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November's digital signage 5 for 5: SMBs, DMBs and a funhouse mirror

It's time for a look back at the most-read articles on Digital Signage Today in November, and what we can learn from them.

November's digital signage 5 for 5: SMBs, DMBs and a funhouse mirror


| by Christopher Hall — w, t

The most-read articles and blogs on Digital Signage Today in November once again defy easy categorization, ranging from the silly to the serious to the surprising.

The No. 5 slot features a piece we expected to rank higher on this list, owing to its appeal to, and insight into, the as-yet-untapped SMB market that offers — at least by volume — one of the larger potential markets for digital signage going forward.

The No. 4 slot shows both the digital signage industry and the foodservice sector are still sniffing each other out — and for more than just digital menu boards. Both have plenty to offer the other, but that particular proverbial dam has yet to break.

No. 3 on this list reflects the digital signage industry's longstanding and ongoing crusade to get end-users and deployers to stop using residential-grade TVs in place of commercial-grade digital signage displays. (Memo to end-users: It really is more cost effective in the long run just to buy the commercial display. If you buy a residential-grade TV and put it to use as a digital signage display, there's a good likelihood you'll just be buying the CG display in a few months.)

Last month's No. 2 was another small surprise, a piece that reminds us that there's still a ways to go in the effort to educate consumers outside of the digital signage industry about the value of the medium.

And November's No. 1 piece was a silly stunt that also offered yet another look at the incredible variety offered by the digital signage medium, perhaps for all the people who read No. 2 in such great numbers, and its dynamic flexibility in and capability for engaging people.

So here they are, in reverse order, November's top 5 most-read articles and blogs on Digital Signage Today:

5. "Digital signage levels the playing field for small business" - Digital signage is a high-tech tool that helps even the playing field with corporations and chain stores, according to one small business owner in New York City.

Christopher Pugliese, owner of Tompkins Square Bagels in New York City, recently deployed digital signage screens in his bagel shop to reduce perceived wait times and promote his business, and he said the technology helps "mom-and-pop shops" like his remain competitive.

"For guys like us, a small business person, it's a piece of modern technology that we can afford that we can use really, really well, and it helps us to compete with some of the bigger companies and corporations that have much more money and resources," he said in a recent phone interview.

Read more about digital signage and SMBS here.

4. "Digital signage, it's not just for menus anymore"More than menu boards, restaurant digital signage also drives engagement, branding and positive customer experiences.

Digital signage in restaurants is for much more than just displaying menus and specials and calorie counts these days.

The medium is continuing to evolve and grow in importance for foodservice operators, for reasons extending far beyond its dyanmic ability to display menu items and to keep up with menu changes and updates. Engaging digital signage can be a key differentiator in the customer experience by educating guests about menu items, driving craving, reducing perceived wait times, and more.

Why is digital signage important for restaurants? Panelists at the recent Fast Casual Executive Summit cited four reasons during the "Going Beyond Digital Menu Boards" discussion: connection, content, cost and design.

Read more about those four factors here.

3. "In digital signage it's 3 strikes you're out with consumer TVs"Display expert says consumer-grade displays feature three key weaknesses that can strike out your digital signage.

Whether you know it or not, when you buy a consumer TV screen for your retail digital signage, you've got three strikes against you even before you go to bat — and you are out. In most cases, you can actually be out of the ballgame as well, figuratively speaking.

Read more about those three strikes here.

2. "Why digital signs are important"Digital signage has become an important new communications medium; here's a look at the basics of why that's so.

We often read so much about the technology of digital signage that we can forget what this technology is all about — getting communication results that go above and beyond non-digital efforts.

Sure the technology is cool, but most business managers want to add value to their efforts and ultimately to their businesses. That's why digital signs are important.

Let's get back to the basics of digital signage — specifically, why should professional communicators and managers turn to digital signage to convey their important messages?

Read the six answers to that question here.

1. "Happy Halloween: Pepsi prank scares with digital signage funhouse mirror"Possibly pants-filling prank from Pepsi projects ghoulish permutations with augmented reality and digital signage.

With this PR stunt, you just have to hope these people went to the bathroom *before* looking in the mirror; things might have gotten messy otherwise.

Pepsi Max UK combined facial tracking, augmented reality and digital signage in bathroom mirrors to scare the … er, heck out of restroom goers at a London cinema in a recent Halloween prank.

Replacing a mirror with a digital signage screen and a live video feed to show people themselves right back at them, the "mirror" display then morphed people into frightful Halloween creatures right in front of their eyes.

Watch the video of Pepsi's prank below:



Christopher Hall

Christopher is the managing director of the Interactive Customer Experience Association and former editor of DigitalSignageToday.com. A longtime freelance writer and reporter, he's bringing a fresh perspective and critical take on the industry.

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