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Effective Way-finding Digital Signage.
When is a picture worth a thousand words? When it’s an effective way-finding digital signage screen.
Identifying colors and shapes has long been a way of learning and symbols have a universal understanding for safety and emergency procedures; utilising this approach means everyone is included. But it is surprising to look at the statistics and find very few public places actually have any kind of way-finding – electronic or static poster.
In the first instance, planning an electronic way-finding navigation route can overcome physic and logistical problems for visitors. Getting from A to B isn’t always a direct route. Many people use a cognitive or photographic memory recollection to process the information, this is where colors and shapes come in. Being aware of our environment helps us to prepare the route efficiently. One step beyond traditional style of poster way-finding is to use a digital signage screen; a further step is to install a touch-screen digital sign.
How to plan the way-finding digital signage board:
- A floor plan or map, featuring key points and easily recognised features, is a good starting point
- Add outside spaces and external doorways
- Emergency exits and evacuation points
- Toilets and rest rooms, restaurants and ATM’s are aways useful
- Color code areas or zones
- Consider using the virtual way-finding mirrored onto the actual floor – follow the colored lines
- Don’t assume a speed in which people will travel; it is variable according to ability and other factors.
- Consider repeat and regular routes – and short cuts
Being aware of your location and how it relates to where you are currently has a significant outcome for the end result. Getting ‘lost’ in a maze of corridors and T junctions, with closed doors is not only frustrating, but also frightening. And if you are a member of staff, don’t just assume every one (new staff and visitors) knows where they are going. The ability to program the software to run the interactive way-finding digital signage, is unique but elementary to install (for an in-house computer department or external company).
Make a note of how many other buildings and public places use way-finding digital signage screens….Leisure facilities, medical centres, educational campuses and shopping malls…to name but a few.
Being able to give up to date information makes the wayfinding very useful: there may be building work in a particular area, or a hospital ward is closed, so this can be highlighted in ‘real time’. No waiting for a printed alteration, post-it notes over the affected area, or marker pen scribble! Keeping it simple is the key – too much information is hard to retain and process. Also have additional electronic boards in key areas, like additional waiting rooms, foyers and main departments. It can also be a platform for broadcasting local and national news, the weather report and advertisements, which can bring in additional revenue.
A good way-finding screen gives the establishment a positive opinion and if your business relies on positive feed-back then this is for you; at the end of the route people can interact with the screen, leaving a glowing review. Reducing stress, like at an airport, or dentist is essential for reassuring clients and patients into a sense of security and calm, able to face the next stage of their journey.
Using effective way-finding digital signage can pay off.
Green Digital Signage – is there such a thing?
Harnessing the sun’s power can have many benefits for digital signage;
- It is a cost effective way of powering the screen
- Suitable for inaccessible locations where power supply may be difficult to access.
- Tax benefits for installing innovative technology
- Reliable battery life for electrical appliances
Eco friendly digital signage.
Avoidable electricity bills are possible with solar energy cells, where the converted power is used directly to feed the digital poster. Solar cells come in a variety of applications; individual cells – dedicated to just the single screen or as part of network of other electrically powered appliances. It would be an ideal opportunity to network several digital kiosks or screens together. The technology is out there now, just waiting to be harnessed.
Investment in this cutting edge solar technology is for front of innovation and a subject close to many of us who care about the environment, yet need electricity on a daily basis. A little ‘give and take’ will make for a happier environment. One way solar cell energy is captured is by converting ultraviolet and near infra-red light into a usable power supply. The film which both covers the digital signage screen and captures the light rays is transparent, so it does not interfere with a view of the image displayed on the screen.
Even though batteries and display screens are improving and evolving, technology is available for even mobile devices – not just fixed devices, like floor standing kiosks. This energy-producing crystal clear finish for screens, has been developed by scientists and engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is pilot technology at present, but it won’t be long before we see it in common place.
There are many unusual locations where digital signage, electronic posters and tiled video screens could be utilized, but overcoming installation issues is a big factor to the planning. Many screens can be accessed remotely, so there isn’t an issue of getting an engineer to site to upload content and it means break downs are kept to a minimum, and so with providing power via solar energy, one unnecessary problem is solved. Water and electrics don’t mix – actually it can be a potential death hazard, so the alternative; particularly when the digital signage is in a wet location, ie. near a waterfall in a shopping mall, the safer option is solar power. It also means the screen can be ‘selling’ at any hour of the day or night, especially if it is in an area open 24/7. Think of the electricity bill savings!
This is the way forward; it is cost effective, kind to the environment, simple to use, comes complete with the electronic digital screen and has no working parts (eg. buttons), as it is a sealed unit, reducing damage and interruption. 200 watt solar powered, patented technology, provides a totally wireless solution that can be set up just about anywhere.
Solar powered cells suit many DOOH digital screen applications, for example bus shelters, tourist buses whilst on the move, city centre screens and road side electric billboards and even if the sun isn’t out all of the daylight hours, enough power is generated to trickle power the screens. Even the moonlight can add power to the energy saving cells, via photovoltaic solar cells. The sun or lunar power is harnessed in battery packs to be released as and when needed.
Hope this article that briefly touched on eco friendly digital signage was usefull.
Anti ligature Non-Loop TV Enclosures
Many hospitals are deploying anti ligature non-looping TV enclosures to project the hardware installed and at the same time provide protection for the staff members and patients.
Why use anti ligature Non-Loop TV Enclosures?
These protective housings are designed to prevent unauthorized access to the television, so these are ideal for use in behavioural as well as psychiatric units. If someone accesses the hardware, they can use the mounting bracket at the rear of the TV to loop material around and hurt themselves and in some instances have caused death.
In North America recently a head nurse was attacked with a broken TV screen and had her neck slashed, resulting in the staff member having extensive time off work, being unable to return to work the nurse had to make a claim against the medical center which cost them in excess of $500K.
Using anti ligature non-loop TV Enclosures prevent access and stop these challenges occurring, enabling the patients to recover in a safe and secure environment, yet the nursing staff are also working in a safe environment.
What makes anti ligature Non-Loop TV Enclosures?
The idea behind anti ligature non-loop TV enclosures is that material cannot be looped around to form a ligature in which a patient can harm themselves. The only design approved with the US Federal Mental Health Department is one from ProEnc, the simple reason is their product has undergone extensive testing with mental health department and passed on all points.
Yet the competition think that by putting slopping tops onto the enclosures transforms them into anti ligature non-loop TV Enclosures – how wrong they are! These are as dangerous as using a square unit, they provide no protection.
One such competitor offers a plastic solution, that is so badly manufactured it takes around 45 minutes for a skilled engineer to put it together and then the plastic side panels and front are all scratch (in transit). Any slight impact and the housing falls apart, take a look at the video below.
The best anti ligature non-loop TV enclosures from out tests.
We found that the ProEnc anti ligature non loop TV enclosures were the most robust, well made, solid unit. With high security locks and a sophisticated cooling system that others seem to lack. They have a syphon system should anyone pour fluid into the housing through the air flow system without affecting the electronics inside.
Anti ligature Non-Loop TV Enclosures can save lives, are you prepared to put a price on someone’s life?
Digital signage hire – interested?
When it comes to investing in advertising hardware, which is a more cost effective option for digital signage; hire or buy?
- Let’s look at some scenarios, options for both digital signage hire and buying digital signage.
- How permanent/temporary is the display going to be?
- How accessible is the location?
- Is it for a dedicated campaign or a shared advertising billboard?
- How much would a system cost and will there be a RoI?
- Is there any tax relief with regard to buying or hiring digital signage?
Why digital signage hire is increasing.
Hiring digital signage suits many applications like music venues, pop-up locations; shops and restaurants where a permanent screen is just not an option. Hiring the hardware is just simply ‘plug & play’. As long as there is an electrical socket, then the media screen will have power. The content can be loaded via a USB or connected to a media player – depending on the model. The size of the screen does not necessarily affect the decision to buy or hire as many digital signage hire businesses provide all the necessary lifting and fitting by specialist engineers (for an extra cost which should be factored in for both digital signage hire or outright purchase). Is the advertising campaign to be broadcast indoors or outdoors? Both can be catered for in hiring as well as buying.
If the screen is to be used by a number of advertisers, i.e. at a shopping mall, then it would be more economical and cost effective to buy the digital signage, rent out time segments to other advertisers and have a supplementary income.
One plus point to consider with regard to hiring, specifically, is the hardware is likely to be replaced, as per the contract, to upgrade to a newer model, more regularly than purchasing outright. Whilst a year’s guarantee against a defective screen; parts and labour is the norm, additional insurance should be seriously considered against vandalism and accidental damage – some accidents are unforeseen, like a heavy object falling onto it. Insurance is a must for either option, but the likelihood of a replacement screen is quicker through a rental agreement. Bearing in mind the option of digital signage outright purchase, there is the possibility of tax relief for investing in new technology, which may not be the option with hiring the kit – check with an accountant for up to date regulations. On the plus side of hiring digital signage means there is no commitment other than the nominal length of time of the contract arrangement yet on the other side, the success following the hiring, may lead to buying digital signage, as longer term projects tend to have more effect.
Hope this article was of interest and given you some insight into why to use digital signage hire rather than buying.
Outdoor projector enclosure and why use them.
One of the main reasons people use an outdoor projector enclosure, aka an outdoor projector protection housing unit, is to extend the life of a display projector, when situated outside. Taking into account a number of factors which affect the life span of a regular projector (i.e. not an expensive rugged model), will ensure the very best for using it for entertainment or DOOH – digital out of home advertising. These projectors can cost a significant amount of investment, so why not protect it from the elements and damage?
Many factors to impede on the deployment of a projector range from:
- The weather – no matter which US state, or indeed where in the world the projector is, it needs protecting.
- Damage – accidental or through vandalism.
- Foreign bodies – insects and dust particles invade any aperture, consequently rendering the screen useless.
- Heat and direct sunlight can affect the viewing screens’ performance.
Not just extremes of weather can affect the workings of a digital screens – for example the lowest temperatures of Alaska to the highest temperatures of Arizona, but every temperature in between can cause havoc. Components expand causing parts to melt or misaligned – therefore a loss in connectivity, but a thermostatically controlled cooler and/or heater will control the fluctuating temperatures and keep the unit in an ambient atmosphere. By fitting a weatherproof projector housing will also ensure the hardware is properly protected whilst in a wet state like Washington, which is reputed to be one of the wettest states, yet prime for outdoor advertising!
Is an outdoor projector enclosure the best option?
Outdoor projector protection is crucial for any successful advertising campaign; outside venue, i.e. music or sports, retail mall; advertising promotions on the outsides of building and even casino or theater publicity. Where we were once used to seeing static poster billboards, electronic signs came along, but technology has progressed even further to state of the art projector usage. This reduces the need for a visual display screen, which lessens the risk of damage, as only one piece of hardware is required – projector and media player encased securely in an outdoor projector protection case.
An outdoor projector enclosure is specially designed to withstand a significant degree of damage and vandalism, which will always be an issue. From the fully welded construction of the metal casing, to the selected viewing window; one chosen to suit its environment, like a sun-bright area. There is a perfect balance of ventilation/cooling/heating, again as the location requires and it if fully secured against breaking into, due to the exceptional security locks. Vandals or thieves are discouraged from breaking into the unit in order to steal the hardware, as the window is smash-proof and the locks are high security specialist locks.
So weighing this article up, in conclusion it is both sensible and practical to use an outdoor projector enclosure to secure against the weather, damage, liquid and dust ingress, whilst providing a valuable tool for DOOH advertising.
Using digital retail shelf signage.
It is possible to have a ‘conversation’ with a digital retail shelf signage – albeit a one way conversation! Digital screens are adaptable, which gives many options for suitability. From size and orientation; these electronic screens fit a variety of environments.
Small store owners don’t have the room (floor or wall space) to install a large LCD or LED screen, however a small 10” screen is ideal for eye-level communication; direct with the customer. Either a single advertising campaign for one product – looped, is broadcast or a series of product or brand advertisements featured at scheduled times. This is also known as point-of-purchase (POP) or point-of-sale (POS). Every product and every store has a ‘story’ to tell and getting the message – in this case the advertisement – across to the consumer is the biggest part. Enhancing the customers shopping experience will encourage them to return and make further purchases. The positioning of the screen will provoke the consumers thoughts and the message will trigger their action. The content plays a very important part too – a dynamic and engaging commercial will attract attention and ultimately create additional revenue.
Prominent ways to display digital retail shelf signage.
- A long slim screen can produce a panoramic video – different than the standard rectangular screen
- A series of small screens, scrolling from left to right, between product shelves is very eye catching
- Either stills or animated images are suitable
- Text and graphics are easily noticed and read at eye level
- The immediate surrounding area of the screen is a perfect opportunity for brand promotion with printed boarders featuring logos
Giving the customer control and empowerment of their own decision making is key to how and what they buy; and how many. The benefit of shelf-level digital signage media is not only convenient, but an alternative method of advertising and communicating with customers. A shelf video strip advertising screen, cuts down on unnecessary signage which just confuses the customer and focuses them on a particular product. The quality of the screen is still very high, despite the small size. They certainly feature what you would expect from a media screen, like; full color, high definition and can include QR codes and special promotional vouchers, sent to your smart phone to redeem in store. Long gone are the printed ticker-tape style of marketing, to be replaced with electronic digital slim line screens. As internet or on-line shopping continues to rise, the store owner will have to move with the times, in order to keep up with trends, including electronic directions, to be able to compete.
Where space is an issue, smaller digital signs fit perfectly into a niche area, giving a product or brand its own dedicated space for advertising.
Understanding how digital retail shelf signage works is essential to get the most out of it.
What type of digital signage viewers are you seeking.
Did you know there are basically just three types of digital signage viewer? The ‘Passer-By’, The ‘Lounger’ and The ‘Waiter’.
Depending on your product, service or trade and the location of the digital sign will significantly appeal to a certain demographic of the population. Here, we will look at three specific types of viewer and how to appeal to them through your advertisement. Take any busy railway station in the world; where millions of pairs of eyes are scanning the area for information. The lay-out is the key to a successful ad campaign to engage the audiences within the captive area.
The Passer-By digital signage viewer.
The average viewing time for a passenger on the move is between 1-30 seconds, so very brief
The best locations would be near an entrance; wall mounted or ceiling hung, along corridors and the entry and exit of the train doors.
Plain and uncomplicated layouts with basic information like the date/time stamp and simple graphics which a persons memory can just take a ‘snap-shot’ of. Do not include video, ticker info or non-essential data, like the weather report. Keep it short!T
The Waiter signage viewer.
Typically, this person will have a brief wait (for their train) of around 30 seconds to 3 minutes – ample time to read a dynamic digital sign.
Additional options for suitable locations; short queue lines at counters and QSR
- Short videos and infographics, brief messages, slogans and logo recognition; anything easily recognizable and which will leave an ‘imprint’ on the brain.
- Slightly more creative visual arrangement of screens; blocks of 2 screens with date and time stamp and/or weather report. Ticker advertising may also be appropriate
A longer viewing time of up to 30 minutes.
Ideal display screens in reception areas, restaurants, social areas, especially where there is seating
No restriction on lay-out or how to display/how many screens to display – a greater complexity of the arrangement.
Additional content of live TV for longer waiting time areas.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, but a little thought and planning will deliver an excellent advertising campaign.
Knowing this what viewer do you attract to your digital signage?
Understanding Digital Advertising Is Essential For Business development.
With so much electronic media around us, is it any wonder why digital advertising is so successful. At every ATM, there is a little screen promoting a food product, retail stores displaying branded clothes and special offers and even the top of a taxi; with a commercial for the latest blockbuster on stage! Where will it end, or will it ever end? The possibilities for digital signage are infinite as it is a universally accepted media platform.
An Evolving Media.
The growth of digital advertising over the last decade, has beaten predicted figures and is certainly an investment to seriously consider. The explosive growth of the industry has developed new ways of engaging customers. Data research and biometrics are in-depth and complicated, as there is so much information gathered and which is relevant. But for a specific product or brand to reach its intended target audience, conclusions must be drawn up from the information collected. Facial and gesture recognition, input data via a keypad or touch screen, as well as sales information all add up to a successful commercial campaign.
Ingenious and Integral Digital Advertising.
As part of the interior of the store, architects and designers are integrating digital signage screens into the theme of the shop floor and even if the foot print is tight, there are ingenious ways to deploy the monitors without losing costly square footage. Not only are they key promotional features, but can also act as infomercials, with everything from way-finding to dynamic messaging, through to clear and accurate emergency exit routes. Also external information, like the weather, traffic congestion or car parking restrictions. Not only is an electronic LCD/LED screen used, but a projector can be a financial alternative, as it is more maneuverable than a fixed screen as long as there is a clear wall space on which to display the image, although it is not necessarily a wall, but any smooth surface; a floor or ceiling is just as good – depending on your audience.
Younger people shopping for trendy clothes would appreciate ‘alternative’ forms of advertising, however older people go for more traditional forms, like portrait digital posters. The aesthetics of a store are equally appealing as the merchandise and how it is laid out. Whilst digital advert screens need to be noticed, they should be subtle, so as not to draw attention away from the commodity. It won’t be long before every store has at least one digital signage screen to promote offers and specials, as well as branding recognition.
Getting the balance right between three key points:
- The Customer
- Brand Marketing
- The Retailer
It’s a fine balance, but using the right electronic equipment is crucial, to ensure that any digital advertising campaign is a success.
Living with outdoor digital signage.
Transit locations are essential in any country; this is why outdoor digital signage is being deployed in most high footfall locations in the USA.
Trends in outdoor digital signage.
Recently we have seen on vehicle digital signage, this is not a new technology, there are some companies who do supply them, one in particular (LCD Enclosure Solutions Inc ) who has been manufacturing and supplying these units across the USA for the past 12 months!
The benefits of vehicle signage is that the vehicles have access to the city at peak times of the day, to the audience is massive and the ads are more successful, than say in a less busy environment than say, Manhattan New York. We have seen taxi topper signs on cabs, we have seen LED video walls on buses and coaches.
Have you ever been in a transit hub and needed to check train connections? Now you can using these floor standing kiosks, they even notify you of any cancellations or deviations from the original travel information.
Then on to hotel digital signage is yet another trending sector for outdoor digital signage, here you may find outdoor digital signage hardware in car parks, so guests can check in right from the car park and go hen take their luggage to their room! Some solutions are also equipped with wayfinding, so guests can be directed to their room or even by scanning a QR code displayed on screen, guests can download a map of the hotel, so they know exactly where the restaurant and bars are!
Casinos are also investing in outdoor digital signage hardware, as this gets clients in the habit of touching the screen, without thinking. Then when they go into the casino, it is embedded on their brain to touch the interactive gaming machines within the casino. You may not agree with this practice, but you have to admire the technology.
Challenges with outdoor digital advertising.
There are many challenges with installing any outdoor digital signage solution, the first and most important is the screen has to be seen, if for whatever reason it is not, the project is dead, clients will reluctantly advertise. The only solution is to use a screen that is sunlight bright, or high bright. This means that the display is extremely bright, even in direct sunlight, normally if a display is outdoors and in direct sunlight and not a high bright screen the display starts to blacken with the harmful effects of the sun on the LCD crystals. There are several bands including Dynascan and LG who offer high bright displays for outdoor digital signage.
The next challenge, is the location and has to be researched, otherwise the hardware may be installed in a quiet area of the outdoor location, rather than a high foot fall environment. These are usually entrances to the establishment or main walkway to entrances.
You also have to think how the ads are to be updated, advertising campaigns are usually seasonal and may even be for a specific brand’s product launch.
Benefits of outdoor advertising.
Outdoor advertising using digital media informs customers of changes within the transit hub, this may be a change in connection locations, changes to the route or even worst cancellations. In the case of cancellations you can use the outdoor kiosks to search for local hotels that have availability if your connection is delayed to the following morning.
From transit hubs, hotels and casinos outdoor digital signage is growing.
Effective uses of digital wayfinding.
It’s a stressful experience for most people when faced with a medical appointment, but studies have shown digital wayfinding eases patient anxiety, by providing an accurate, simple to use route map of the building, exits, car parks and waiting rooms. With the added facility of a touch screen, a visitor can select a particular route, using color coded arrows and symbols.
Internal and External Digital Wayfinding.
From entering the campus, which itself can be a huge area, to finding a parking lot near the medical office is a challenge. So you’re stressed out before you even enter the building! Then there are more directional challenges ahead. Maybe the patient or visitor has already been within the building, but now seek a different department, or some of us just plain forget. There have always been paper maps, posters and billboards, ceiling hung signs and door signs to navigate by, but how many times have you ended up completing a full circle? Hospital staff are not traffic cops or ‘search an rescue’ personnel, they are trained medical staff who need to concentrate on their professional jobs. People become irrational, confused and disoriented, having lost their way and resources are wasted due to patients not turning up for an appointment, as they are ‘somewhere else’ in the building. It’s not a good way to start to day.
Investment of digital directions.
But technology now offers the facility to ease visitors experiences of such buildings. A touch screen way-finding digital signage board offers just that. The initial investment may seem a significant amount, but when supplemented with advertisements from local businesses, medical products or services of healthcare professionals, it is financially viable to off-set the revenue generated against the asset. Also, tax implications are favorable towards investing in electronic technology – depending on the country and state.
Successful Media Messaging.
Patients are expecting to see electronic technology in a medical facility, and would question the fact of ‘why not?’. This questions the facilities of other resources of the business. Hospitals are deploying digital signage to improve on-site navigation, but also to supply relevant information and local news, like a weather report, traffic congestion or emergency evacuation procedure. The content can be managed locally or remotely, depending on the control station. Updated content, in real-time and editing, amending, replacing or updated information; like appointment times. This has so much more flexibility than traditional information boards and is an easy system for patients to comprehend.
Virtual Information Desk.
Human nature determines the habits of personnel, it is not always possible to man a reception desk, with the best intentions, however a digital sign does not have a 10 minute break every couple of hours. There are no queues for a receptionist and personal information, remains personal – who needs to know which department a patient is headed too. There are many challenges facing the visitor, whether it is a hospital, office complex or educational facility, digital wayfinding is an innovative and dynamic form of easing the anxiety of an avoidable situation.
Remember directional signs are around us every place, especially in hotels and shopping malls, so check out the digital wayfinding solutions.
Is house of worship digital signage effective?
Ministers and parishioners a like question if house of worship digital signage is effective, once they try it; they question how their place of worship grew without them in the past.
Some people like change – some hate change, this is life and a place of worship is no different. I personally have over 15 years’ experience part of our local Church and found that the elder members of the congregation did like to embrace technology, one guy, I will call John helped me set my iPhone up!
Yes a place of worship is a sacred place, so installing anything that is not usual has to be given careful consideration. Because at the end of the day; you do not want to upset the congregation.
Benefits of house of worship digital signage.
These range from updating the calendar of events, for the following weeks and months. This can be done in seconds, compared to having to set the printer up and then clean the toner – what a horrible job! To update the information on the displays, you just need is to store the new update on a thumb drive and insert it into the port of the media player.
Celebrating life – when someone is taken from the community and we have permission from the family, their details can be shown on the sign, so we remember them in our prayers.
Births – the same can be said for births and christenings or naming days, they can all be displayed for the community that frequent the place of worship to see.
Raising fund target updates – need to see if the house of worship has achieved it target for charitable giving?
One major misunderstanding is that people have seen similar electronic signs in shopping malls that display adverts, in a house of worship information is displayed, period.
For house of worship digital signage, there are many hardware solutions that can be either wall mounted or floor standing, depending on the locations demands. The most affordable solutions range in size up to 46 inch screens.
Fundraising, a subject not to be discussed.
One solution we came up with was a monthly printed magazine that was distributed to the community and the congregation. But local businesses want to advertise; we had an unexpected repair for the heating system, so I approached the local businesses and offered them some ad space on out electronic notice board that was at the front of the house of worship.
We approached the 40 advertisers who all took up the offer at $100 per month, in a matter of 2 months; we had additional businesses wanting to promote their services to the congregation, from florists to taxis. Now the church makes a monthly profit just from the business adverts of $6780. The ads are only displayed after the churches information is delivered electronically on the displays, all triggered by a sensor.
Religious places of worship can benefit from electronic signs, this is why house of worship digital signage is growing well.
Using digital signage hardware for profit.
Planning an advertising campaign will have a positive marketing success with digital signage. Information is fed to us constantly on multiple electronic devices 24/7, but reaching your target audience is crucial, as explained on CNN. Which display boards work best?
DOOH the digital signage solution.
We have come a long way from the traditional and prosperous form the paper poster on a static billboard, but it is no surprise how technology has evolved into DOOH – digital out of home advertising and entertainment. Large or small, a digital signage screen can offer a myriad of advertisements, supplementing the initial outlay of the hardware and software. Digital signage, in any format; touch-screen kiosks, for example, has accelerated in popularity over the last decade to such a degree that it is an acceptable part of our urban landscape. This kind of media is suitable for many aims like selling merchandise, a trade advert or for educational purposes.
Realistic images are brought to life on LCD screens or via projectors, enhancing the customers retail experience and influencing that all important buying decision. So where could it lead to… a virtual guided tour bringing ancient stories to life?
Whilst it is a progression of technology, it is still in its infancy as retailers and hosts are still shy of installing and making such a financial commitment in changing the ways of advertising. Employing people is an expensive commodity for business to support and takes into account sickness and holiday leave. So compared to a one-off cost of purchasing a digital screen and the software, there is very little to outlay; apart from new content, the hardware has a life span of 50,000 hours. Touch-screen kiosks and wall mounted digital signage screens fill the gap between giving a personal service to a customer, without human intervention.
Delivering the message to consumers raises a number of thoughts…
Installation, creative and dynamic content, size of screen, kiosk v screen v touch facility, audience measurement…
Digital Signage Screens.
What will help a business decide is to consider the location and restrictions. Digital signage is a ‘plug and play’ system by uploading the content in any media, like video with audio. The screen is usually displayed in a portrait manner, which is a good point; people do not understand that a commercial screen must be used, rather than a domestic screen which is not robust enough nor designed to run continuously for 24/7 and a domestic TV screen can not rotate to a portrait position, whereas a commercial grade TV screen can perform both tasks. The software allows editing, uploading and scheduling in real-time from a wireless network. This application works best where regular changes are needed on a frequent basis – transportation stations are a perfect example, where many advertisements can bombard passengers as they wait for a train. Digital signage is a low maintenance option and therefore has lower costs. However due to the nature of multiple advertising, a busy area would not be suitable lessening the effectiveness of advertising and a security enclosure needs to protect the screen from theft or damage.
Touch Screen Kiosks.
This kind of application is most suitable for shopping malls or tourist information points, where they act as a way-finding route planner supplemented with advertisements which bring in additional revenue. Interaction between the broadcast message and the consumer is the ultimate objective – customers feel empowered, engaged and authorized to make decisions, influenced by the content. The key to a successful touch screen application are the diverse operations. Seeing a kiosk standing in a retail mall is an enticing piece of urban furniture and encourages consumers to investigate. The remote management offers the ease of editing, amending and uploading. Additionally tracking software gives vital audience data for future campaigns, tailored towards specific demographics. Kiosks are a more robust option which cope well with the rigorous demands of high public traffic and are lockable to hide away all the expensive hardware, like the screen and prevents unwanted access causing damage. On the downside, a kiosk is more expensive that standard digital signage, however they will last longer and are more suitable.
All in all, using either option; an LCD screen or touch screen kiosk, will deliver marketing success with digital signage.
Behavioral units and TV protection.
Through human compassion, we expect a duty of care for the welfare of people held in a medical facility and patient protection in behavioral units, as they are particularly vulnerable.
The term ‘protection’ encompasses many aspects of care for a wide range of age groups, but focusing on behavioral institutions. Everything from chairs to taps, electrical fittings to television screens are potential hazards. A common form of patient self harm is by hanging – creating a loop from material and using an object like a piece of furniture to hang from. Wall mounted television screens have been partly to blame on several occasions, however a solution has been used to allow patients to have safe access to a television screen.
Behavioral units rooms.
An inmate’s room is functionally kitted out with practical non loop furniture which includes non loop door handles and non loop TV housing units; also known as anti-ligature enclosures. Standard door fixings can be unscrewed with make-shift tools and used as weapons or the screws can be swallowed to cause deliberate self injuries, so a design solution has replaced the dangers, likewise non loop furniture is contoured for comfort, yet practical for cleaning, with very few parts to cause injury to the patient or a member of staff.
Not only is a television a heavy and expensive electronic piece of furniture, but it can be a lethal weapon in the wrong hands. The screen can be broken and shards of glass used to slash arms and necks; to both the inmate or member of staff. The wiring has the potential of being used as a loop for hanging and the weight of the TV monitor is another issue. Besides the expense of a replacement and the disruption causing a situation, and then an engineer to reinstall the television, is it better to protect it in the first place? The protection of a non loop TV housing unit offers a metal surround, with sloping sides, which eliminates the possibility of hanging and has a toughened safety viewing window, which will not shatter. The sound and volume can be heard perfectly well through the vented sides. Additionally, a sound bar can be added to the unit, depending on the requirements and degree of non loop needs.
Patient protection for behavioral units.
Television is an acceptable part of everyday life, as it can be seen as informative, educational, social and entertainment. Is it a luxury or a necessity? Some institutions have communal television rooms, supervised by members of staff, whilst other places allow individuals to have a television set in their room; again, it depends on the degree of mental state of mind. Institutions and staff have a duty of care and responsibility for the welfare of its inmates, for their own safety, as well as others.
Many solutions are out there to protect patients in behavioral units.
LCD ad players for affordable digital signage.
Indoor digital signage is common place, the most affordable solution is an LCD ad player, these store the multimedia on a local drive and play it in a set order that the user selects.
There are some limitations, yet the advantages outweigh these. Many companies start using digital signage with this basic product, as it ticks most of the boxes a business owners has in terms of digital advertising and is a perfect way to start getting to grips with the new type of advertising.
Size of display for your indoor digital signage solution.
Ranging from 26” up to 75” LCD ad players are widely available, yet depending on who you purchase them from, the price varies enormously. In the dynamic advertising industry, the large the screen the better, but there is a price trade off. The most affordable and most common is either the 46” or 55”, these can be mounted on a wall in either a horizontal or upright position. All you do to change the orientation of the media is use the onscreen menu to change the orientation of the media!
Media storage on LCD ad players.
These standard units come with a built in media player that can take a memory card, the card stores the content and this where some people have a hang up. The memory card can be 64GB and store hours of advertising content, but the real truth is that this content would rarely be seen in its entirety. It is best to have 60 second ads that are looped every minute, so you can arrange a set of ads marketing 10 of your products that are shown multiple times every hour.
Drawback is that you cannot use Flash presentations on a USB media player without any conversion, in its raw state. Yes using compression converters, a Flash advert can be converted with little if any loss and then copied onto the LCD ad player. Separate network enabled media players will take Flash files in their native form without any compression, but these are more expensive and usually the next step up from the basic LCD ad player.
How green is digital signage?
These LCD ad players have the facility to set when the display will start and when the digital signage hardware will switch off. So if the offices hours are 9 till 5, you could set the scheduling software that is built in to start at 8:50 and end at 5:05. Saving valuable energy and reducing your corporate carbon footprint.
For an affordable solution, you are best shopping around for your digital signage hardware, including LCD ad players.
New concept – transparent digital signage case.
Electronic advertising is way beyond the average imagination; a transparent digital signage case – increasing your brand awareness, and the evolution has been so dramatic that even just a decade ago such features could not have been conceived. Creating a spectacular backdrop of a theatrical proportion is being introduced in places like shopping malls to encourage brand recognition which leads to increased revenue. This scenery offers multiple screens – anything up to 800 screens with over 200 channels to choose from, with the sole purpose of displaying a huge range of products and offers to influence buying decisions. One of the most clever and effective exhibits is a transparent box display, where overlaid digital content is projected from above. The product, perhaps a bottle of perfume, is securely within the transparent cabinet; but the logo, brand colours and text is projected onto the clear sides and top of the box.
Learn how a transparent digital signage case works.
Combining a tangible product with transparent digital signage is an innovative and unique form of advertising. This plug-and-play option was introduced because retail customers and suppliers wanted a technical, yet easy-to-use digital advertising display which gives the consumer both options of seeing the product in 3D, yet with technology of the script being in a digital format. This way brand awareness can be featured many times – far more than with the traditional form of static poster advertising. Other features included within the transparent showcase are a colorful array of LED lighting and an infra-red touch screen connected to a HD media player. As the display cabinet is a structure, one of the most important features can be clearly visible – the LOGO for brand recognition.
Another way of featuring the transparent digital signage case, is through a vending machine. As all the products are housed behind a transparent screen, this makes it a perfect platform for projecting images and text on to, or the clear screen is actually a see-through touch screen panel. This form of advertising is so effective, it is claimed that by 2015 it will be worth an estimated $900 million. Both store front window displays and showcase exhibits are suitable for transparent digital signage. There are 2 layers to transparent digital signage;
- the tangible product in the background
- digital signage overlaid onto the showcase cabinet
Whether it is a promotional message, creating brand awareness or a commercial, it is only a matter of a few years, where the face of the malls store fronts will change from mannequins with printed prices, to projected images of the products, in this example clothes, alongside the 3D mannequin is an overlaid advertising campaign of text. This form of the digital signage market may be in its infancy, but watch this space…
This relatively new technology is increasing in high end stores, who are prepared to invest in their inventory. But the cost is more affordable than you think. Next time you are an airport, see if you can spot a transparent digital signage case.
Out of home advertising – OOH
Digital Signage is a mind blowing concept, but let’s streamline the facts down to learning 5 tips for out of home advertising success.
- Short but sweet
- Keep it relevant
- Be imaginative
- Include your contact details
- Target audience
So, where to start; well you know what you want to advertise, but keep it short and to the point – several words is enough to get the message across with out the audience falling asleep, or worse, walking away! Consider how long people will have to catch your advert; maybe it is at a road junction, or on a side walk? Media companies can offer a variety of screen sizes, so deciding which suits your product or demographics will ensure a more productive financial result. Not every advertisement will suit or please everyone. And definitely – big is not always better!
What is OOH (Out Of Home advertising)
Keeping it relevant may be common sense, but look around at other outdoor digital signage screens. Do they include useless pictures – why does the real estate agent have her dog with her? It detracts from the main point, in this case selling houses. Also keep the colors applicable. OK so you like bright green, but does your ad campaign really need everything highlighted in bright green? Keep it professional looking, even if you are appealing to a young market – children and teens are smarter than we give them credit for.
It doesn’t have to be boring; do be imaginative and creative. At least be open to ideas if suggested by a professional media consultant. So much more can be created with the technology available for both the software and hardware. Do you want a touch screen, to be interactive with your potential customers? This is another digital advertising option. As ‘out of home digital signage’ covers all electronic screens (LED, LCD, plasma, flexible video walls, tiled video walls and kiosks) which run adverts outside of the house – in other words adverts other than on the household television. Digital signage boards are more sophisticated the that traditional poster billboards and can be conjured into magical art form which has an influential message.
Why do to all that trouble of time and expense and forget to include where the customer can buy your product or even where to find your website! It is one of the most common errors – no telephone number or other call to action. You don’t need to insult your customers intelligence by telling them to phone, but do give a clear number or email address, or be extra sophisticated and use a QR code, which when accessed via a smart phone, will connect the customer directly to your website – a step closer to making a sale…
Adverts running on a schedule is a cost effective way of ‘sharing’ advertising space. Rent a time slot, as the software running the content is set to operate during a particular time – are you aiming at children (after school time), people on their lunch break or grandparents – during the day at a shopping mall? The frequency of ads hold the key to a successful promotion campaign.
Wikipedia have an indepth article on out of home advertising, so check it out.
OOH – Out of Home Advertising.
Finding out how out of home advertising can significantly increase your businesses revenue; but how do you market products now using the latest technology?
Digital marketing encompasses many forms of electronic devices; from cell phones, through to huge LCD ceiling hung screens. Even ATM’s and games consoles are joining the evolution of electronic marketing.
At the moment there is a combination of traditional and digital marketing transmissions, but it’s only a matter of time before all we will see is an electronic screen.
Out of home advertising technology.
Digital marketing has been around since the early 1990’s, but with the evolution of technology, which continues to move at a rapid pace, the next two decades have become more sophisticated in their effectiveness of promoting products and brands to the consumer, which has developed in relevance and attitude. Statistically, 2012 and the following year have shown that digital marketing has remained as one of the top growth industries and shall continue to do so for many years yet.
Digital marketing is also a term relevant to on-line and internet based sales and promotions, however it is also a recognized for of media and out of home advertising. Many people are now familiar with the common term of digital marketing and we are now expecting to see it in our busy lives, on a daily basis.
Whilst digital marketing is a platform for promotions and brand awareness, there are other purposes electronic marketing has; pricing can be altered at the click of a button, distribution no longer is a logistical nightmare and the effectiveness of the simplicity of both the software and hardware appeal to many organizations. Once there is creative content, it is just a case of uploading it to the screen and pressing play! Research shows the statistics taken from digital marketing are beneficial to future ad campaigns; the demographics studied by facial recognition, hand gesturing or simply by data input by the consumer all add up to a cost effective and direct marketing campaign. Many strategies are based upon brand management, brand licensing and brand identity; customers are more likely to make a purchase for a well known soda, with it’s logo and coloring and slogan.
So where would you see this kind of digital advertising? Products are marketed onto digital screens in shopping malls, sporting arenas, food stores, fuel stations, galleries and virtually any area where there is heavy foot traffic, for hundreds upon thousands of pairs of eyes scan the screen, soaking up the information as they recognize a brand.
So, in your quest for understanding how out of home advertising works and how do you market products now, contact any of the lead solution providers, for professional advise and examples of how digital signage has benefited many businesses, who are forward thinking companies…
Advertising out of the home is here to stay, only the businesses using out of home advertising will succeed.
Businesses hiring digital signage?
With businesses needing to promote their brand and services, more are turning to hiring digital signage hardware, rather than buying them outright.
Every company has to advertise to generate interest in the products, services or brand. We have seen traditionally businesses advertise in local papers (and still do), but with the digital age, business owners are turning towards digital signage to promote their company.
Why hire digital signage equipment?
One question Digital Signage Systems Limited is asked, is; ‘Why would you hire the hardware?’ Just for a minute, think what would happen if you committed your company cash to a product that you found was not right. That money would be wasted…
Now imagine, you are not sure what digital signage hardware you want to hire, the choices are so wide, from free standing, wall mounted to even interactive. And they are all available in screen sizes from 32” to a whopping 65”.
Then you have to consider how the adverts will be refreshed with new ones, is this on a daily, weekly or monthly basis?
So let us look at a check list for hiring digital signage hardware.
• Screen size?
• Free standing or wall mounted?
• Interactive or non-touch screens?
• Manual or remote updates of content?
Now by hiring the digital advertising hardware, you can try the manual updates and at this early stage, change it to a networked solution with very little hassle or price increase. If you had bought the wrong size screen, you would have to live with it, until you could afford to do something about it.
Now your business advertising, no matter if you call it dynamic advertising or digital signage, can be tweaked until everything is perfect for your business. Without wasting a single penny on hardware decisions that you may come to regret.
Tax advantages of hiring digital signage hardware.
There are many advantages of hiring digital signage hardware; cost of ownership is one of the main ones. This is rather cost effective, as it is not a business asset it is on a hire agreement and can be on a short or long term hire.
Rather than paying tax on assets, you can claim the cost of hiring digital signage hardware against your profits, a win-win situation! But check this out with your accountant.
If you have these on a short hire for 12 months, you can update to the latest technology without having to buy more hardware and being left with the legacy hardware. Your clients would perceive your company as very forward thinking, especially as they are investing in new technology and may want to be associated with a forward thinking company.
But at the end of the day, we do not have to share the trade secret of hiring digital signage hardware.
Indoor digital signage hardware.
Digital signage has been rather successful indoors, enabling companies to portray their business as an environment of a modern office. Investing in their future, is this something you are doing?
Customers view of indoor digital signage.
No matter if it is a new client or an existing customer, when they visit your office premises, it has been reported that if you have some form of digital advertising hardware, they perceive your company as a forward thinking company that invests in technology and they in turn want to be associated with you.
Indoor electronic advertising hardware.
Anything with a screen and a media player can be classed as digital signage, yet the most successful solutions are the ones that have built in media players so content can be updated regularly, quickly and simply.
They can be wall mounted, in either upright or horizontal, depending on the content you wish to promote. You may want to promote additional services the company offices, such as accountants offer investment services, but do not promote it enough to make people aware of this service they offer.
Also free standing advertising hardware is used in locations when indoor digital signage is needed to establish a brand or improve brand awareness. The content is controlled either using a basic ad player, the next level of product includes a networked control player, and so the ads can be monitored and controlled, without limitations. So you can control ads in countries thousands of miles away.
Cost of indoor digital signage.
Costs vary from $500 to $1500, depending on the solution required and if the content is controlled remotely or locally. Business owners have seen a fast return on investment for their digital signage installation.
Interactive indoor digital signage is increasing fast.
Interactive digital signage is seeing a large increase in use, as this is one way a company can engage with consumers to find out what they want from the brand or company. Interactive digital signage comes complete with a built in computer that has internet connectivity, allowing remote control. Perfect for use in hotels, conference centers and business centers.
Screen sizes are range from 42” to 65” depending on budget and location.
Hotel indoor digital signage is used to promote the restaurant, bar and leisure facilities to guests. They can even use the interactive displays to ‘express checkout’, without queuing at reception. Saving the guest time and making the guest experience a pleasant one, at the same time freeing up employees time at the reception.
Indoor digital signage can be used to promote, educate and entertain guests and customers. Depending on the organizations budget a solution can be found effortlessly.
Are you looking to increase your brand awareness, indoor digital signage can help.
Why digital menu boards are key.
Would you hand the keys to your business to a trainee in your company that is the first to see and greet a customer? This is why digital menu boards are so important for a Quick Serve Restaurant.
Imagine the scenario, a customer enters your restaurant and is met with the front of house staff that has a bad attitude as well as experiencing a bad day, they bark, ‘would you like to go large?’ This is off putting and rather than upsell the customer, you are more than likely to put them off, so they never return again.
This is why it is essential for your restaurant to have digital menu boards, as Mr. Koury a restaurant owner and digital signage provide explains.
Mr. Koury has installed many digital menu boards in Wendy’s in the South West as well as owning a QSR in Texas, he explains that in a retail sales environment, customer service is key, provide a positive customer experience and they will come back, provide a negative customer experience and they never return, yet will tell all their friends of the bad experience they had.
Digital menu boards success over employees.
The retail food sector relied on suggestive up selling and selling as a whole, when you have an employee who is not interested in your brand or product, they are harming your brand! But digital signage hardware ensures that customer engagement is successful, giving the franchisee and franchisors the ability to influence the buying decision, by using digital menu boards.
It is essential to have the correct mix, the correct technology with the correct content. This is one of the main factors when a digital signage solution fails.
Take your restaurant to the next level.
Ernest explains that you need digital signage to take your restaurant to the next level. With consumers expecting technology every place, you have to provide it to ensure the consumers come through your door.
He is part of a family of franchisees, with his dad and brother also owning franchises in the same brand, Ernest added digital menu boards and found that his outlet increased in customers over his pops and brothers outlets and he also saw his profits increase too, larger than any other outlets the family owned.
His initial look at costs for 3 digital posters was in cess of $17,000, yet his pizza outlet only sold pizzas at 5 bucks! So he challenged his staff to come up with a solution for $6,000.
Ernest points out the following, to make a digital menu board success.
- Do not use a media player that has to have internet connection – if the connection is lost for any reason, you will not sell food! Go for something that is standalone.
- Is your brand and message clear on the electronic menu boards?
- Provider – ensure they understand your business, what you want to achieve and in what time scale.
- Incorporate video as well as images, this helps sell the product and increase brand awareness.
Electronic menu boards works!
When he opened up another outlet in Albuquerque, he discovered that the sale of chicken wings was extremely low. He had the management team create a video clip less than 10 seconds into the digital promotional board. This video clip looped every 120 seconds stating, ‘Chicken wings – don’t for them!’
In 14 days the restaurant saw the increase of chicken wing sales by 5 times the previous amounts, with no other promotional material.
Source: http://www.digitalsignagetoday.com for digital menu boards.
Projector enclosures used outdoors for promotions.
Using projectors outdoors to display ads for special deals and future events, this is why ProEnc projector enclosures are being used, it allows the business user to use the wall to advertise their events and deals and has an almost immediate return on investment.
Idea behind using outdoor projectors.
With a high lumen digital projector, you use the full side of a building to advertise your product or services, to passers-by. They see that you either have a special drink deal on, ‘2 for 1 during happy hour’ or they see the future event when you have a guest DJ, mixing some tracks on the dance floor.
They then can call in and take advantage of the 2 for 1 drink offer, while booking tickets for the guest DJ event. That way, the bar wins hands down.
How is it done?
Well the projector can either be in a window looking at the wall, or the projector can be located on the roof near the wall, housed in an outdoor projector enclosure. The choice is down to budget and if you have a window that is overlooking the wall.
Advantages of the window.
As you can imagine, this is the most affordable and will only cost you the electricity to run the hardware. But normally for example in New York, it is rare to have a window facing a solid brick wall. This may rule this option out.
Advantages of ProEnc outdoor projector enclosures.
These ProEnc projector enclosures are weatherproof, so can be left out all year. They are equipped with special heating and cooling systems that work in extreme temperatures. From sub-zero to boiling hot temperatures of 145 Fahrenheit! These units are fitted with special filters on the air intake to ensure no harmful dust or dirt enters the housing in the air. And at the same time keeping insects and bugs out of the projector!
Controlling the projector.
If the hardware is in a window that you have access to, you will have to walk to the room and then switch the hardware on and off every time you use it, some people are cool with this, but it may take 15 minutes twice a day.
Now ProEnc projector enclosures can be fitted with a device that allows the user to switch the hardware on and off with the remote control from within 100 feet, without having to physically go to the projector. This can save time and allows the business owner to carry on running his business, so projector enclosures may have their place.
Heard of lamp-less projectors?
We all know that Christie laser projectors are the leaders in the field for high end projectors; we see them moving away from the traditional bulb method, to lamp-less projectors. Discover why below.
Lamp-less laser projectors advantages.
Just like LCD displays killed the CRT display market, laser is stepping up their attack on the projectors that use bulbs. These laser projectors have been around for a while, but not really classed as mainstream. These audio visual devices ensure they provide a more vivid imagery whilst ensuring that the running costs are much lower. One of the main reasons schools, colleges and universities are turning to them as a standard. Some traditional manufacturers of these units are fighting back with increased warranty periods and an unlimited amount of bulbs in the same period, this is a riposte to the laser projectors.
Lamp-less projectors disadvantages.
The main disadvantage is that with any new product, they are always expensive as the development costs have to be built into the sale price. This is why it is usually best to wait a good 12 months for purchasing any new product that is launched. Two reasons for this, the first is to let the manufacturer resolve any bugs in the software or production and the second is to let the price settle in the market. Just check out the below points on upgrading the Sony 4K units.
Sony launched 2 years ago their new 4K projector, model VPL-VW1000ES at a cost of $24,999, compared to the model VPL-VW1100ES that is priced at $27,999. So if you want the same functionality of the new model you will have to invest a further $1299.
So should you upgrade? Well if it was my money and I had committed that much I would, otherwise you will not be able to project video at 60 frames per seconds, due to the lower processor.
Is hiring a 4K projector an option?
Well it is now; a company called Barco will rent out for almost any period a 4K projector, which has 35,000 lumen. This now helps with costs as you do not have to invest in the outright purchase, you may be able to put a portion of the hire costs against your taxes, but your accountant is the best one to advise on this. These projectors are used for hospitality and events, so hiring lamp-less projectors is now an option.
Digital signage in hotels.
Finally, the hospitality industry are embracing the 22nd century technology and adopting digital signage as an opportunity to meet, greet, inform and up-sell products and services; generating an additional income stream, as reported by Digital Signage Today.
By placing a way-finding screen in the hotel lobby or just outside the door, it enriches a guests experience, provides a location map, entertainment for commercials and informational material, as well as providing the virtual services to be expected at a quality hotel.
Needing reliable digital signage is what most markets are looking for, not just hotel chains. But finding quality at a cost effective price is unique. One of the requirements should be a HD industrial grade screen, which can reliably cope with the riggers of running 24/7/365, be robust enough to cope in high foot traffic areas, yet look stylish and suit the surroundings and meets the needs of the customers.
Hotel digital signage – uses.
Accommodation facilities are constantly searching for effective methods of assisting guests navigate around the establishment, whilst seeing current events and conference facilities and promoting brands and products for added sales. Digital signage is a perfect platform for delivering the message, whilst in a modern frame, which appeals to the many demographic who use the facilities. It easily targets key messages to particular areas of the hotel, for example the leisure facility, where memberships can be advertised. Restaurants, hotel lobbies and even convention or conference centers have the potential for additional sources of extra income. The investment of a digital signage solution was previously very expensive, however prices have decreased, which makes a more attractive proposition. There is also the offer of free software accompanying the hardware – which is often included as an all-in-one solution. Many hospitality venues can now afford to invest in large format digital signage because of the flexibility of installing a variety of screens.
Way-finding, particularly interactive way-finding empowers your guests to be self sufficient and navigate the property including the on-site amenities which are all add-on sells. Conference, wedding and events are easily managed and displayed on a digital signage poster, so a customer or client can identify dates and facilities; it can be seen as a digital diary, with a few adverts for local businesses thrown in. Communicating with guests is a key element to a successful booking and a returning customer, but there are times when the customer does not need to contact the front desk, particularly if there are queues, so giving the customer the opportunity to seek information is in a way a virtual concierge, working 24/7. Now you know what is expected of hotel digital signage.
What is tradigital marketing?
Tradigital marketing is a term used to combine and integrate traditional spaces, like retail shop floors, with state of the art digital technology. Digital signage has the power to up-sell any brand or product, if displayed with dynamic content and displayed on a innovative digital poster. Think beyond the traditional methods of marketing and embrace the digital revolution.
A digital platform within a traditional setting is at its best when positioned at the PoS (point of sale), which ‘entertains’ customers waiting in line to be served. Having the product close at hand is part of the package; you wouldn’t want your customer leaving the line to pick up the promotion elsewhere in the store – he may not return to make the purchase. Much thought has gone into ‘wait warping’ – the associated waiting time for a customer to be served, so impulsive buying is encouraged by means of a commercial played on a digital monitor. Once the tradigital marketing package has been installed and is working efficiently and effectively, the cost efficiencies and return on investment (RoI) can be seen. It is also a productive way for the sales team and shop floor management to gauge effectiveness and make change or alterations to displays, mannequins and customer interaction.
So, how can digital signage help your business on a daily basis? Printing thousands of posters and promotional literature costs a lot of money; much of it is wasted, as stock changes rapidly, paper becomes ripped, it is quickly out of date and a time consuming process – from concept to printed completion a lot can happen in between times as this could take weeks. Whereas the content displayed on a digital poster takes a few hours to prepare, is easy to alter or update and there is no waste – environmental or time. As the digital platform can be networked, a chain of stores will each receive a digital copy of the advertisement, without missing deadlines, time penalties or ‘lost in the mail’ problems. And what if there was a printing error?, well it would be back to the printers…. but this way, just at the click of a few buttons, the error is rectified – very efficient.
Is tradigital marketing affordable?
Resources cost money, but after the initial investment, time will recoup that investment with additional/add-on/up-sell sales. Many thousands of dollars can be saved on printing costs, distribution invoices and employee costs, every time you replace a static poster with a digital display screen. How would your customers receive the new format of digital advertising? From subsequent research, the reviews have been very positive. Many of us see digital signage often and even several times a day – would customers choose your shop because of your investment into digital signage or go next door, who display the traditional ad posters? Connecting with customers is crucial for a sale, the customer feels valued and part of the brand, so brand awareness is key to a successful advertisement campaign.
So next time you are in the mall, be aware of those stores integrating digital signage technology and just see how busy they are, make sure you are aware of the tradigital marketing hardware.
Shopping mall digital signage.
Shopping is becoming more of an entertainment industry than a necessity of purchasing goods, which is where digital signage comes in. Where we were once influenced by static billboard advertisements, vibrant eye-catching digital signage screens bring a myriad of images to bombard us with the latest trends, special offers and discounts, and why we should spend our hard earned money in their store. It is an art form of entertainment, where you can watch anything from a beach scene; advertising holiday essentials (and it looks so real you could run the sand through your fingers) to persuasive advertising on a imaginative and dynamic screen, where you are influenced into purchasing a brand of trainers which are the current must-have accessory.
So where is the best position for the digital advertising screens to be most effective? Obviously high-traffic areas are going to be a logical locations, but consider the prospect that it could also be a crowded and popular area, where the digital screen would be obscured from view. One of the most analytical places is around the escalator, where height offers a vantage point which can not be obscured. This is suitable for anywhere, not just shopping malls, but places like sporting venues, restaurants and hotel lobbies. Also most people look around when on an escalator, and take in their surroundings.
Interactive digital signage.
For an interactive and way-finding facility, the electronic signage screen would be located near the entrance to the shopping mall enabling the customer to plan a route around the area, taking in the stores of interest. Clever content, within the advertising digital screen, also displays appropriate advertisements, according to the data collected from the customer. For example, a teenage girl may search for trendy clothes stores, which prompts the screen to offer promotional discount codes (or coupons), either by way of a printed ticket, a QR code or a Bluetooth message, to be redeemed at the till. This can also incorporate promotions for the food outlets within the mall.
Designers have been able to incorporate digital displays into the fabric of the building, like encasing pillars with digital advertising screens, tiled wall panels, window displays or many forms of independent floor standing kiosks or platforms: some concreted into the ground, mounted onto a pedestal or set within a frame. The design of which knows no bounds, as any style or color of frame and surround can hold an electronic advertising screen.
Audio technology can also be incorporated, which is particularly useful for people who are hearing impaired; a speaker at head height or a headphone port allows for a verbal advertisement, information, messages or routes to be broadcast. Other considerations for physically impaired customers are screens at ergonomic heights, even for wheel chair users.
Digital signage and advertising screens can be synchronized and choreographed to run simultaneously, scheduled at pre-set time intervals or run as individual and independent screens. Research over the past 5 years on digital advertising campaigns, has shown digital signage to be one of the most successful forms of advertising ever.
Does your digital signage have it?
An Asian developer and provider of digital signage solutions, and technology leader in the development of software for the digital signage industry, have just announced the integration of software which specifically measures the audience activity as they view a digital signage screen.
The newly developed solution, offers similar benefits to online analysis, such as developers working with the likes of Google, for in-store digital signage applications. This delivers interesting data; provides marketing companies, stores and end users with invaluable information – how to target customers, the demographics of purchasers, their age, how long they linger over the product and their facial reactions to an ad. campaign. This gives a better overview of how to market the product or brand.
Recording data of a persons pupil size, hand gestures or the time they spend looking at a product is a good indication of a potential purchase. Previously in-store cameras not only caught thieves, but have also been utilized to capture interested customers. However the software, within the hardware of digital signage solutions, offers more in-depth and detailed statistics, giving clearer images than that of the ceiling mounted security cameras. Is it an invasion of privacy? There are thousands upon thousands of occasions in our daily lives where our images are recorded; whether for security purposes or demographic studies by the government; most of the time we are unaware of the intrusion and get on with life.
Indoor digital signage solutions.
Digital signage is a relatively new technology; there are many solutions for indoor digital signage use that many of the installations cover. From free standing signs and including interactive units to engage with customers.
There are many innovative solutions from wall mounted and free standing electronic signage, controlling them is key, usually if installed over an IP network, the hardware will have an ad player that is networked based, so the multimedia content can be updated using a web connection. The other option if not utilizing an IP network is to manually update the ads, ideal when only a few units need updating otherwise it is time consuming and not as efficient. Screen sizes vary and depend on the application, as it would be pointless using a small 21” display in a shopping mall, as these applications are to be seen from a distance.
Interactive digital signage, is another hardware solution, the solutions here can be again, either wall mounted or free standing. Screen sizes tend to be 40” and up, with screens in landscape or portrait. These units usually incorporate a PC that has the content and software embedded to allow the touch screen to operate. These can be either a Windows or Linux base platform depending on the digital signage software that the client wants to use. Some clients prefer one platform over another, now by supplying a PC the client to install whatever operating software they wish. Using touch screens tend to build up brand awareness with customers engaging with the content.
Wall mounted dynamic advertising, can be used in any location whilst minimizing the footprint that these electronic advertising signs take up. You may have seen them used in hotels, elevators and even rest rooms. Normally wall mounted advertising displays are used as a more affordable way to enter the dynamic advertising industry and have smaller displays. The media devices can either be internet enabled, 3G or just standalone. Sometimes these are installed in risky areas, such as schools and prone to damage, this is when an LCD enclosure should be used to protect the hardware, they are very effective.
But one of the best dynamic signs you can see is as an LED video wall, the best video walls are the ones that have a super thin bezel so the image is uninterrupted and looks as massive as it should be. Another option is an indoor P10 video wall these are in 3 foot square panels and can be tiled to any size. The advantage is that the thin bezel displays are configured with a built in controller, enabling the picture to be split on each screen. The P10 video walls have a separate controller than can be updated with WiFi, 3G or hard wired. One thing to always remember is when installing a video wall, you need to use dedicated video wall mounts, rather than cheaper wall brackets, and the main reason is that the displays will be lined up perfectly, rather than misaligned displays.
Deciding on indoor digital signage.
One of the factors will be cost, also is the project itself. So now you have the data and only you can make the decision for your indoor digital signage solution.
Interactive Digital Signage Solutions.
Who would have thought that interactive digital signage would move so quickly, since the launch of touch screen smart phones, the industry has been pushing interactive or touch screen technology to ensure the adverts engage with the viewers, now there are multiple solutions on the market, so let us look at some.
Pizza Huts Interactive Digital Signage Pizza Table!
Well we have all seen it now, this is a table that you are sat at, then you choose you’re topping s for your pizza pie, order it and then whilst you are waiting for the pie to cook, you can play interactive games on the table, perfect for time warping! One drawback I can see is that there is no interaction with staff at the restaurant, you could go out on a date and not even speak – good in some instances I suppose! The interactive digital signage table enables the customer to choose; the size of the pie, the toppings, the crust options, the portion of cheese they want and much more.
When is a digital signage kiosk, not a kiosk?
Well the quick and simple answer is, when it is used with a tablet device to provide digital signage, these tablets have touch screen displays so they are interactive. The tablets have a type of kiosk housing around them to make them look as though they are an integral free standing kiosk. These are being installed and used at many tourist locations, due to the effectiveness and affordability. Now all the cabling is kept hidden inside the housing as is the network connection to the tablet. The data is streamed through internet updates to provide, fresh, new content.
Outdoor interactive digital menu boards.
We have all been through the drive through diner, now all you need to do with one Quick Serve Restaurant chain is to check out the queue inside the outlet and if you do not like the look of the length of the queue, you can order through the outdoor digital menu board that has a touch screen, it is NEMA 4 and provides all year round protection from the weather and is also vandal resistant. These interactive digital signage solutions are ideal for this environment. Then go and collect your meal from the pedestrian collection point, screens of 47” are used and they have a high bright, back lit LCD display that is 2,500 candelas, bright enough to be seen in direct sunlight.
Now the weird and wacky – An interactive bus shelter!
These interactive bus shelters, allows people to play games on the displays hen waiting for a bus, these look cool but we can see a problem in the future, with many teenagers hanging around the bus shelters putting other people off using the public transportation. Would you want to hang around listening to them? I know I would not. The displays by Bus Stop Wizard are 72” in size and perfect for outdoor use, they are certainly vandal resistant and weatherproof. Content updates are carried out using 3G ad players, so content updates should never be a challenge again.
More information on interactive digital signage hardware including touch screen displays can be found at http://www.digitalsignagetoday.com/topics/interactive-touchscreen/