How We Use Digital Signage to Improve Employee Engagement & Workplace Culture

Today’s workforce is changing rapidly. According to Deloitte, HR departments are hyper-focused on finding new ways to improve company culture and employee engagement in order to retain talent and keep teams productive.

Fortunately, there’s technology that can help with that! Many of our customers use digital signage technology internally with the main goal being to improve communications and foster engagement across siloed teams.
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Google’s Chrome Sign Builder: Who Should Use It?

Chrome Sign Builder is great for a limited number of screens, a tech-savvy administrator, and static content, while Skykit has unlimited reach and scalability

If you’re new to the world of digital signage, Google’s Chrome Sign Builder may seem like a great application to test the waters of content management. What’s not to like about a free, seemingly easy tool that lets you schedule content in a google calendar interface?

Well…

First, the term “Builder is a bit of a misnomer, as it suggests the tool helps create your digital signage solution from foundation to shingles. Replace the word “builder” with “scheduler” and it’s more accurate.

A true, robust digital signage content management system (CMS) does much more than schedule content. It allows users to create content, collaborate on content, and share it (in real-time or on a scheduled basis) to any number of screens, anywhere in the world.

Content

Chrome Sign Builder does not contain content management functionality. As mentioned above, it’s a content scheduler. And a clunky one at that. The interface is the Google Calendar we’re all familiar with, however, you’ll only see a partial Google link to your content file.

Changing content is significantly time-consuming in comparison to true digital signage solutions. If you only plan to post content using Google Slides it works well enough. Hosted video links via YouTube can be uploaded, too, but timing the video loop gets tricky and often leads to blank screens while the video reloads.

And if you have any gaps in your content scheduling, your audience will see the “no content scheduled” auto-message bouncing around the screen like Atari’s Pong.
Probably not the customer experience you’re hoping for. Google, aware of the drawback, provides a workaround.

While we’re on the subject of content, you should also know that all the content you post will be public. To use Chrome Sign Builder, content needs to be web-accessible (which you create via Publish mode), so anyone with the URL will have access to it. Not a big deal if you don’t care who can potentially see your images and messaging.

Where’s the Easy Button?

In addition to the above calendar view challenges, deploying it requires a two-part process (which Google explains in great detail with no less than 11-steps) just to deploy it.

Digital signage should be easy. Chrome Sign Builder is not a plug and play solution.

Skykit, which runs on Chrome and Android, makes it easy to upload just about any type of content – images, video, slides, web sites, feeds, and more. Users can lay out screens and kiosks using Skykit’s templates, or you can customize your own.

Skykit was built by one of the largest Google Cloud Platform software development teams in North America. It’s native to the cloud and infinitely scalable. So whether you’re new to digital signage or it’s old hat, you’ll appreciate the built-in simplicity that makes Skykit so intuitive.

Money Talks

From a budget perspective, it’s hard to compete with free. BUT, while Chrome Sign Builder may look like the beginner’s answer to a rudimentary digital signage solution, it’s definitely not the layman’s solution.

For instance, the administrator/end-user must be comfortable with technology in terms of creating and organizing multiple configuration files and be able to manage content schedules weeks to months in advance. In our experience, enterprise customers want to spend money in ways that positively impact their bottom lines. So, while Chrome Sign Builder is a nice fit for those with no budget, know that you’ll be investing dollars somewhere, e.g. your administrator’s time/productivity, and potentially in lost revenue, if the application is not managed well.

Skykit has plans and pricing to meet the needs of small businesses as well as the larger demands of an enterprise. We even have special pricing for school districts and non-profits.

Ideal Users for Chrome Sign Builder

Chrome Sign Builder will work for you if:

  • You need a proof of concept for when you’re ready to purchase a true digital signage content management system
  • You manage fewer than five screens and have no plans to grow that number
  • You’re comfortable with the possibility that it could become unavailable. Like most free platforms and software, Google has no responsibility to keep it up and functioning.
  • You’re technical enough to understand a cumbersome interface
  • Your content is fairly static and you don’t need to make updates in a fast, real-time, or flexible manner
  • You’re ok with your content living publicly on the internet
  • You only want to post content using Google Slides. It works really, really well with Google Slides.

Whether you’re a small company just getting to know digital signage or a large enterprise that’s already using it, you need the ability to engage your audience with dynamic content. Skykit has a plan that can help you strategically grow your digital signage footprint.

Last updated: 11/14/19

7 Ways Retail Kiosks Are Making a Difference in Sales

Before retail kiosks, kiosks made their debut sometime in 1977 after a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign created a touch-screen system that offered users information to find movies, bus stops, extracurricular activities, and courses. In 1985, the retail industry grabbed hold of the kiosk concept and used a series of interactive kiosks after the shoe retailer Florsheim Shoe Company started using them in various locations. Over 600 kiosks shared images and videos of shoes to consumers that were not available in the actual stores.

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7 Steps to Developing Your Digital Signage Content Strategy

Content is king. We all know that by now. The best marketing, ad, and engagement campaigns companies run are always founded on a compelling story, offer, or message. Even if your goal with your digital signage is to engage your employees, you can still learn from the big ad campaigns. We’ve got 7 steps to developing your digital signage content strategy that can shift your sales and branding message significantly.

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How Digital Science is Changing the Digital Signage Industry

If you look back on the history of digital signage, you’ll discover that the concept of video marketing and promotion all started with a television set and a VCR. But, where is digital science now?

As more and more retailers began to wheel into their stores clunky TV’s and even clunkier VCR’s, it was evident that video was fast becoming a medium that could be produced, stored, and played back for promotional reasons.

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7 Ways to Use Digital Signage in Sports Stadiums

Sports stadiums are a sweet spot for digital signage. With thousands of fans as a captive audience for hours, a stadium can offer many points of interaction from vendor stands, advertising networks, wayfinding, and much more.

Static billboards are a thing of the past at sporting events, where digital signage offers a fresh perspective, dynamic videos, and even interactive options for game-goers.

For many stadiums, implementing digital signage isn’t just elevating information to a new level of engagement and showmanship: it’s also a significant revenue stream.

Here are some ways that guests can interact with digital signage at a sports arena:

1) Real-Time Data

As content management becomes more sophisticated relative to digital signage, real-time data is vital to ensure that the audience is seeing the most relevant and up-to-date information available.

At the 2019 U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, NY, multiple video displays inside and outside the arena were fed specific data that kept fans up to date with live-action information and player stats, essentially “broadcasting” the info via a video screen format.

The producers of live sports events have always understood the value of real-time information, and digital signage has created a vehicle for that data which is ultimately engaging today’s audience in ways it never could before.

2) Wayfinding

If you’ve ever stepped foot into a stadium the size of a small city, you may have felt somewhat overwhelmed, or even gotten lost. Smart venues understand that people are moving at a faster pace today than ever before – even during their “leisure” time, such as at a sports event. Attendees expect to be able to get from the parking lot to their designated seats without incident or confusion.

Digital signage with wayfinding helps accomplish that. When MetLife Stadium in New Jersey underwent a digital facelift,  the venue implemented, among other things, interior pedestrian wayfinding signage. The signage allows for easy movement of fans within the sports stadium’s passageways. And in the parking lots, a similar strategy relieves traffic and guides drivers in and out of the stadium parking areas with ease.

When a mass of people (more than 82,000 in the MetLife Stadium on a good day) can be directed without incident, it makes for clear paths and happy fans.

3) Advertising Networks

Videos, motion graphics, even music can capture an attendee’s attention faster than a weathered banner. But the real value is in strategic digital advertising by vendors that display their ads at key locations in the stadium: food stands, urinals, and wayfinding kiosks for example.

The Air Canada Centre in Toronto understood this value and invested in more than 300 digital signage screens to support a digital content strategy that offered more than just ads and hard-core hockey players. It shared a full content model and business strategy that, if looped regularly, could pay off the $3 million dollar price tag within two years.

4) Menu Boards

Digital Menu boards have become the norm in every sports stadium and arena across the land. While it’s an American tradition to buy a hot dog and a soda at a baseball game, fans are demanding more variety and choices on the menu. And since food and beverage sales help drive the venue’s bottom line, more choices are being offered now than ever.

Digital menu boards have been shown to boost sales with their graphic presentations, and reduce operating costs by eliminating static menus that get discarded. And they’re incredibly dynamic. If an item is sold out, simply remove it from the menu. If it’s cold, promote hot chocolate.

5) Outdoor Schedules For Upcoming Games

When attendees show up to a game, stadium owners don’t want it to be for the last time. They want attendees to keep coming.

Outdoor signs that promote upcoming games and ticket specials can increase ticket sales. And strategically placed kiosks that sell tickets can boost sales even higher.

When positioned correctly, it can also advertise to area drivers. A banner tied to the front of the stadium can’t achieve that kind of pull.

6) Visibility at Concerts / Entertainment

Concert tickets are expensive. The average cost to attend a touring music show in North America has almost quadrupled over the past two decades, from $25.81 in 1996 to $91.86 through the first half of 2019, according to researcher Pollstar.

To add insult to injury, you could find yourself in a seat that has only a partial view of the lead singer. This is where digital signage saves the day. Venues position screens to ensure that everyone in the house has a view – or multiple views!

7) In Executive Suites

You can’t have an executive suite without all of the latest bells and whistles. Team owners and their guests should be able to enjoy the game up close and personal.

If you’re lucky enough to have access to an executive suite on a cold January Sunday, digital signage can bring the game to you. Enjoy a scotch on the rocks in your climate-controlled glass box while you watch the home team win the big game.

Some popular options for the suites are digital menus, interactive games, and ads for booking seasonal suites for the company.

Personal viewing rooms allow for meetings to take place, even during the game. Digital signage is savvy, showy, and intelligent. All the more reason to keep your executives happy with top-notch technology.

Conclusion

In the end, digital signage in sports stadiums and arenas elevate the fan experience. From displaying player stats and video headshots to sharing instant replays, attendee engagement increases when a big screen can show them what they might have missed while they were buying nachos because they saw them on a digital menu board.

With a digital shift happening in how we view sports, these large venues are stepping up with digital signage to fill more seats. And when seats are filled, sponsorships increase. And when sponsorships increase, a venue’s bottom line increases.

If you haven’t been to a sporting event in a long time (or ever), grab some tickets and make a night of it. Even if you’re not a sports fan, but are a digital signage fan, it might be worth the trip to see how your home stadium is playing the digital signage game.

How does your home stadium use digital signage?

Last updated: 11/14/19

Digital Signage Trends for 2020

If you dabble in digital signage, you probably recognize this figure and what it stands for: $23.76 billion.

No? Doesn’t ring any bells? Shake any trees? Light up any digital signs?

That figure is what market researchers say will be spent in the digital signage industry in 2020. $23.76 billion dollars. That means digital signage is generating more and more interest in various industries across the globe, and those industries are buying in big, big ways.

What industries are stepping up?

Small Business Sector

There are dozens more, but no matter where digital signage is being used, or how it’s being used, the trends users follow shift from year to year. This is because different indicators and developments point these industries toward the direction of digital success.

Is your business headed in the same successful direction?

Let’s find out.

Here are the Top Digital Signage Trends for 2020:

1) Kiosks and Tablets

More and more fast casuals and QSRs are adopting these self-service options for customers, citing convenience and faster service. And customers appreciate them, too. According to the 2019 Tillster Self-Service Kiosk, more than 65 percent of customers would be more likely to visit a restaurant if self-service kiosks were offered.

Self-service ordering platforms free up employees from the cash register to focus on other aspects of their job that improve the customer experience. And from the customer perspective, self-service reduces the likelihood of order inaccuracy.

As more customers say yes to tablets and kiosks, the more we see restaurants adopting them.

So what does this mean?

It means the trend is growing at warp speed. By 2020, the implementation of kiosks and tablets will only continue to increase.

The self-service digital machines, per various news articles, are already a threat to employees in the fast casual sector. The fact that there is speculation regarding kiosks and tablets replacing workers is a strong indication of an upward growing trend.

2) Interactive Media

As we drive further into the Digital Age, interactive options are growing. These options include mobile interaction as well as human interaction. The more businesses can successfully engage customers with digital promotions, the more good things are bound to happen.

Brand awareness increases.

Sales increase.

And the customer experience becomes memorable.

The customer experience is a critical component of customer satisfaction. This experience is more than the product – it’s the experience of the whole brand.

Take public transportation – a famously frustrating experience for many commuters. In downtown Pittsburgh at the Wood Street Station, there’s an interactive, 8-foot tall kiosk where riders can access schedules and map out an itinerary. The kiosk even has a trip planning module that lets customers interact with a mapping database and search for specific places to visit. Users can plan their itineraries right on the touchscreens and email it to themselves.

Interactive touchscreens not only provide an improved customer experience, they can also track interactions and deliver vital data that could increase an organization’s bottom line significantly.

With tracking, businesses can identify buying behaviors and trends, as well as hone in on consumer interests. This is done by anonymously profiling customers. We’ll dig into this intelligent integration in a bit, but for now, recognize that digital marketing coupled with interactive media offers a return on the digital investment.

Why interactive media?

Because it works. It gets people involved.

When Despicable Me 2 was released, marketers created a digital campaign that not only involved human interaction, but included mobile interaction as well.

The campaign invited viewers to control the on-screen action, personalize a message, and then share the message with their friends on social media using their smartphones.

According to Zion Market Research, the global multi-touch screen market will reach USD 22.33 billion by 2025.The figure is driven by an era of mobile computing and the development of smart computing devices being used in a myriad of ways. Virtually no one today is without some type of wireless mobile device.

3) Customer Profiling

It sounds almost criminal, doesn’t it? But of course, it isn’t.

Customer profiling allows stores or businesses to anonymously gather information and purchasing trends that customers provide every time they buy.

Digital signage software offers this option and various industries are taking full advantage of it.

With digital signage giving the ability to gather and store data that tracks customer trends and other pertinent information in a handy database, there is no question that industries everywhere will soon incorporate this integration into their digital systems, if they haven’t already.

For example…

Analytics and marketing provider Walkbase, in a joint venture with Samsung, is providing in-store analytics to retailers looking to serve their customers to the highest degree.

The digital platform anonymously analyzes customer behavior through Wi-Fi signals from customer smartphones, and provides specific insights to the user.

What kind of insights?

Well, which path a customer takes when they walk through the store, what kind of merchandise they look at, and exactly what their buying behaviors are.

The data is then used to offer in-store digital advertising to customers.

More specials show up and more merchandise flies off the shelves.

Does it really work that way?

Yes. It actually does.

On-going analytics are fed into content management systems (CMS), which allow the campaign to continually update to ensure maximum impact in the sales realm.

Retail giant Walmart uses profiling to increase sales and deliver exceptional customer service.

As of May 2019, sales at Walmart stores in the U.S. open for at least 12 months were up 3.4 percent, the best growth of that metric during the first quarter in almost a decade. To achieve this figure, Walmart collects and analyzes customer data – every day.

They collect 2.5 petabytes of data from 1 million customers each hour. One petabyte is equivalent to 20 million filing cabinets.

Crazy, right?

Customer profiling and data integration are creating better customer experiences. When the experience is better, customers come back.

That’s just the nature of good customer service, digitally speaking.

4) More Social Media

Social media is a major marketing channel for business. And with 40 percent of the planet’s population on social media, it’s more important than ever to integrate with the strategy of your digital signage campaign. Consider these statistics:

  • 366 million new people started using social media in the past year. That’s more than a million new people joining social media every single day. (Hootsuite)
  • 54% of social browsers use social media to research products. (GlobalWebIndex)
  • If your Facebook ads contain images, then they will be between 75% and 90% more effective. (Consumer Acquisition)
  • People are 31% more likely to recall what they saw on Twitter vs. general online browsing. (Twitter)
  • 53% of users say they bought a product they first saw on Twitter. (WebFX)
  • 71% of US businesses use Instagram. It surpassed Twitter in business users in 2017. (eMarketer)
  • YouTube is the preferred form of social media marketing worldwide. 83% of all consumers prefer it. (Hubspot)

That’s a lot of buying power on social media.

5) Indoor LED Screens

With the growth of LED and the ever-growing technological advancements displays now provide, LED solutions have become more attractive and more affordable for users.

Because LED screens have many advantages, like being energy efficient and long lasting, organizations and businesses are migrating to the purchase of LED. The colors are vibrant and rich, providing greater visuals for users.

This high-quality commercial screen has been generally used outdoors, but the trend is also shifting indoors.

While some may struggle with whether or not they should go with LED versus LCD, LED technology offers options that are pulling more and more digital users to its bright and rich disposition.

Conclusion

The global digital signage market size is expected to reach $29.8 billion by 2024, according to Reportlinker.

With trends pointing in the direction of more affordable technology, useful data integration options, and kiosks allowing personal ordering, it’s easy to see how the industry will further grow, and in which sectors it will blossom.

The retail and restaurant industries are certainly proof of digital sign explosions. The examples are endless.

The possibilities are extreme.

And the technology is edgy.

Be prepared for the billion-dollar explosion. It’s sure to blow your digital mind.

What industry do you see digital signage growing in? Do you see a trend that we don’t? What is it?

Last updated: 11/14/19

How To Improve Your Drive-Thru Sales With Outdoor Digital Signage

How does a quick-service restaurant (QSR) increase sales at the drive-thru lane?

They digitize the process.

Flashy outdoor digital menu boards that display mouth-watering images (and video in some cases) are part of that digitization, but that’s not the whole picture. We’re talking about digitizing the whole customer experience.

So what does that look like?

QSRs that maximize the potential of digital signage do so by tracking customer analytics, and leveraging that data to sell more—by offering return customers their favorite products, promoting items that are in sync with the weather, and clearing overstock items with special offers or promotions.

QSRs on the edge of digital technology are utilizing digital signs in more ways than one. By capturing customer insights, these QSRs are not only increasing sales, they’re bringing happy customers back again and again.

Here’s how you can do the same:

1. Use Environmental Data

When it rains, it pours. And when people get wet, they want a product to keep them dry.

Walmart figured this out and makes sure they display what customers need at specific times, based on the weather. With a customer database that includes 145 million Americans, it’s not hard to track what customers buy in specific conditions.

When the weather is hot, that might be air conditioners; when the weather is cold, that might be winter coats or portable heaters.

By tracking purchases, the retail giant can take a closer look at how local weather conditions affect customers’ buying patterns. QSRs are moving in the same direction.

McDonald’s has been using their digital menu boards to track local weather since 2015. When the weather is warm, the boards may promote McFlurries or shakes. When the snow begins to fly, heartier meals, coffee, and hot chocolate may be prominent choices on the menu.

The customer experience is elevated when consumers are offered what they want before they even realize they want it. This is just one piece of the digital puzzle that keeps them coming back again and again.

2. Incorporate Patron Recognition

There is some controversy about this method, but like it or not, it’s being used in some sectors, and it’s improving sales and customer service as a result.

Patron recognition is where businesses utilize cameras to capture images of their customers, be it their faces (using facial recognition software) or their car license plates. Information can also be attained with a toll-road radio frequency identifier tag.

The images are not made public in any way, but are used to determine the ages and genders of patrons so management can get a snapshot of what kinds of customers they are serving.

QSRs that adopt this kind of software to capture license plates can store customers’ order history in their database. The idea is that the next time the patron comes through the drive-thru, the license plate data can help speed up recurring drive-thru orders by suggesting meals the patron historically orders.

Some digital signage software has the ability to capture customer history. Armed with this information, the establishment can better manage inventory based on customer demand. This eliminates any overstock issues.

When QSRs have too much of a particular product, it increases overhead. Unless they can push that product out the door with image enhancement.

3. Image Enhancement

Image enhancement offers consumers a particular product by promoting tantalizing images or videos on a menu board.

Showcasing images of overstocked items helps restaurants sell those items faster. Images can also show consumers different upsell items. The right images at the right time can move stock, ultimately avoiding profit loss.

According to a study conducted by Capital Networks, advertising a menu item via digital signage actually boosts sales.

A prime example is the 50 percent increase Prime Burger saw in sales since installing large-scale commercial digital menu boards. (No prime pun intended here). In select locations, the QSR used a combination of graphics and collected data based on customer purchase history. The boards have more than doubled sales, a move that Sam Steele, CEO of Prime Burger, attributes to the imagery on the boards.

“The displays have really great image quality and bring our beautiful food imagery to life and do justice to our images,” he said. “[We can] update the content on the displays in each of our stores. It’s a really painless process, and all we have to worry about is updating the artwork.”

4. Consider Dayparting

Dayparting is a term used in the QSR sector that defines which meal items (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) sell best, and when. Many fast-casuals target customers within one or two core dayparts.

When McDonald’sdecided to target breakfast goers all day long, the decision proved to be more than successful. So much so, that the fast-food giant began offering even more breakfast options on their menu.

Thanks to collected data and digital imagery, McDonald’s can offer customers what they want at any time of the day.

5. Loyalty Rewards

According to a QSR magazine study, “The Loyalty Divide,” only 49 percent of customers will sign up for a loyalty program, and only if it’s relevant to them.

Knowing who your customers are makes it possible to design a rewards program that is relevant. General demographic data, as mentioned above, is part of this process. Mobile apps can facilitate this information gathering, too, a tool that 82 percent of customers find appealing according to the study.

The more personal data you gather, the more personal customer experience you can offer. And a satisfied customer is a loyal customer.

Conclusion

Each of these strategies can increase sales as well as improve the customer experience. Restaurants that want to increase their bottom lines need to be strategic with how they use digital signage to do this.

As the trend of digital menu boards in QSRs increases across the globe, more and more fast casuals are looking to these kinds of approaches to increase sales and keep drive-thru lines moving.

When a QSR gets an order out quickly and accurately, customers are happy and loyalty is gained. Adding loyalty programs or other incentives can also increase customer devotion.

Leveraging environmental data allows fast casuals and QSRs to show up with the right products at the right time. Offering a cold patron a hearty bowl of chili with a hot cup of coffee shows that the establishment is not only intuitive (because with big data, they are), but is also listening to the needs of their patrons.

Now you know how the magic happens.

Do you implement any of these strategies now? How has it improved your business? What other strategies would you suggest?

Last updated: 11/21/19

5 Ways to Integrate Social Media With Digital Signage

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Think about this when you consider the positive affects that could come of integrating social media with your digital signage.

In today’s Digital Age, that infamous line from Shakespeare’s As You Like It couldn’t be truer. Thanks to over 91 leading social media platforms worldwide, the world really is a stage. And if you’re looking to integrate social media with digital signage, you have to be willing to be a digital player.

Integrating social media with your digital signage campaign can do a plethora of things, like boost your brand, increase sales, and attract a different target audience.

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LED and LCD Screens: What to Use When and Where

LED screens are changing, so it is important to understand the difference between LED and LCD screens.

Where they were primarily used outdoors at large sporting events or other venues, the screens are now popping up indoors — primarily making the transition because of the lowering in price point and the flexibility of what types of shapes you can make the LED screens to morph into.

As the popularity of LED screens grow, there is still confusion regarding which kind of commercial grade screen should be used: LED or LCD?

It’s a sticky subject, especially now that we are seeing more and more LED screens being used indoors.

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Digital Signage and Pokémon Go for Local Businesses

In July of 2016, the landscape of the world changed virtually after a colorful, animated war broke out, all thanks to Pokéman Go. Everywhere across the globe, soldiers, both young and old, could be found wandering the land with square, lighted devices in their hands (a.k.a. smartphones).

The soldiers aren’t dressed in camouflage, but in plain clothes. Usually.

They don’t wear helmets and they move in packs. Usually.

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Which Digital Signage Software is Right for My Business?

So you want to venture into the land of digital signage. You’ve seen the benefits and you want a piece of it. The next step is to choose a digital signage software that is simple to use, makes sense, and gives you peace of mind moving forward.

As digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising, (or network digital advertising, or digital signage) has grown, so have the software options available to users.

The software you choose is a critical component that delivers your message to the masses. Your content needs to be dynamic and relevant in order to be effective.

Let’s take a deep dive into what attributes and levels of performance you should be looking for in digital signage software so you can make an educated decision when it comes time to buy.

1) Software Performance

There are two things to consider when looking at the performance of a software:

  1. Can it meet the increasing demands of your customers?
  2. Will it successfully deliver reliable video, images and other media to your screen?

If you want to target a specific audience at a specific time, look for software that has built-in targeting capabilities that enables it to launch specific relevant content – at the right time, to that audience – based on data it receives.

A great example of this is McDonald’s, the most popular fast-food chain in the world. McDonald’s uses digital software in their outdoor menu boards that monitors the temperature outside. When it’s cold or damp out, the menus will respond by recommending hot chili or coffee.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, it may launch content about chilled beverages or frozen treats when it’s 90 degrees outside.

Digital signage software that is tailored to intuit the demands of the consumer can radically increase the performance of any digital marketing campaign.

In retail, the same notion applies. Walmart, like McDonald’s, monitors data based on weather. It also monitors what kinds of products are in demand during the changing seasons.

The retail giant acts on weather data to boost store sales with store-level merchandising and hyperlocal digital advertising.

When heavy rain is expected in a specific zip code, the umbrellas come out, and when snow is expected in a different zip code, the snow shovels come out.

If you have a customer base that changes like the weather, software that enables this kind of targeting capability is invaluable..

2) Network Performance and Delivery

They say performance is everything, and in the digital signage industry, this is certainly true.

If you have great software but a lousy network to carry it, you’ve essentially got nothing.

The network you choose to integrate with your software needs to deliver attribution data without incident.

Attribution data is proof that your content was delivered to the right audience at the right time, with specific buying behaviors stored for future analysis. I’ll share more on that in a moment, but for now, let’s stick with network performance and delivery.

Why delivery is so crucial:

Many digital campaigns don’t just start on the big screen and stay on the big screen. With mobile phones as ubiquitous as they are, many digital campaigns rely on the transferability of data from digital displays to smartphones.

When advertisers create a campaign for specific products, they need to target the buyers of those products where they are. Thanks to the vast majority – 96 percent – of Americans being mobile phone users1, the consumer is accessible practically anywhere at any time.

Back in 2012, Best Buy was losing revenues to Amazon due to customers who would come into its stores and “shop” for items that they would then buy for less from the online behemoth2.

Instead of taking the billion-dollar blow, the big-box retailer fought back by instituting a price matching system and offering ‘special’ alerts on consumers’ smartphones. Customers were offered a discounted price if they purchased in-store and picked up in-store.

It worked.

In 2015, Best Buy indicated that up to four percent of their online traffic resulted in dead-end sales because they didn’t have the inventory needed in their distribution centers. The inventory, however, was available at other stores 80 percent of the time. Today, Best Buy physical stores serve as warehouses and distribution centers, using store inventory to fulfill online orders3. By offering ship-to options from other stores, their sales increased significantly.

A strong, reliable network that reliably delivers important data ensures retailers that their customers are being offered the products they need at the most optimal times..

3) Advanced Performance

Digital signage doesn’t need to be a stand-alone marketing campaign with the mere rotation of images and text. When digital signage was born this was common, but in the ensuing decades content – and the ways we can manage it – have become much more dynamic.

If you want to incorporate live social news feeds, interactive media, or touchscreen capabilities, you need advanced performance software. The software’s ability to integrate with third-party data providers is key.

But let’s take it a step further…

Imagine a software that allows your customers to “feel” the power of a digital sign.

Apolosophy Shampoo, a high-end line of hair care products in Sweden, used advanced hardware and software in a mind-blowing digital signage campaign in Stockholm by putting sensors into a digital screen on a subway platform. As the train pulled up to the platform, the sensors in the sign were activated, cueing a digital image of a woman on the screen to come alive,  her hair blowing out of place in time with the train arriving.

4) Customer Service Based

When determining which digital software to choose, consider a company where customer service is a priority. You’re likely to have a lot of questions that require thorough answers.

Some providers offer potential customers a comprehensive questionnaire so they can identify what they want to accomplish with their marketing campaigns.

This, in turn,  helps determine what they will need to accomplish with digital signage. Once this is  figured out, the vendor can recommend what kind of hardware and software is needed.

That’s customer service.

Most businesses or organizations approaching companies that provide digital hardware or software don’t understand the process, so it’s crucial to find someone that’s willing to give you the time to help you understand it.

5) Cloud-Based or On-Premise?

There are two primary kinds of digital software available to you:

  • Cloud-Based Digital Signage Software
  • On-Premise Digital Signage Software

Here is the difference between the two:

Cloud-based digital signage software is an “invisible” solution. There are no servers (of your own) required. All of your information is stored in the cloud.

In a nutshell, your commercial grade digital display screen sits in your store and the information fed to it comes directly from the content management system (CMS). This means the cloud hosts the content and automatically handles any software updates for you.

With On-premise digital signage software, you still have a commercial-grade screen in your store, but the information delivered to it comes from an on-site server –  a computer in a back room, or at corporate HQ, and content is sent to each store location individually.

In the latter case, you host the software and handle your own software updates.

So which one do you need?

It’s difficult to find a company that shouldn’t go with a cloud-based solution.

Most companies want software that updates automatically, requires no maintenance, offers support, and doesn’t require server racks in a back room. They also look for digital signage software that has little to no learning curve, drag-and-drop capabilities, and offers a variety of templates to work from.

This also means they want to lessen the IT load, which would make the cloud-based software the best option for them.

Conclusion

Determining which digital signage software is best for your organization doesn’t have to be complex. Once you’ve determined the various ways you want to use the functionality, as well as your budget, ask yourself these questions:

What is the message you want to convey?

Do you need your audience to interact?

Do you require advanced options to support a social media feed or other interactive media?

Do you have a third-party data provider that you need to integrate?

Now you’re ready to look into a few different options and ask some questions. Remember, this is your campaign. Understanding the solution you choose is the first step to a dynamic digital signage campaign.

1. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/
2. https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/amazon-almost-killed-best-buy-then-best-buy-did-something-completely-brilliant.html
3.https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2018/06/07/best-buy-rising-from-ashes-to-lead-new-retail-paradigm/#544f1649b443

Outdoor Signage and Social Media at the Rio Olympics

The Olympics take it up a notch every year. From the opening ceremony to the carrying of the torch to the brilliant team colors worn by competitors from every country, one would think that the Olympics in Rio has everything they need for the most spectacular show on earth.

And they do…

They have everything, including some incredible outdoor digital signage that brings the 2016 Rio Olympics to a space where it is safe to say that any Olympic event today, in any location, has the ability to be the most technologically advanced event in the world.

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Google Digital Signage: Chromecast, Chromebit, and Chromebox

As Google digital signage grows, so do the pieces of hardware and software available to users. Google has stepped up with different kinds of hardware to help users make the most of their technological needs.

The hardware required to complete a digital signage solution is typically a commercial-grade screen and a media player. There are lots of options out there for displays.

There are also lots of options out there for media players, and for Google, that includes the Chromecast, Chromebit, and Chromebox. 

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Retail Digital Signage: 5 Things The Pros Do And So Should You

So you own or manage a retail store and you’re looking for ideas about creatively using retail digital signage. Perhaps you want to…

  • use digital displays to increase sales.
  • use an advertising network to attract more customers.
  • use screens to track customers’ preferences in order to fine-tune your promotions.

With so many ways to use digital signage, it can be hard to decide what to do, let alone how to do it.

But here’s the good news…

It doesn’t have to be hard. As a matter of fact, it really isn’t difficult at all. Here are five ways you can use digital signage in retail to increase sales, attract customers, and track customer data.

1) Create A Contest

Everybody loves a good contest.

Not to brag, but when I was seven, I won a box of Crayola crayons by coloring the best picture in a Halloween contest. I’ve been hooked on winning ever since. And I’m not alone—most people out there have a strong desire to win.

Armed with this information, some retail stores create contests and use digital signage to encourage customers to enter photos of themselves using a particular product.

The winner may get free merchandise, a gift card, or maybe public recognition and bragging rights to their friends. What your customers win is completely up to you.

With this type of contest, all of the entry photos are usually posted on social media, which can significantly elevate your company’s brand.

Not only does the contest engage customers by getting them to play along, it entices others to visit the retail location to see what all the hype is about.

2) Implement Social Media

Smart retail businesses rely heavily on social media. If you don’t have a Facebook business page a Twitter feed or an Instagram account, your business may not be on the radar of potential customers.

When retailers integrate live social media feeds with a digital signage campaign they can engage more people, enhancing brand awareness. It’s free advertising for their business, too. If a customer tweets something about a positive experience, their followers, as well as the retailer’s followers, will hear about it.

Depending on your content management system (CMS), you can display feeds from Instagram, Twitter, etc. and let them roll on your screen.

Why do people love this?

Because there is a certain thrill when they can create a Tweet and see it come up on a big screen before them. Especially when it’s a selfie.

To date, 35 million selfies have been posted on Instagram.

The Superdrug Beauty Studio in Wales understands the digital customer experience and is cashing in on it. Throughout their stores, commercial screens share information about various products. Some of the signs are actually interactive mirrors that let customers experiment with different hair colors or accessories.

Digital screens that allow customers to virtually ‘try before they buy’ are engaging and fun. They also help increase sales. Superdrug Beauty Studio goes even further, providing iPads so shoppers can share their selfies to their favorite social media accounts.

3) Be Interactive

Interactive digital signage campaigns are some of my favorites. They really take the customer experience to a whole new level.

At Nordstrom in Chicago, a touchscreen dubbed the ‘Digital Denim Doctor’ allows buyers to enter their body shape, type of preferred fabric, and other key points to create an algorithm that displays a 360-degree view of how the jeans will look on the user’s body.

The best part? Users love it.

Because they love it, they’ll tell their friends about the super-cool digital mirror that put pants on them without having to actually change clothes. Their friends will come in droves to check it out.

The more customers that fill the store, the more sales that fill the register. It’s a win-win.

4) Use Video

Some of the most powerful digital signage campaigns come in the form of video. YouTube is the 2nd most visited website in the world right now, with more than 4 billion videos watched every day. Retailers can’t afford to overlook video—and YouTube in particular—in their digital marketing plans.

Like other social media outlets, retailers’ YouTube videos can be streamed live in the store. The videos can debut new products, announce pop up sales, and for tutorials, demonstrating a product’s various attributes (e.g. how to accessorize a single dress to make it appropriate for work, cocktails, or Casual Friday).

For the tutorials, engage customers in the store by asking them to play along and accessorize an outfit, then capture a quick video to share with a specific hashtag, making it appear in the YouTube stream on your displays. Customers will love to see their own content in the store, and the retailer can respond to the customer videos, and customers can interact with each other.

The bottom line: use video to elevate brand awareness, engage customers, and drive store traffic, all of which lead to more sales.

5) Harness Customer Data

Justifying the funds to purchase the software and hardware needed for a digital sign is one of the primary factors that keeps some retailers from moving into the Digital Age.

If a business is going to spend several thousand dollars on a digital sign, they need to know how quickly it can convert a sale. What’s more, they want to know if it can be useful in ways other than showcasing sale items or promoting interaction.

There has to be something else to digital displays, right?

There is. It’s the ability to harness customer data via the signs. Retailers want to know:

  • who is following them on Twitter?
  • which hashtags are trending?
  • who just placed an order using the in-store signage?

Per an article published at AVNetwork.com, TJ DiQuollo, a California-based creative who has done several projects in the retail industry said, “Data is huge. That’s the next gold rush. Everybody wants to capture as much data about their customers as possible.”

This can be accomplished by integrating software that prompts customers to enter their data. Some software uses cameras to capture data and see who’s buying what and how often.

“Figuring out where people go, how long they dwell—that’s very relevant information we help them capture,” DiQuollo said. “[you need to] identify and capture the data, through sensors and cameras, of who’s walking in, who’s walking out, if people are congregating toward this area of the store. That’s valuable for product placement, and to figure out what’s the best flow.”

Conclusion

Thanks to smartphones, buying digitally is an expectation that can’t be denied. To get more customers into brick and mortar stores, retailers need to provide the very element we enjoy from our couches every day–the ability to purchase digitally.

The right digital signage campaign can track customer data, entice buyers with powerful interactive media, and attract more customers into the store. And once you have customers in the store, it’s crucial that you capture their attention with your digital signage campaigns. Video can do that and should be a top priority for digital marketers in retail.

How do you use digital signage in retail? Has it increased your customer base?

Last updated: 11/25/19

4 Reasons to Go With Digital Menu Boards

When digital signage first emerged, it came in the form of a basic television set with a VCR that boasted information about a product or sale.

As the signs and their capabilities progressed over time, the screens matured into large, commercial-grade LEDs or LCDs. Today, commercial-grade displays come in all shapes and sizes. From flat screens to round screens and kiosks both short and tall, it seems there’s nothing you can’t accomplish with a digital display.

Throw in a well-polished, cloud-based content management system(CMS) and you’re on your way to a digital menu board that can be a game-changer for your business.

Despite all of the available options in hardware and software, many restaurateurs are still not using menu boards to their fullest potential.

Why is this? Plain and simple, they just don’t know what options are available to them. But we do. And we’re going to share some of those options with you.

Digital menu boards are more than just digital screens because:

 1. Digital Menu Boards Increase Sales

Digital menu boards aren’t just nicer looking static screens. A powerful digital menu board is meant to attract customers, entice their appetites, and boost your bottom line. They’re meant to enhance your menu options, not replicate them.

If you’re simply putting numbers and images up and calling it a day, you’re not taking advantage of the various ways a menu board can serve you. When done right, menu boards can create a completely different atmosphere that pulls people in.

Here’s a prime example:

Tim Horton’s serves more than just coffee. The Canadian quick-serve restaurant (QSR) uses multiple digital menu boards throughout their stores, with bold lettering and graphics to grab customers’ attention.

Then they take it a step further…

They turn one of the menu boards into a clock or, as they call it, a “cookie countdown”. The idea is to make customers aware of when the next batch of fresh cookies will be ready. What makes this board so incredible is that it is a classic example of driving an impulse purchase.

If you can cater to the senses with smells and images, you’ve found a unique way to improve your ROI.

This approach really is unique, too. How many times have you walked into a restaurant or café and seen something like this? The more unique your digital menu, the more customers you’re apt to attract.

 2. Digital Menu Boards Can Be Integrated

One of the primary reasons digital menu boards are so important to restaurants is their ability to integrate with POS systems.

That’s huge.

It means when inventory runs low, the POS system can alert the digital menu and the item can automatically be removed. No more disappointed customers when the fries run out, and no more dragging ladders in and out of the workspace to change or remove the item from a static menu.

A POS/digital menu board integration also simplifies promoting upsell items to customers. Asking a customer if they want the large meal deal or an extra side is one thing, but giving that customer those choices with images on a screen can be much more effective.

People tend to respond better to images. So when beautiful, enticing pictures offer options (as opposed to a server offering options), customers are more apt to upgrade their meal or add an additional side. Only digital menus can provide this type of powerful upsell option.

Both of these benefits (integration and upsell) are reaped by one of the largest coffee franchises in America: Dunkin’ Donuts.

After a 100-store pilot of digital menu board technology in 2014, the chain embarked on a full system-wide deployment in 3,000 locations. That full deployment included POS and menu boards talking to each other.

When digital menus are connected to the POS, price changes can be updated instantly. Before this integration, static menus were often out of date. When customers caught the price discrepancy, Dunkin’ Donuts offered them a refund. Over time, those refunds added up.

Jason Stuehmer, IT product manager for Dunkin’ Brands at the time, said the refunds were a constant issue. Originally implemented to offer managers incentive to keep their static boards up to date, it appeared to do more harm than good. The digital menus have eliminated the refunds issue.

You may not think of these small refunds as a big deal, but they add up. By integrating your POS system with your digital menu boards, money is saved, customers are happy, and more products fly out the door.

 3. Digital Menu Boards Reduce Perceived Wait Times

Look…

I’m not telling you a huge secret when I say that no one likes to wait. Especially today. We have instant access to information thanks to smartphones and tablets, so we’re conditioned to getting what we want right away.

And while we can access our phones while we wait, one can only play Candy Crush or scroll through a Facebook news feed for so long. Knowing this, restaurants are using digital menu boards on tabletops to entertain waiting customers. It’s like magic. The next time you’re in an establishment that offers these, watch a family engage in a game while they wait for their food.

Toddlers fuss less and parents smile more.

These magic time machines also take advantage of the wait by showing promotions between games. The more times an image in a promotion is shown, the more likely a customer is to buy what that product.

Tabletop tablets let customers place orders, join rewards programs, play games, and pay their tab. This digital interaction is a data source that enables the restaurant to provide more personal service at future visits. They also contribute to faster table turnover.

 4. Digital Menu Boards Can Be Updated Quickly

I know we mentioned this before, but it’s worth diving back into, especially because you’d possibly be breaking the law if you didn’t listen to me. Well not really, but here’s what I mean…

Healthcare laws are dictating part of what needs to show up on your menu boards.

Title IV of the law states that: ‘Restaurants which are part of a chain with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name must disclose calories on the menu board and in written form.’

Can you imagine all of the time and energy that goes into updating this kind of information on a static board? And once you do, wouldn’t it just rain on your parade when corporate sends down a new summer menu and you have to do it all over again?

Greg Smart, co-founder of the 14-unit Slim Chickens, a fast-casual southern food restaurant based in Arkansas, upgraded his stores to digital menus and is pleased with the results.

Smart likes the idea that the corporate office or the restaurant can customize the boards and update an offer or highlight certain promotions. Sales in all stores have increased and hours upon hours of manpower have been saved.

“It’s really fun, really exciting stuff to play with,” Smart says. “I feel like it’s really in its infancy.” (Courtesy: QSR Magazine Online)

Updates lead to sales, sales lead to increased ROI, and increased ROI leads to more opportunities to grow your brand through the digital medium.

Conclusion

In the restaurant industry alone, the use of digital signage is booming.

One by one, fast-casual and family restaurants are implementing digital options to streamline menu boards and enhance the customer experience.

With so many options to order at the counter or at the kiosk, digital menus are proving to do more than a traditional menu ever could.

Videos are selling. Pictures are talking. Restaurateurs are profiting.

Thanks to the integration of POS systems with cloud-based software, inventory is managed much more efficiently.

When a product runs out, it can be removed from the menu in an instant. When a new product comes in, it can be added to the screen as soon as it’s available.

This saves the establishment time and money, as we’ve seen in the examples above. And really, that’s one of the primary purposes of implementing digital menu boards.

The other purpose is to greatly enhance the customer experience. The customer is your ticket to running a profitable operation. Give them the very best in every way possible, and you’re winning.

How have digital menus improved your business? How have they changed the way you and your staff run the restaurant?

Last updated: 11/22/19

4 Under-Utilized Strategies for Digital Menu Boards and Kiosks

In the early years of digital signage, the purpose of using images and video in the retail space was to share information and alert customers of sales or promotions. It worked.

As the signage industry grew, so did the concept of marketing. Digital signage began to show up in other industries, like automotive, healthcare, and hospitality. Hardware graduated from the VHS to the various media players we use today.

Software also matured to meet the specific needs of retailers and restaurateurs.

As the digital signage industry boomed, so did the voices of digital signage users everywhere. They wanted solutions that gave more options and were affordable. And based on the number of digital signs and kiosks we see on the market today, it’s safe to say those voices were heard.

There’s only one problem: some of the solutions and options built into the hardware and software go underutilized, especially in the restaurant sector. If explored further, restaurateurs could get the full value of their investment.

Let’s dive into four less-known digital menu boards and kiosk strategies you should really know about; strategies that could increase your ROI.

1. Incorporating Applications

For the most part, we see the same types of digital sign deployment strategy at most restaurants. Basically, the new digital signs are used no differently than the old, static signs. To stand out in the crowd and really take advantage of digital innovation, consider using applications that make the user experience unique.

Take AppSuite for example,  a loyalty and rewards program application that offers specials and discounts based on a customer’s order history and behavior.

If a regular customer frequently orders a particular menu item, and their behavior and order history is stored, the app can generate a reward to this customer in the form of a discount on that particular item.

When customers regularly receive discounts or other specials, they tend to come back.

Panera Bread uses this kind of app to track the buying history of customers. As a MyPanera rewards member, you can save your modifications and order history to use again. This makes ordering the same lunch option a snap the next time around. At a kiosk, the customer can easily find their history, order a favorite meal again, and move on to order pickup so the next customer can place their order.

This strategy not only makes things faster for the customer, it makes things faster for the restaurant, too. Quicker turnover means more customers, and more customers mean more revenue.

The app also allows for better order accuracy. The customization options are plentiful. There’s even clear access to nutrition information, a must-have for many patrons.

Other apps, such as cameras or scanners within the kiosk, take membership photos and personalize loyalty cards.

Making customers feel important by personalizing their experience can be the difference between an average customer visit and an outstanding customer experience—one that patrons will tell their friends and family about.

2. Mobile Ordering

Speaking of apps, if you’ve got digital menus connected to your point of sale (POS) system, incorporating an app that allows customers to order from their smartphone can help increase your sales.

Poppinpay.com predicts that, by 2020, approximately 11 percent of QSR sales will be placed with a mobile device. In fact, less than half of QSR customers prefer to order in person. When restaurants encouraged the use of mobile apps, and integrate that use into their digital marketing concepts, they see an upswing in sales.

Starbucks, for example, forged a path to digital app innovation. In 2015, the Seattle-based coffeehouse chain introduced an app that lets customers find a store, place an order and pre-pay at any location. By giving consumers a new, convenient way to order, Starbucks not only shortened lines and accelerated service,  they saw an increase of $9 million dollars in sales a week.

By the end of 2018, mobile ordering accounted for 12 percent of the company’s sales.

3. Beacons

Beacons are digital transmitters—tracking devices that communicate with a shopper’s smartphone in order to improve their shopping experience.

Installed in a restaurant, the transmitter communicates with a smartphone’s Bluetooth to transmit information directly to customers that have installed the store’s app.

So when a customer enters the store with a smartphone that has the store’s app downloaded, the beacon can alert them to discounts or specials, sending a notification in the form of a coupon, a bargain, or a simple hello.

Beacons placed near digital menu boards can notify restaurant employees when a loyalty customer comes in. Using order history data, specials can pop up on the menu boards, enabling the establishment to personally cater to the customer without saying a word.

Transmitters can also update users about table wait times. Beacons placed in restaurant parking lots will tell customers when a table is available. Some will go elsewhere, some won’t. No matter. Those that come in to wait appreciate the digital experience before they even walk through the door.

4. Facial Recognition Software

Emerging technologies like biometrics and facial recognition are fairly new to the restaurant industry. These applications are used to recognize customers (or their vehicles) when they arrive at an establishment, in order to better serve their needs. Large organizations are the early adopters of these innovations, while smaller companies are following suit to stay competitive.

CaliBurger has been utilizing facial recognition ordering technology in two locations, as well as Dallas-based Malibu Poke, which has rolled out similar tech. Users ordering with a kiosk for the first time are prompted to receive a facial scan to remember the order for a future purchase. Return customers who use the self-service kiosks can place a new order or a repeat order, either by facial scan or by personally identifiable information (PII), like a phone number or credit card.

Conclusion

Various applications that mesh with your digital menu boards and kiosks can set your business apart from the rest. Apps that allow mobile ordering give hungry patrons more options. More options make hungry patrons happy.

By integrating apps and beacons that talk to your digital menu boards, you can welcome returning customers and offer special discounts or coupons. You can take it a step further by incorporating facial recognition. Changing from traditional, static menu boards to digital menu boards is only the first step in elevating digital marketing. Using innovative software, technologies, and apps can take your restaurant to a whole new level.

Which of these options would you consider integrating into your current digital menu strategy? Which would you shy away from and why?

Last updated: 11/27/19

5 Reasons Why Your Digital Signage Campaign Will Fail

It’s a tough title, I know.

But it’s an important one. And it’s important because many businesses will attempt to make the move to digital without fully understanding what they need to do to really make it work.

Many years ago, we had a neighbor who used to throw some seeds in the center of a grassy circle in his front yard and call it a garden. Sometimes flowers would grow, sometimes they would not.

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Will QSR Kiosks Replace Employees?

There’s a storm brewing in the food service industry in quick service restaurants (QSR) and fast casual.

It’s the fear that interactive kiosks will replace employees.

At least that’s one side of the story.

On the other side, once the storm passes, it’s clear skies in and around the self-service kiosks where managers and employers everywhere are saying the digital kiosks are far from a threat.

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9 Ways To Use Digital Signage in K-12

K-12 classrooms don’t look like they used to. Green chalkboards covered with dusty white chalk are a rare find. Today whiteboards take their place.

And where a row of cubby’s used to exist, now a row of computers live there.

But that’s not the only digital advancement in the classroom. Digital signage is fast becoming part of the classroom décor. And why wouldn’t it be? Millennials and the children of millennials expect access to digital platforms as part of their communication.

It’s integrated into their lives, after all.

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5 Reasons Why You Need a Digital Drive-Thru Menu

If I were to ask you what restaurant you thought had the very first drive-thru window ever, what would your guess be?

If you guessed McDonalds (like I did) you’re wrong.

The very first drive-thru window popped up in Springfield, Missouri in 1947 at a burger joint known as Red’s Giant Hamburg. Drive-up restaurants were already in full swing at this point, but it was Red’s that started the trend of ordering food by talking to an invisible person through a two-way speaker.

The first chain restaurant to adopt the concept was Jack In The Box. McDonalds didn’t actually hop on board until 1975.

The more you know, right?

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The History of Digital Signage

Every story has a backstory that started with a spark or an idea. Better known as history, these stories spur us to go beyond our humble beginnings and into a place where we create more history. The more history we create, the more stories we have to tell.

Digital signage has such a story. One probably wouldn’t think there’s much to it, but there is. It’s a good one, too.

I’d better start by saying the origin and history varies depending on what your definition of signage is. For this post, I’m going to start at the beginning of communication on signage, not “digital signage.”

So, no nitpicking over definitions.

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Why You Should Consider Custom Kiosk Applications

Kiosks are fast becoming a standard feature in various businesses. We see kiosks and kiosk applications in all shapes and sizes, from the restaurant industry to the retail industry and everything in between.

Kiosks are usually strong and sturdy, build to withstand frequent usage from thousands of hands, although turning a tablet or iPhone into a kiosk isn’t unusual.

They’re created specifically for remote use, and are most often found in places like restaurants, banks, and airports.

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Where Should You Put Your Interactive Digital Sign?

With digital signage growing faster than the speed of light, it’s great to see all of the different ways industries across the globe are using them, including using an interactive digital sign (or, if they’re feeling very crazy, multiple interactive digital signs).

From powerful videos to informative messages, digital signs are changing the way we do business; sales are increasing, branding is growing, and marketing strategies are blowing the competition away.

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5 Reasons Retailers Should Switch From Print to Digital

You’ve been resisting the change. You’ve been justifying why your paper and poster marketing campaign is still relevant. You’ve even been telling other businesses that you want to stay “old school” with your big vinyl banners and paper posters so you stand out.

You’ll stand out, all right.

So far out, that consumers just might walk right past you.

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Raspberry Pi Digital Signage: is it the Best Low-Cost Option?

Raspberry Pi digital signage has been around for a few years. Because of the low price tag to Raspberry Pi, many think of it as the easiest, lowest barrier to entry hardware solution for their digital signage needs.

And if that were the assumption, I think you would be wrong.

Don’t get me wrong: there is definitely a time and a place for Raspberry Pi… but more on that in a minute.

But first… Chrome.

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Digital Signage 101

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, digital signage didn’t exist.

If businesses wanted to attract the attention of consumers, they did it with posters, radio ads, or television spots. Sales people were deployed in droves, and the phone became a salesman’s best friend.

Then the VCR was born. Not only did it allow us to see our favorite movie over and over again, it was the first indication that video could be produced, stored, and played back for promotional reasons. In the 1970’s, retailers could use the ancient machines to play commercials or advertisements in-house for their customers to view as they passed by the shirts to get to the pants.

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4 Tips to Help You Create Visual Display Content That Resonates

Every once in a while we see a marketing campaign that flops. Take Burger King’s former mascot, ‘The King’, for example.

Created in an attempt to stand up against McDonald’s long-time hero Ronald McDonald, the odd looking mascot and his strange commercials ended up turning people away rather than bringing them into the restaurant.

The result was a decrease in sales. He fought a good fight, but The King was laid to rest in 2011.

I think the Burger King mascot example is enough to validate that your content in any marketing campaign needs to appeal to your audience and leave them wanting more.

So how do you create content for your visual display campaigns that really resonates without failing, offending your customers, or butchering your sales? Here are four tips to help you create content that engages your audience and makes you look like a superhero, all at the same time.

** I put together a separate list of 20 free tools you can use to create beautiful content for digital signs without using a graphic designer. And you can get your content up in less than 15 minutes. 

1. Find Your Avatar

Discovering who your audience is can be challenging, especially for newer businesses. Sometimes we miss the mark on this, pointing our campaign in the wrong direction. To avoid this, and before you create any kind of content, you need to be crystal clear on who your avatar is.

Your avatar is your ideal customer. The name is synonymous with ‘target market’ or ‘niche.’ No matter what you call it, creating content that resonates with your avatar is the most crucial element when designing a visual display campaign.

There are many reasons campaigns flop as a result of missing the mark, including poor visuals, unclear taglines, and targeting the wrong audience.

Take the time to sit down with your marketing team to determine the full demographic of your audience to avoid hitting these snags. Try writing a short paragraph that defines their age, what they like, where they live, and what they might be struggling with.

The clearer you are with this, the better chance you’ll hit your target.

2. Declare Your Objective

Once you’ve honed in on your target audience, declare your objectives. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What is the purpose of this campaign?
  • What kind of results do I want to have?
  • Is my visual display campaign long term or short term?

If your objective is to release a new product under your brand, your content needs to make that clear. It also needs to speak directly to your current avatar. Otherwise you’ll have confused consumers on your hands.

For example, take Dr. Pepper Not for Women’ ad campaign. The 10 calorie soft drink was aimed at men who wanted a diet cola that made them feel “manly,” after company research indicated that men tend to shy away from diet drinks that aren’t perceived that way.

Their attempt at cornering the “manly market” failed. The purpose of the campaign was to sell a completely new product to a single demographic. But the objective begged the question: Is there even a manliness factor for Dr. Pepper in the first place?

Turns out there was not. The results they wanted clearly missed the mark. They didn’t get a good response from the manly market they attempted to corner. Instead, they found themselves answering to thousands of upset consumers who found the ads to be sexist. What should have been a long term campaign ended up short-term. The ads were pulled.

3. K.I.S.S

I love acronyms.

There are a million in the English language, but none are as fun to define as K.I.S.S: Keep it Super Simple (there are other not-so-nice words that are sometimes used to define K.I.S.S, but we’ll stick with the acronym above).

Keeping content simple is often the key to holding your audience’s attention, especially because statistics show that, as of 2019, the average attention span of a viewer is a mere eight seconds, about the same as that of a goldfish.

That means time is a significant factor when deploying a digital marketing strategy. Sometimes you’ve got to be short and sweet, other times you should follow the pulse of the viewer. If this is something you don’t already have your finger on, your first launch will help you determine which way to go.

When using animated content, the number of times the video loops should depend on how long a user stays to observe. This will differ based on the age of your audience and the location of your sign.

A great example of this is when the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam displayed animated paintings to the public to celebrate the first anniversary of the newly renovated museum. 86 visual displays boasted various paintings throughout 16 metro stations in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The campaign was extremely successful and brought the magnificence of art to individuals that had yet to experience some of the famous paintings that were part of the digital gallery.

If you intend to use an interactive application, you need to consider how often the application will “air” a segment.

For example, in the #LookingForYou campaign, a digital signage marketing strategy that encouraged the adoption of rescue animals in England, volunteers at an area shopping center handed out brochures with a radio frequency tag attached to the brochure.

Anyone that took the brochures would see Barley, a cuddly adoptable pup, on various digital signs as they walked through the shopping center. Based on the number of brochures handed out at certain times, the organization knew when to keep the interactive application up and when to shut it down.

Of course, your content should relate directly to the wants and needs of your consumers. If you’re marketing to children like Dreamworks did with the release of the film Despicable Me 2, you want animation, and you want it short and sweet to match the attention span of a child.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you want to inform our older generation of different choices they have in health care, an animated video may not be the way to go. The guy in the suit and tie might be right up their alley.

Gauge your audience, choose accordingly, and have fun creating your content.

 4. Measure Return on Investment (ROI)

According to an Invodo study, 52 percent of shoppers confess that watching product videos makes them more confident in making a purchase.

That’s good information to have when creating content for your product. The more people you engage, the more purchases are made. And that’s what a good digital signage campaign is all about.

Ultimately, you want your campaign to be effective—bring in new customers, increase brand awareness, and make more sales. To create this trifecta, you need to know what your ROI will look like.

Before a campaign launch, this can be difficult to predict. But by following the framework of similar campaigns and monitoring their returns, you can create a similar digital marketing strategy that is sure to turn heads.

As the campaign unfolds, you will measure your ROI based on the quality of your content, the time of day that the campaign is most effective, and the response from consumers.

If the numbers don’t add up and customer feedback is weak at best, it’s safe to assume the content isn’t resonating with customers. That means it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

Conclusion

Not all marketing campaigns get it right the first time. Some even get a second chance.

We already know Burger King didn’t get it right with ‘The King’ mascot. But someone must have put his plastic body on ice because the quick-service chain brought him back to life in 2015. He’s getting another chance, which means even if you launch a campaign that doesn’t bring fireworks the first time, it very well may the next time around.

Determining the objective of your campaign is also key. Without direction, you’ve got nowhere to go. That’s why defining the purpose of your digital campaign is crucial in helping you best deliver your message.

Finally, keep your content super simple. Don’t overpopulate it with images and videos just to fill your screen. Determine how long your video or image campaign will be based on the attention span of your avatar.

The best content is the most memorable content. Powerful images and messages are often the most effective. In the end, you want the consumer to remember who you are.

What kind of content resonates will your audience now? How can you convert that to a powerful digital campaign strategy?

Last updated: 12/03/19

Digital Signage VS. Print: Is it Time to Ditch the Posters?

When I was a kid, I remember hoping I would see one of those billboard guys rolling a new sign on any given billboard as we whizzed down the highway.

It fascinated me, the way two or three men rolled a brightly colored advertisement into place for all the world to see.

As I drive down the highway today, I still see those billboards, only they don’t require those men with the tools to roll it and glue it.

One by one, digital billboards are replacing static boards.

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5 Reasons to Go With Cloud-Based Digital Signage

You know signage is a good option. But when it comes to cloud-based digital signage or on-premise / hosted solutions… which one is best for you?

There are so many hardware choices, software choices, screen options, kiosk options, and touchscreen options…

I’ll stop there.

With so many choices, it can make the decision to move to digital signage a tough one.

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When does it make sense to use LED screens for digital signage?

One of my favorite aspects of the digital signage industry is the history of its growth. With 2016 in full swing, it’s safe to say this chapter of history is all about LED screens.

LED screens, or light-emitting diode screens, are changing. Where they were primarily used outdoors at large sporting events or other venues, the screens are now popping up indoors, changing is size, changing in price, and changing the way the world does digital signage.

When a retailer or business isn’t using an LED to share their message with the world, they’re using LCD screens, or Liquid Crystal Screens.

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Understanding Digital Signage Basics

If you’re new to the world of digital signage, you have a lot of questions:

  • What is digital signage?
  • Why do I need to use digital signage?
  • Where do I begin?
  • What kind of software do I need?
  • What kind of hardware do I need?
  • What type of content should I display?

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5 Examples of How Industries Use Digital Wayfinding

Digital wayfinding, a remarkable advancement in the digital signage world, wasn’t always so remarkable.

Once upon a time, wayfinding consisted of carving directions into stone or bending a young tree at a certain angle to show the way to an important place.

It worked.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Use Digital Signage

In the spirit of blog posts everywhere that offer 10 or 20 or 50 reasons to do something, we wanted to hop on board with our own list. It’s about why you should use digital signage, of course. (You’re shocked, I know.)

1. It’s All the Rage

The digital signage market is growing like mad. In 2019, the market is expected to reach $20.8 billion, with projections estimated at almost $30 billion by 2024. That means that a lot of digital signage is being used across the world. North America accounted for the majority of the market share, with Europe a close second.

Industries like retail, education, and manufacturing are finding ways to incorporate digital signage to improve communications, streamline costs, and increase revenues. From interactive advertising to engaging images and video, digital signage can be found in business, on street corners, and in stores everywhere.

The only question left is, where will you put yours? No matter how it’s used or why it’s used, incorporating digital signage is all the rage.

2. It Makes Your Brand Stand Out

Red Bull gives you wings. No, really.

In a standout campaign delivered by Red Bull in Vienna, shoppers that may have never experienced “getting their wings” were given the opportunity with a digital sign armed with motion tracking and gesture recognition technology.

By using their bodies to virtually move a can of Red Bull into a particular space on the screen, consumers were not only able to interact physically with the campaign but were also able to attract the attention of people passing by.

Think about it: You’re walking through the mall minding your own business and you see a guy moving and crouching, swaying this way and that, in front of a digital sign. You find it curious so you wander over, right?

When a consumer was able to successfully move the can into the right position, they were rewarded with a free sample of zero-calorie Red Bull.

Whether you like the product or not, one thing is for sure—you won’t soon forget the brand or your experience with it.

3. It Speeds Up Wait Times

We live in a world of instant gratification. We want what we want when we want it, and not a moment beyond. Understanding that this is part of our culture’s make-up, digital signage has found a solution to make time seem to move a bit faster.

How? Distraction. Psychology Today published an article that talked about the phenomenon of waiting. Not many of us are fans of it. As a matter of fact, most people will only wait up to ten minutes before they move on to something else.

That’s why industries like retail and healthcare use digital signage to distract those that have to wait. By engaging clients with videos and interactive advertisements, the perceived wait time is reduced by 35 percent.

4. It Helps the Lost Get Found

Trying to find a specific location in a city or area you’re unfamiliar with can be nerve racking, especially when you’re somewhere that speaks a different language.

Wayfinding is the magic pill to calm racking nerves. Wayfinding is a digital form of traditional map reading. Using an interactive touch screen, users are guided through a physical environment with images and direction.

Universities and college campuses use wayfinding kiosks to help new students navigate the campus and the interior of buildings on campus. Should something change, directions can be updated on the spot. If construction keeps one building temporarily closed or walkways are compromised due to weather, users can find this out via the digital wayfinder.

5. It Educates in Droves

After you play with the touchscreen on the wayfinder in the student lobby, you’ll run into more digital signage as you make your way around campus.

At some schools, digital signage and the Internet of Things (IoT) are making shared learning a cinch. Educators have the ability to measure and share data with other educators anywhere in the world. The can link directly to curricula, too, making the creating and sharing of ideas a seamless process.

The signs are also used to update students about class changes,  special events, and most importantly, safety issues Many colleges and universities have incorporated Emergency Notification Systems to alert students when there is a safety issue. In light of the mass shootings our country has experienced, there’s no question that incorporating a system that can alert and even initiate a lockdown, is vital. The lockdown can automate perimeter security, keeping students safely in and dangerous intruders out.

6. Reach Millions of People in Seconds

I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that digital signage could help you reach billions of people in a matter of seconds.

In 2015, a company called SAWA, in conjunction with the United Nations, launched a seven-day digital campaign called Project Everyone to raise global awareness around the issues of poverty and sustainability.

SAWA is a global cinema advertising association aimed at developing international standards and best practices between cinema advertising companies around the world.

The idea was to spread the goals to every single person on the planet. That’s 7seven billion people in seven days. 450 cities across 28 countries were involved, and millions of people were reached with different digital signs in all sorts of locations.

Can you imagine? That’s the kind of power this technology has.

7. It Makes Your Mouth Water

Restaurateurs are using digital signage to tempt customers to buy bigger and buy more. Gone are the days of flat, boring menu boards. Today, bright digital menu boards have taken their place, some of which can really get whet your appetite.

Imagine, as you wait in line at a fast-casual restaurant, biting into a juicy, hot hamburger that you see on that digital sign over there.

Can you picture it? It’s sizzling hot and fresh off the grill, topped with crisp lettuce and ripe tomatoes.

Yummy, right? That’s the idea. Using these kinds of images on menu boards is driving restaurant sales up. The strong visuals are powerful enough to tell you, the waiting customer, that the burger is what you want.

Oh, and add fries for only 99 cents. Nice upsell.

8. They Look Super Cool in Your Lobby

Digital signage placed in the lobby of your business or waiting room tells those that walk in that you are relevant and up to date. Real estate offices have jumped on board, using high-definition screens to display homes for sale. It’s the first thing buyers see when they walk into a broker office. And if any information changes (e.g. sale price), it can be updated immediately.

They can be found in casinos and hotel lobbies, too. At resorts, visitors can upload pictures from their visit and share them with the rest of the hotel patrons. Even social live-streaming is becoming popular on hotel lobby signs.

Keeping guests engaged and excited gives them a reason to come back and stay again.

9. You Can Do Really Creative Things With Them

  • You can stream live social media feeds.
  • You can use sensors that are triggered by movement.
  • You can emit smells from them.
  • You can engage users to interact.

The list goes on and on. You can make people laugh, smile, cry, respond… the possibilities are endless. Yes, there are digital campaigns that require static images or simple video, but yours don’t have to be.

10. They Make You Smarter

It can be awkward to sit alone at a restaurant table. Maybe you’re waiting for a friend, or perhaps you’re dining alone. Thanks to tabletop tablets, you can keep busy playing trivia and brain games.

Tabletop tablets are not just for passing time. They also promote specials and other foods you might order. And at the end of your meal, you can use them to pay your bill.

Conclusion

Advertising and technology are best friends—you almost can’t have one without the other.

From creating stellar video ads with mouth-watering foods to creating a wayfinding solution that guides people to their destination, digital signage in the 21st century is busting out.

The possibilities are endless. Think of how you can elevate your business using digital signage. You don’t need to be part of the United Nations to do it, either. All you need is a screen and the internet.

These are our Top 10 reasons to use digital signage. What are the reasons you use digital signage?

Last updated: 12/4/19

Is Digital Signage the New Platform in Retail?

The first time I walked into a department store that had replaced its clunky cash register with an iPad, I thought, “Wow, look at this advancement.” I now think the same thing when I see companies utilizing digital signage for retail.

Now that we’ve moved successfully into the Information Age (aka the Digital Age), it’s safe to say that the technological advancements we experience every day will only improve. And with the Internet of Things (IoT) leading those advancements, there’s no doubt that each and every industry that uses digital signage has the potential to be at the forefront.

This includes the fast-changing retail industry. Digital signage is a “new” platform in retail and an important part of the larger digital transformation. Here’s how it can up the ante for your business.

Download 5 Examples of How Retailers Use Digital Signage in Awesome Ways

1. It Attracts and Keeps Customers

We live in a world of instant gratification. Consumers want what they want when they want it.

That’s why, when Best Buy was fighting to keep customers after Amazon amped up its online shopping experience, the big-box electronics retailer recognized that moving to a space of digital retail advancement within their stores was the only answer.

By installing in-store kiosks that could respond to questions and provide value, consumers began to return to Best Buy with enthusiasm. Keeping those customers informed with mobile sales alerts and emails also helped the retail giant move out of the red.

Using an innovative omnichannel strategy, the big box store was able to bring to customers a whole new buying experience. These changes attracted new customers and brought back old ones. By using different strategies with digital signage, the store rode the wave of the future and remains one of the leading electronics retailers today.

2. It Jives with Tech-Savvy Shoppers

Today’s experienced shoppers go to their favorite stores with smartphones in hand, ready to look for competitive prices on the products they’re looking to buy.If you’ve ever passed by a cosmetics counter in a high-end department store, you’ve probably seen an employee in a white coat painting the face of a potential customer

But that doesn’t happen at Sephora in Milan. At least not anymore.

A few years ago, the leading beauty specialty retailer introduced the world’s first augmented reality mirror. Instead of buying cosmetics online or dealing with a pushy employee in a white coat, consumers can use a mirror that simulates cosmetics on their face in real-time and in 3D.

Knowing that this kind of experience exists can help brick and mortar retailers survive. And it has. Despite the rise of e-commerce, a recent study revealed that 85 percent of shoppers still prefer traditional shopping in brick and mortar stores to purchasing online.

Digital signs, kiosks and omnichannel experiences contribute to those shopping experiences. This speaks to the fact that digital signage is fast becoming the new platform in retail.

3. It Changes Retail Strategies

Remember how you used to pick out a few shirts or a pair of shoes and head to the register? While you can still do that in many places, the retail strategy of selling has changed in many ways.

Today, retail employees are armed with mobile devices that can check out customers on the spot. Not only does this save the customer from waiting in line, it enables the store employee to find a product for a customer that might not be on the floor.

When a consumer doesn’t see the item they want, they can summon an employee who can access company wide inventory on their handheld device.

Still not innovative enough for you? Okay…consider what one department store is doing to keep buyers out of the dressing room and in the thick of the retail experience.

At Nordstrom, a touchscreen dubbed the ‘Digital Denim Doctor’ lets buyers enter their body shape, type of preferred fabric, and other key info to create an algorithm that displays a 360-degree view of how the jeans will look on the user’s body. To say this changes Nordstrom’s retail strategy is an understatement. It not only transforms it, it revolutionizes it.

Keeping the customer engaged and nestled around other products and sales gives them the opportunity to explore even more merchandise in the store. Sales increase, buyers are happy, and brick and mortar establishments continue to thrive.

4. It Increases Brand Awareness

Customers come and go. Some are loyal to your brand briefly, others for a lifetime. When you can convert shoppers to lifelong fans, you’ve successfully implemented your brand.

For example, big-box stores like Walmart and The Home Depot maintain brand recognition with recognizable logos and jingles that capture and hold the attention of millions. And since our brains process images much faster than text, it makes sense for retailers to leverage digital signage.

Home Depot in Mexico uses in-store digital signage to anchor branding around its “Do More” campaign that assists shoppers who want to pursue more DIY projects.

Kinda makes you think of their famous tagline, “More Saving. More Doing.” doesn’t it? Home Depot’s successful branding anchors visuals and taglines in your brain so you’ll think of them when you need a new faucet.

  1. It Allows Interactive Advertisements

Imagine walking through a store that sells cookware. You stop at a display with the various pans and utensils needed to create an amazing meal of spaghetti with garlic bread.

And then you smell that spaghetti and garlic bread. Is it your imagination? No. It’s the digital sign above the display, emitting the aroma of that spectacular meal. This cutting-edge form of interactive advertising incorporates specific scents to entice customers. And since smell is so strongly connected to memory, this feature can evoke emotions in consumers like no other advertising tactic can.

Does that not take the cake? And it helps that the cake smells good, too.

6. It Can Modify Store Promotions

The demographic that shops at the grocery store in the early morning isn’t the same demographic that shops in the afternoon or evening. The ability to customize promotions and sales based on knowing who shops when can make a huge difference in your bottom line.

If older demographics shop in the early morning, retailers need to plan accordingly. Based on inventory, it can be determined what this demographic buys. Creating a promotion around those items creates convenience for shoppers, and in turn breeds loyalty and brings them back.

Another opportunity to create promotions is the weather since it can also affect the behaviors of consumers. When the weather changes unexpectedly, stores can promote raincoats and umbrellas to cater to an unanticipated need. Alerting customers with an omnichannel approach or in-store digital sign impresses a customer. That impression brings them back for more.

This type of personalization—knowing what your market needs when they need it—is key. Retailers with access to information that enables them to create, distribute, and then change promotions to meet consumer demand will always win.

Conclusion

Retail digital signage is not a passing trend. It’s the new normal. With different retailers coming up with innovative ways to grab consumers’ attention, the sky’s the limit.

Retailers are boosting their brands, changing their in-store strategies, and attracting more customers to the store with digital signage. It’s showing up as the new platform in retail. This is the Information Age. How will you deliver your information?

Is your retail store ready for digital innovation? If so, in what ways can you use the digital platform to increase sales and attract more customers.

Last updated: 12/05/19

6 Ways Smartphones Affect Digital Signage Campaigns

Where’s your cell phone right now? If you’re like most people, it’s within arm’s reach. 81 percent of Americans own a smartphone (as of 2019), and that figure continues to rise.

Mobile devices keep us connected to family, friends, co-workers and more. That’s why it makes sense to incorporate smartphones into digital signage campaigns, especially in the retail sector.

Thanks to responsive websites and mobile applications, customers expect visual and interactive experiences when they shop. With that in mind, building a digital campaign that engages and educates can not only attract more customers to your brand but could result in increased profits as well let’s explore six different ways mobile devices enhance digital signage campaigns so you can navigate this medium with confidence.

Don’t have time to finish the blog post now? Download this cheat sheet and read it later.

1. They Create Customer Interaction

We already know that digital touchscreens encourage customer interaction. From wayfinding maps on college campuses to restaurant trivia on tabletops, with a single swipe customers can find where they need to go and learn a thing or two while waiting for a meal.

But what if they could actually manipulate images on those screens with their mobile device or smartphone?

In Malaysia, McDonald’s created a digital campaign that included the visual of a melting ice cream cone with a fan behind it. During one particularly hot afternoon, the campaign was launched.

Messages on the sign encouraged passersby to slow the melting of a cone by turning on the fan with their cell phone. Without downloading any apps, a mobile device user could point their phone at the sign, and with the touch of a button, turn on the digital fan. As a reward for saving the ice cream cone, the user earned free digital coupons that could be used in the McDonald’s restaurant around the corner.

If that’s not customer interaction at it’s finest, I don’t know what is.

2. They Promote Products

When Despicable Me 2 came out in 2013, Minions fans all over the world were aflutter. Wanting to increase anticipation and promote the release of the film, Universal Studios created an interactive experience that involved text messaging and digital signs.

In Europe, five separate territories became part of a personalized, geo-specific digital campaign that invited consumers to control the screen with their mobile device. Using text messaging, users could command the Minions.

From dancing and vacuuming to silly sneezing and belly laughing, the little yellow creatures did exactly what they were told by the mobile phone user. The best part was that users could receive a copy of the video they were a part of and share it via email or social media.

The results were profound. More than 10 million people were reached using a total of 259 digital signage screens in 51 locations.

With a new video created every minute, that’s a lot of social sharing.

3. Encourage Knowledge Seekers

By now, most of us have seen or interacted with a QR code (quick response code), a square barcode that can be read by a smartphone. The code can convert large amounts of data when scanned, making it possible to link to web pages, videos and social media.

Mostly seen in magazines and on storefront posters, QR codes are fast making their way onto digital screens.

With digital signage already a strong medium to grab consumers’ attention, QR codes are moving users from solid space to cyberspace in a matter of seconds. To keep users educated and updated, organizations and businesses are using the code in lots of different ways. With a quick scan of the code, users can receive coupons from a store just 500 feet away.

  • Upcoming events or workshops can be promoted. When the user scans the code, information is stored on their phone. They’re reminded of the event leading up to the date.
  • Maps can be quickly downloaded to guide the user to the advertised destination.
  • Product information is immediately available so the user can learn more about what they are about to buy.

These kinds of interactive marketing campaigns increase customer buying power and interest.

4. Adds to the Internet of Things

In a previous post, we talked about the Internet of Things (IoT) and how digital signage plays a huge role. IoT is a concept where anything with an on/off switch can be connected to the internet, allowing devices to connect and “talk” with each other.

McDonald’s is using IoT to increase sales and improve customer relations. The fast food giant partnered with a Bluetooth provider to greet customers on their phones the second they entered the restaurant. Customers were offered coupons, surveys, and even job opportunities moments after stepping into the store.

A second campaign called “Give lovin’, get lovin’” was launched soon after. In an attempt to share the “lovin”, the McDonald’s campaign encouraged patrons to pay for their food with a hug, a selfie, or a high-five with another. Customers were greeted by digital signage that promoted the campaign, encouraging participation.

While it raised some controversy, the company saw an increase in sales. After the first month, the fast food chain garnered over 18,000 redemptions, and McChicken sales increased by eight percent.

5. Raises Brand Awareness

Coca-Cola has been around since 1886. That’s a long time. If you don’t feel like doing the math, that’s more than 130 years.

Over the years, Coca-Cola has launched hundreds of campaigns in an effort to stay on top. Some campaigns worked, some didn’t. Remember when it changed its formula in 1985? That campaign failed in taste, but it excelled in getting the world’s attention.

Despite its interesting advertising strategies, the brand still remains one of the most popular worldwide. And that’s because they follow the heartbeat of what’s working.

Digital signage is working. In the summer of 2015, Coca-Cola used the integration of digital signage and smartphones for their “What’s In a Name?” campaign in New York City.

The campaign encouraged smartphone users to tweet their first name with the hashtag, #CokeMyName. Within seconds after tweeting, a personalized story about their name appeared on a digital sign in Times Square.

Moments later their story, captured by a webcam, was tweeted back to the user. The campaign, piggybacking the popular Share a Coke campaign, averaged 200 messages a day in the first two weeks.

Not only was the campaign a continuous reminder of the iconic brand, it also helped Coca-Cola further zero in on their target market.

6. They Increase Social Proof

Social proof is a social influence. It’s a “follow the herd” kind of phenomenon. The more shares and follows you get, the more your social proof increases.

Why would you want that? Well, it seems today we can’t take five steps without seeing, hearing, or interacting with some piece of social media on a smartphone.

Advertisers know this, and understand that incorporating social media into digital signage can drive campaigns into corners of the world they never thought of.

Digital campaigns that encourage social shares are seen by more eyes and heard by more ears. Universal Studios understood this when they offered the option for users to share an interactive video they were involved in.

Let’s say your business creates personalized, funky, colorful coffee mugs. On an image-driven platform like Instagram, your super-cool coffee mug can make it around the world in a matter of seconds.

For the record, Instagram has the highest follower engagement rate of any social network. Your digital campaign, when aligned with this platform, can reach mobile users within seconds.

This kind of integration can affect your campaign dramatically, changing the face of your brand and increasing visibility like never before.

Conclusion

Digital signage and mobile devices are merging for some highly creative campaigns that can affect your business in powerful ways. Product awareness and increased sales are just a few of those ways.

Brands can expand their demographic in minutes by creating a campaign that encourages engagement. Customers can become part of promotions that lead to brand loyalty.

Integrating social media in a digital signage campaign allows the user of a mobile device to pull the campaign off the screen and out into the world. We think that’s pretty darn incredible.

In what ways do you see the integration creating a positive effect on your company? Which examples spark your creativity?

8 Tips for Launching Your First Digital Signage Campaign

Launching your very first digital signage campaign is a big deal.

You’ve decided to graduate from sticky notes and posters to a widescreen monitor that talks to people, so you want to make sure it’s done right.

We want to make sure, too. That’s why we publish these posts; because you have questions and we have answers.

So let’s have at it.

Let’s dig into our 8 tips on launching your first digital signage campaign.

1. Determine Your Why

Deciding you want to go digital is not a decision that comes lightly.

It’s a decision that actually comes with lots more decisions, like determining why you want to launch.

To determine this, you need to ask yourself a couple big questions:

Why do you want to go digital?

What are you trying to accomplish?

By determining the why in your business, you can find clarity in your vision and ultimately attract the ideal consumer to that vision. If you’re not clear, those that see you and your brand won’t be clear, either.

They won’t know what you’re about or what you stand for.

Brainstorm with your team to determine what the purpose and goal of your digital campaign is.

Get very clear.

And then get ready to explore what other businesses are doing with their campaigns.

Don’t know where to start? Click here to try this fun little test that might give you a leg up in determining your why.

2. Investigate Other Campaigns

Pepsodent toothpaste was the toothpaste of choice in the 1950’s.

When it came to oral hygiene, everyone brushed with Pepsodent.

That is until Crest decided to do something different.

In an effort to increase market shares, Crest made the bold decision to add fluoride to their product. They were the first to do this, which pulled consumers to the new and improved product in droves.

For the next 30 years, Crest would dominate toothpaste sales, and all because they looked at the Pepsodent campaign to determine what Crest needed to do differently.

By investigating other digital marketing campaigns, you can determine what the competition is doing, and what you need to do differently to grab attention.

Take the digital campaign for Apolosophy Shampoo, for example.

The marketing team for this shampoo knocked it out of the park when they decided to put sensors in a digital sign on a subway platform in Sweden that would respond when the subway rolled in.

As the train pulled up to the platform, the sensors in the sign were activated and the digital image of a woman would come alive as her hair was blown out of place.

Her hair gets blown, your mind gets blown. It all works out.

If you were the creator of an incredible shampoo, how could you top this campaign?

By investigating other digital campaigns, you can find the pros and cons of the ones you study so you can create something spectacular from there.

3. Consider Locations

I was going to start this section out by writing, “Location, location, location,” but I already did it in a blog post on Sixteen-Nine.

So instead I’m going to start out by saying…

Where you put your digital sign is just as important, if not more important, than brushing your teeth every day with Pepsodent.

Or Crest.

Or whatever you use.

It’s actually more important than that.

The location of your signs needs to intersect directly with your target market.

If you’re considering an in-house digital campaign, your signs need to be placed where employees or potential customers can see them.

If you’re considering a larger, consumer wide campaign, your signs need to be placed in a high-traffic area where your target market frequents.

You also need to make sure your signs aren’t up to high or in overly lit areas.

Lighting and position are important.

Take the time to really look at the best locations for your digital signs. Consider high traffic areas and areas where employees or potential customers gather.

4. Create Engaging Content

Boring content solicits worn out business and unenthused customers.

Fresh, bright, happy content solicits on-fire business and ready-to-buy customers.

The content you create needs to be on fire.

It needs to be up and coming and shine like no other. And…it needs to grab the attention of the viewer, especially because you only have about 9 seconds to entice them before they move on to the next thing.

Bear in mind the demographic of your audience, too if your target is the millennial, showing video or images of seniors enjoying life on a swing set isn’t going to fly.

Don’t overload your content with too many animations, either. Continual, moving text is difficult to read and can disengage your viewer fairly quickly.

Consider a call to action as well.

A call to action gives your potential customers a reason to engage with you.

Whether it’s to upload pictures to be included in a collage, or to add a comment to Twitter with your hash tag, creating a call to action can be the difference between a boring screen that shows boring pictures, and a killer campaign that takes the cake.

They always say less is more.

Use still images, engaging video, and a call to action, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for engaging content.

5. Get Social

Yes, we know.

You hear this all the time.

But do you really take the actions necessary to fully incorporate social media?

There are two ways you can show the world how your marketing strategy is changing:

1. by using your social channels.
2. by incorporating social media into your campaign.

As mentioned in the previous tip, giving a viewer a reason to engage is a brilliant way to spread the word about who you are.

So create a call to action that asks your viewers to share your amazing-ness on social media and you’ll get the engagement you want.

Universal Pictures pulled this off like a charm with their geo-specific digital campaign for the release of Despicable Me 2 that invited consumers to control a digital sign with their mobile devices.

Once engaged, a personalized video was created and viewers were encouraged to share the video on social media.

By using social media and including a call to action, digital sign campaigns can stretch their message to people that may never see their actual signs.

How incredible as that?

And don’t forget to create social content regularly during the campaign that tells the world about your new venture.

When consumers learn about advancements in your business, they understand you to be innovative and fresh.

Let them know that’s exactly what you are.

6. Get Feedback 

You have to know that what you’re doing is working.

Ask your customers what they think of your digital campaign.

Did it attract their attention? Were they moved to act? Did they actually buy the product or are they considering buying the product?

There are many ways you can obtain this feedback, including through social media or e-mail.

Bear this in mind when creating your marketing campaign.

Creating a call to action that collects an e-mail address or Twitter handle can be the start of a beautiful relationship. Feedback, good or bad, can only help you improve.

7. Determine Your ROI From Every Digital Signage Campaign

If you’re making money and able to see an increase in sales, you know you’ve made the right choice in switching from pen and paper to digital.

To determine your ROI, you need to know if the money you put into your campaign will pay for itself in a justified amount of time.

Track your sales.

Do they increase faster in one location than the other?

Or do they decrease?

What’s working?

What isn’t?

By asking yourself these kinds of questions, you can find out what adjustments you might need to make in the campaign. Sometimes a little tweak can make a big difference in your ROI.

If you aren’t seeing an increase like you expected, that doesn’t mean digital wasn’t the way to go; it simply means you haven’t found the “sweet spot” for your campaign.

Kick your numbers around, find these answers, and make the necessary adjustments.

8. Celebrate Your Wins

We often forget this part.

We get so wrapped up in the launch and adjusting our campaign that we forget to celebrate your wins.

Moving to digital is a big deal.

We talked about that right off the top.

So when you see results that make a difference, celebrate. Don’t focus exclusively on what didn’t work (if that’s the case); focus on what did work.

Savor the positive feedback.

Leap for joy when your ledger moves out of the red.

Hug the nearest team member when your Twitter feed goes nuts.

Celebrate your digital transition and enjoy it. You’re in the big-time now.

Conclusion

Like any great marketing campaign, risks need to be taken and rewards need to be recognized.

Remember that this is a process and should be executed with thoughtful consideration.

  • Do your homework and study successful campaigns.
  • Make your content engaging and powerful.
  • Find locations that pull people in.

And have faith that what you create is exactly what the world is waiting for.

How will you begin your digital signage launch? What have you already done to execute it?

How Do I Measure Digital Signage Return on Investment?

Quantum mechanics says that we, as energetic human beings, are all connected. These connections are about to get a whole lot bigger.

Simply put, IoT is the idea of connecting any device equipped with an on/off switch to the Internet. These devices (phones, commercial ovens, restaurant kiosks, digital signs, computers, oil rigs, etc.) communicate with one another, leaving out the middleman and streamlining the entire process.

With broadband Internet becoming more widely available, the cost of connecting is decreasing, and more devices  have Wi-Fi ability built right into them.

That includes digital signage. But why all the connections?

Why do we need our smartphones talking to commercial ovens?

To oil rigs in the middle of the ocean? 

To digital signs smack dab in the center of Times Square?

Because we can. And because we want to. And because it’s the way advanced technology is headed.

Let’s look at a handful of industries where digital signage meets IoT, and how it’s changing the face of those industries.

1. In Healthcare

According to a report published by GrandViewResearch, the global healthcare Internet of Things market segment is poised to hit $534.3 billion by 2025.

That’s staggering. The ways in which IoT will be streamlined in healthcare with digital messaging can’t be counted. Every day, new ideas and concepts are created. And every day, lives are being simplified because of it.

As far as patient care, patient records can talk to digital signs in hospital lobbies. When a patient arrives for an appointment, they can enter their name or ID number on a welcoming digital screen, prompting a wayfinding map to help them find their destination. A patient’s experience can also be more personalized.

With handheld devices talking to monitors, which talk to computers that talk to doctors and nurses, a patient coming in for an extended stay will feel at home when everyone that takes care of them can address them by name without shuffling papers.

Perhaps their favorite TV channels are already programmed for them, and meal preferences are in place with the cafeteria downstairs. With the touch of a button on an interactive screen, the patient can order their meal without ever calling a nurse.

Digital signage in its many forms can serve the healthcare industry in ways we haven’t even begun to imagine.

2. In Retail

Retail stores have been gobbling up digital signage and using it in remarkable ways. From sales to product tracking to interactive customer engagement, handheld devices and large screens are opening doors for retailers everywhere.

Efficient data collection is a goal for many stores. Retailers can grow more when the information they need is readily available.

IDC, a global industry analyst, predicts worldwide IoT spending to reach $745 billion in 2019. One IoT use case that is expected to deliver the fastest spending growth is in-store contextualized marketing (retail). Leading this increased demand is digital signage, as retail stores seek new ways to keep their cash registers full.

A great example of this comes from retail giant Walmart. The company uses data to gain customer insights, monitoring social media movement to discover which products and widgets are the most sought after.

They also track weather trends and compare those trends with historical sales periods to determine when to boost prices on popular products. For example, watermelon sales may go up when the weather hits 80 degrees.

Armed with this knowledge, the retailer can prepare by ordering stock before the trend hits, and then price it accordingly.

3. In Restaurants

The restaurant industry is showing clear initiative in merging digital signage with IoT. When it comes to inventory and safe food supply, The Food Safety Modernization Act dictates monitoring and record-keeping for restaurants and other food suppliers.

To maintain this remotely, refrigerators, ovens, and other temperature-gauging equipment are connected wirelessly to report real-time temperatures to management on the other end. For example, the supervisor of a series of franchises can remotely monitor oven temperatures so cooking remains efficient and product quality is not compromised.

As far as customer integration, ordering kiosks are all the rage right now. From stores like Panera to McDonald’s, ordering from one digital product that speaks to another makes the ordering process faster and easier for both the consumer and the establishment.

Let’s not forget tabletop kiosks. They provide the same level of service as the fast-food kiosks, only you get to sit down when you order. The kiosks offer a handful of interactive games, too, to help pass the time while you wait.

Restaurants also integrate information like weather, demographics, and loyalty data. All of this collected data can determine what the best time is to promote a product and which products to upsell.

4. In Transportation

The transportation industry is in the business of moving things. In the air and on the ground, people, cargo, merchandise, and other valuable items need to make it from one place to another safely, securely, and on time.

Digital signage contributes to the success of these transports. Mobile devices like barcode scanners and mobile computers have become a huge part of day-to-day operations in the industry. Many transportation companies are reaching new levels of accuracy with shipping and receiving, thanks to these digital devices. Retail inventory is also more accurate, and the ordering process from consumers is faster.

As far as the vehicles we drive, digital signage has been playing a role since 2010 when vehicles began to hit car lots equipped with satellite radio, streaming video, and smartphone apps. Cameras installed on the dashboard of vehicles to aid us in backing up safely were also introduced. The cameras proved so effective that The National Highway Safety Transportation Agency (NHTSA) announced that all new cars built as of May 1, 2018, need to have one. Connected cars can improve the driving experience and provide a safer ride. With IoT connectivity, some electrical components can be updated in the cloud, saving car owners a visit to the dealer. GPS maps are updated in real-time as well. And predictive maintenance alerts ensure that we remember to get the oil changed and add air to our tires.

5. In Education

Schools have been integrating digital signage into their curricula for some time now. From wayfinding maps to class schedules, college campuses all over the world are helping students and faculty manage their days with the help of digital data.

The issue of school security is a major concern as mass shootings continue to rock campuses across the U.S. To keep students safe during a life-threatening situation communication is key, and every second counts. From a single device, emergency alerts can be sent to students and faculty via smartphones as well as onto all digital signs on campus.

In addition, levers or buttons placed strategically throughout the campus enable a witness to alert authorities and initiate a lockdown. The lockdown can automate perimeter security, alert special needs students via digital signage, and transmit video from those same monitors to the police so intruder activity can be thwarted.

In addition to student safety, IoT can make mobile learning a cinch. Schools and universities are fast adapting to the idea of using IoT to measure and share data, link directly to the curriculum, and create the next wave of learning for incoming students.

It’s a tremendous advancement, as fully integrating to digital content means easier sharing and more collaboration among teachers. They can also save time, as working on digital displays is faster than writing on a chalkboard or whiteboard.

6. In the Gas and Oil Industry

The oil and gas industry is no stranger to digital technology. Right now, managing refineries remotely from a safe location is a priority. Monitoring equipment on oil rigs and using data to improve efficiency is a challenge for the industry, but not one that can’t be met.

Rockwell Automation is taking on that challenge. The industrial automation company wanted to integrate a cloud-based solution that could help the industry track performance, be alerted to equipment failures, and find innovative solutions to prevent any failures in the future.

They were successful. With sensor-embedded equipment and related applications, Rockwell streamlined an IoT solution and is still working on ways to improve communications with truck drivers, rig workers, and senior management to keep the oil pipeline running.

Conclusion

The Internet of Things is a big deal, and it’s only going to get bigger.

Of all the emerging technological advancements, IoT will offer the most opportunities over the next decade. And with digital signage evolving every day, there’s no question it will be at the forefront of the movement.

How? Digital signage already interacts with all sorts of other technological devices. The industry, software, and hardware are changing every day. Before we know it, the world will be streamlined in such a way that the words ‘lack of information’ will be impossible to say.

No worries, though. We’ll be with you every step of the way.

Consider how your industry benefits from IoT now. How is your digital signage integrated? How can it be better integrated?

Last updated: 12/06/19

Why Video is Vital in Your Digital Signage Campaign

Video has changed the world.

Since the very first motion picture shot in the summer of 1878, moving pictures have given us reason to stop and stare.

Videos tell stories. They touch our emotions. Very often, they change our lives.

You remember the movie Forrest Gump, right? The story of the mentally challenged man who accidentally showed up during many historic moments, teaching us life lessons on his road to becoming a millionaire?

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Can Digital Menu Boards Boost Sales?

A picture is worth a thousand words. Isn’t that how the phrase goes?

The idiom refers to the idea that a complex concept can be conveyed with a single image. The phrase was used to describe the effectiveness of graphics in advertising in the early 1900’s.

Here we are, over a century later, and the expression still holds true.

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Can Digital Signage Ease the Pain of Customer Wait Times?

No one likes to wait.

We live in a culture that expects instant gratification. And while that gratification can’t be met at every turn, digital signage in waiting rooms and other areas can give customers some gratification in the way of colored pictures, powerful messages, interactive games, and other visuals that distract them from waiting in endless lines.

Installing digital signage is the answer many businesses and organizations are turning to, from the transportation and restaurant industries to smaller offices and waiting rooms across the globe.

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5 Top Digital Signage Challenges

Most kids dash out to get their driver’s permit the second they’re old enough.

Their sweet sixteen comes with a driver’s license—and, for the lucky ones, a sweet ride.

I, however, dragged my feet until right before my freshman year of college to finally get my license.

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Digital Signage for Lobbies: 8 Examples

If you’ve ever walked into the lobby of a college or business (and we imagine you have), you’ve likely been greeted by some superior digital signage. Well good, because digital signage for lobbies is a great idea.

If you haven’t, it’s only because that company hasn’t yet embraced the power of a digital greeting. Yet those that have are seeing some incredible results.

Lobby signage is fast becoming one of the more popular ways to attract attention to potential customers that walk into your business.

It’s the first thing they see when they push open your doors, and the last thing they see when they leave for the day. Because of this, it’s crucial you make a strong and lasting impression.

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9 Reasons Why Digital Signage is a Good Investment

We talk a lot about digital signage here on the Skykit blog, which makes sense, since it’s our business. But we don’t want to assume that you’re already using digital signage or that you even want to.

So in case you’re on the fence about whether digital signage is really successful, here are 9 reasons digital signage works and is a good investment. 

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Installing Your Digital Signage: 7 Things to Consider

While the retail sector currently makes up the largest part of the digital signage industry, it’s making inroads into restaurants, healthcare, the corporate and financial world, and even education.

You’ve also been seeing some promising statistics on the efficacy of digital signage, and the fact that the industry has a CAGR of nearly 9% is encouraging as well.  

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Chromecast for Digital Signage

Can you use a Chromecast for digital signage?

Google has been making waves in the digital signage market for about two years. They’ve made it clear that “Google is here” in terms of digital signage.

The Google ecosystem has compelling hardware and software available to drive your digital signs.

There’s frequent discussion about Google-based digital signage using Chromecast as a player. But Google has other products like the Chromebit and Chromebox that also work for digital signage.

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Video Content With Digital Signage

Video content with digital signage systems is very powerful. A network of connected screens allows a company to advertise, inform, and connect with people all over the world.

But as important as the screens are, it’s what you decide to put on them that really counts.

There are pros and cons to using video, but more and more companies are finding that videos are more effective than still images.

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The Stats Behind Digital Signage For Restaurants

We all know that digital signage and QSR / Fast Casual restaurants are a match made in heaven.

But I like data. And I’m guessing you do too.

I like to know that digital signage actually works in these settings, rather than looking at the digital signage adoption rates and assuming it’s driving revenue for those companies.

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Digital Signage For Healthcare: 7 Ways to Use It

Recently, a family member of mine had a long hospital stay after complications to a back surgery. Digital signage for healthcare is something that’s still catching on. Unfortunately the hospital I went to didn’t have a system for wayfinding or information for guests in the hospital.

Just finding his room in the large medical campus proved challenging.

The TV high in the corner of the room was stuck on a news channel. Other than that, there was no source of entertainment. I recall my family’s frustration as they tried to get clear information about his condition and the doctor’s recommendations.

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7 Digital Signage Trends for 2016

If you paid attention to digital signage in the seventies, you’ve had the chance to witness the entire development of the industry—and what an incredible rise it’s been, but are you aware of all the digital signage trends?

Back in the seventies, long before the arrival of the modern Internet, enterprising shop owners played VCR tapes on televisions to attract customers. Of course, all content had to be prerecorded, not to mention rewound once you reached the end of the tape.

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Feature Comparison for Digital Signage Players

There are many digital signage solutions on the market. Some are purpose-built for very unique, niche requirements (for example think of the many unique digital displays that can be found on the Las Vegas strip and in their casinos).

Others are general purpose and are becoming more ubiquitous with respect to their use in everyday messaging.

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Top 4 In-House Advertising Trends

Have you ever gone to the store without knowing exactly what you were going to get? Even if you do know, it’s so easy to get swayed as a result of in-house advertising. That’s why whenever I go to the grocery store, I have a rule for myself that I have to eat a full meal at least two hours before I go grocery shopping, or else I’ll buy a ton of stuff I don’t need.

Happens literally all the time. Turns out I’m not alone in that.

90% of shoppers make unplanned purchases.

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The Importance of Multichannel Customer Service

Meet Pete.

Pete is the proud owner of a brand new phone. He’s been waiting for months to upgrade his old phone for the shiny new one. Finally the day arrives.

He eagerly takes in his old phone, gets the new one, and takes it home to set it up. But something goes wrong. The phone isn’t working properly.

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5 ways digital signage can enhance schools

No bulletin board, ever, in all of history, has actually been a tidy, functional, and efficient way to distribute information… BUT FEAR NOT, digital signage can enhance schools.

That’s a bold statement, I know, but bear with me.

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How Digital Signage Can Improve Business

This might sound ridiculous, but have you ever thought about the ROI of breakfast?

You could wake up a little earlier and make a healthy meal of an apple and some scrambled egg whites, plus instant coffee. This meal might cost you less than two dollars to make, but it would provide high returns of increased energy, leading to increased productivity throughout the morning.

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Beacon Technology in Retail: An Exciting New Tool

Imagine this.

You’re a young, single father out grocery shopping. Money is tight, so you’re on the lookout for good deals. As you walk into the store, you notice a sign that says the store has recently introduced a beacon advertising system that might help you do just that.

You already have an app that the beacons will work with on your phone—no need to scan a QR code—so you simply continue shopping.

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Virtual Stores

If you had to choose between shopping online (virtual stores) or physically going to the store, which would you pick?

If you’re anything like me, there are a few factors to consider. How far is the store, how tired am I, how quickly do I need the item? I generally go for the easiest or fastest option. And for the most part, easy means shopping online and fast means going to the store.

However, despite the growth of online retail, it still only accounts for about 10% of all sales. And companies are starting to realize the importance of integrating technology into their physical stores.

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Google Chrome for Digital Signage

Chrome’s operating system is amazing. Not sure if you knew that, but it is. The OS is the most secure in the market. Chrome for digital signage can be used in many ways. I wanted to come up with a short list of 5 dynamic ways the Chrome OS can be used in the digital signage space.

Sure, there will always be the 1-2 person donut shops that plug in a flash drive to a monitor and showcase a slideshow they made in the back office a few minutes ago with their specials.

And for them, that works.

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Corporate Communication to a Dispersed Workforce

Back in the day, corporate communication used to be cumbersome.

Whether it was by phone or snail mail, it wasn’t like working on-site.

Now, people work remotely all the time. Thanks to video conference calls, real-time document editing, and the like, it’s much easier to work together no matter where you are.

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