Rapid and constant changes in technology present both opportunities and challenges in our world. Knowing when to dismiss a new product as a passing fad or adopt it to move your business forward can often times define your brand in the marketplace. Many powerful brands have proven that providing one product or service and doing it well can lead to long term success, while others know that falling behind could lead to loss of market share and irrelevancy. Defining digital signage as a trend wouldn’t really be fair as it has been successfully adopted at gas-station pumps, in airports and various other locations for many years. The difference now, like with most technology focused products, is that affordability, reliability, and availability have helped bring it to Main Street.
Once out of reach for small and medium business, digital signage solutions are now an option to help drive measurable sales growth, increase event attendance, and provide easily changeable directories and way-finding for businesses of all sizes in your town. This ultimately means that a space once dominated by Audio/Visual companies now makes more sense than ever for static sign providers. Industry expert Lyle Bunn said it best in a recent article for digitalsignagetoday.com, “Static sign providers inherently understand communications and messaging, have existing customers, are inherently entrepreneurial and competitive, and require little training to learn how to develop digital signage content.” As more traditional sign providers start to learn and package effective content with reliable digital sign hardware, you will begin seeing A/V providers bumping elbows with static sign companies just as those in small format printing have seen the opportunities in the growing wide-format industry.
It is more important now than ever to examine your existing customers and understand their digital signage opportunities. You already have a relationship with these folks and they trust you with their brand so why not add animated content to the mix and schedule it out to a dynamic, easily changeable sign? None of us want to deliver traditional signs and graphics to an existing customer, only to find a bright beautiful digital display in their lobby displaying similar messages. Most traditional sign providers have the skill set to sell and provide digital signage hardware and content. The challenge is carefully allocating your resources to leverage the power of both static and digital sign solutions.
One paramount point of difference you will notice as you consider adding digital signage to your product mix is the opportunity for steady reoccurring revenue. This isn’t always the case with “one and done” static sign projects. Currently, you strive to provide your existing and new customers a great experience and quality sign and graphic solutions that meet their budget and needs. Once that event is over or that logo is mounted behind the front counter, they may or may not need your services again for months or sometimes years. Most of us will only see our average customer on a quarterly basis. If you work with that same customer to help them understand the unique value of delivering messages to their audience as the demographic changes throughout a day, or easily modifying menu items sell new products or to fit the seasons, you have created an opportunity to supply them with that ever-changing, results-oriented content for one or more digital signs.
Taking that first step to learn about digital signage will be different for everyone. Some will dive into it from the content creation end, while others will start the journey understanding the difference between a commercial and consumer grade display. However, waiting to see how things play out is not an option. Organizations such as the Digital Signage Federation and websites such as digitalsignagetoday.com and digitalsignageconnection.com provide a great starting point to read case studies, source vendors, and understand the language used in the digital signage industry.
Just as digital printing revolutionized the wide-format industry, digital signage will revolutionize our customers’ business or organization, allowing more targeted marketing and cross-selling than they ever thought possible. Take that and couple it with powerful floor graphics, impactful environmental graphics, and unique signs and you have more opportunity than anyone to take your customers objectives and provide results that will keep them coming back.