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Digital kiosks have never been part of the CMS ecosystem.

How could they really? It wasn’t until recently that their features were robust enough to even require the support of a content management system.

That's changing now and in response Moki, a cloud-based provider of application for digital kiosks and related customer-facing devices, is rolling out new tools to publish and track the content used on digital kiosks.

A Quick Industry Primer

Unless you were paying close attention, it is easy to wonder if digital kiosks need CMS support. The dropping price point of the technology in part explains this.

Digital kiosks are cheap enough and easy enough to deploy now that they can be cost-effectively used on an aisle-by-aisle basis or at least placed by major product categories. 

The changing form factor of digital kiosks -- many are now essentially tablets -- is also part of that trend. 

All of this means that a company like GoPro (but without GoPro's marketing budget) is able to maximize and customize its content for prospects at this particular stage of the buying cycle.

User-generated videos are a perfect example and indeed, going back to GoPro, the company has turned that type of content into an art form.

Moki Analytics and Other Content Tools

Moki recently released MokiTouch 2 with these trends in mind.

Its upgraded release has added an analytics feature, called Moki Insights, that can track customer interaction in the aggregate and device level.

It also gives users the ability to create content, such as displaying or looping video, or providing open or restricted Internet browsing.

Also part of the mix is the ability to customize themes and colors to match a brand.

Digital Kiosks in the Product Journey

Brands have long recognized the value of using digital kiosks in their marketing, CEO Tom Karren told CMSWire.

It is the perfect channel to enhance the customer journey, he continued. "They allow people to touch and discover features or experiences of a certain product."

Digital kiosks also answer the expectation by consumers these days that everything is digital, instant and on demand -- including product research. Or as Karren put it: "consumers tend to expect a digital experience when they are in the store."

The Publishing Part of CMS

Karren is reluctant to label the MokiTouch2 a full-fledged CMS system, and indeed, it clearly is not.

At its most basic, a CMS is a tool to create, manage, publish and then measure content. MokiTouch 2 only addresses part of that equation — that is, it is used to publish content and measure how it performs. 

Even the analytics component is aimed at the publishing component, providing such data as how long did a particular viewing session last and which content was the most popular.

But for now, perhaps that is enough for digital kiosks.

For all their popularity with merchants, digital kiosks are still primarily considered by consumers to be a platform from which they watch content with perhaps some related interaction thrown in.

Few people, in other words, expect to be able to get in-depth, tailored responses to their questions about a product from these devices or connect to a live rep. Now, some kiosks are self-service knowledge channels, but these devices look and feel and act a lot different and then to be located in different parts of the store.

Content consumption "is where digital kiosks really excel," Karren said. "They drive product discovery, acting as a viewing mechanism for the brand and merchant."

Which is why they are getting so popular — and which is why they need some sort of CMS to handle and measure the publishing.

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License Title image by quinn.anya.