There has been a massive exodus from static signage to digital signage. From multi-billion dollar annual forecasts to double digit compound annual growth rates (CAGRS), the digital signage industry is buzzing. Digital signage is everywhere, telling you what to eat, where to go, what to buy. Marketing departments across verticals are hiring DS certified experts to run expansive signage networks.
Content providers are developing media assets for large screens spread across geographies. AV integrators continue to pour resources to specialize in this new field. Even the IT departments are pondering over the challenges brought about by this new technology. So is this a flashy fad or a bona fide medium? What’s so special about digital signage? Why does it trump traditional media? The upfront cost, time, and effort of installing one digital signage screen can be daunting, but is it really worth it?
Speed and specificity in internal workflows and operation/distribution
When using traditional signage, the internal workflow is slow. For instance, a November catalog has to be at the printer by August which means the content (e.g. promotions) has to be planned/defined by June. With digital signage, you can plan your content for November even a day before the month starts. If you have a nice raincoat in your November catalog but the year turns out to be dry, your catalog is worthless! With digital signage, you can promote summer clothing until the first day of rain, then switch to promoting umbrellas. Digital signage has the ability of showcasing content at the right time with the right message.
It is no secret that customers hate to wait, whether at a doctor’s office or a retail checkout line. In fact, customer satisfaction is not only influenced by how long the customer waits, but also by what they are doing while waiting. Digital signage is effective in that it entertains and informs the customer while they are waiting for their meal, waiting for their car to be serviced, or waiting for their flight to arrive. This effect is called wait warping where customers who are attracted/entertained while waiting will perceive reduced wait time.
Digital Signage is the “Silent Salesman”
With digital signage, fewer representatives are required on the floor to influence the customer’s purchase. The right content mix will guide the customer to certain pre-determined purchases. This is done by leveraging the multisensory experience that digital signage creates. Motion and change attract customers – not static signs.
Let’s take the real estate industry as an example. There is a growing popularity of online house hunting. Live displays, both internal and exterior facing, mirror the online experience thus tempting buyers into the store or office. Lobbies are turned into selling arenas.
In retail stores, digital signage acts as a virtual sales assistant. Strategically placed interactive displays can be used to locate a particular item, size, fit or color. They give every perceivable purchase opportunity.
The content on the display screen can be changed or updated easily as the target changes. There is also central control of content. Much less footwork is required to manage messaging campaigns which makes the process more convenient and less time-consuming. This eliminates staff and printing errors. Day parting is made easy with digital signage which allows users to highlight different content throughout the day.
Reduced printing means reduced landfill. A digital signage system is more environmentally friendly than traditional signs. This is a plus for the increasingly green-aware customer.
Digital beats static, hands down. Customers are increasingly immersed in the digital realm and to get their business, companies are forced to engage with them in their own terms. Digital signage stands-out by delivering dynamic graphics and interactivity that draws in and keeps customers. In fact research conducted by OTX, a global consumer research and consulting firm, shows that 63 percent of adults find that advertising on digital signage “catches their attention.” This confirms the stopping power of digital signage, as people consider this media to be more unique and entertaining, and less annoying than both traditional and online media.