Who Needs Digital Signage?
It’s an interesting question. Digital signage is now commonplace, and it seems every day we see new flat panel displays, LED billboards and other forms of digital communication appear on the market. So, who can benefit from installing digital signage displays in their businesses? In a nutshell, pretty well anyone.
Just a few years ago, digital signage was ridiculously expensive, difficult to install, and a pain to use. You needed an IT person on staff just to install and run the software. Back then, screens were bulky and expensive, and there weren’t many sizes available. There were also a lot fewer software options, and most of the products for sale only ran on PCs.
Jump forward to today and you have access to a range of choices that is literally mind-boggling. There are digital signage solutions for any budget or application, and hardware choices have never been better. The introduction of Android devices and System on Chip displays has provided customers with opportunities that weren’t available with traditional PC-based media players.
Digital signage is now commonly used outdoors and indoors, with displays that can be as small as a tablet or as large as a billboard. You can even find displays that can are clearly visible in bright sunlight, and touch screens that let audiences interact with the displays. This is truly the golden age of the industry with new products being added, year after year.
All this innovation has helped make digital signage a viable option for every type of business and organization.
Here are some examples:
Car dealerships are embracing digital signage and many high-end brands are even pushing the envelope with the use of video walls, exterior LED boards, and large projection screens. Interactive tablets and touchscreens are also used in showrooms so visitors can browse accessories, view interactive videos, and access manufacturers’ websites. The retail car industry is highly competitive which is why dealerships have been investing heavily in digital signage.
The combination of all these technologies makes for a more enjoyable customer experience and a more memorable visit.
Visit Las Vegas and you will see the most impressive and effective use of digital signage. Here, the LED is king. A walk down the strip will clearly demonstrate what can be achieved when casinos invest in state-of-the-art LED panel technologies. But the fun’s not only on the outside! Enter any casino and you will experience every possible combination of display sizes, mounting orientations, and technologies. You will see touchscreens used for wayfinding totems, projectors, LED panels, and more. Casinos have embraced digital signage and it shows. You will even see content triggered by slot machines whenever someone hits a jackpot. The gaming floor has literally been transformed by technology, and this scenario is being repeated in casinos around the globe.
Walk into any office building or factory and you will notice digital signage technologies being used in a variety of ways. Displays are deployed in lobbies, meeting rooms, lunch rooms, waiting areas, near and inside elevators, in workshops, and other areas where people congregate. Digital signage has been particularly effective in areas where there are long dwell times. For example, installing a display in an office lobby provides a great opportunity to tell a story about the company and its employees. By locating displays strategically, companies can…
- Provide a positive visitor experience.
- Improve morale.
- Inform staff about new company policies.
- Entertain personnel.
- Deliver vital business intelligence data where it’s needed.
The banking industry is constantly looking for innovative ways to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Digital signage displays help banks and credit unions communicate directly with visitors. Displays are used for advertising, queue management, displaying currency and interest rates, promotions, and other general information.
Banks and credit unions have learned that digital signage can be excellent support for their advertising campaigns. Programming that includes a mix of videos, static images, and real-time data helps reduce perceived dwell times and create a more positive outcome.
Gyms and Fitness Centers
Fitness centers have understood the power of infotainment for quite some time. Flat-panel TV screens have been a staple of every gym for many years. Initially, operators would play MTV or some other TV broadcast to keep their members motivated as they went through their workouts. Lately, the trend has shifted away from public broadcasts. People aren’t interested in just watching TV. Today’s modern fitness centers are equipped with an array of flat panel displays of every size. These displays are used to entertain, motivate and inform members while they go through their workout routines. Programming is matched to specific classes or to individual stations so only relevant content is shown at any given time. It’s not hard to see why digital signage has become an essential tool for every fitness center.
Let’s be frank. Visiting your local doctor’s office or hospital emergency room is never fun. You know you’re in for a long wait, and chances are the LCD display mounted on the wall will be tuned to a boring TV channel. This is a scenario that plays out in hospitals across the nation, but thanks to digital signage, wait times are starting to feel a lot shorter. This helps explain why the healthcare industry has been busily deploying digital signage displays, to improve each patient and visitor experience.
Healthcare digital signage is used for…
- Inform patients of new treatment options.
- Explain medical procedures.
- Provide health-related news.
- Explain new healthcare plans.
- Promote healthy eating habits.
Hotels have had tremendous success with digital signage. Displays installed in lobbies and other areas provide valuable visitor information, while wayfinding touch screens help people navigate complex building layouts. The most effective digital signage deployments rely on traffic pattern analysis to determine the best display locations and ensure maximum visibility throughout the building. This way, guests never get lost and they can be reminded of local activities at any time. Displays also provide information about local attractions, public transport schedules, local taxi phone numbers, and other useful information. The larger the venue, the bigger the benefit to each guest.
Quick Service Restaurants
Digital signage usage has really taken off in the quick service restaurant (or QSR) industry. Visit any town and you will notice more and more restaurants have replaced their printed menu signs with digital menu boards. We see them popping up in shopping malls food courts, burger joints, sports bars, and even in arena food concessions. There are many reasons why this is happening. For example, the FDA has mandated the need to display caloric and other nutritional information on restaurant menu boards. This played a big part in accelerating the adoption of digital signage technologies in restaurants.
There are other advantages too. Restaurants can use one display and show different menu choices depending on the time of day. Menus simply rotate when necessary, eliminating the need for multiple printed signs.
Then there is the benefit of including multimedia content like videos and animations. This content can really make the menu “pop” and attract attention. Promotions are also easier to manage as they can be scheduled ahead of time and removed when they expire.