Blog
August 21, 2018

Visualize The Future With Digital Signage

Originally posted on Forbes.com By Jose Avalos

Businesses intent on galvanizing customers to patronize physical stores are faced with the challenge of how best to understand their customers, strengthen their brand identity, increase efficiency, boost revenue and reduce costs.

One of the tools for overcoming these challenges is digital signage. Today, smart signs and interactive kiosks offer companies the ability to capture customer data in real-time, and to offer personalized recommendations based on individual preferences.


Digital signage is being used today by advertisers who want to customize messaging to target particular demographic segments. INTEL

A case in point are quick-service restaurants, which are installing self-ordering kiosks to better serve and understand their customers. Fast-food giant Wendy’s, for example, installed more than 1,000 self-ordering kiosks in the U.S. last year, in a move that underscores the growing popularity of this new breed of smart kiosks.

The adoption of innovative technology is expected to lower costs while increasing sales and customer satisfaction. In the case of the fast food industry, interactive kiosks are boosting total sales per transaction. The ability to collect real-time data facilitates everything from targeted marketing and more informed decision-making to better customer experiences and higher profitability.

The Connection Between Advertising And Outcomes

Digital signage is being used today by advertisers who want to customize messaging to target particular demographic segments. Accurate tracking requires, for example, the ability for a sign to distinguish the difference between a 25-year-old woman and a 55-year-old man.

Using facial detection technology and artificial intelligence (AI), different ads can be displayed based on an analysis of who has just walked into a store or stopped in front of a store window. That can mean higher conversions that ultimately boost bottom line.

Data being collected from digital signage is completely anonymous, with the results aggregated for specific demographic groups, but not individualized. But now, some retailers, such as Lolli & Pops, are testing the ability to identify and target individual loyalty program members — who have opted-in — as they walk into a store. Privacy is, of course, an important consideration. Businesses should ensure that their advertising and marketing meets applicable local laws and are respectful of individual customers.

Ultimately, AI-driven analytics will enable advertisers to track whether a customer made a purchase related to a customized ad they saw. Ad attribution, which connects the promotion with the outcome, is the Holy Grail for both retailers and advertising agencies.

The ability to connect the dots between advertising and outcomes is essential for companies investing in kiosks and digital signage. As advertisers gain a better understanding of how digital signs can deliver ROI, it will enable them to best use this technology to personalize customer experiences and increase bottom line.

Investing In Digital Signage

Whether it is digital signage or interactive kiosks, companies that are investing in this technology should ensure that their systems can scale and grow with their needs. It’s important to make sure the technology being implemented can handle future growth, and easily accommodate new capabilities. It also is essential to be able to add new features with software upgrades, rather than having to invest in new hardware.

The Intel Smart Display Module (SDM), for example, offers a scalable media player solution that is optimized for digital signage, kiosks, and point of sale systems. It accommodates a wide range of processors — from the Atom to Core i7 — and can handle whatever workload is required to run smart signs and interactive kiosks. Intel’s innovative visual technologies are making low-power, high performance platforms available for AI-related computing. This facilitates the kind of processing firepower necessary for workload consolidation when managing compute-intensive AI applications.

Visual solutions, such as digital signage and interactive kiosks, enable companies to deliver dynamic content, increase efficiency, and save time and money. Sensors that facilitate the collection of real-time data can now be paired with machine learning systems and IoT connectivity to facilitate data analysis on-the-fly. The result is better targeted advertising, improved customer experiences and, ultimately, positively affecting the bottom line.

To learn more about Intel’s digital signage solutions, visit www.intel.com/digitalsignage.

Jose Avalos heads the leadership and management of Intel’s world-wide retail and digital signage business. He holds an Executive MBA from Harvard Business School, an MSE in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University, and a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Follow him @Intel_Jose on Twitter.

August 14, 2018

How to measure digital signage ROI

Originally posted on: Digital Signage Today by Debbie Wilson-dewitt

Return on Investment (ROI) is a financial term, often calculated using a simple formula: sale profit from an investment minus the cost of that investment, divided by the cost (again), and the ROI is expressed as a percentage. As an example, Michaela buys $2000 of stock in Acme Corp, and later sells that stock for $2600. She takes the $2600 she sold the stock for, subtracts her initial cost of $2000, and gets a net profit of $600. She then divides that $600 by the initial cost of $2000 to get 0.3, which then gets multiplied by 100 to get a percentage of 30 percent for her ROI. Simple enough when it comes to money matters, but what about measuring something a little less tangible, like digital signage ROI?

A digital signage system should be looked at more like marketing than straight costs vs. profits, since the goals aren't necessarily always about money, but about engagement. John Wanamaker, founder of Macy's, famously said, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half."

Today, there are formulae for measuring marketing ROI. No matter which formula a company uses, the goal is to get the highest return possible and to increase that ROI percentage over time. One method looks at gross profits vs. marketing budget, another uses Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) in place of gross profits. This seems a little closer to what we might think about when considering digital signage ROI, but still deals with income from sales.

Digital signage is different

Marketing is used to try to influence people to choose your products and services over those of your competitors. Much of retail digital signage is used in this way. But organizational digital signage is different – it's used to inform and entertain internal audiences and visitors, so they engage with the organization, understand its values, and stay updated and motivated to internalize a message or take a desired action.

There are measurable costs to set up and maintain a digital signage system:

  • Hardware (screens, media players, etc.)
  • Software (content management software, design applications)
  • Infrastructure (network, power, cabling)
  • System training
  • Content subscriptions
  • External design services
  • Support and maintenance contracts
  • Labor for consulting, installation, etc.

Then there are the additional operational costs of paying staff to create and schedule content, and generally maintain the digital signage system.

That's all easy enough to add up. But it's very difficult to assign dollar values to the results of general communications that aren't sales-focused. Many of the benefits are intangible (brand loyalty, guest experience, employee morale, etc.), and contribute to other larger business factors (employee retention, guest satisfaction, etc.). So then, what is the "profit" from digital signage?

Instead of Return on Investment (an accounting benchmark), focus on specific goals for individual communications or campaigns by looking at qualitative feedback, behavioral changes and business outcomes. Borrow ideas that come from measuring internal communications, where professionals use SMART objectives, KPIs and other tools. Instead of Return on Investment, a better term for this might be Return on Involvement.

What has value here isn't money, but information. So, to measure digital signage ROI, you need to have information that tells you:

  • If people are engaged
  • If they're having a good experience
  • If they're informed or entertained
  • If they'll continue to use the digital signage system because they feel it's valuable
Objectives determine the task

It is essential that you have a clear idea of what exactly you want your digital signage system to achieve. Is it to improve productivity? Increase event participation? Improve the guest experience? Boost online interactions? Your goal has to be relevant and measurable, and shouldn't be simply to give people information. Your objectives will determine both what you're going to show on digital signs and how you’re going to judge success, so they need to be well-thought-out.

The weird truth is that we care about what we measure, not the other way around. So, make sure you figure out what you want to know before you decide on methodology. It's easy to publish statistics and graphs, but they are ineffectual without analysis that you can use to further your goals. Measure something that is useful and gives clear data, or you may find yourself going down a rabbit hole following unproductive lines of inquiry.

Since a lot of the answers to engagement questions are subjective, a good way to get those answers is quite simply to ask your audience. But there's another powerful tool as your disposal — one that you should already be including in every message, and one that turns each message into its own ROI measurement tool — a clear call to action.

August 7, 2018

Digital Signage In 2018

Technology is ever evolving in the 21st century. Advances are coming at lightning fast speeds and 2018 is no exception! In 2017, we saw a huge push for adopting digital signage across many industries. Now that it the technology has been adopted, 2018 is focused on on-screen personalization, interaction and better customer contact.

Content will become more responsive and automated (who has time for it NOT to be automated?!). Screens will be able to engage with customers while providing content back to the cloud. With the in-depth knowledge gained at the screen, companies have an even bigger advantage to get in their customers' heads and gain sales!

"Things are getting more integrated, more comprehensive, faster, smarter, and better looking." - Digital Signage Today

July 31, 2018

The Growing Impact of Digital Signage in Retail


Originally posted by Mark Boidman on June 11, 2018 at  www.digitalsignageconnection.com

Digital signage continues to make a powerful statement in retail as we are starting to see more digital displays, including interactive displays, across retailers throughout the country.

Eight out of 10 customers entered a store for the first time due to a digital sign catching their eye, according to a recent survey.

Moreover, the digital signage hardware and software markets are growing quite quickly. Digital signage revenue in the United States today, in terms of equipment, software, and services plus digital signage media revenue, is about a $20 billion market opportunity using estimates based on publicly available data. This number is likely to rise to just over $25 billion by 2019.

That $20 billion includes about $7 billion of media revenue. Taking the media revenue out of the equation leaves roughly $13 billion for equipment, software and services.

Expanding Reach and Falling Costs

More broadly, digital media on screens in public venues reaches more customers than videos on the Internet. It is a powerful statement of the size and scale of digital billboards and digital screens.

Furthermore, the cost of rolling out a digital signage network continues to fall annually by more than 10 percent, and signage penetration across physical locations increases.

In addition to costs coming down, the number of use cases has increased.

Digital menu boards in physical locations, such as quick-service restaurants or coffee shops, are all being converted to digital screens. Menu boards are becoming digital menu boards. Even buffet table displays or paper tags at café food stations are becoming digital screens.

Cruise ships and hotel buffet displays are well positioned for digital, which are huge market opportunities.

Many coffee shops and retail stores want to roll out massive screens right in the entry of their stores to create experiences and shopping environments in the store that level the playing field with online shopping.

This is why more spectacular displays are being rolled out, especially as technology costs to deploy digital signage and retail tech in general are going down.

Many big cities will one day look just like Times Square.

Changing Customer Behavior

What is starting to happen in most retail stores, especially with young people, is that they are tuning out non-digital screens. They are so used to the digital screen in their pocket, and the ability to interact with those screens, that if they do not find that screen experience in a public store, they may not even walk in or feel comfortable shopping there.

This dynamic is dramatically influencing how shopping malls and stores think and react.

Within retail stores now, whether their products are clothes hanging on the wall or displays of food, there are typically digital screens around or above them. These digital screens showcase products, provide information, provide interactivity and can even take the place of a salesperson to provide supplementary information.

With interactive digital screens, you can determine if retailers have your size, the color you want, and/or make a request to have your choice brought to you.

Contextually Relevant Content to Drive Sales

Digital signage is driving sales and engaging customers, and the more you can engage with somebody at the point of sale and provide them with an improved shopping experience, the more likely you are to see increased brand awareness, as well as growth in sales.

More retail stores are deciding to spend money to roll out networks because it is no longer cost-prohibitive for them to do so. They also realize that networks are critical to create the experiential environment in the store necessary to provide a competitive advantage.

It is imperative to remember that digital signage must deliver more than just content; it must also deliver context.

From a consumer’s first impression at a store entrance through the entire retail experience, digital signage has the ability to turn the person who is merely browsing into your newest customer.

 

 

July 24, 2018

Berkeley Heights, NJ Has New Digital Signage


BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - There’s something new and shiny in downtown Berkeley Heights, at the corner of Springfield and Plainfield avenues - a digital sign.

Township Administrator John Bussiculo asked residents to check out the sign during the June 12 council meeting. It was running the sample program, which provided a preview of what residents might see on the sign.

A donation from the Jim Reilly family, in memory of Jim Reilly made this digital sign possible. The sign will be remotely controlled, which means Tom Barton won't need to go out in all kinds of weather to hang the letters on the old sign, said Bussiculo. Now all the messages will be created in a warm office.


 

July 17, 2018

Untapped Potential for Digital Signs


A Gallup Study has shown that over half of employees are not actively engaged in the workplace.  With millennials making up a large portion of the workforce, it is hard to keep them engage in their current job since they have only been their for a short period of time.  Their is a growing demand for employees to be engaged with their employer, but how can an employer accomplish this?

The answer: digital signage

By utilizing digital signs in the workplace, employees have access to relevant and important information in real-time.  These messages can loop through so that every employee sees the information and gets a chance to access the message.  This could include incentives, performance results or shout-outs for a job well done.

How can you utilize digital signs at the office to incentivize and engage employees?

Contact DVS for a brainstorming session!

July 10, 2018

Industry Event: CONNECT The Mobile CX Summit


At CONNECT: The Mobile CX Summit, you’ll learn the innovative ways top brands are using mobile and digital channels to increase profits and customer loyalty. Find out what’s working, what’s not, and how you can take your brand to the next level with new software, systems, apps, secure payments, analytical tools, and a lot more.

Divided into two tracks — Marketing and IT/Operations — sessions will dive deep into hot topics that can boost your bottom line, like Harnessing Data Analytics, Mobile Ordering, AI, Loyalty Programs, and Next-Level Social Media Marketing.


 

July 4, 2018

Happy 4th of July


"America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand."
—President Harry S. Truman


June 26, 2018

How do you get the right data at the right time?

June 19, 2018

5 Ways Digital Signage Can Help Your Business


Even after such advancement of technology, new things keep popping up that catch our attention, especially in business and marketing sector, no matter how much the world progresses, it is a fact that people will always be attracted by signs. And, to adapt to the changing world, the traditional static signs have been changed into digital ones. These digital signs have the potential to boost your business. Think about it yourself, would you not be interested in something that you saw on a big glowing screen? 

Here are five major ways through which digital signage can help your business.

  • It Grabs Attention

As mentioned earlier, high-resolution digital signs will definitely catch attention. People do not go around looking for signs, which is why digital signs are important. After implementing digital signs, people won’t search for them, they will be attracted to the screen on their own. Moreover, if the sign is a big one and has really well-designed content, then it will not only grab the viewers attention but will also grab more customers for your business.

  • It Makes Ordering Easier

It is no surprise that the world is seeing increasingdigitalization of signage. Digital menus will make your potential customers believe that they have contacted a technologically advanced business. After all, ordering products off a large screen is a lot better than paper, more engaging, more information, more orders. The menus can also be quickly changed using a computer or eeven a smartphone. Therefore, you should not worry about printing new menus every time there is a price change. Moreover, 29.5% of people are influenced to purchase a product because of digital menus because of the convenience and engaging content.

  • Installing a Video Wall Will Boost the Sales

Although all digital signs can attract more customers, installing a video wall will even increase the engagement of viewers and in the end likely sales of your company. Research has shown that one out of every five people make unplanned purchases after seeing a video-featured item. The increase of customers that had not planned on buying your product is sure to help your business.

  • It Will Provide Countless Sign Options

Unlike the traditional signs, the new digital signs can be changed anytime, anywhere. You can change the message of your sign according to your preferences. This way, you can advertise all of your products one at a time in the same sign rather than creating a new sign for each and every advertisement.

  • It Will Socialize Your Business

Everyone is hooked on social media nowadays, the facility of engaging with social media users is a bliss for any business. Because 44% of online shoppers admit that social

media influences their purchasing priorities. And Digital-signs make it easier because they can easily be set up to be display live Twitter conversations, Facebook pages , and other social media platforms.

It is no longer a doubt that digital signage will help your business. It does not matter what kind of business you are operating. After using digital signage, the rate of customer interactions as well as sales will skyrocket.

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Mia Clarke is part of the content and community team at Userful.com, experts in all things video wall and display solutions. When Mia is not spreading the word about video walls she is often found discovering the great outdoors, walking or cycling.