5 Digital Signage Trends We’ll See In 2019

Same procedure as every year. Just like digital signage trends were speculated at the beginning of 2018, were firmly established halfway through, and are now fully realized as the end is near, we turn to 2019 to make predictions.

Each year, trends focus predominantly on the technological aspect: new hardware and features, more affordable prices and options. However, despite this equally being true to the upcoming 2019, the focus is slightly shifting towards new ways of applying hardware to satisfy the consumer. For instance, AI and personalization have been around for some time with the focus now being more on how to get into the consumer’s head and how to use the available tools to influence and satisfy them.

 

1. Artificial intelligence

AI has been a regular subject of discussion throughout 2018, and it's likely to grow further in 2019. This will be the year we'll finally see more artificial intelligence and machine learning in action. This is by no means just the case in digital signage itself, AI will have an impact in the broader digital marketing as well. It’s growing rapidly due to increased scale and its benefits across several industries.

One of the best benefits of AI in anything marketing is its ability to gather data, providing information which helps sharpen plans. You may have seen our recent article on AI in digital signage. Aside from easier data collection, AI enables opportunities for personalization and interactivity, among several other benefits. Thus, there’s no doubt we’ll see further use cases and innovation in this field in the upcoming year and find even more unlocked potential.

2. Interactivity

You likely saw this one coming from a mile away. If there’s anything we’ve seen consistently grow and prove itself it’s interactivity. It’s become the hallmark of impacting digital signage. The rule of thumb at this point is if the customer can reach it, make it interactive.

The consensus on interactivity is that it brings empowerment to the consumer. In a store, for instance, it allows them to browse products and features or inquire on out of stock items. As more advanced aspects in digital signage greatly benefit from interactivity, it is becoming more commonplace. For instance, AI greatly benefits from interactivity as it can gather more information easily and apply appropriately. In the upcoming years, interactivity will be mentioned less. Instead we’ll see and talk about new innovations and ways to implement it.

3. Richer personalization

The trends to date have carried us far past simple attempts of predicting customer behavior. By now, the digital experienced customer expects you know what people want and expect from your business. This is where the element of personalization comes in, or rather already came in, as it is quite commonly used in digital signage campaigns.

Much like interactivity, personalization only keeps growing and is reaching the point where it’s almost a mandatory part of any campaign. Given the advancements on interactivity and artificial intelligence, personalization options increase. It is the technique, while the aforementioned two act as the tools to apply it.

Personalized content works! This is a fact we can all agree on, as it ensures the interaction between the customer and the business will be more memorable.

4. A-commerce

According to Beabloo, customers demand technology, personalization, empowerment and freedom. These can be given in several ways, one of which is automatic commerce, or a-commerce. Essentially, a-commerce enables customers to select items they'd like to purchase, with the payment process being automated. The purchase is made online with the item being scanned by their phone. Payment is effectuated automatically and a receipt sent by email.

The goal of a-commerce is to offer an easier and faster way for purchasing without a hassle or too much personal reflection. It aims to make programming purchases possible, and predicting them based on the user's buying patterns.

5. Collision of online and offline

Physical and virtual reality keep coming closer and closer to one another. Gathering data about customer behavior and ensuring people can make a purchase online while they're still physically in store are all things we’ll likely see in a more defined form in 2019.

Multi-channel attribution is growing as the lines between the digital and physical world frequently cross. Understanding what drives consumers helps design marketing channels and campaigns. Knowing the customers' touch points before the point of sale enhances strategies and optimizes budgets. For example if you know your customer has seen two ads targeted at early stages in the customer’s journey, allows you to focus on later stages of the journey at the point of sale down the line and phrase your messages accordingly. Per a report from 2017, 60% of marketers join online and offline attribution together, a significant up turn from 45% in 2016.

The digital signage trends steadily move forward with each passing year, without too many sharp turns. As we’ve seen from speculated trends for 2018, interactivity and personalization, for example, are always growing but each year new methods of their application emerge. 2019, while including these methods, will likely be marked with one step further into the direction of AI.

It is also immanent to see online and offline come closer together. From the consumer’s perspective, this would be convenient, and that is what the industry is striving for. As is the case with any speculation of the future, it is questionable whether expectations and predictions will fully bloom in 2019, but they certain will begin to sprout.

Digital Signage News: DOOH to Account for Majority of OOH Growth and more!

The end of the year is near, and there’s plenty of talk about! We'll discuss how well it went for the digital signage sector so far. We start with stats on growth and development of the out-of-home industry overall, as well as the critical role digital signage plays in it.

There are also a lot of upcoming events in 2019 worth mentioning. Also, confirmation of several selected advisors on relevant boards, entries for awards and more! All of this, plus a brief news flash about an industry where the benefits of e-papers are likely to play a valuable role, await below. We can already give you a presumption why e-papers may be getting so popular: no paper cuts! Let’s begin, shall we?

Is digital the driver for OOH growth?

It is not a surprise global spending on digital out-of-home advertising grows year after year. Until 2021, annual growth is to exceed the 10% mark. According to a recent WARC report, digital-out-of-home will primarily be the main driver for this growth in the out-of-home market.

James McDonald, Data Editor at WARC, noted a few observations: "The combined power of digital-out-of-home and mobile location data can be used to add greater targeting capabilities to a broadcast medium, serving programmatically-traded creative by the hour to the right people, in the right place, at the right time."

According to the report, DOOH's share of the total global OOH spend is expected to reach 37.3% in 2018, up from 34.8% in 2017. This equates to $14.6 billion. To put this into perspective, keep in mind back in 2012 its share was only 22.7%.

Optimize the power of soundless video

Sound in digital signage is not a prevalent factor given the noise surrounding most installations or the viewer himself in the form of headphones. A recent article on entrepreneur.com discussed this matter into detail. Digital signage should rely on the visual power of the content for the most part. With that in mind, there are many technical features to create purely visually captivating digital signage

The correct interplay of text and video working together is one example. Another one is keeping in mind which emotions and thoughts the content elicits in the viewer. The curiosity gap is one theory often employed in marketing where the need to know more is tugged in the viewer. To learn more about this and other useful insights on this subject, check out the full article!

Digital Signage Awards entries up by more than 50%

The annual Digital Signage Awards ceremony will take place on February 6th, during ISE 2019. It is another amazing year in the event’s history with entries up by more than 50%. The call for entries closed on October 31st, and the official entry list is confirmed. Previous years' winners can be found on the official Digital Signage Awards website.

A panel of 28 judges dedicated to the industry are now in the process of going through each entry. A short list of finalists will be out by December 9th. To learn more about the event, where and when it will take place, go to official website. If you're interested, it is recommended to make reservations as soon as possible as spots are limited!

The future for digital signage in restaurants

Gone are the days when digital menus were the only thing digital signage could do for a restaurant. We've written quite a bit on how digital signage can transform the environment in all types of restaurants and hospitality establishments. As we move forward, it's important to understand what the future holds.

For a start, facets of digital signage such as video walls, multi-source applications and control systems are becoming very common. There are also plenty of solutions in these aspects, from video splitters to distributing content, web interfaces for video walls, scheduling and more. Take a look at what else the future holds! We will certainly discuss it in more detail soon.

DSE’s new advisory board confirmed

The annual Digital Signage Expo is an amazing opportunity to see all sorts of innovations and minds. The DSE Advisory Board is the consult of DSE, providing guidance and insight for the event, ensuring a clear focus on the industry of digital signage. On that subject, the official list of advisors for DSE is now released. These are professionals from almost all corners of the industry, from retailers to network operators. You can find the full list of advisors on the official DSE website.

Further on the subject of DSE, take a look at some of the biggest takeaways from DSE 2018 for network operators to gain useful insights on how beneficial this event truly is.

E-paper beats digital signage at bus stops

Papercast, the leader in e-paper passenger information signage, recently announced their findings from a survey on the digital bus stop technology market. The results showed 8 out of 10 respondents have very active passenger information strategies. The goal is to provide real time information at bus stops. However, 80% of respondents say that only less than a quarter of their bus stops have some form of digital signage. Few have it on more than half of their network.

"The findings show that there is a shift taking place in the market, and our experience confirms this," says Robert Bicket, CEO of Papercast. "While LED and LCD are well established with widespread usage, transport authorities and service operators are looking at other technologies to either replace or supplement these, perhaps where specific needs are not currently being met".

Interesting events await us in 2019, and new developments and confirmations are yet to happen. As we approach the year before us, we will definitely see plenty more throwbacks, recollections of the year’s past. Also, we'll see what future trends, events and expectations will come in the year at our doorstep.

Thus, it is likely our next pack of news will focus predominantly on these subjects. Mainly as it will arrive at the very end of the final quarter of 2018. We’ll see you there!

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Digital Signage

AI has made an impact on the way we live in more ways than one. For some time now, it has been infiltrating the digital signage world as well, changing it and offering new opportunities to its users. Today, we focus on those opportunities and see the most important facets of the union between digital signage and artificial intelligence.

Immediately, you arrive at the conclusion that AI would enhance digital signage by using all the information it has to work with in order to enhance the ways in which content is created and shown to the target audience. Digital signage is such a versatile tool, and the addition of AI expands that versatility and ensures its usage becomes as smooth as it can possibly be. Now, let’s take a look at the ways in which AI has impacted the world of digital signage and which doors it opened.

Easier data collection

At its core and for the most part of its existence, digital signage has been used to display information. However, today it has evolved to the point where, with the help from AI, it can collect information, too. Using sophisticated digital signage technology with components such as facial recognition, retailers can have a clearer understanding of who their audience is. For better or for worse, because facial recognition comes with its fair share of privacy concerns. The acquired information can strongly impact business strategies or directions in which a company may go to accommodate their audience.

Additionally, digital signage can take the collected data and even use it in real-time! We’ll discuss this in detail below.

A more personalized experience

As human beings, we are sentimental at heart. So much so in fact that something as lifeless and cold as AI or robots can provoke emotion in us. It is a strange concept, and research has even shown that people, despite knowing the nature of AI, still respond to it as if it were human. This is the reason why AI brings a new dimension to the personalized experience digital signage already offers.

In digital signage, the customer feels important if the technology in front of them treats them in a more personal fashion. AI learning allows digital signage to learn and interact with people in a way unique to every individual. Digital signage AI could recognize a customer and greet him or her. It can communicate what's on sale based on the individual purchasing history, and more.

A more interactive experience

While personalization is a fascinating component, when it comes to transactional purchasing, everyone appreciates efficiency. Interactive digital signage in a store is always an option. Customers can view available products, their characteristics and get more information faster without waiting for a free staff member. Some people might even prefer browsing without interruption.

AI currently in development will bring the shopping experience to an even higher level. For instance, a customer will be able to bring one or several items to a nearby display to inspect price and characteristics. Digital signage might even allow to compare two products in the blink of an eye. This can truly bring many components of online shopping to the offline real world.

More relevant content

We've mentioned displaying special offers based on previous purchases. This aspect of AI can also come into play in generating content overall. Using the data collected, digital signage can display specific ads derived from analytics.

On a rainy day or in colder weather, certain products may be preferable to others. You have seen the umbrella vendors come out in real life. Similarly, weather information can automatically adjust signage content and potentially influence purchasing decisions. Ads could be shown on the basis of not only analytics but also time of day, weather, time of the week, year and so on.

Programmatic advertising present in digital signage

AI is much more than robotics and technology recognizing a customer's face. AI also plays a very important role in purchasing advertising space. It has been around online for quite some time in the area of displaying programmatic ads. It enables delivery of relevant content and makes real-time bidding more efficient.

Applying this concept to digital signage, appropriate ad placement can be accelerated. Retailers can participate in programmatic advertising, purchasing ad space on digital displays worldwide. The effectiveness of these ads would be similar to those online, as digital signage AI uses information about the customers to choose which ads to show to them. And, as we said, not only that but also show ads based on certain environmental conditions.

As AI develops further and merges with technology such as digital signage, the level of personalization will grow significantly. The question is only how far. Productivity will certainly rise as a result of the impact of AI. With digital signage already making the retail experience more comfortable for the consumer, AI will push this even further. The ease with which customers find the products and the speed with which they become aware of products suited for them will rise, too.

With this, we’ve seen that digital signage and artificial intelligence go together hand in hand. The digital signage market is expected to grow to $32.84 billion by 2023, and the AI market as a whole to $191 billion by 2024. They both have a bright future, with not only market growth but new developments coming out nearly daily. Certain aspects of the AI are already gradually becoming part of the digital signage world, and it is only a matter of time before they become the popularly accepted match.  

4 Considerations For Your Next Digital Signage Campaign

Creating your next big campaign can be quite a challenge. When you see so many brands investing in ads which end up failing miserably, you might get discouraged. Even if your previous campaign was a success, you might feel pressured that your next campaign will do as well while there is the constant risk that it may be ignored, annoying or a waste of time and money.

To ensure your next digital signage campaign is a success as well, here are some guidelines and examples you can use to bolster your chances of success. Even if you’re considering investing in traditional outdoor advertising, these guidelines can benefit your efforts, so keep reading!

1. Lay out a plan

Creating a campaign of any kind shouldn't just be done blindly once you get that eureka moment. If you have a great idea, don't just run with it immediately. First lay out a plan around it. Here are some checkpoints to go through before and after launching your next campaign. These steps should be present in all your advertising campaigns, so learn them and learn them well!

  1. Set Goals - Establish what you want to achieve with your campaign.
  2. Create your content - With the goals set, you may proceed with bringing your ideas to life. Narrow down what you want your customers to see. A lot of brainstorming usually takes place in this stage, so make sure you get plenty of opinions before actually creating the content.
  3. Decide on location and time - Mark where and when your content will be displayed. The location should be high traffic and the display time should be scheduled appropriately to the amount of time the typical passersby has in front of it. This can be based on time of the day, customer interactions or special segments of your campaign you planned out earlier.
  4. Get feedback and track analytics - This is the most important step as it reveals whether or not your campaign was a success. If at this stage your feedback information yields positive results and says your goals have been achieved, you can say the campaign was a success. Meanwhile, if you see no change in profit or other goals you set, it's time for a new strategy.
  5. Adapt your future campaigns - By the end of your campaign, you will know what works and what doesn't so well. Therefore, take that knowledge and apply it to future campaigns. This is vital as it ensures your content constantly gets better.

2. Adopt the eight second rule

This is quite an interesting method for creating your next campaign. As any experienced user of digital signage will tell you, you have only a limited amount of time to showcase your message to your audience. At the very least, you must be able to inform the viewer of the content on the display. Engagement and some form of action can come only after that, which makes quick information the most important element. The eight second rule can help you get your message across more successfully. To learn more about it, check out this podcast from 16:9.

The eight second rule is most relevant to transit displays and e-papers at bus stops. In these locations, people typically don’t have too much time to observe and read a display. However, the eight second rule is an excellent way to gauge all of your campaigns. Following this rule means making your campaigns understandable within eight seconds of observation. Your target viewer should be able to understand your message within that time frame, at least the most important parts of it. The only campaign which should be allowed to draw more time from a consumer is an interactive one, as users will spend more time with them. If you’re designing a campaign which isn’t interactive, for it to be effective, a viewer must be able to understand it quickly.

3. Interactivity is the future

An interactive campaign is sure to snatch the attention of many potential consumers. Be mindful how you plan it, though. Take a look at this interactive campaign from Coca Cola as inspiration. The key is to engage people, make them have a good time, and ensure your product lands into their hands. Be it a discount, a free offer or just a fun interaction, this type of content gets your audience more interested in your brand.

Interactivity is certainly the pinnacle of a state of the art campaign, but do keep in mind that you don't exclusively have to rely on it to have a successful campaign.

4. Draw inspiration from creative outdoor ads

If you need some fuel for your creativity, just take a peek at other brands and some of their amazing campaigns. They don’t have to necessarily be in the digital signage area. Outdoor signage, even the traditional kind, can be quite inspiring and spark some great ideas for your next campaign. You’ll find that most entertaining campaigns bring the most prominent aspect of their business to life, showcasing it in its full glory.

Meanwhile, be sure to take a look at some inspiring digital signage campaigns, too, which could spark your next one. Maybe you’ll find ideas for renting locations in various parts of the town to show your campaign. Or you can tie your upcoming campaigns to certain events or holidays in the year. It’s almost Christmas time, so there is certainly a lot of potential in that department, if you start brainstorming today!

7 Aspects Of The Workplace Digital Signage Can Improve

There are about 124 billion business emails sent and received daily in 2018. Obviously then, email stands as one of the most widely used methods of communication in business. It is an inexpensive and valid method which unlikely will be replaced anytime soon. Email is an easy way to pass on information, as well as tasks and responsibility from one individual to another. However, other methods of communication come into play to ease the pressure on email as the single channel for communication.

Email works best in one-on-one or one-on-few communication. Digital signage on the other hand is able to take over a wider path of communication. Be it passing along open information from the leadership to the employee body, performance reports, event notifications or more laid back information lifting the company morale, digital signage does the job admirably.

Below, we will talk about aspects of business which can be enhanced through the presence of a digital signage network. All of them make the workplace more modern, comfortable and transparent.

Corporate Culture

Just like a family, each and every business in the world has a unique culture within its walls. Some focus primarily on a professional approach, with its employees only feeling comfortable in the break room. Others are more laid back and relaxed. They allow for more amenities and more personality to shine through from each employee at their workplace.

What’s your corporate culture like? What do you want it to be? Very likely you want your employees to be as comfortable as they are effective at their tasks. Digital signage is the tool to direct you to that ideal picture you’d like to see when you walk in.

You want your business to be a pleasant, fun place for your employees? Recognizing employee success is a great motivator to push your employees to even greater results. Additionally, in order to create a laid back and relaxing environment, a certain level of entertainment can help. Memes, inside jokes or fun company family photos can occasionally be shared to raise the positivity in the room.

Employee engagement

It's a very big deal in modern business. In fact, businesses which thrive today are businesses with an engaged employee base. This is especially true as the standard 21st century business doesn’t demand just raw physical work, but also requires creativity and willpower.

For a start, digital signage enhances the mentality in the workplace just by being present. Using it properly in this context elevates the business and its employees to the modern world. Most of the points you will see below all impact employee engagement and make the workplace as efficient as it does enjoyable.  

Stronger leadership

Emails remain a dominant feature of communication, as stated. However, it can be somewhat dry and is usually the bearer of bad news. Its purpose is to inform efficiently, which leaves little room for creative uses. Digital signage can strengthen the communication between the leaders and the employees. It eliminates the need to send most types of circular emails. As we have pointed out, digital signage cannot and should not try to entirely replace email, but should focus on lessening the volume of emails ensuring only the important communication get sent per email, and not a swarm of emails.

Digital signage allows the leadership to communicate with the employees in a more charming, direct and modern way. Be it announcements, successes or even just a “Happy New Year!” from the company leaders, all of it creates a stronger sense of unity and higher employee engagement within the business.

Result accuracy and awareness

The progression of the business and its most successful sectors can be followed on a digital signage network. Keeping employees informed of their collective success is a great boost, and you can even showcase the highest performing areas of the business and reward their effort accordingly. This brings in the element of friendly competition which can be a strong motivator.

Furthermore, findings from surveys taken by employees and improving measures being introduced can easily be shared on screen. Surveys don’t have to vanish after employees fill them out, you know. Any kind of global announcement is certainly more uniting when observed with one’s fellow employees. Even if the news isn’t the best, seeing it together is more impactful than alone by oneself. This subconscious element is very much present in entertainment. Just take a look at people uniting together to watch a soccer match. Sure, work is less fun, but the element of unity is there.

Employee recognition

As we’ve mentioned, when sharing the success of the business, you can highlight the best performing sector. You can even take it a step further and recognize individual employee achievements. This achievement can be accompanied by a reward, all of which you can show on your digital screens.

Employee recognition stands as one of the most engaging elements in business. It singles out the successful one, which makes them feel special, and it also shows to other employees they can be in that position if they work towards it.

Welcoming new employees

A simple yet striking feature which does oh so very much. For anyone just joining the business, digital signage can ensure their first day starts of on a high note. Not only that, but your digital signage can introduce the new employee to the company. This isn’t only relevant for the social aspect, but also business in that employees are informed about their new colleague and how to get in touch. Emails are for example still personalized by name and you won’t find “newaccountingguy@yourcompany.com”.

Return-On-Investment

Smoother employee communication, a stronger corporate culture and a more united community results in better performance overall. The investment you make on digital signage will definitely yield positive results. All the benefits mentioned above your business can achieve if you invest and apply digital signage appropriately.

Please, do not misinterpret and assume that digital signage will do these things on its own. To achieve this, you must also invest the effort to create quality content and approach the matter professionally. Do that, and your employees and your wallet will be eternally grateful.