If you are a brick and mortar sales or marketing leader, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Driving traffic to the store, optimizing in-store visits, and driving sales all falls within your area of responsibilities. What can you do to maximize your consumers’ experience so they are compelled to come inside, can easily find what they are looking for, and purchase without a problem? Two words–digital signage.
According to research firm Markets and Markets, the digital signage market was valued at $16.88 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach $27.34 billion in the U.S. by 2022. It’s a booming business! Have you employed digital signage in your retail marketing mix? If not, here are some ways that top marketers are putting this approach to work to improve the customer experience and generate revenue:
- Brand-building signage that features recent store or vendor advertising campaigns, videos, and digital imagery.
- Dynamic marketing signs that adapt to consumer behavior versus your goals – for example, promoting loss leaders, directing customers to products with higher margins, or advertising sales items to increase volume
- Specific product information such as how to use the product, how much it costs, what it contains, and any sales or coupon information related to the product
- Point-of-sale signage to influence consumers while they are in line or at checkout, such as flash coupons
- Self-service applications, such as price checking, product inventory, and location of items
- Wayfinding signage that helps customers navigate the location, which is useful in very large stores, airports, and tourist attractions such as museums.
- General informational displays featuring news, weather, stock market updates (like the ones in city building elevators)
Digital signs can be static (such as display ads), dynamic (such as videos), interactive (such as touchscreens), and/or smart using near field communications, beacons, and other technologies via the Internet of Things. This means that there are not just multiple use cases and applications, but also different types of content that drive the display.
Because of their usefulness, digital signage has become a critical link to enhancing the physical customer experience – through interactivity, relevant messaging, targeted advertising, and general edutainment. But with multiple use cases and content types, it can be difficult for marketers to keep brand messages consistent and relevant to the customer experience while also managing the delivery of that content. Many companies find this quickly becomes unwieldy, and many vendors are struggling to offer the full set of services needed for a complete end-to-end digital signage solution. So, what can you do?
Many digital signage solutions use a content management system (CMS) to schedule and deliver the information to the sign, but they make the mistake of buying a system that supports just the digital signage. Today’s retail professionals need more than that – in order to secure customer loyalty and to stay ahead of the competition. To turn content into revenue, you must implement agile systems that allow you to communicate with customers across all channels, and today’s Content-as-a-Service (CaaS) solutions do just that.
CaaS enables you to monetize content by streamlining its delivery to and from any device, channel, or application for faster time to market. That’s because CaaS relies on what’s known as a “headless” architecture, which separates the content from its presentation, so your back-end CMS can talk to any front-end touchpoint via a built-in, industry-standard API. Content is pulled to each channel and device at the precise moment a customer uses, approaches, or interacts with it, whether a digital sign, website, portal, e-commerce store, wearable, IoT thing, social network, smart device or mobile app, ensuring it is always up to date. This vastly simplifies the delivery of content, eliminating the chaos that often comes with evolving channels and marketing tool sets. The bottom line: you can focus on content creation, and not worry about its presentation or delivery.
That way, you can get the most from your digital signage, particularly when it’s part of an omnichannel approach. What are you waiting for? Digital signage is fast, fresh, flexible, and targeted – exactly the kind of approach today’s customers expect.
This post was first published on The Marketing Scope.
This post was written by Heidi Unruh, Vice President of Marketing, North America, for E-Spirit Inc.
Heidi Unruh is Vice President of marketing at e-Spirit. With over 20 years of experience in the B2B software market, she focuses on building brand awareness, product marketing, social media strategy, demand generation and sales readiness initiatives.