Print providers offer a great deal of experience and expertise that lends itself to taking on that additional work, he adds. They have project management expertise in bringing together different suppliers, and content expertise based on having provided print signage and messaging to their clients for years.
These talents are welcomed by the OOH market, which, says Freitas, embraces innovation and “is focused on providing high-impact creative executions that leverage the power and visibility of the medium, not only in messaging but also in the quality of the production materials used.”
PSPs can draw on some of their abilities in taking on this new opportunity. Most providers will serve small- to medium-sized businesses, and those are the very companies with whom they have long-standing legacy relationships.
“Some of the basic hardware is not complex, and is therefore something they can master readily,” he says. “Where they may need training is in the revenue generating side of the equation, the business of it.
“Today, they typically turn over their sign to the end user. But in dynamic digital signage, they manage the content and gain an ongoing revenue stream. There may be a learning curve with respect to software. But a lot of these systems aren’t that complex, if you’re serving that small- to mid-sized company.”
Dynamic digital signage can be marketed in much the same way current offerings are marketed, Gottwald says. “A lot of it is word of mouth. It’s letting clients know you offer this new service, whether you do that through word of mouth, websites, direct mail or brochures and other materials.”
Print providers can look to the ISA International Sign Expo, which brings together 18,000 end users, integrators, manufacturers, and suppliers under one roof over four days as one avenue to get up to speed on the new opportunity.
The ISA International Sign Expo, to be staged next in early April 2013, will offer two new ways to learn from industry experts.
One of those is Dynamic Digital Signage Park, an area of the Sign Expo show floor that will showcase the latest products, trends, and opportunities in dynamic digital signage. The other is Dynamic Digital Signage Day, to be held at the expo Wednesday, April 3, 2013. It is a full day of dedicated education on dynamic digital signage, how it is revolutionizing the signage marketplace, and how companies can leverage this $7 billion market, Gottwald reports. The day is designed to provide attendees with the knowledge, products and contacts they will need to capture success in the rapidly growing area of signage.
The day begins with a program focused on “The Seven Key Elements of Dynamic Digital Signage,” hardware, software, connectivity, content, operation, design, and business models. That is followed by seminars on “Demystifying Dynamic Digital Signage” and “Where to Sell Dynamic Digital Signage.”
Afternoon sessions will examine partnerships and the business side of dynamic digital signage for the sign installer. Trends in dynamic digital signage and how to demonstrate the technology to the customer conclude the day.
A Relationship Business
As so many businesses are, the business of providing clients with static or dynamic digital signs is essentially based on relationships. That is reflected in Gottwald’s observations about PSPs having a leg-up in dynamic digital signage because they’ve worked with their legacy customers for so long.
It’s also reinforced by the comments of David Allman, partner in Burbank, CA-based Imagic, a printing company that serves the OOH advertising market with standard billboard materials.
“It continues to be a relationship-type business,” Allman says. “We have strong relationships at Titan Outdoors, Clear Channel Outdoor, and J.C. Decaux, which controls the media at JFK, LaGuardia, and LAX airports. You also should have relationships with people at the traditional advertising agencies. The national campaigns come out of the major ad agencies around the country.”
Succeeding in the very competitive out of home advertising field takes an understanding of the industry and a lot of hard work, he adds. Those who succeed understand their cost structures and the specifications of the materials.