Improved technology gives digital signage owners extra advertising power

| by Darrin Friskney
Improved technology gives digital signage owners extra advertising power

Technology is driving big changes everywhere in our society, including digital signage. Today, digital signage owners can leverage advances in interactive marketing that provide unprecedented ways to personalize advertising messages and tailor them to precisely fit the needs of customers.

A host of tech tools are available to sign owners that improve the relevancy of their marketing. The "Good, Better Best" model shows how digital signage technology can improve the effectiveness of advertising.

Good — Basic digital signs

Today, most digital signs allow owners to rotate through a playlist of messages throughout the day. They also provide software that includes ready-made content and facilitate the creation of custom content.

Better — Advanced digital signs

More advanced signs come with software that allows owners to schedule messages based on the time of day, which maximizes the impact of messages. For example, a convenience store can schedule messages promoting hot coffee in the morning and fast dinners in the evening. This is also known as day-parting. The software also may allow owners to schedule messages based on variables, such as weather.

An example of this is when an auto dealership automatically runs messages promoting convertibles during warm and sunny days, and SUVs when snow is in the forecast. These signs often come with cloud-based functions, which allow owners to schedule ads and run sign diagnostics from anywhere.

Best — Cutting edge signs

The "holy grail" of digital signs feature a number of recent advancements, such as the ability to use dynamic content and divide the sign into advertising "zones," giving advertisers a more powerful medium. This is especially valuable for larger signs and digital billboards that lend themselves to segmenting. This means the single sign divided into zones can handle multiple pieces of content at the same time.

For example, sign owners can run promotional or static messages alongside dynamic content that changes and keeps customers engaged. With dynamic content functionality, advertisers can use all sorts of changeable data—such as countdowns, time and temperature, images boxes and RSS feeds—to automatically update messages.

Using a template ad design, dynamic content is added to provide additional information that updates frequently. Advertisers can put a countdown function on an ad about an upcoming sale, or a time function to alert drivers that it’s time to tune in to their favorite radio program. Twitter and Facebook messages, news or sports information, and a stock market ticker are examples of dynamic content that can be featured on digital signs and billboards, making them very engaging while keeping the brand at the forefront.

The most advanced digital signs also enable advertisers to do proximity marketing, in which a message is delivered to a customer’s smart phone when they are near the sign. These messages can be special electronic coupons, invitations to join loyalty clubs or sales/specials messages.

Getting advertising messages out there in a flexible, responsive way brings the best aspects of all advertising media together. Today's technology enables sign owners to deliver significant, measurable results unlike at any other time.

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Topics: Advertising, Cloud-Based Digital Signage, Content, Content Management, Software

Darrin Friskney
Darrin Friskney is director of Danville, Illinois-based Watchfire Signs, which has been manufacturing outdoor electric signs since 1932. He can be reached at wwwView Darrin Friskney's profile on LinkedIn

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