'Digital Signage is an investment, not a luxury, and it earns its value by engaging your target audience.' Expert advice on getting the best results from your digital signage
For 20 years Digital Signage has been portrayed and sold as a complex expensive technology. It offers many valuable features including high quality video with data integration, audience interactivity, touch, gender detection and personalisation, but using too many can over complicate the solution and devalue your investment.
In reality, the vast majority of its value comes from simple, clear communication.
Digital Signage is an investment, not a luxury, and it earns its value by engaging your target audience.
Let’s look at the two main forms of interaction in communication.
Pull content is viewed by an active audience that is specifically looking for something. Examples might be using Google to find a website, an internal intranet, a video conference, a newspaper, or using an interactive kiosk. The audience is choosing to consume the content.
Push content is viewed by a passive audience who aren’t looking for it but are given it along the way. Examples might be digital signage screens in an office corridor, or in a shop window, a banner ad on a web page, or an advert in a newspaper.
Digital Signage’s strength is push content and the return on investment can be excellent, but think of your screen as a limited resource. You are paying for every pixel every second - you must make them work for you.
Arming the sales team
Retailers use Digital Signage to influence customers buying in store, however that screen takes up valuable merchandise shelf space. Retailers are facing an on-going battle with ‘showrooming’ - where customers compare prices on their phone with online retailers or other retailers.
Consider using screens in a different way. Enhance your in-store experience by pushing vital brand messaging and sales promotions to the shop floor by installing ‘back stage’ screens in staff-only areas. Use them to arm the sales team with key talking points to enable them to confidently sell products and talk about your superior after sales service.
Service providers need to ensure customers are aware of all the elements they offer - Digital Signage can help to do just that. When a customer comes through the door, they may be looking for just one aspect of a service and may not be aware of all the full range available to them.
Installing a Digital Signage screen in the reception area with continuous messages about the services on offer can be a valuable tool. Why not convert already available information from your pull website into push content to sell those additional services through various screens. No one will ask you for a service if they don’t know about it.
For example, someone visiting a financial adviser for advice on their will might also be looking to move house, and advertising the mortgage broking service in the reception area will prompt the customer to ask about it, turning a possible sales opportunity into an enthused buyer.
The power of “Did you know?” messaging via a well-placed Digital Signage screen is that it turns a service provider selling its services into a customer looking to buy them.
One of the most overlooked markets for Digital Signage is the everyday office environment.
Many companies struggle to regularly communicate internal news. The weekly update emails get deleted, the expensive intranet is ignored, and the in-house magazine only gets read by visitors in the reception area, but this is where passive push signage comes into play with all its power.
Companies should always use a ‘push’ method as a way of internally communicating to employees. It can be utilised to increase morale, deliver messages praising great performance, shout about successful projects and share how important staff are in the company’s growth.
One great example of this that I worked on was a UK bank that installed 30 screens into its head office to overcome a serious staffing issue. Many employees were leaving the bank to gain promotion, but were unaware of the internal vacancies available. Content from the HR department was displayed on the screens advertising current vacancies, secondments and training opportunities. By recruiting internally via the screens, the bank was able to retain highly skilled staff and reduce expensive recruitment fees to find the right staff. The screens rapidly paid for themselves.
What’s happening today?
Most management software solutions have a dashboard or RSS feed that can be incorporated into a Digital Signage loop. Current progress on projects, last month’s sales numbers against target, naming the best performing teams, or what everyone is working on in a software team can be easily displayed and visible to all.
Success by empathy
To make Digital Signage a success, you must look at your audience and ask yourself both what they would find useful in their day-to-day work and lives, and what you would like them to know. By making sure the content is relevant and informative you will help increase the importance of your signage and improve its return on investment.
Bryan Crotaz, CEO of Silver Curve www.silvercurve.co.uk