deals of added media that we own and operate, and similarly, if we go ancient and operate, we can attending to extend those opportunities aural networks that we represent. I anticipate aural the agenda out-of-home space, it’s important to accept that array of portfolio approach, allows us to breeding some networks, advance added networks, and I anticipate all-embracing a lot is accident in the amplitude and allows us to be active too.
Did you alpha with absolute sales or was that a affectionate of a assignment learned, that we can’t absolutely use a rep shop, we charge to accompany this in-house?
John McCauley: We accept an associate approach. So I would say our access action area we do use Programmatic, of course, everybody needs to affix to Programmatic. We accept third-party relationships with bodies that may accept ancient relationships, maybe decidedly aural grocery. ScreenVision Media represents some of our account and they are leveraging the on-screen announcement and bodies who appetite to get abutting to that chump and extend them alfresco the cinema. So that array of has its own strategy, and again our absolute accumulation is absolutely a acceptable agenda out-of-home group. So you can’t balloon that allotment of the assemblage of acquirement advancing in, and I anticipate as we anticipate about acquirement and I apperceive a lot of bodies in the agenda out-of-home amplitude anticipate about this is area the layers of the block are advancing from.
It may be in the alpha of the year aback the media is not as heavy, like 15% of media adeptness be spent in the aboriginal quarter, you adeptness be a little added Programmatic oriented, right? As you get accessible exchange, not PMP, as you get to after in the year area maybe 40% of the media absorb could be in Q4, you’re apparently action to be added PMP and maybe a little beneath accessible exchange. And so that mix of portfolios could additionally change by the sector, vertical that you’re in.
We carefully did that and I anticipate bringing in the agenda out-of-home was on the roadmap. It aloof took us as we started to accomplish our acquisitions and some of the added affiliates came in, but they all accept to assignment together. We’re alive actual carefully as a centralized resource, analogous the efforts, because that’s how you aerate the revenue.
The grocery arrangement you acquired, has that been the archetypal for all the media backdrop you’re in?
John McCauley: That was article that we were absorbed in grocery and retail. That befalling came our way and we absolutely saw our adventitious to advantage our accord with our affiliates, as able-bodied as amalgamate that with some cardinal things that were advancing bottomward the road, but abounding things we aloof congenital from scratch. At the auberge and accommodation network, I anticipate there was a contempo absolution that went out with G6. That’s article that there is no arrangement that begins, right? So we’re deploying the signs and we’re starting it from scratch, and I anticipate you’ll, over time, see alike added from us area we’re accumulation opportunities area there may be absolute networks in place, but we can be the agitator for added digitization and added growth.
So the G6 one, that’s an abettor of a alternation of Motel 6s, right?
John McCauley: Correct. Yes, and hotels are an absorbing array of vertical in the agenda out-of-home, not absolutely landed with media buyers yet, but there’s a amazing bulk of purchasing adeptness that resides aural auberge guests. Acutely if you break at a auberge for best periods of time, you’re action to be spending added money in the bounded economy. But alike if you were to go in and accept a concise break right, added than likely, you’re action to be spending some money in the economy.
We additionally apperceive from aloof the abide time, as bodies are because things, landing a bulletin that may be added bounded in nature, or maybe it’s a specific product, that’s yet addition consequence that’s fabricated on a chump or abeyant customer, as they’re aural the lobbies. There’s a little bit of assignment to do aural hospitality, but we’re cool bullish on that, decidedly aback you see that the spending ultimately at the end of the day, media agencies and advertisers are attractive for what’s that incremental media that I can accompany to my attack and media mix that can be the extra, what’s action to advice me abutting the loop? And I anticipate aback you’re sitting in advanced of bodies who are abroad from home, you apperceive they’re action to be spending money. That’s absolutely an befalling to access purchase.
I’m academic and it’s absolutely a guess, but accustomed the history of agenda out-of-home, a lot of the networks that affectionate of bubbled up were about by entrepreneurs who were bootstrapped and were action into places like Motel 6 buyer accumulation or whatever, and saying, we can do this for you, we can put these screens in and so on, and maybe in the aboriginal canicule they accustomed that. But I anticipate the acquaintance was such that so abounding of those kinds of bootstrap companies went out of business, that a ample absolute IT casework abutting is apparently added readily accustomed in the appointment to allocution about it.
John McCauley: I anticipate the key affair about it is, alike if you can bootstrap the signage deployment, ultimately at the end of the day, it’s action to be the service, right? With signs, consistently there’s pikestaff action issues, article goes bottomward the monitoring, the maintenance, right? The adeptness to advice affairs through CMS systems and that ultimately is how you get beyond the accomplishment line, and it’s cool difficult to do, I anticipate if you’re bootstrapping and we accept the account of the assets of Velocity, to actualize an basement that allows us to abutment these networks and acutely as we scale, we abide to attending at array of our resources, but we’re actual abundant on the alarm awning of how we abide to accommodate that akin of resourcing.
So I’m an buyer of abundant motor inns in the US Southwest or article like that, and I access you guys, what all would you be able to do? Do you booty it appropriate from alpha to accomplishment and aftercare or are there things that you still leave for others?
John McCauley: Yeah, this would be end to end. Our way of best of affective advanced is design, I anticipate sometimes that’s about missed, what’s the best abode to deploy? What is the best signage to use? Accepting them deployed and again advancing ecology of the deployment, and ultimately, depending on whether the chump wants it or not is bringing advertising. But whether you accompany the announcement or not, there’s a CMS arrangement basic and we accretion if we accept aggregate from the alpha to the end, we can accommodate the accomplished akin of account for the customer, and look, I don’t anticipate it’s absolutely absent on our barter who are in the auberge business. Sometimes we use the appellation agenda babysitter for the signage that we accommodate in the antechamber because that’s acceptance the auberge to communicate.
These are the casework that are accessible aural the hotel. Sometimes it could be a restaurant, right? They are in there and it helps them drive money, sometimes it’s a rewards program. ESA has article alleged the allowances program, which allows their guests to download an app and get deals in the community. So that akin of communication, we appetite to be able to accommodate that CMS basic and again announcement is something, and I anticipate about speaking, aback it’s handled end to end in a one-stop shop, you’re action to get the best from your primary customer, and you can accompany the best service, and accordingly the best account whether it’s action to be efficiencies, savings, and obviously, revenue.
I bethink with telecoms companies action aback 15 years or so, they started attractive at agenda signage and declared it actual abundant as you did a little bit beforehand on, area it’s a layered account affair area we’re already accouterment the connectivity and the the boots on the ground, so to speak, to appear in and adjustment things. So why not band this on top of it? Aloof in the aforementioned way that we could maybe band this architecture aegis or whatever.
John McCauley: I anticipate layered casework is a nice way to call it, and I anticipate aback you’re alive with companies like Velocity area you’re actual chump focused and attractive to advice drive value, for your customer, these things appear up and I do anticipate that this digitization of signage and communication, while some bodies may feel like that’s a lot to undertake, already you accept it, you’re demography the advice and you’re alteration it up, like on a abundant added common basis.
If you anticipate about cine theaters, and anticipate about card boards, that acclimated to be that you put them into array of a bung board, “Popcorn costs $2.50”. Nowadays, a lot of cine theaters accept agenda card boards and those agenda card boards acquiesce things to be like by movie, you can change what the alms is. Here’s the backpack you’re action to be absorption on about the time of day and that has absolutely accurate to be a disciplinarian of an ballast mentality, and that I anticipate is ultimately the affidavit of the pudding, and I anticipate added bodies are advancing about to that. Posters, things like that, area bodies would do analog, you can booty the aforementioned image, accelerate it beyond digitally, and that now can be customized and tweaked regionally by the market, targeted by time of day, and I anticipate those allowances are acceptable abundant added absolute to bodies now, and I anticipate with COVID, in particular, bodies took the time to anticipate about how agenda and technology comedy a role in my aggregation and I anticipate we’ll alpha to abide to see alike added ache of analog opportunities and added analysis of area some signage could be put into venues to drive the acquirement and actualize some efficiencies.
Does it amount at all about focus? So if you’re accomplishing Motel 6 lobbies and advantage in New York accompaniment and cinema lobbies, those are appealing altered kinds of environments. Does it amount in agreement of sales and abutment that you get a little added focused on one accurate vertical or a brace of others?
John McCauley: I anticipate from the abutment ancillary of things, there’s a lot added commonality to the aback end of how you abutment those signs because of this connectivity advancing in, and I would say that would not accept been the case years ago. It would accept been added difficult to try to administer assorted like sectors, because maybe the adverse of signage, maybe the CMS arrangement you’re using, a lot of that actuality I anticipate has gone away, authoritative it easier to potentially administer like a array of verticals, but in accurate for the sales ancillary of things, we like to anticipate about our areas of focus adjacency to retail and purchase.
So lots of times we’re nestled aural retail, right? You’re in a grocery store, we accept Redbox, you’re there and again the adeptness to be abutting to purchase. So whether you’re at a bar, you’re acutely purchasing in the bar, but oftentimes and with your in duke and the adeptness to access purchase, I anticipate is a big accord in agenda out-of-home and our arrangement is set up in that way to be about that. We would anticipate about retail and adjacency to acquirement as a absolutely key basic of our business.
You mentioned CMS, is it a case area you’re application a accomplice firm’s CMS or accept you developed your own?
John McCauley: We accept our own CMS arrangement and as we’ve taken on networks, we’ve had to assignment with added CMS systems, but ultimately I anticipate in attractive at the ad ecosystem, right? If you alpha at the far larboard with a DSP accelerate into the SSP, right? Again you accept an ad server, again the CMS and the connectivity to the sign, I anticipate for the best allotment bodies who are in the business that we’re in, they appetite to accept the CMS affiliated to the sign, right? Because that’s absolutely how you’re authoritative the sign. You’re alive with a third affair on the signage and accepting that creates a beyond calibration and added efficiency. But at the end of the day, a lot of the CMS systems assignment the same.
We would acutely anticipate ours is bigger because we were alive to assignment on our signs and authoritative abiding they’re accomplishing what we appetite to do, but I anticipate he bare to accept flexibility. So at the end of the day if you appetite to be in the business, you accept to accept a advanced lens and assignment adamantine to get bodies to accede your CMS system.
Do you accretion with the end user barter who you assignment with and Target in accurate that there’s any array of appeal that no, we charge to assignment with this accurate CMS partner, we charge to use this accurate acute affectation or operating system, or are they appealing open?
John McCauley: I anticipate if you’re inheriting something, there’s already a bias, that, hey, we’ve acclimated this and we’re attractive for a new operator, and I anticipate there are companies that would appear in and maybe accomplish that and absolutely we accede everything. I anticipate aback things are starting afresh again you accept the befalling to accompany to buck the capabilities that the aggregation may accept about sourcing and designing signage that works as able-bodied as the CMS system.
I anticipate you charge to be competitive, right? So if addition brand a accurate CMS system, you accept what those needs are, and you acutely are action to be advance your CMS arrangement to accept those. So yeah, you charge to be absolutely advantageous absorption to the marketplace. I anticipate like in anything, whether it’s this business or any business, if you accept blinders on, and are adamant and say, this is the way we do it, again ultimately you’re action to absence out on opportunities, right? Because the exchange is action to behest the casework and the capabilities that you charge to have.
Okay, so if I’m a agenda place-based startup and I’m putting screens in, I’ll accomplish article up in ski resort lounges or article like that, don’t anticipate I’d do that one but anyways.
If I was actuality smart, I’d actuate appealing bound that I don’t apperceive what I’m accomplishing with technology and it would be abundant if I had a accomplice who did all that actuality for me, and I aloof focused on sales or alike had sales done by somebody else, and I aloof run about and get the absolute acreage agreements, is that article you’ll do area you aloof affectionate of booty aggregate on?
John McCauley: Absolutely. That’s the blazon of affair we would put ourselves in position to do, and I anticipate as you were advertence that sometimes we’re seeing the chump saying, yes, I’ll get the absolute acreage because I accept absolute estate, I appetite to catechumen some absolute estate, I appetite to bigger advantage my absolute estate, but ultimately we accretion that barter are aggravating to drive added revenue, right? Like in their absolute business, how do they drive added revenue? I apperceive you were application the ski resort, right? Can they get bodies to the abode and buy more? Can they get them to do lessons? Ultimately the businesses are actual focused on that.
Bringing announcement in, that’s acutely actual complimentary, and we accretion that aback you’re bringing advertisers into venues, decidedly on the mix of them, bounded and bounded comedy able-bodied because it’s sorta like the aggregation you keep. If there’s some announcement in there, bodies go, oh, attending at that. They’re announcement at the ski resort. I anticipate that is additionally things that the venues like, they like to be absorbed aural either the association or things that their barter are activity that are current.
You’ve developed a little bit in the media amplitude through acquisition, is this an advancing thing? Is Velocity attractive for added networks that they may potentially access as able-bodied to body out their footprint?
John McCauley: I anticipate we will consistently accept our eyes on area we can be strategically accretive, decidedly about these verticals and sectors and actuality abutting to retail and acquirement and if there are things that pop up, we’re additionally actively looking. I would say that that’s actual abundant in the forefront.
There’s a lot of agenda out-of-home networks out there. About speaking, do you get a faculty of how they’re doing? There’s acutely some ample ones that are accomplishing actual well, but it’s been a asperous brace of years for aloof about everybody.
John McCauley: Yeah, I anticipate branch into that division afore COVID shut aggregate down, they were absolutely advancing off a almanac year, accepting a almanac division agenda out-of-home, and again basically the world’s shut down, and what we’re seeing is that cartage is absolutely back, bodies are out and about, depending on area you are in the country, it could be a little bit beneath but absolutely bodies are activity added adequate actuality vaccinated, and what we’re seeing is that a little bit of an over-indexing to alteration and billboards. That’s the safe play, right? Bodies are out there driving. I anticipate bodies are over-indexing there.
In that average array of ground, like artery appliance is about aback to area they charge to be from the pre COVID levels, and again the place-based, capital markets, whether it’s grocery food and others, they absolutely accept had the traffic, and they’re apparent a little quicker accretion and again things that would be advised added discretionary, whether they be cine theaters or bodies could altercate bars, whether that’s arbitrary or not, but they serve an capital allotment of the communities. All of those types of things are absolutely starting to appearance the airy and branch appear the aisle of accepting aback to pre COVID levels.
But I anticipate that’s aloof the accent of the way bodies accept responded to it. They accept to see that the cartage is abiding and consistent, that we can acclimate the storms of accepting about-face that absolutely impacted the traffic, and again ultimately I anticipate Q4 is a acceptable time for it, right? Because at the end of the day, Q4 is aback abounding companies, whether you’re affairs stuff, whether it be media or affairs products, you charge to get your impressions, you charge to reach, you charge to get impressions. You charge to access bodies who are in position to purchase. I anticipate this division in accurate will absolutely alpha to accommodate the wind abaft the sails branch into 2022. There was a DPAA appointment aftermost anniversary which was absolutely encouraging. It was able-bodied abounding by 600 additional bodies in actuality at Chelsea Piers in New York. The activity was high, lots of audience there. Lots of things accident aural the agenda out-of-home, and I anticipate there’s a lot of optimism about place-based.
And I anticipate you told me in our pre-call that Velocity is a affiliate of the DPAA?
John McCauley: Yeah, we’re associates of the DPaA, and in my above-mentioned life, I was at the ScreenVision Media and I was on the board. So I’m actual affable and accustomed with the administration there, and I anticipate they’ve done a actual nice job.
Between the DPAA and the OAAA apery the industry, evangelizing the industry, authoritative abiding it’s blockage top of apperception with agencies and brands and CMOs, I anticipate that’s an important basic and I anticipate there’s the retail networks whether it be Walmart accomplishing Walmart Affix or Walgreens or CVS or our efforts at retail, I anticipate they accept a actual aerial value, and I anticipate bodies are absolutely advantageous absorption to the adeptness to access barter with wallets out.
I assume, appropriate now, Velocity is its acquirement and its focus is heavily in its acceptable business of IT casework managed casework and so on, and that the media ancillary of it is a adequately baby allotment of the revenue.
Is there a longer-term eyes area Velocity starts to become added and added a media company?
John McCauley: We’d accept to ask Greg and the administration aggregation about that, but I see a absolute activity for the media business and how the media business supports and can abutment added opportunities aural the company, and so I anticipate as a aftereffect of that, it’s cardinal accent will abide to abound and so will the acquirement but we absolutely appetite to be in the business, whether we’re powering networks, whether we’re monetizing networks, there’s a lot of connectivity that we like actuality about the amplitude and it plays actual able-bodied into array of the all-embracing aggregation of arrangement casework and again layering on the media services.
All right. That was terrific. I acknowledge you demography some time with me.
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