Digital signage displays adjustable and interactive content on devices of all shapes and sizes – from large format screens to small tablets.
It’s in a state of rapid growth in the global market, dominated by North American demand , and not only for the purposes of driving traffic within retail. Major businesses, and a diverse number of business environments are utilizing digital signage wherever a consumer can physically come into contact with a brand. While some of this growth can be attributed to the reduced costs of digital screens, its expansion into the mainstream is primarily due to its many marketing benefits:
Digital signage has the ability to hold consumer attention better than static print images through the use of compelling video content, dynamic screen images, and constantly varying information. In the retail environment, digital signage was found to increase both purchase amount and dwell time by almost 30% , a strong indicator that consumers do connect with this medium.
Digital signage allows businesses to incorporate meaningful calls to action, influencing consumers’ buying decisions while they are within steps of a point of purchase. This platform also has the capacity to include interactive elements so that viewers can elect more personalized communications, while also allowing brands to capture valuable customer data. Video content can be especially useful in keeping viewers engaged during inevitable wait times, giving businesses the opportunity to speak to a captive audience.
TD Canada Trust has been a leading innovator in the use of digital signage in their branch environments for almost 10 years. Driven to enhance the consumer experience and brand associaton, TD incorporated digital screens into a unique ATM located within Toronto’s Union Station, Canada’s busiest transportation hub .
By reducing the brand presence, eliminating any form of banking messaging TD was able to give their customers a tranquil experience amidst commuter chaos. TD developed stunning content of local Ontario landscapes, relating to the season and time of day. Commuters who encounter ATM at different times will be treated to different natural surprises, from variousa critters, to a lone paddler and even a not-so-camera-shy deer.
Unlike print media, digital signage allows for short lead times between content creation and content distribution, providing businesses the means to communicate the most current and topical information.
Brands can tailor their content to change according to a variety of pre-set triggers such as weather conditions, time of day, breaking headlines, and a myriad of other variables to ensure that messaging is always pertinent. As content can also be customized to local events and promotions, brands can target consumers with incredible accuracy.
Content can be managed online, making it easy to update and edit, with more opportunities to seed brand messaging versus a regular print ad. This flexibility also allows brands to test various communication strategies across markets, and course correct in real-time when necessary. A central updating system means that branding remains consistent across markets while messaging can be tailored to local needs.
The investment required for digital screens is declining and digital signage can provide businesses with long-term savings that far outweigh this initial investment. Digital signage eliminates the costs associated with printing, delivering, and installing traditional POS that will likely require imminent replacement. More importantly, brands can maximize the value of existing assets by adopting planning and production strategies that enable content to be created for multiple channels. If planned properly, brands have a wealth of content assets at their disposal to fuel their digital signage.
GM recently optimized their existing broadcast assets for digital screens, to create impactful communications within their dealerships. They have been able to gain efficiencies in their spend while delivering a relevant and brand consistent message to their customers.
Understanding the context of who the content is being created for, and the environment they are going to be seeing it in is critical. The next level of digital signage engagement will be driven by those brands that understand how to use their existing data, and observations of customer traffic, engagement, and demographics, to develop a play list of hyper-targeted, uber relevant content interactions with their customers.
While every interaction will not result in a purchase, a strategic, data-driven approach to content and content development will generate long-term kpi’s and deeper customer bonds.