Marketing Marches On With Digital Signage

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The melodramatic march of the digital age continues with digital signage. Businesses everywhere are scrambling to convert to the digital religion. But its tenants are usually misunderstood, and there is an undermining challenge to every so-called holy book of rules. Digital signage is in its infancy, and businesses are just beginning to learn the rules of the game.

Digital signage is the method of portraying content, such as advertisements, public announcements, and schedules, on an electronic screen (LED, LCD, plasma). Digital signs play content from a media player, which may receive information from a single source (USB port, hard drive), or may use a networked content management system (CMS).

Some pundits question the feasibility of digital displays when the old static content worked so well for so long – to which digital proponents sardonically note that billboards, in fact, did not work so well and that modernity is a virtue, not a vice. Opinion aside, there are several reasons why digital signage may be a valid addition to a business’s marketing repertoire.

Messages can be tailored to fit demographics or geographical locations or – to borrow inspiration from Minority Report – each customer’s individual wants. As the vast majority of purchasing decisions are made in-store, anywhere from 70-85%, and the majority of these decisions are made within 3 seconds, on-the-spot digital displays are a business’s dream come true.

Personalized digital displays and interfaces may be more efficient tools to organize the board and employee meeting rooms. Ideas can be quickly organized and discussed; employee announcements can be declared without ado; online resources can be attained with a few clicks.

But despite its revolutionizing tendencies, little research has been conducted as to the real-world ROI of digital signage versus static signage. And in the business world, if the ROI is not positive, then the idea is, quite simply, junk.

Some marketers struggle to adapt to localized, dynamic advertising. Content must be dynamic, emotionally powerful, responsive, and answer customers’ needs.

The yellow brick road has ended; the rainbow has met the ground. Is there a pot of gold or an inept imposter waiting? Digital signage may be the next marketing revolution, or it may be a cute bit of businesses legerdemain. Businesses will continue to experiment with digital signage and its ability to quickly convey customized information to both consumers and internal employees. So the digital revolution marches on.

 

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