3 future trends set to change the digital signage landscape
The digital signage landscape is always the same, but also changing at the same time. You are always going to have a display, content and a way to control the content, but the ways in which digital signage can reach audiences are changing all the time. It is absolutely necessary to stay on the cutting edge of digital signage trends to avoid becoming mere "background noise."
The Digital Signage Future Trends Report identifies a few key future trends, and we will be focusing on mobile integration, segmentation and dynamic content.
Many believe the biggest competition for digital signage is a much smaller display: a customer's smartphone. However, these two devices don't need to be rivals, they can also be partners, especially as mobile integration improves.
"We are going to use that phone as a way to better understand the consumer, engaging on multiple personal levels, measuring impact and impressions, delivering content and engaging with the content itself," Rich Ventura, vice president of strategy at NEC Display Solutions, said in a blog on the Digital Signage Today Future Trends Report.
Ventura gave an example of this already taking place in airports. Airports already use a large number of digital menu boards, flight information displays and kiosks. Customers also use their phones to make payments and use wayfinding apps to make their way around the terminal. Airports are making use of this data to drive customers to certain spots where they can receive more information.
"The captured data allows the airport to create the journey and drive the traveler through different areas of the terminal. Thus, they are creating a 1:1 relationship that the traveler will enjoy as a valuable service," Ventura said.
Segmentation is in essence, simply breaking up digital signage content into various parts, based on factors as simple as the time of day or as complex as a customer's actions. Due to this trend, digital signage end users need a lot more content than before. As this trend continues to grow, we will see businesses start to use different strategies to reach customers and gather data.
"Segmentation will also affect the physical placement and strategic purpose of digital signage. Businesses trying to target specific audiences may begin using multiple smaller screens with unique content on each instead of one large screen," Rebecca Dowden, director of marketing at CrownTV, said in a blog on the Digital Signage Today Future Trends Report. "This shift in placement will reflect a rising shift in purpose as digital signage becomes an entirely new channel for communication instead of simply replacing traditional signage."
In order to serve their audiences, companies will need to do more customer profiling to discover exactly how to reach them. This will in turn, drive the demand for more engaging content, such as live social media feeds and weather.
"Some digital signage software packages have already begun offering app integrations with live weather, social media and more. But in 2018, the industry will see more API partnerships and plug-in integrations that will make content creation as quick as a few clicks," Dowden said.
Both of the previous trends are closely related to this trend of more dynamic, relevant content. Companies are diving in, trying to find new ways to deliver better content, such as facial recognition software and traffic patterns. End users realize they need to stand out to avoid turning into another annoyance to customers.
"The technology has lost its novelty and is now an accepted — sometimes even expected — part of the customer-facing business landscape. So, it has gone well past the time or place in which its mere presence was enough to provoke a 'wow factor,' to a time and place at which it is in danger of becoming part of the background noise that consumers unconsciously edit out of their attention zones," Christopher Hall, managing director of the Interactive Customer Experience Association, said in a blog on the report.
Digital signage, however, will be coming up to the plate armed with more advanced AI solutions to target consumers with truly personalized, dynamic content. Companies are already doing this to lesser degrees. For example, retailers are now using smart beacons to identify customer walking patterns and deliver the best advertising messages. Other companies are experimenting with content that is triggered by customers interacting with a product.
Customers are also getting increasingly more comfortable with the idea of AI guiding their experience. Hall cites, for example, a report from Oracle that found 62 percent of hotel guests already approve of facial recognition technology along with 49 percent of restaurant customers.
This means we are not far away from a world where digital signage can greet a customer by name and give them content unique to their personalized taste.
To learn more about digital signage future trends, click here to download the Digital Signage Today Future Trends Report.
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Bradley Cooper is a Technology Editor for DigitalSignageToday.com. His background is in information technology, advertising, and writing.www