There are a lot of facets to this conversation, from widespread adoption to ease of use. However, let us first cover the most obvious point, which is that digital signs are a tool. They are a means to an end. This means that their usefulness is determined by the people who use them.
You can use a hammer to build a statue of Achilles or to smash duck eggs in a park. Digital signs are proving to be a powerful weapon in the ever-running battle for consumers’ attention, but at the end of the day, it is the ingenuity and business savvy of the people using them that makes digital signs so powerful.
Statistics Always Lie
The truth is in the eye of the beholder, and nothing is more true when it comes to statistics. As Bill Burr says, it doesn’t matter what you believe or what opinion you have, you can always find other people who agree with you on the internet because the internet is so vast. You can play host to any opinion, and as Bill Burr says, go to “I am right dot com” and find statistics that support your opinion.
That is why this article isn’t going to bore you with statistics, but instead, appeal to your logic. There are three “Easy” ways to use digital signs for promotional purposes.
- Use them to replace your posters in store
- To demonstrate products that you couldn’t otherwise demonstrate in store
- Run ads in your store and grab attention
- Create a guided experience around your premises
- Marketing allied with market testing
- To grab attention
- For use as an in-store tool
Now, imagine you had an employee who did all these things, you would want to keep that employee above most others (at least on the shop floor). Now, imagine that employee doesn’t want a full-time wage, imagine that employee wants an up-front amount of money and then a bit of maintenance every now and again. That is what digital signs offer. Buy them for a fair price, install them, add some content, and you have a versatile marketing tool at your disposal.
Quick Use-Case Examples
It seems a little unfair to simply list a bunch of ways digital signs can have an impact, so here is a quick rundown of some examples.
- Replace Your Posters
Why put up posters that you change every six months when you can mount digital signs and have the images or video feeds change every few minutes if you wish.
- Demonstrate Products and Services
You cannot demonstrate all three cutting levels that your lawnmower slices at while in-store, nor can you demonstrate your climbing gear, but you can show demonstrations via your digital signs.
- Run Advertisements in Your Store
If you are spending big money on flashy online ads, why not draw a little extra value from them by running them in stores. Your ads, if cleverly constructed, may create buying impulses in your offline customers because they were already primed (warmed) via online ads.
- Create a Guided Experience
If IKEA can do it with floor arrows, then you can do it with digital signs. Added to this, you can set people’s expectations with digital signs, and then wow them with the actual displays, products or prices.
- Marketing and Market Testing
Run an ad in-store to see if it generates more sales. Tweak the ad in-store and run it again. You could gather real-life market research that is more reliable because you can control the setting a little better.
- Grab attention
This method is as old as digital signs themselves. When people see something go from stationary to moving, it draws their eye instinctively. Use this to grab people’s attention and push your marketing message.
- An In-Store Tool
You can use digital signs to tell people when to approach the counter, or when their order is ready, or to tell people when a changing room is free. You can use touch-screen signs to have people search your catalog and/or make orders, and you can use them as one-stop maps and information desks.
Follow The Money
If you ever want to get to the bottom of a conspiracy, ask who is getting paid. For example, ever wondered why there is so much negative press about sugar, despite the fact that humans have been happily eating it since the 12th century? Perhaps because a common byproduct is ethanol, a clean, safe, green fuel that could easily replace petrol. Lower sugar consumption and lower the threat to the oil industry.
So, if we follow the money, ask yourself why there are more and more massive 3D signs in major city centers? Why are Chinese billionaires putting up big 3D digital signs to advertise games like Final Fantasy VII (remake), Amazon Prime and Resident Evil 2 (remake)? They are doing it because it works. It draws social media attention and is unmistakably a public draw. The next time you see one, take a look at how many people are recording it on their phones. Back to the Future (the movie) was right about 3D signs, they are powerful stuff.
Why Do Digital Signs Feature So Heavily in Futuristic Movies?
In truth, they probably feature so prominently in futuristic movies (Blade Runner, Minority Report, Artificial Intelligence, Robocop, etc.), because people didn’t anticipate phones and the Internet, and so assumed that retail/outdoor shopping would be a bigger draw than it actually is.
However, a similar future is coming to pass because even though the internet and Smartphones exist, retailers are bridging the gap between the online and offline world using digital signs. How do you compete with a 5-second advertisement on YouTube when all you have is item displays and posters? The answer is simple, you use digital signs. You can run the same ads on every wall in your building if you wish, or you can develop a better in-store product/buying draw.
Things Got A Darn Sight Easier
Would digital signs be so powerful if they were not as readily available and cheap? Of course, they wouldn’t. Smartphones became such powerful tools because they were mass adopted by society. They became a bigger part of a massive industry, and the sheer weight of money splashing around the industry is why and how Smartphones became so useful.
Thanks to cheap Chinese manufacturing and digital sign software services like Kitcast, it is now easier and cheaper than ever to add digital signs to a business. You don’t even need super-light signs or extra durable signs because modern (cheap) TVs are already light enough to be mounted on walls, and durable enough to easily survive the shop floor. Digital signs are now a massive industry, which means there is more money to be made, more innovations to be had, and more use cases for retail and service businesses.