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Roundtable: How to design effective communication in buildings


by Schindler

Today’s world is packed full of digital distractions, be it from smartphones, computers or tablets, making it incredibly challenging to get a message across to tenants, employees, guests or customers. But what if there was a way to cut through digital fatigue and reach audiences in a distraction-free space?  

To find out how, Schindler’s strategy and sales manager Amanda Driehorst sat down to discuss the topic with experts Marco Huber, senior vice president of workplace strategy for DACH and CEE at Jones Lang LaSalle, Rachana Lokhande, founder of consultancy firm Glocal Bridge and Guido Stillhard, Head Global EI New Business at Schindler 

Here’s a look at what they had to say. For the full roundtable click here.  

Amanda: More and more we’re seeing advertising expand into new building segments, like residential and office buildings, even hotels. Why are these becoming more important for advertising?  

Rachna: Buildings as a segment was always important. But when the pandemic hit, every consumer reprioritised their life and organisations [therefore] revisited their policies and adapted to the new requirements. For example, to the future workplace. Before, advertising in buildings was always present, but it was more static, more scattered. Now there is heightened awareness of how consumer patterns have changed, and so different segments are being given more and more importance.  

In addition, there is digital fatigue, with advertising on online platforms personalised and invading privacy. But DOOH is a very non-intrusive way of making relevant communication.  

Amanda: Guido, why shift away from paper though? Isn’t it easier to put up a paper notice in a building?  

Guido: If you have to manage communication in a portfolio of buildings or if you’re talking about dynamic communication then content needs to be adapted and changed at short notice so it’s about efficiency. With a dynamic digital communication channel, manual change routines fall away and managing content decouples from location and time. What used to have to be done physically on site can now be done digitally from anywhere, at any time. Another aspect is the effectiveness. With a digital communication channel, we can display content on screen sequentially which allows you to address more than one message in one space. This is not possible with paper.  

Amanda: Given that, what role do digital screens play in the Jones Lang LaSalle environment Marco?   

Marco: Due to the fact that they’re dynamic and bring real-time information, digital screens help us to increase and optimise the UX for the space we’re in. For example, you go to an office, and you see in the entrance or on the way up to your floor which part of the building is at which temperature, how the noise level is, CO2 levels… It gives you a lot of information and the opportunity to decide where to work or to find people.  

Amanda: Is this reflected in the advertising world Rachna?  

Rachna: The moment digitisation happens, two things happen. When you’re putting up standees or posters you need to access that many buildings to reach that many audiences. Imagine you have screens in 100 buildings. Having a central access and the capability of dynamically changed content optimises your creativity. In a country like India where we have 26 languages, getting local content up is very important so you’re able to connect to an audience. With digital it becomes easy to make these changes and relay the creative and have it displayed at the same time everywhere.  

Amanda: Guido, what then is the role of elevators when it comes to building communication?  

Guido: No distraction, captive audience, quite a long dwell time… that makes elevators a highly effective point of communication from a media value perspective. Let’s take a hotel. In a hotel reception it’s a stressful environment where it’s easy to get distracted. All the guests are taking the elevator and in that space it’s the opposite, there is no distraction. If I am an owner of a hotel and I want to promote my in-house offer I’m keen to do it in the elevator because this is a highly-effective space.  

Amanda: Do you agree with this vision that elevators will become important communication places Marco?  

Marco: Absolutely. We’ve mentioned the span of attention you have in an elevator. This gives me as a provider of workspaces and work culture a very powerful tool in not being too intrusive but still being very intentional in communication. It’s all about exceeding expectations and changing perceptions.  

Amanda: And Rachna, how about from the advertising perspective? 

Rachna: It’s an extremely important touchpoint. Ten years down the line I think screens will be part of the design of an elevator. It will be a means of two-way communication between the residents or tenants and the building owners. Advertisers have an opportunity to utilise these screens and position their brand there. With the growing importance of programmatic advertising, a lot of dynamic content can be played and made useful for all consumers in these spaces. So yes, I think it’s going to be a fantastic space.  


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