Miami Beach's bike sharing kiosk project is definitely not on a roll. After launching about 80 DecoBike kiosks in March 2011, the city still hasn't come close to meeting revenue expectations, according to the Miami Herald, which reported that DecoBike invested $3.7 million into the business but lost $387,000 in 2011.
Hoping to save the project by boosting profits for DecoBike, the Miami Beach Commission recently voted to allow commercial advertising on 40 of the kiosks, which is a step in the right direction, said Ron Bowers of Frank Mayer & Associates. He believes one key to a successful kiosk deployment is embracing an omnichannel solution. For example, why wouldn't a deployer run ads on a kiosk when the screen is already there?
"The Kiosk, as part of an omnichannel solution, must collaborate and support the framework of all the channel strategies that will target success in the final solution," he said. "Digital Signage, mobile, and traditional merchandising strategies are all part of the successful ROI solution through collaboration.
Social and standard media are also part of the omnichannel marketing solution, said Craig Keefner of KIOSK Information Systems, who thinks the city should encourage ridership in every way possible. It needs to figure out who its audience is and how to reach them using the platforms they've already embraced.
"That includes web, mobile and social," Keefner said.
Another way the city could increase revenue is to sign up corporate sponsors to help build impact and footprint, Keefner said.
The Miami kiosk project is a classic example of a great concept developed for a real market need with obvious opportunity for success that's losing because of poor execution, Bowers said.
"Execution needs to be the last and most crucial stage of the development matrix. Due diligence needs to be satisfied with how the necessary awareness, education of the public, and demand building are going to be developed and executed," he said. "Market trials are needed to confirm all aspects of acceptance by targeted demographics and psychographics of the market. These results need to be metrics that can be measured and resolved."
Know your partners
It's critical for a deployer to contract with an experienced digital self-service company that also has the scope of resources to handle the solution's rollout to scale, Bowers said.
"The service provider should provide a very specific needs' assessment and due-diligence protocol with the deployer that embraces (his) unique needs," he said. The provider should also define specific measurable metrics for the solution.
A smart deployer will choose a manufacturer who can produce successful case studies similar to what he wants to accomplish, Keefner said.
"The implication, too, is that this is not the first time these people have delivered the solution. In fact, they should be able to provide the prospect with some past example deployments. Never pay for on-the-job training," he said.
Cover photo: flickr.com