Digital Signage Solution
In a nutshell the digital signage solution is the use of computer software and hardware to deliver “advertising content” to consumers. Traditionally, the job of advertisers centered on the use of TV and radio ads. If digital signage is comparable to a “smart bomb” that can be guided to hit a very specific target then TV and radio ads can be compared to “carpet bombing” where advertisers try to hit targets at random hoping that some of the viewers and listeners of the program will be able to connect with the message. But it will not require a rocket scientist to know that this is not the best way to do advertising.
The problem with the old method is cost-efficiency. Companies can spend a lot of money for TV ads, without realizing that consumers can easily change channels or go to the bathroom during commercial breaks. A digital signage solution will eliminate this wastage because “advertising content” can be delivered where consumers are sure to focus on the message. In malls, hotel lobbies, public toilets, subways and other strategic locations digital signages can be installed where consumers can be attracted to focus on LCD screens and video monitors for a few seconds or more. Whereas TV ads are inefficient due to the many potential distractions that can compete with the attention of the consumer, in strategically located places, consumers can be captive audiences.
For instance in bus stops where there is nothing else to do but wait, a digital signage can provide not only information but also entertainment which makes it more appealing to the target audience. The use of computer technology can enhance the audio-visual experience by creating interactive digital signages that can be custom-created to fit the demographics of a certain area. This will ensure that firms can connect with their customers informing them and persuading them to try their products.
Digital Signage System
A digital signage system can be as simple as a computer device hooked into a monitor or an LCD screen that in turn will generate images e.g. still pictures, digital posters, or 30 seconds worth of infomercial that can be programmed to run in a loop. Thus, images and videos can run 24 hours a day continuously and as long as people are waiting in a particular bus stop or waiting in line for something, the digital signage system will continue to reach potential customers. But in a fast-paced world of advertising this simple configuration is no longer enough to strengthen a company’s competitive edge.
There is a need for a more sophisticated system. According to one vendor, they can provide, “…scalable, centralized management and publishing of high-quality content to networked on-premise digital signage displays” (Cisco, par. 1). This means that a marketing manager or an advertising firm can monitor all the signage displays in a city from one computer. But more importantly the centralized system will enable the user to change advertising content in the blink of an eye. There is no need to remove old posters and change with the new print ad. But the best thing about it is that advertisers can do this without having to leave the office.
The configuration offered by Cisco is an example of a revolutionary advertising strategy. It is the ability to maximize available technology such as the use of modern audio-visual equipment integrated into computer networking. One only needs to understand the efficiency provided by a network of computers to appreciate how communication and the flow of information can be easily facilitated with the use of this type of system. Aside from the speed at which advertising content can be updated, advertisers can afford to be highly specific in delivering advertising content to a specific area.
Interactive Digital Signage
The new digital signage system is not slow changing but interactive able to adapt quickly to changing conditions. One of the few companies that use cutting edge technology to deliver interactive digital signage systems is Odysii. This firm uses sophisticated computer software that was aptly described as having marketing intelligence. It is the goal of many to have an interactive system that can identify customer needs and communicate effectively with the target market. Although this type of artificial intelligence can only be found in science-fiction movies, Odysii comes very close in providing this type of service.
Ultimately there will be a digital signage system where a computer screen with a camera can identify the approximate age, gender, body type, and weight of someone standing in front of the said device. Based on this information the digital signage can present an ad to this particular individual that is tailor-made to increase interest on a product or service. There is nothing yet available in the market but Odysii is selling the second best thing which is a system that uses available information such as demographics of a particular area and the kind of products and services available in the store, hotel, shopping mall etc.
A truly interactive system is well aware of changes in the environment. This includes the not only the profile of the customer currently standing next to a digital signage system but also the time of day, the changing seasons, holidays etc. This means that the computer hardware and software should work in tandem to produce some sort of a device having artificial intelligence and behave like a salesperson able to direct the attention of the customer to a product that he or she would likely buy. The system can also help persuade the customer to take a look at a fast-selling product or an item that sells poorly. Depending on the objectives of the firm an interactive digital signage system will surely outrun the competition.
Digital Signage Software
A sophisticated interactive digital signage system, where a device can interact with a customer, like a salesperson can engage a customer in a conversation, is not yet a reality. But Odysii is claiming that they have something close. Their digital signage software promises to deliver the following:
- dynamically communicate with on-site customers in a way that produces meaningful impact;
- capture marketing strategies and deliver targeted messages – based the unique conditions at individual locations; and
- manipulate marketing content to respond automatically and in real time to who is in the store or branch, inventory levels, bookings etc. (Odysii, par. 1).
Odysii designed a digital signage software that can integrate inventory information, bookings, marketing rules, actual conditions in the store or branch and then create “advertising content” that can immediately be displayed on the digital signage’s LCD screen or video monitor. So if a particular product is no longer in stock the digital signage system will no longer display that product. If there are products that are perishables or nearing the expiration date, these can be sold at a lower price. These items can also appear more frequently in the digital signage system that Odysii installed in a supermarket or shopping mall.
Odysii offers one of the best software that can power a company’s digital signage system. The software that they developed is hard to beat as it can generate marketing intelligence using business information and customer demographics. In using Odysii’s digital signage system the company can be assured that their marketing campaign is delivered to their intended audience. But more importantly the interactive nature of the digital signage system will help the firm to generate more business because they now can inform potential customers with regards to the availability of products and services suited to their needs.
Retail Digital Signage
Odysii can support its claim of having something better than the other digital signage systems available in the market. And a list of satisfied customers can attest to the viability of the Odysii’s product. Sheraton Hotels is one business partner that can testify to the positive impact that Odysii digital signage system can bring to a firm’s marketing plan. In the past Sheraton Hotels did not possess the capability to quickly inform its guests with regards to room vacancies and new products that they are promoting. More often than not by the time the hotel is ready to present its newest offerings the customer is no longer available to listen to the sales pitch and in most cases no longer interested. There has to be a better way to immediately connect with the right audience.
The installation of Odysii’s digital signage systems in the check-in area, hotel lobby, the elevators, and spas enable Sheraton Hotels to display promotional offers in real time. For instance if there are booking gaps and if there are vacant rooms or newly opened restaurants inside the hotel, the customers are immediately informed about the availability of a particular product or service. There is efficient use of time and resources. But most of all there is now a way to generate more business at a quicker pace. Wastage can be eliminated as slow moving products can be made more attractive to customers.
Another satisfied customer is Blockbuster Video. Odysii created a system using not only the store’s inventory and business systems but also data pertaining to local conditions and demographics. Odysii was able to point out that purchasing behavior can be affected by school holidays, different times of the day, the screening of a popular movie in the theaters, weather conditions and other criteria (Odysii, par. 3). This will ensure that Blockbuster Video will always have an efficient means of communication with its customers and that customers will be sufficiently informed with regards to the availability of a particular video that he or she would like to rent during a particular time of the year.
Cisco. “Digital Signage: Compelling Communications.” 2009. Web.
Odysii. “Transform the Way You Connect With Customers.” 2009. Web.