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> Digital Signage: The Future Now

What is Digital Signage?

Digital Signage - Is It a Significant Disruptive Technology for Point of Sale? Yes.

This is the era of electronic communication and dynamical of advertisement and communication has substantially changed, besides formal display advertisement, today digital signage is in trend. This type of advertisement has been more effective compared to the formal way of advertisement. Almost all the big companies across the world are offering digital signage services because demand of digital signage is increasing day by day.

Digital Signage is highly interesting, these days it is possible to incorporate different interactive components with the help of digital signage and you can display them through large LCD/LED screens. Digital signage is also known as "Narrowcasting" or "Narrowcast Networks". Actually the term "Narrowcasting" or "Narrowcast Networks" is popular in Europe but in North America & it is usually called "Digital Signage". The 3-D graphical demonstration of ads and the high quality picture are basically the major points due to which digital signage is so popular these days. Another important cause behind the popularity of digital signage is the cheap cost of advertisements.

Digital Signage hardware and software are essential for display of digital signage. The hardware and software that are used for display of digital signage are not much expensive that's why these days' institutions like offices, schools and several sports grounds are using the digital signage. Popularity and usage of digital signage is improving because prices of LCD screens are falling. The technology that is used to run these ads is complex as compared to the other forms of product publicity.

Despite numerous constraints it must be considered that growth of Narrowcasting has been commendable and it has inspired the concept of advertising. The leading advertising agencies have accepted the growth of Digital signage and it is expected that popularity of "Narrowcast network" or "Digital Signage" will grow in near future.

Advantages of Digital Signage

Digital signage is a form of electronic display that shows information, advertising and other messages.

Digital signs (such as LCD, LED, plasma displays, or projected images) can be found in public and private environments, such as retail stores and corporate buildings.

Advertising using digital signage is a form of out-of-home advertising in which content and messages are displayed on digital signs with a common goal of delivering targeted messages to specific locations at specific times.

The benefits of digital signage over static signs, in situations where changing signs are preferred over static signs, are that the content can be exchanged more easily, animations can be shown, and the signs can adapt to the context and audience, even interactively.

Normal advertising boards are not very flexible in terms of updating and altering content but with the use of Digital Signage, this is not a problem anymore and the advertising content can be regularly altered. We can see how in some restaurants the LCD's are used to show their menu not only is it more catching but it can changed frequently as well. The same goes for the apparel stores, the LCD depicting the varying dresses available are akin to real time display.

The popularity of Digital Signage has seen an uphill trend and it's demand is rising fast as well and because of this, advertising agencies are focusing upon the use of Digital Signage too. Research has shown that with the efficient and effectual use of Digital Signage, the sales have gone up for many companies. In today's dynamic and fast paced world, the consumer wants something different, companies opting for Digital signage for promotional and advertising activities, automatically enjoy an upper hand as they are exploring new mediums to reach out to their consumers.

There is no denying the fact that it costs more to advertise using Digital signage medium but the benefits overwhelm the expenses. In today's globalised world, it is imperative that new technologies be availed to attract and reach out the consumer. We usually see digital signage being used at providing flight information, brand-building purposes etc. Digital signage is convenient and simple as well. It is almost like a personalised television sending out specific information tailored for the consumers and also the messages can be altered easily and frequently.

There is a flip side to advertising via Digital Signage but as mentioned earlier the benefits out rightly outweigh the disadvantages. It does require a hefty investment initially but as the ball gets rolling, it proves to be much more beneficial than any other mediums that could be used to advertise. The long-term benefits also in terms of brand recall that is generated via Digital Signage are more than the one time capital that it requires. Moreover Digital Signage has grasped the attention of companies worldwide.

Digital Signage - A New Technology

The use of Digital Signage is not restricted to any industry or trade rather it can be used by any type of business or industry to attract attention to themselves.

Companies set up in-store digital media networks for promotional and advertising purposes that not only attract customer traffic, but also boosts their sales as well.

Digital signage can also be used for making information available for specific groups e.g. universities, schools, corporate training centers etc whereby important announcements are made or specific information is given out.

The transportation industry especially air travel can use this technology by setting up interactive kiosks for tickets, making reservations, and flight and train schedules. The hospitality industry too can make efficient use of digital signage to communicate with their clientele sending out messages to make them aware of any happenings and announcements.

Hospitals and other medical facilities can also use signage to communicate and interact with their patients with regard to emergencies, facilities, announcements and preventive health programming etc. However these specific examples do not mean that the benefits are just restricted to specialised industries, the benefits of signage are tremendous and extend to all industries.

In today's global and dynamic world, people have very hectic schedules and time is considered money. It is very hard to grasp the attention of the consumer especially since they have choices that did not exceed before. People hardly have time to watch television let alone the advertisements shown in between. Digital signage is a very appropriate means of reaching out to the customer also since the messages can be personalized.

Digital signage when placed in areas of high footfalls, such as lobbies, parking centers, escalators, window displays and so on not only looks beautiful rather it is eye catching. Therefore choosing the right location is of supreme importance.

Why Digital Signage is Important

Digital Signage has undoubtedly expanded and developed as an advertising and promotional vehicle over time.

In today's competitive and dynamic business world, getting the consumer's attention is a paramount task, therefore it is all the more important to install digital signage as it provide an opportunity for gaining a differential advantage over their competitors. Realising this companies have begun to allocate larger amounts of budget for this medium.

The basic reason on why companies should turn to digital signage to send out their messages to the consumers. There are many varying reasons, some of which are discussed below:
In today's competitive business environment the consumer has many choices, which did not exist before, the consumer is the king now but as so many companies are reaching out the consumer, it gets increasingly hard for them to grasp his/her attention. Thus to effectively reach out to the consumer, digital signage provides the best medium to grasp their attention.

Digital Media used to advertise and promote the company's brand; products and information can help augment the relationships with its clientele and vendors. As not only are they eye catching, it rather serves business purposes as well. For example a well positioned digital signage message placed at a car dealership will help attract consumers as they can be made aware of the varying offers at the dealership whilst just looking at the digital media. Thus digital media is interactive in its nature as well. In a corporate setting, digital signage can be used to welcome guests and send out important messages etc. This not only generates good will but does well to the business in terms of increased sales as well.

It is time saving as well. One can avoid the hassles associated with labor-intensive printed signs. Through digital signage one does not have to print messages again and again, all one needs to do is to update digital signage once and it can be kept playing as long as you want. Thus it is more cost efficient and requires less labour.

It obviously attracts more attention as its human nature to be attracted to something in motion. Print advertising is static in nature. When one is passing by and sees an LCD with some message being sent out, one would stop to read it automatically.

Other than the customer centric advantages digital signage offers, it can also be used to communicate with the employees, which not only boosts their productivity rather it saves time and capital as well. For example a message needs to be conveyed to hundreds of employees, and it does not matter what the content of the message is, it could be anything, what's important is that it reaches to the employees in an efficient manner and yields results and what better than using digital media to do that.

Advertisement Through Digital Signage

What should an advertiser do in this era of TiVo and digital video recorders, where a television viewer has control over what they watch and when they watch it?

Due to the control that viewer has over what they can watch, they can easily forward the commercials or change the channel when the commercials are on. So many advertisers have been worried for the loss in their revenues.

A radical change has taken place due to digital signage technology. In a digital signage a main unit sends a signal to a device such as an LCD monitor. Both audio and video can be sent to a monitor by fitting in IP video via digital signage software. A buyer's decision can be changed by placing this monitor on the point of sale. If a buyer does not end up buying this product, the placement of the monitor on the point of sale will result in brand awareness and possible future sales.

As digital signage is the generation next, a savvy advertiser or marketer should research about it, as by advertising the right product in the right place companies are able to attract their target market.

Following are some examples of how digital displays can be used.

  1. In a store's toy section toy-oriented signage can be placed.
  2. In the apparel section a digital signage unit can be placed showing latest fashion.
  3. In the hardware section do it yourself instruction's can be displayed on a digital signage.

With the help of digital signage marketers can find out customers preferences, as a digital signage can record what a customer is buying. This information of customer preferences than can be used to evaluate the hottest items, different trends (seasonal trends) etc. ultimately this information can be used to make decisions such as in-store promotions or sales on what customers want when they're more likely to want it.

TV advertising is not as effective as it was in the past. Same is the case with radio and newspaper advertisement. These modes of advertising have been around for a long time but they did mass advertisement hence generally not targeting a certain demographic. But digital signage enables advertisers to do target advertising and hence can be very profitable for them.