Why Digital Signage is Important
To answer this, we need to look at the origins of Digital Signage
The early origins of digital signage can be traced back to what was commonly known as “Corporate TV.”
During the 60s and 70s, large organizations utilized cable and satellite TV technologies to broadcast corporate communication, employee training programs, management briefings, and business news. As employees were dispersed across multiple states or even different countries, effective communication between management and staff became a challenge. To address this issue, video broadcasting technologies were repurposed for corporate communications, leveraging their mature development at that time.
In the 80s, small and medium-sized companies commonly shipped VCR tapes all over the country or world. They would dispatch parcels to branch offices, stores, and other business locations for employees to view the company’s “news broadcast”. Dedicated viewing areas, converted meeting rooms, were used for this purpose. The dispatches from the head office effectively disseminated information, regardless of staff location. Eventually, VCR tapes were replaced by Video CDs, DVDs, and the Internet.
The adoption of Corporate TV was driven by technological breakthroughs and the lowering of barriers to entry, such as reduced costs, simplified processes, and increased accessibility to required expertise.
Corporate TV was the precursor to digital signage as we know it
Today, Digital signage has become an important communication medium for a wide range of applications.
- Digital signage serves as an effective communication and motivational tool, similar to Corporate TV. It enables the display of news, weather reports, sports results, financial information, wayfinding, and various other content types.
- Business locations, government offices, retail stores, restaurants, hotel lobbies, hospital and doctor’s waiting rooms, fitness centers, sports arenas, movie theaters, and many other locations make use of digital signage.
- It excels at delivering information to large groups of viewers, whether in private or public settings.
- Companies utilize digital signage to inform, motivate, train, and educate staff at all levels, as well as for the applications mentioned above. It facilitates sales, conveys messages effectively, and reinforces positive messages.
- Digital signage proves valuable for engaging idle audiences and making productive use of dwell time.
- It empowers targeting specific audiences, age groups, gender, or any desired demographic.
A business may have been the catalyst but anyone can install flat panel displays to share targeted content with any audience.
Digital signage can do more than publish generic content. The best example can be found in digital signage installations around schools, college, and university campuses. In case of emergency, digital signage displays can deliver evacuation notices, urgent messages, and alert notifications. This content can be triggered through a manual process or launched automatically when displays are interfaced with a school’s emergency communication system. This ability to switch between regular and emergency content is one of the key advantages of digital signage over other forms of communication.
Retail Digital Signage
Merchants recognize the significance of effectively communicating time-sensitive information to shoppers. By providing real-time pricing updates, merchants can drive sales and enhance their overall financial performance. This becomes even more critical in a competitive landscape where brick-and-mortar stores face competition from e-commerce platforms. Digital signage offers a valuable advantage that surpasses the capabilities of traditional printed point-of-purchase (POP) signage. The ability to instantly adjust prices in response to competitive pressures can lead to substantial profitability.
However, the benefits extend beyond pricing adjustments. For instance, when integrated with a store’s point-of-sale system, digital signage can promptly promote slow-moving items. By utilizing external sensors, digital signage displays can dynamically react to local weather conditions, enabling stores to highlight products like parkas and boots based on the outside temperature.
Moreover, digital signage plays a crucial role in aiding shoppers’ decision-making processes by showcasing product features and benefits at the point of purchase. This proves especially valuable for complex products such as electrical appliances that require specific knowledge. For instance, digital signage displays positioned near clothes washers and dryers can act as “silent salespeople,” providing essential information until a sales associate is available.
Retail store operators fully grasp the value that digital signage brings to their organizations.
Digital Signage for Government and Banking
Digital signage displays can play an important role in queue management. These displays can provide useful information, and infotainment content and redirect visitors to someone who is available to assist. We encounter these situations often in motor vehicle offices, city courts, and other similar venues. The trick is to provide visitors with a more pleasurable experience by reducing perceived dwell times. Digital signage-based queue management can be quite useful in many other similar situations, such as redirecting shoppers to an available cashier or pointing bank customers to an available teller. Queue management content can be used on its own or mixed in with other infotainment content.
The use of digital signage for wayfinding is growing in popularity. It involves using touch-enabled screens to display helpful information that helps visitors find their way. This technology has many applications in different places like schools, businesses, banks, museums, stores, and more.
Wayfinding content can range from simple directories showing directions to interactive 3D maps that guide visitors with animated paths. In more advanced setups, instructions and maps can be sent directly to visitors’ smartphones using techniques like QR codes or iBeacons.
The larger and more complex the location, the more useful wayfinding becomes.
These are just a few examples that show how important digital signage is for helping people find their way.
What makes Digital Signage so useful?
There are some key features that make digital signage so useful.
- Digital signage provides the right information, at the right place, at the right time. A well-programmed digital signage system will deliver information that is relevant to the audience. If you’re visiting an arena, chances are you will encounter displays that point you to your seat. You will also see ads that are relevant to the venue and the event you’re attending. Athlete statistics will be displayed and you will be instantly alerted if there is an emergency.
- Digital signage delivers information that is relevant to viewers. Here again, programming is key. Content can be adjusted based on the viewer’s sex, age, or any other relevant demographic. When paired with external sensors and face detection software, digital signage can interrupt a scheduled program to deliver content that is specifically useful to the person looking at the display. This method is proven to increase sales in retail stores.
- Digital signage displays can be paired with sensors to trigger content based on movement or other external stimuli. This lets the audience interact with the display to present specific content or play interactive games. Turning a passive display into an interactive experience engages the audience and improves retention. This can lead to favorable impressions, increased brand awareness, and better retention.
Digital signage is a medium that has become familiar to everyone. Audiences are now used to seeing flat-screen displays and LED billboards, even in rural areas. This will eventually lead to better and more useful content for everyone.