October 12, 2018
Product News

What is Digital Signage?

Digital Signage is Today's Medium for Dynamic, Digital Content

We are all witnesses of the digital signage age - and nobody talks about it. We live in a world of electronic posters and led billboards. Every surface is now a screen playing videos, data feeds, and advertisements. 

You’ve looked to automated flight boards at airports to find your terminal, you’ve watched digital banners turn to patriotic colors during the national anthem at hockey arenas, you’ve checked in via kiosks at the doctor’s office. The future is here, and it’s pixelated content.

So what is digital signage? Digital Signage is the next step in sign evolution, encompassing touch-screen kiosk to menu boards displaying the local pub specials. The digital component is responsible for the distribution, delivery, and creation of the content. Add the screen and you essentially have  ‘programmable posters.’  

Why Digital Signage?

Viewers have been conditioned to expect constant change and stimulation, which is why companies turn to digital signage to deliver it. In a study done by Arbitron: 47% percent of people recall information they’ve received from digital signage 30 days after seeing it. 

With dynamic, constantly changing content exposure, your audience retention rate can increase by 200 percent.

Digital signage implementations can be as simple as a picture slideshow, or as complex as an interactive video wall. It works for companies that need a single sign to display their menu and for large organizations who need to share announcements throughout their entire company.

Big Picture:  Digital Signage is way more than pretty pictures on a digital screen, it is a tool that can be used for communication, data visualization, and brand awareness purposes.

What is Digital Signage Used For?

The shop across the street has it, the doctor’s office has it, the lobby of the corporation you work for has it. Whether you realize it or not, digital signage has already become a part of your everyday life.

Chances are, you’ve used automated video walls at airports to find your terminal. You’ve watched “magical banners” turn to the colors of the flag during national anthems at hockey arenas. And you’ve interacted with kiosks at your local mall. Don’t let your business or organization be the last to convert!

The point of Digital Signage is to play content. Just like the mesmerizing effect television has on the vast majority of us, so too does digital signage. If the content is engaging, the viewers will keep watching.

Businesses can communicate whatever they want for as long as they want without paying for ad space. Here are the ways digital signage offers promotions, education and information to your audience:

Promotional Perks

When you have a clever promotional signage idea, you want it to take effect immediately. Timing is everything. Business owners used to wait for the marketing to be designed, printed, and shipped before implementing their idea.

With this technology, the promotional signage idea can run the day the idea pops into your head. Run a “Playoff-Pizza” Promotion when the home team is on a streak.

Advertise a last minute special to push any overstocked products out of the storage room. Highlight rewards programs if business is getting slow. The possibilities are endless!

Educational Assets

Employees flip through the employee handbook when they need to know which pants meet the dress code guidelines. But the rest of the book is usually wasted paper. "How to” manuals filling up junk drawers everywhere (or maybe that’s just me.)

Educational materials can get a huge upgrade with digital signage. How-to-videos walk patrons through activating rewards cards and teach employees how to use POS systems.

Campaigns explain proper ways to take keys out of a fire extinguishers, how to turn on the eyewash stations, and where to find campus security.  

Informative Improvements

Do you think the 4 year-old-magazine in the lobby is keeping your visitors entertained? It's not. Instead of subscribing to Time Magazine, pop some digital signage on the walls. Digital signage entertains viewers in-between your businesses informational and promotional signage campaigns.

Integrations pull public information like RSS feeds, news feeds, and weather to your screens. Touch screen integrations allow users to interact with way-finding applications.

Viewers expect constant change and stimulation. Because of this, companies are turning to digital signage for assistance in content management. Integration technology automates the data from existing spreadsheets and software systems. These integrations will automatically update each time the user updates their data source.  


How Does Digital Signage Work?

The point of Digital Signage is to display content. This requires a level of automation to produce dynamic content and deliver it to the screens. How does that happen? By accessing banks of data, of course.

Integration technology utilizes users’ multiple spreadsheets and software systems to automate their data and display information with strategic and compelling design. In short: integrations collect the information users want, and automatically display it on their digital signage.

Businesses have a ton of data sitting around, collecting dust. For example, retailers capture metrics and KPI’s from POS systems. Plug in a simple integration and that data can be displayed in chart form, in real time, for employees who don’t have access to the reports online. Not only does this streamline content, but it can also drive more meaningful business decisions.

To do this, you must find a digital signage CMS (content management service) provider. This means investing in a SaaS.

What is Software as a Service (SaaS)? 

The last time you wanted to catch up on your favorite TV show, you probably logged onto Netflix or Hulu. For a monthly fee, you are able to access unlimited video content. This convenient solution is called Software as a Service (SaaS). SaaS is any subscription-based software application that allows consumers to access the software over the internet.

These days, SaaS solutions go hand-in-hand with business practices because they are convenient and cost efficient. In a company setting, where numerous users must implement the software across many different channels, having a cloud based infrastructure is ideal. SaaS solution providers offer many customization options, based on their client’s business needs. IT departments prefer SaaS solutions because they involve minimal IT overhead. The upkeep of the software is the service provider's responsibility.

Installation

It doesn’t get any easier with SaaS implementations. Once the profiles have been created, users simply login to the platform to access the applications. Users never have to worry about updating the software after the initial install. Since the software is accessed over the cloud, software updates can be automated.

Accessibility

Users can access the software from any location, on any device (with internet access, of course!) Content can be created outside of the office, and administrators can access permission settings at any time. This is beneficial for digital signage deployments with multi-tenant architecture. Better accessibility also means that users are able to see the same information upon login, in real time.

Acquisition Costs

Since SaaS solutions are subscription-based, users  “rent” the software at a cheaper rate than purchasing or developing the software on their own. Subscriptions are typically renewed on a yearly basis, so users aren’t pressured to commit to the software for the long term. This keeps IT and marketing budgets consistent as customers pay a flat rate for the subscription itself.

Security

There has never been a more important time for security in the history of technology. Data hackers might be intelligent and relentless, but SaaS solution providers stay ahead of the game with security buffers. Be sure when subscribing to a SaaS solution to question their data safety practices.

For companies that wish to receive software On-Demand, SaaS solutions are the perfect alternative platform from traditional software. If they are not satisfied with the service, they can opt out of renewing their contract. This keeps the service providers on their toes in both the software management and customer service departments.

SaaS providers with a firm grasp on their solution will offer better customer service than the ones that are bottlenecked by their own technology troubleshooting. A company that has provided their solution for a longer period of time is also more likely to consistently progress their technology advancements. The software solution should be compatible with the latest and greatest devices. This is important for companies looking to upgrade their hardware.


Digital signage is growing in popularity for a reason: it works. Almost every space, that was once designated for text and imagery, is being converted to digital screens. Markets & Markets predicts the compound annual growth rate for the industry to be 8.94% over the next six years.

Those who control the screens will have more flexibility and control over their messages than any other medium. Interactive technology allows users to choose which information they need, when they need it.

Educational, informational, and promotional signage will become a modern commodity on your walls. Engage audiences of all varieties while improving all communication efforts.