Extending the message: Digital signage goes deep

June 6, 2011 | by Ben Stagg

As advertising continues to trend more and more from print to digital, digital messaging itself is moving toward a ubiquitous presence — from initial Web browsing all the way to the point of sale. Our own experience with over a thousand digital signage deployments tells us that the brand that stands out in the retail environment is the brand that stays top of mind, and the brand that makes the sale.

While printed POP displays still have a role at retail, these static and often dated displays simply cannot compete with the dynamic messaging of a digital signage program. In a typical showroom environment offering several brands competing for the customer's attention, a digital sign providing information and product differentiation at POS will prevail over printed POP every day.

A 2010 study by Arbitron shows that digital video in public venues reaches more Americans each month (70 percent) than video over the Internet (43 percent) or Facebook (41 percent). Statistics like this show digital is the present and future of POP advertising. Agencies are going digital to not only stay cutting edge, but to extend their brands' core messaging all the way through — and potentially past — the point of sale.

How does digital drive this messaging? Currency and alignment with brand messaging are two big attributes. Digital messaging can be updated as frequently as desired for seasonal or special offers. Rainy day specials are no problem. Hot deals for heat waves can be done in an instant. In addition, consumers walking into a showroom are already familiar with most current brand messaging that they've seen on TV, heard on the radio, etc. Digital allows POP to be tightly aligned with this messaging and provide additional value to the customer.

Customer loyalty is also driven to the next level with digital. What shopper doesn't love a recognized brand giving deals on location? Special promotions, information, demonstrations and more can all be delivered to the shopper at the point of purchase with digital signage. It's an uncluttered, technologically up-to-date way to convey this messaging — and that is what shoppers are consistently expecting more and more. Providing this for the shopper creates loyalty, brand alignment and recognition. From Web to smartphone to the point of sale, maintaining a dynamic digital presence is the future of brand advertising, and digital signage provides a vital link in the message chain.

Ben Stagg / Digital Signage Certified Expert Ben Stagg, director of R&D for Vital Media Inc., is responsible for the technology solutions and deployment infrastructure for Vital Media’s digital signage solutions. Stagg started his own digital signage company in 2004, before selling it in 2007 and joining Vital Media.
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