Digital signage has found its place in providing business value. The digitization of the marketplace is pushing end-user enterprises to invest in the technology. Consumers expect dynamic yet personalized information delivery, prompting business to reexamine how they’re communicating with and marketing to their audience.
As a commercial integrator, whether on the corporate or small business level, looking for and finding the optimization sweet spots within an organization is an ongoing effort. To stay ahead, integrators need to take a proactive approach and be able to identify emerging technologies early, to spearhead successful business strategies, and to deliver quality without sacrificing the bottom line.
Digital signage is one of the easiest avenues for revenue, as it takes advantage of skills commercial integrators already possess, while leveraging their existing customer base. Applications of the technology for communication and marketing present great revenue, margin and account control opportunities.
With digitized consumers who crave instant gratification and consume information through non-traditional mediums, digital signage and its many applications continue to feed ever-expanding niche markets.
From point of sale (POS) implementation and inventory control to customer management and content delivery, the digital signage pot of gold is paying out and integrators are reaping the rewards. End-user businesses are begging for digital signage integration. Organizations are starting to see the benefits of digital solutions and their dynamic flexibility. And now, more than ever, professional integrators are realizing just how much digital signage systems have to offer.
Delivering Value through Digital Signage
As a provider, whether a traditional sign shop or a system retailer, introducing dynamic signage customers to digital inventory is an affordable way to adapt to an evolving industry. As a business with a digital display offering—anything from POS integration to restaurant menus or hospital message boards—finding the right signage system can completely change operations. And, as an end user and everyday consumer, accessing information and personalizing service has never been easier or more intuitive. From one end of the spectrum to the other—provider to business to end user—digital display systems have influenced the way individuals and organizations advertise and understand visual content.
Adopting the technology as an integrator and either selling systems to those in need or installing one where it’s needed is an opportunity to create value across the board. Imagine if even a fraction of the 23 million small businesses—a professional demographic responsible for more than 50 percent of all sales in the United States—integrated digital display solutions into day-to-day operations. That’s a lot of dynamic and value-added content delivered to a lot of potential customers.
Taking Advantage of Digital Signage Systems
Although digital signage isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all formula for success, it is highly customizable. Organizations and professional industries are rapidly evolving their content strategies to include digital display and adaptable signage systems. While traditional signage may never truly die, finding the sweet spot between static message delivery and digital signage can be beneficial to integrators in:
- Corporate and healthcare: Internal communications are the lifeblood of progressive corporate momentum, and there’s nothing worse than providing outdated or incorrect information to employees within an organization. The same can be said for hospitals and health care providers. When employees, patients, and doctors need up-to-date information, digital message boards and the ability to quickly correct or alter information is invaluable.
- Food service: Digital display systems—on the front line as customizable menu boards and on the backline as a real-time order relay for the kitchen—can be a game changer for both customers and chefs.
- Education: Schools and universities are able to display and alter information, emergency announcements, and schedule related communications in real time. Additionally, a digital system makes it possible to manage and update multiple screens from one location.
- Marketing and advertising: Being able to execute real-time marketing strategies and advertise evolving multimedia messages is a no-brainer for corporate or small business integrators. The marketing and advertising applications for digital signage are endless, and companies continue to innovate and experiment with what works and what doesn’t when it comes to attracting consumers.
For these markets and many more, it’s the real-time rewards and flexibility of digital signage that makes the technology worth the investment. Not only is employing its use in a corporate or information-based environment beneficial, but integrating and offering sales and installation as a systems provider can be advantageous.
For commercial integrators, bringing digital display to the front lines drives business-to-business sales and implementation. Here are a few provider industries hopping onboard:
- Traditional sign providers: As mentioned, static message delivery still has its place, but more businesses and consumers are seeking and receiving their communications through digital media. Whether through mixing static and dynamic messaging strategies or switching to digital entirely, traditional sign providers are finding digital signage success.
- POS system sales: Retail sales and the service industry rely heavily on their point of sale systems, and POS providers are in a prime position to introduce dynamic signage to a market made for customer-oriented communication. Complementing a POS system with a digital display network offers customers added value or even a whole new experience.
- Audio/visual: By nature, digital signage is meant to be seen and heard. As a provider of A/V components and equipment, completing the product package by adding digital solutions is an effective way to help customers optimize and achieve their goals.
- IT and service providers: Much like audio/visual providers, maintenance and service sales can benefit by packaging and promoting their traditional services with digital signage software and hardware integration. A one-stop-shop for the equipment and follow-up maintenance service is an attractive option for consumers in need of IT expertise.
- Web developers: An important component to digital signage software is the HTML code that powers internal communication and prompts different consumer-facing messages. As an industry already creating code, adapting to write HTML for digital signage displays is an easy integration.
Tips for Achieving Digital Signage Sales Succes
Regardless of where a signage system will be implemented, understanding the risks and rewards inherent to investing in the technology is important. Too often, adopters and integrators attempt to tackle the entire array of digital signage inlets, and lack of focus on a niche or area of expertise leads to lackluster return on investment. Finding a niche and understanding customers doesn’t need to be difficult:
- Determine use: How are customers going to benefit from a particular digital display system or the technology in general? Determining whether targeted consumers are interested in brand building, sharing information, or increasing sales can, in turn, help make the digital signage sale.
- Discuss investment costs: Understandably, integrators can be wary about spending lots of money on new digital systems. Discussing financial benefits and overall investment potential over sticker price and installation costs is an effective digital signage sales strategy.
- Compare traditional to digital: A proven method for selling any product is comparing what’s being sold to something customers consider to be inferior. Simply running through the advantages of digital signage (real-time updates, dynamic messaging, etc.) over traditional static options can be enough to win over on-the-fence consumers.
- Establish partnerships: Professional partnerships can be advantageous for all parties involved. That said, it’s wise to be selfish when selecting partners (e.g., software provider, display providers, content providers, etc.), as they can make or break a project.
- The sniper approach: While it might seem counterintuitive, don’t try to be everything to everyone. When devoting resources to marketing or sales efforts, focus is key. Take on only a few verticals, establish goals and expectations, and improve and build skills for those verticals appropriately.
Integrators from countless industries are taking advantage of the digital signage edge. While the business of selling and supporting digital solutions has matured by leaps and bounds over the years, and simply putting up the “we offer digital displays” sign may not be enough to attract customers, providers are finding success in partnerships and niche markets. From offering tailored content for chiropractic waiting room message boards to providing support and integration assistance to A/V specialists powering emergency alert systems to specializing in user interface, providers and system integrators are creating software and hardware solutions for clients in need.
Digital Signage in the Future
Companies continue to create innovative new digital display equipment that pushes the technology and steers the marketplace. For professional corporate and systems integrators, the monetary and organic marketing cost of not having digital signage solutions at their disposal is quickly outweighing the cost of selling and buying the systems themselves. Finding the digital signage pot of gold and putting it to good use could change the way organizations operate.