By Dave Palermo
July 19, 2012
Digital signage and displays are highly effective communications tools to show advertising, television programming, product information and other messages. In recent years, digital signs have evolved from essentially being simple electronic posters with one-way communication. Today, some of the more effective uses include enabling interactive experience with two-way communication and dynamic content driven by advanced analytics. Companies can cut through information clutter and command attention of target audiences with bold digital signage that links with dynamic content, mobile applications and social media - especially where it counts, the point-of-decision.
By using digital signage, organizations can effectively promote their products and services to customers at the precise time and place they are making their decision in a retail environment, share helpful information in lobbies and waiting areas or effectively deliver employee communications in a corporate environment. These displays not only provide information to educate customers and employees but also prompt them to ask relevant questions and take actions.
Increasingly, digital signage is becoming an integral part of the marketing mix. Here are three ways digital signage can boost marketing strategies:
Digital signage networks are content dependent and formulating an effective content strategy is an essential starting point. Just as in building a website, where if you don’t have compelling content on your Web page, you don’t provide any reason for your audience to engage - the same is true with digital signage.
Keep your content fresh and relevant. Experience shows that target audiences tune out static posters whether they are traditional or digital displays. With its centralized management of the network, a digital signage system makes it easy to have frequent content changes in line with the core marketing strategy. This way, consumers will see different, targeted messaging every time they visit your environment.
Digital signage also provides marketers with the opportunity to more easily test different messaging concepts and calls to action. It allows them to measure the effectiveness of a specific campaign and make any needed changes on the fly.
Every year, content consumption by users of mobile devices grows significantly. Marketing teams have an ongoing quest to enhance these user experiences in every interaction - digital signage included. Consumers not only want their mobile devices to be able to interact with digital signs to customize the content they see, they also want to download relevant information from the displays.
For instance, Quick Response (QR) codes have become a popular “integration point” when connecting digital signage and mobile technology. Consumers can scan a code from a screen to download content of interest to them. This “pull” strategy is a natural extension for individuals using their smart phones and ensures that viewers retain related information long after they walk away from the digital display.
Social media is the “hot button” of today’s connected generation. Brands are constantly interacting with their customers through Facebook and Twitter not only to listen to their experiences and opinions, but also to engage these customers further. Digital signage can become part of that social media experience.
For example, using a digital display, a company can promote its Facebook presence and encourage viewers to “Like” its page - and provide a special incentive such as a coupon or other offer to encourage engagement. Businesses can also employ on-site displays to invite visitors using Foursquare to “check in” at the venue. This encourages repeat customers by offering various perks, such as naming a frequent visitor “Mayor” and displaying their name on-screen for friends and family to see.
Twitter is also a very popular integration that encourages customers to tweet about a favorite product or positive experience - with an on-site, digital signage-based Twitter Ticker displaying the tweets. This engagement helps a company present a contemporary, high-tech feel and better connect with customers.
Today, organizations large and small are finding an increasing number of ways to use digital solutions to effectively reach their target audiences. The ability to connect multiple displays to dynamic content, mobile devices and social media adds to the richness of the medium. This helps companies use digital signage to inform, influence, reinforce branding, provide direction and yield many business benefits, as a part of highly impactful interactive communications strategy.
Dave Palermo, vice president of global marketing at Scala Inc., has more than 20 years of technology products and services industry marketing experience. He is responsible for Scala’s global structure, strategy and execution for all aspects of marketing with a particular focus on building demand generation engines. He can be reached at www.scala.com.