In today's world of evolving technology, would you consider using a typewriter to handle all of your business correspondence? While the world travels at the speed of emails and smartphones, there are still some forms of advertising that fall behind. Although many are still in use, a manual reader board sign can be a cumbersome way to drive traffic for on premise sales.
In their heyday, MRBs were innovative. With a simple lit sign and some channels, businesses could, presumably, change messages multiple times during the day to deliver a variety of focused messages. With enough office space for organizing letter tiles, a place to put that long stick, and a dedicated worker, MRBs could be very useful.
But let's be honest. In reality, the employee put in charge of changing the sign was usually the one who drew the short straw. To advertise cold drinks and bring in customers during the summer heat, someone first has to brave the temperatures to get it done. Winter conditions are worse. The promise of freezing temperatures and snow accumulation at the base of the sign makes it all but certain that summer specials may be on the sign for a while.
Technology has provided organizations and business owners with a much better solution for responsive and timely messaging. LED signs are more than just a showcase of vibrant, colorful and attention-getting advertising. With software that is intuitive and highly programmable, sign owners can experience message scheduling that can be customized to their daily, or even minute-to-minute needs.
Creating content can often be as simple as dragging and dropping content into software programs, then creating playlists that work according to such factors as time of day or outside temperature. For example, advertising breakfast specials in the morning and snacks during late night hours. Entice customers with hot beverages when the temperature dips and ice cream treats when it soars. And if the weatherman gets it wrong and a rain shower pops up, you can change to an advertisement for rain gear in just minutes.
For community organizations, timeliness is just as important. With last-minute changes to schedules due to weather conditions or other unforeseen events, digital signage offers a much faster way to notify the public.
Advanced software has the added advantage of allowing you to update your sign, change playlists and even diagnose the readiness of signs via any internet connected device. The content is eye-catching for every car and pedestrian passing by, and the cost per thousand impressions is lower than any other form of advertising on the market. On average, LED signs have a CPM of 74 cents, compared with $7 for an online targeted banner, $13 for radio ads and $22 for television. Plus, there is no costly production time involved.
Considering that the average American traveler spends about 20 hours per week on the road — and most of that is spent driving the same route every day — an investment in an on-premise message center is an excellent way to reach that traffic.
With the increasing proliferation of mobile smartphone apps and a growing generation of consumers who expect a personalized advertising experience, it won't be long before on-premise digital signage follows the lead of digital billboards with increasingly customize messaging, like the one in use by Chevy in some major US cities.
/ Darrin Friskney is director of Danville, Illinois-based Watchfire Signs, which has been manufacturing outdoor electric signs since 1932. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.