The key to any good strategy is intelligence, so when planning a future business strategy it is vitally necessary to have intelligence about what the future holds.
But how does a company gather intelligence about the future — the unknowable, unpredictable future? One tactic is to examine current trends and extrapolate out into the future. Another is to collect critical data on future plans and then adjust strategy to meet those future plans.
Digital Signage Today parent company Networld Media Group has released the fourth edition of its Digital Signage Future Trends report, a report that embraces both tactics for creating a future strategy — by collecting and presenting in one place both far-reaching survey data about companies' future plans for digital signage deployments and trending predictions from an array of industry experts.
A more intelligent survey
New this year, the Future Trends survey featured a smarter, reactive set of questions that adapted to the survey taker, offering a different set of questions to respondents based on how they answered certain questions — and designed to offer digital signage solution providers more insight into the plans of the digital signage end-users and potential end-users who are, or might be, their clients.
For instance, digital signage end-users saw a different set of questions than digital signage solution providers. And among the end-users, respondents who are representatives of restaurants or food service providers saw different questions than representatives of a bank or financial institution. And, in an effort to further drill down for valuable nuggets of actionable intelligence, those restaurateurs who identified as already having deployed digital signage would get different questions than those who said they had not yet. And so on for hotels and colleges and retailers.
This was the first year for the more advanced survey, and while the results were uneven in terms of the level of responses from vertical market to vertical market, the overall level of response was terrific from both digital signage end-users and solution providers (with nearly 1,000 responses overall) and provided fascinating insights into what the vertical markets want from the digital signage industry.
Some of the interesting findings in the report indicate that:
- The restaurant sector may be even more wide open for digital signage expansion than previously thought — especially in the drive-thru;
- Most ad agencies that responded expect their spending on digital signage to increase in the coming years — and none of them expect it to decline; and
- Integrating digital signage with smartphones and social media is still top of mind for many end-users and deployers.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Of course, data can paint a finely detailed picture, but looking ahead to the future beyond the data takes human interpretation. To support the hard numbers created by the Digital Signage Future Trends survey, the Future Trends report also collected a number of commentary pieces from a variety of industry experts from both in and outside the digital signage industry, that offer predictive looks at the trends that will shape digital signage in the years to come.
One of the commentaries looks at tying digital signage into the rise of customer BYOD; another looks at digital signage through the prism of the annual Digital Signage Expo; and another offers a view of digital signage from a longtime restaurant industry analyst.
Taken together with the survey data, the commentaries offer digital signage industry insights from a spectrum of experts to help round out the big-picture perspective offered by the report — and a better picture of the future of digital signage.
Buy a copy of the report here.
Learn more about digital signage trends.
Christopher is the editor of DigitalSignageToday.com. A longtime freelance writer and reporter, he's bringing a fresh perspective and critical take on the industry.