I don’t think there is a single business on the planet right now that is not investigating how digital media could be a benefit. The bigger companies are always going to hog the limelight, showing their latest and greatest application. But even single-person business, like woodworker, are looking into how digital media can help.
So the first question companies will ask is “Why should we install a digital media network?”
Here are 10 reasons why a digital media network [DMN] is a valuable option:
New Business Avenues. It’s not shocking that as our culture moves toward an online world of immediate behaviors, the ability to connect with an audience through traditional channels has declined. Newspapers and broadcast television are rapidly losing their share of the market to devices that are wireless and continually connected. Instead of reading about the news in the paper tomorrow, we can simply turn on our phone and read about it now, from pretty much anywhere in the world. The combination of devices, location, and access presents a multitude of new business avenues – mobile, online, tablet, screens – and leveraging the right content at the right place at the right time. This presents greater impact on the audience than has ever been realized.
The Commoditization of Technology. Technology – the screens, wires, and devices – is getting cheaper every day. HD screens are much cheaper and much better quality than the models available only a few years ago, and now you can hold high definition video in your hands. Wireless technology eliminates the need for buying more physical infrastructure and may even be less expensive than wired solutions. The reduction in prices in physical requirements, like hardware, have allowed companies to move that budget from capital expenses to merely supplies. Hey, if the computer breaks, just go get another one; we have the money for that in the budget. They’re probably cheaper than the chair you’re sitting in right now. Integrators and resellers have razor-thin margins to stay competitive and win your business. This gives you leverage to find the best logistic and financial arrangement for your needs.
People Are Connected. You Should Be Connected Too. Everywhere you go, people have a screen in their hands – their mobile device. You can now find screens everywhere in public spaces. The connectivity between the venue, the screen, and the audience is no longer a challenge. Social media platforms have enabled integration to the point of expectation among users and viewers.
Sales Lift. Whether the DMN sells products within the environment, or promotes products through paid advertising, sales lift is a key performance indicator of a successful network.
A static sign has much less impact because it cannot adapt to the influences of a store or shopper. Factors such as time of day, day of week, promoted item, season, campaign, content, location of screen, audio, life cycle of product, age of message, location of product in store, and customer mindset can influence a digital sign.
Perception of Product Quality. Research shows that the perception of the quality of a product increases simply by showing it on a digital screen compared to static signage. If your goal is to increase value, digital signage can carry that benefit for your venue.
Branding/Recall. Digital signage can improve product and brand recall. In a 2007 Nielsen Study, Best Buy realized a 94% increase in recall for video game brands advertised on the home theater program.
Environmental Experience. When creating content for the aesthetic experience, digital signage can transform an environment. Think about a dance club from any era. If you’re not into dancing, think about Saturday Night Fever. The lighted dance floors, mirror balls, and various other electronic and lighting features all enhance the venue and experience. Good digital media acts the same way. Visually compelling content and turn a drab environment into a vibrant space.
Reduction in Perceived Wait Times. An intangible but important benefit to digital signage is in reducing perceived wait times. In places like customers service, waiting rooms, and transit terminals, where waiting is a fact of life, digital signage can reduce the amount of perceived waiting time because it draws attention from the clock to the screen. In his book Why We Buy, Paco Underhill states that, “In study after study, we’ve seen that the single most important factor in determining a shopper’s opinion of the service he or she receives is waiting time.” He goes on to note that customers tend to have an accurate perception of time up to about 90 seconds, but after that the perception is exaggerated. Digital signage in strategic locations can reduce the perceived waiting time, and ultimately help a customer maintain a positive impression of the experience.
Reduced Signage Costs. Once a screen is installed, the human labor needed to hang up and take down static signs is eliminated. Couple this with the fact that a digital screen can deploy several messages instead of just one, the value of the digital screen and potential revenue quickly offsets the old costs of hanging static signage. Another benefit to signage costs is compliance. Digital signage technology now allows network administrators to know whether or not the screen was on and the message played. Prior to screens, assurance of signs being posted was left to the managers responsible for such action.
Communication Capability. In a culture where communication is instantaneous, digital signage affords networks the chance to convey messaging in both on-demand and instant situations. A CEO can communicate with employees through digital signage, or if the weather turns foul, emergency alerts can deploy to screens within affected areas.
Every vertical will have a different objective when the strategy is planned. Whatever the objectives, they are essentially the foundation of the content that you put on the screen.
If you own a business or have a business as a client, it’s no longer a matter of if, but when. Nothing takes the place of a good strategy to get started, but before investing in when to do it, you can align your objectives with your business model by simply figuring out why it’s a good thing.