This is a new, regular feature of the LobbyPOP Blog, with the help of Alan C. Brawn, CTS, DSCE, and Founder with Jonathan Brawn of the Dynamic Signage Certified Expert course and DSEG.org. My purpose, when I approached Alan for this series, was to draw attention to the ways that dynamic displays can be incorporated into the product mix offered by a sign shop, to complement other forms of signage and to create a more enticing end-user environment. I am grateful for Alan’s contributions to the conversation.
In Part 2, we will take a look at what we call “natural fit” applications for dynamic digital. In other words, where does it simply make good business sense for a customer to add dynamic digital to their existing static sign infrastructure? This can be from an added features and benefits perspective or in some cases a total cost of ownership point of view with return on investment as the deciding factor. In cases such as this, it is up to you to make the ROI case and not vice versa.
Your existing clients must be thought of as “yours” and not somebody else’s customer. Research shows that in increasing numbers, sign clients are looking for new and exciting ways to attract consumer attention, entertain or educate and are actually paying for these new services. It goes without question that you want them to buy any and all signs from you. As noted earlier they will not abandon static signs in an either/or situation but they will add dynamic to their mix of ways to reach their customers. From our perspective these are your customers and we want you to keep them.
Clients report that dynamic digital signage has some advantages which include consistently influencing customer behavior by multiple means including getting them into a store in the first place, directing customers to different areas, increasing the dwell time on the store premises, and changing the message continually in response to the changing needs of the facility in relation to the viewer. Digital signs reportedly enhance the customer experience by capturing the viewer’s attention and reduces perceived wait time in restaurant waiting areas, bank queues, etc. It can even enhance the environment with video walls, interactive screens, and dynamic art work. As a side note, this is not all by accident.
With our smart phones, tablets and portable devices, we are being programmed and conditioned to want and expect this level of communication. A recent article in the New York Times reports that nearly 70% of Americans are confronted with dynamic digital signage each day and that we spend on average 8 hours a day in front of one screen type of another. Programmed? You bet!
Just as digital printing changed the nature of the traditional sign industry, adding dynamic digital to the mix will equally alter the situation today and make a sign shop both large and small more profit and retain customers in the process. Here are some words to the wise to consider:
- Just as in the traditional sign industry, there are several vertical markets to choose from and each one has their own unique applications and challenges.
- Avoid a one size fits all approach and offer customized solutions designed specifically for selected vertical markets.
- From a sign shop business development perspective, invest in positioning and promoting your company inside the vertical markets you have chosen.
- Look at opportunities from the perspective of the customer and develop a better understanding of end-user needs and usage modes for displays and static signs as well.
- Avoid looking like everyone else and differentiate yourself in the market and to your customers in particular by offering compelling end-user solutions rather than simply a standalone sign.
- Work with customers to increase their understanding of tangible value with proof of measurable ROI and ROO (Return on Objectives).
- Form meaningful alliances for products and solutions with partners who can support and expand your efforts and business prospects.
By understanding the benefits of adding dynamic digital signage to your existing business or even opening a new department to focus on this niche, it will supplement and not replace what you have done over many years. It is not an either or situation but a blending of types of signs and strategies to best serve your customers and remain current and relevant.
In each and every dynamic digital signage project no matter how small or how large, the 7 Key Elements of Dynamic Digital Signage come into play. These elements are made up of:
- Business issues include setting the objectives and a consideration of a return on the investment.
- Content is the vehicle that drives the attainment of the objectives and is what the viewer sees and responds to.
- Design is the look and feel of the signage system and how it is laid out.
- Software or the content management system is the engine that controls the content.
- Hardware includes items like displays, mounts, media players, etc.
- Connectivity speaks to connecting the displays to the network.
- Operations include project management, installation, training and service after the sale.
We recommend that sign shops understand and embrace The 7 Key Elements of Dynamic Digital Signage as a focal point to help guide them through the process. And finally, as your explore new opportunities in the sign industry, remember that industry friends are good and partnerships necessary. Most of all, recognize these opportunities and enjoy the journey.
[Editor’s Note: We recommend you take the official DSEG Course online developed by Alan Brawn, and earn your DSCE credentials. Gain confidence and expertise and a free DS Guide for sign shops, only available when registering through the School of Sign Arts site. Be sure to visit the LobbyPOP YouTube channel to enhance your training experience.]