By Kris Jonson, marketing manager, Level 3 Audiovisual.
The way retailers communicate is changing. Print ads are no longer the flashy, new guy in town. In fact, making the switch from print to digital signage is increasing everyday as more and more companies realize the power and impact HD digital signage has on their branding message.
With the ability to change content on the fly, schedule and arrange advertising and messages based upon the time of day or by client facial recognition, savvy organizations are starting to make the switch from print ads to digital signage. And for good reason. HD digital signage provides brilliant bright colors and rich, deep blacks of LCD and LED technology and combines the ability to play videos, animations and custom, interactive messages. Digital signage opens up a whole new world of instant, meaningful, custom communication.
Where once we had fixed billboards with custom built extensions coming off of the tops or sides, we now have digital billboards with geo-fencing, LED pixel pitch technology and the ability to change content and schedule content on the fly. And at a fraction of the cost of traditional, printed billboards.
And it's not just the Out-of-Home industry that has been affected. The switch from print to digital displays can be seen in retail markets with digital, interactive point-of-purchase displays, higher education facilities in the form of video walls and corporations where digital signage plays an important role in branding and messaging.
Digital signage does one thing very well, and that is it engages your audience. And ultimately, in advertising and marketing, a solid branding message is what everyone is after. Planning, executing and measuring engagement is more powerful and much easier on an interactive display as opposed to a traditional print ad. Making digital signage the no-brainer for organizations worldwide.
So what are the three reasons retailers should switch from print to digital?
1. Increased Savings
The cost of digital signage is a bit different from print costs. With digital signage, you have a higher cost up front, but a better ROI in the long run. Really the only costs with digital signage is the one-off installation costs, some minor support and maintenance costs, and the cost for having an in-house designer who can push and schedule content, which you probably already have if you are designing print ads.
The other benefit to digital signage costs is getting rid of the recurring printing fees you see in normal print ad production. From magazines to newsletters to posters and murals. The cost of printing these ads, installing them or distributing them, removing them and redoing it all over again can be daunting from a print perspective. Digital signage removes these recurring costs as it is now basically free to put any image, advertisement or interactive display up once you get over the initial installation cost.
2. Real-Time Updates
Imagine a world of print ads where you had to schedule having posters shipped all over the country to your retail locations for your campaigns. Not anymore! With the click of one button you can now send digital content to displays all across the country or the world that reside on your network. Or you can send specific information to specific displays based upon the time of day, the demographic standing in front of the display or branded to a specific group. Or all three within a matter of hours.
This instant way of advertising with digital displays is very cost effective because you aren't printing and shipping printed ads. Not only that but you have much more control over your content then you did with print. See a typo? No biggie, just make the change and push the refreshed content back out. Bam, instant cost savings with real-time updates, does it get any better? Oh yes, yes it does.
3. Truly Engaging Content
When was the last time you physically engaged with a print ad? Yeah, we thought so. And that is why digital signage is becoming so popular. Look around you, everyone is already using digital displays of some sort, whether it's their TVs, computers or smart phones, people are touching and engaging with digital screens every day.
So it's no wonder that digital signage is becoming so popular. Universities are using interactive displays to show students and potential students what is going on in and around campus as well as how to find their classrooms or other facilities. Students can stop and use wayfinding on interactive maps to get a good idea of where to go. And they do all of this by touching the screen, just like they do on their smart phones. The transition of our culture from print to digital ads is almost seamlessly built in.
Interactive, engaging content is also hugely popular in retail locations where brands can literally interact with their consumers. Want to try on a new pair of clothes but don't want to step into a changing facility? No problem, have the display take a picture of you (via it's built in camera or one that has been mounted under or over the screen) and voila, you are now wearing the outfit you wanted to try on, virtually, onscreen. Smart digital signage systems can also utilize facial recognition to determine the demographic of the customers currently standing in your retail store, bar or outlet and will push media content to that demographic. It will be able to determine the age, sex, height, weight, and hair color of the clientele and will use that information to determine what digital media content gets played on the screens.
This kind of "out-of-the-box" thinking regarding the way companies interact with their consumers is the reason engaging content is getting so popular in digital signage. The possibilities are almost endless and you are no longer pigeon-holed into a piece of paper that never changes its shape, size or motion.