2015 was the big boom the digital signage industry had been waiting for, with many brands embracing the digital evolution by integrating digital signage and interactive digital solutions in-store. For those who have started their digital journey, well done — you are one step ahead of many. For those who haven't, or are just beginning the journey, make it your New Year's resolution to start now.
Enhance in-store engagement and drive your brand into the digital future, with these 2016 resolutions:
1. Talk to those of us in the industry — Engage a professional digital solutions provider
If you haven't already begun your digital journey, chances are you thought about it in 2015. Well, it's now 2016. Clearly. If it wasn't the New Year I wouldn't be writing an article on New Year's resolutions. Anyway — time flies, right? And budgets get spent. So this time, include your in-store digital strategy in your 2016 planning — budget for it, think about it and take the first step to engage a professional digital solutions provider. In all seriousness, it is vital for you to take this step if you don't want to be left behind by your competitors, and you don't want to make the mistake of thinking you can do it all yourself.
2. Bin the paper!
Think about digital signage as the website of the '90s. The early adopters got on board and started connecting with the world. Others waited to see what would happen. These days, depending on your industry, if you don't have a website it is exceptionally difficult to compete. Now think about when your competitors have high-definition screens, video walls, projection mapping, augmented reality, Kinect interactivity, touchscreens and tablets to connect and engage with their consumers, your posters just aren't going to cut it.
Plus, the great thing about digital signage is that you can constantly change your content, based on the time of the day, day of the week, or other seasonal factors such as holidays. This gives you unlimited control to display relevant and engaging messages to your consumers, updated in real time. But it has to look great, or it will actually be detrimental to your brand.
3. Provide GOOD content
Content is king. When integrating digital solutions into your business, you must consider more than just what technology you will be installing. The consumer doesn't care about the hardware you have installed, or what media player is behind it. They only care about what they see and how it relates to them.
The success or failure of your digital solution is entirely dependent on content. When a consumer is in-store, there is upwards of 90 percent relevance to any marketing messages you display. Compare this to the 1-2 percent of billboard, TV and radio advertisements and you can start to see the importance of getting the content right. If you don't know who your target market is, you are in danger of the content becoming irrelevant. Then add to that content not tailored to your solution, and then digital signage becomes ineffective. See here the 7 deadly sins of digital signage content.
4. Focus on experience
Over the past year, consumers have embraced technology at a faster rate than ever before. So with the ability to source a cheaper option efficiently, price is no longer the only key factor in the consumer decision-making process. Consumers are now willing to pay more for an experience — and not in the sense of going to a movie or a theme park. When consumers are in your store they want to feel special, like they have gotten more than a product out of their visit. Technology is the key enabler for meeting these consumer expectations. It is now expected to not only see digital solutions everywhere, but to interact with them. You need to provide consumers with the interactive, engaging and empowering experience they are demanding.
5. Connect with consumers
Consumers are demanding touchscreens, interactivity, relevant information at their fingertips — technology that they are intuitively comfortable with. Think about it, smartphones, smart watches, smart TVs and now even droids are all commonplace in majority of households today. And consumers have positive relationships with each of these. These smart devices provide consumers with entertainment, humor, news and friendships. So of course consumers are going to respond positively to digital signage and interactive digital solutions in your store. Retailers need to recognize who their target market is, and connect with them their way. How to do this? Binning the paper, providing good content and focusing on experience are all good ways to start! Yes, alright, this one was a bit of a cop-out seeing as it's a mix of all of the above. But nevertheless, truly connecting with your consumers is vital for your brand!
Emily Carroll is the Marketing Manager of Prendi Pty Ltd. Prendi is a full-service digital solutions provider, specialising in the integration of a wide range of technologies, content and interactivity into physical environments.