Personal Small Business Enterprise

M2M – The Present & Future of Digital Signage

Digital signage can play an important part in any business. It’s a physical representation of your brand, which means attention to the message – and the detail within it – is crucial.

Printing posters and other marketing collateral can be expensive and time-consuming. They can’t be easily (or quickly) changed if there’s a mistake or last-minute update needed, and that can increase your costs as you scramble for a replacement.

What’s the solution? Digital signage is becoming more affordable, and easy-to-use content management systems are making the technology accessible for various types of businesses and applications. In fact, Global Industry Analysts estimates that by 2017, the global digital signage systems market will grow to reach $13.8 billion. Using machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, these signs can be used to help business owners adapt to their market needs faster by getting desired messages out quickly and effectively.

So how can you leverage digital signage in your business? Here are some examples of how digital signage can be used across different industries:

Retail: Retailers can easily rotate among different promotions based on particular stores or even times of the day. One central computer can push changes to signs in multiple store locations instantly and manage unique promotions for different stores. But using touch-based signage can add a new, interactive element, allowing customers to get additional information about products, compare items, see demo videos (or product advertisements) or even make online purchases for items that aren’t in store. When used in conjunction with sophisticated content management systems, retailers can gather detailed sales and engagement data.

Food Services: Digital menu displays make it easy for food service businesses to update items on-the-fly, like daily specials, seasonal additions or items they want to sell quickly. But they also afford the advantage of being able to get creative with real-time, limited promotional sales. For instance, a bar might want to advertise half-priced beverages for half-an-hour after the local hockey team scores a goal.

Hotels: Digital signs can provide directions and inform customers about amenities, events and key contacts. But hospitality companies can get creative, too. MGM Grand in Las Vegas, for example, had a digital sign in the middle of the casino during the International CES where passers-by could snap a selfie, then instantly upload it to their Facebook or Twitter accounts. It helped to keep guests engaged, attract a younger clientele and push out a branding message in a unique way.

Airports: With flights leaving constantly, gate changes, cancellations and delays, airports and digital signs go hand-in-hand. But digital signage can expand beyond displaying the critical flight information and into the sphere of marketing. Some airports, for example, have interactive displays where travellers can kill time by playing a quiz game, or use their smartphones to receive information wirelessly.

Other advantages of digital signage
Beyond the aforementioned advantages of digital signage, today’s technologies take it even further, allowing for real-time intelligence, like being able to track eyeballs and user engagement, determining which products are searched for most often, which categories shoppers spend the most time with and which signs attract the most attention.

Interactive features can also be used to up the ante. With technologies like Bluetooth, NFC and QR codes, customers can get product information or coupons pushed wirelessly to their smartphones from an enabled digital sign. And all of this can be measured and calculated to determine effectiveness.

Have you made the switch to digital signage yet? Tell us about some of the biggest advantages you’ve noticed thus far in the comments section below.

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