"Oh Really?" Dep't: Global DOOH leader set to conquer indie pharmacy world

October 20, 2010 by Dave Haynes

I immediately start smirking when I see a headline that includes the word “purveyors” – hoping “Ye Olde” will also get tossed in.

So I was very excited (but also disappointed – no Ye Olde) to read word that: “GoGo Cast to Acquire Digital In Motion the Largest Purveyor of Digital Out of home Solutions for Independent Pharmacies.”

Ok, who? And who? Largest???

Acquisition entails deployment of 15,000 GoGo Cast digital media GoScreens™ to member pharmacies, including Federation Pharmacy network and other pharmacy purchasing alliances

Wow. That’s a big ROUND number.

GoGo Cast Inc., a global leader in dynamic content and digital merchandising in the place-based Digital Out of Home (DOOH) space announced today that it has executed a letter of intent to acquire certain assets and contracts of Digital In Motion a Connecticut-based corporation.

Hands up everyone who has heard of this global leader.

“This acquisition brings a tremendous opportunity to deliver our unique, place-based DOOH solutions to independent pharmacies across North America,” said David R. Paolo President and CEO of GoGo Cast, Inc. “With GoGo Cast’s dynamic content communications offering coupled with Digital In Motion’s explosive growth of independent pharmacy locations, advertisers will now have the ability to reach customers closest to the point-of-purchase.”

GoGo Cast’s high definition Go-Screen’s™ provide in-store customers with meaningful and informative content that enhances the store experience and helps them make smart purchasing decisions. The unique digital displays have the ability to convey the right messages at precisely the right time to help influence buying decisions directly at the point-of-purchase. Additionally, vendors will benefit from an opportunity to highlight key selling points, promote sale prices and special promotions while complementing traditional point-of-purchase advertising.

“We are very excited to join forces with GoGo Cast to provide advertisers with the ability to deliver their messages to a critical mass of pharmacy locations,” said Paul Couture, Chief Executive Officer of Digital In Motion, Inc. “With GoGo Cast’s unique digital signage offering, strong balance sheet and large capital resources, Digital In Motion’s independent pharmacy locations can now offer advertisers direct communication with their customers.”

With the addition of Digital In Motion pharmacy locations, GoGo Cast Inc. network will now consist of over 20,000 pharmacy and convenience store locations under contract representing over $330 million in annual revenues. Additionally, vendors will benefit from an opportunity to highlight key selling points, promote sale prices and special promotions while GROWING SAME STORE SALES OVER 20% ON FEATURED PRODUCTS.

Well there’s no need to shout, fellas. Geez.

While this reads like a merger of the titans, as noted earlier these are two companies that are not exactly the talk of the business. GoGo Cast has been around in some capacity for roughly two years and has announced several deals that would build it up to something approaching 700 or so sites, maybe more. The interactive map that shows sites available to buy has far fewer that are live, or someone needs to update the maps.

Digital In Motion does not list any actual locations on its website and the little slide show on its site has more to do with pro shop specials at golf courses than it does with pharmacies. The Federation Pharmacy Network is a group of 14,000 independent pharmacies and exists to give small retail drugstores the buying clout of large chains. It recommends vendors to its members and Digital In Motion isn’t on that list.

So … it is a very long, hard and expensive road from the small, hyper-regional start-up that GoGo is right now to the one that is theoretically cranking more than $330,000,000, as is billed.  That’s $317 per site/week in ad revenues, at 20,000 sites. DOOH CPMs are at about $4 for c-stores and drug stores, so good luck with that number.

My point here is not to single these guys out for over-hyping (Lord knows they are not alone there), but to point out that that this sort of torqued news doesn’t really work and tends to hurt more than help sales and business development efforts.

Anyone who has run a DOOH network and sold ads knows how hard it really is (and I have, by the way). The c-store market has some real demand from brands, so there is definitely opportunity. But another network in that region that did a pile of things right – got validated research, understood the sales process, solid tech and so on – is either in deep trouble or already down for the count, having rolled to several hundred sites.

Before you go telling the world you’re a global leader and master of many thousands of venues, maybe just get what’s now in place really working. Media planners and brands have seen waaaaaay too much hype from start-up networks about what’s going to be. They want to know what a network can deliver now.

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