By David Little
Director of Marketing, Keywest Technology
Digital signage puts marketers and other communicators in charge of when and where their messages influence consumers. This may also mean changes in the way things get done and who’s responsible for those things.
Day after day, the media are filled with stories of who will do what if this politician or that party takes control. The headlines are filled with phrases like “seizing control” and “taking power” and stories about the ramifications of Democratic or Republican control of Congress.
“Taking control” is part of our daily lexicon, too. “He’s a take charge kind of guy.” Or, “She’s a control freak.” Everywhere you turn, life seems about controlling our words, our actions and our environment. At least it is in most spheres.
But I wonder, if you were to ask 10 communication managers how in control they feel about their marketing message, if even half could honestly say they’re in charge. Sure they design their messages and sign off on the creative product of their advertising agencies. But from that point on they start to lose control.
Marketers cast their messages out to the public through a variety of media, like the Internet, print publications, TV broadcast and radio, without really knowing whether or not the public is fully absorbing their messages. Today’s empowered consumer is far more likely to zap the commercials on their digital video recorder, change the radio station and turn past the newspaper and magazine ads, than they are to actually acknowledge the marketer’s message and take a desired action.
That’s why when it comes to taking control of marketing messages, no other medium appears to approach digital signage. With digital signage, marketers can influence shoppers when they’re in the buying frame of mind at or near the point of sale. They can day-part their messages, appealing to stay-at-home parents during one portion of the day and the after-5-work-crowd at another. Digital signage even allows them to control their messages on a micro-geographic level, targeting a neighborhood, ethnicity, age group, social strata or income like no other medium.
With digital signage, communication managers aren’t only in control of their message but also how, where and when that message is presented to a highly targeted market audience. Digital signage elevates the control over messaging to a level all managers dream of and few currently achieve. When looking at the practical results of this robust communication medium, digital signage is a game changer for advertisers.
Digital signage represents a new age for marketers and communication managers — and a new way of thinking about content, one that can address in real time the ways consumers think and act in the purchase environment. Digital signage is not television. It’s not Internet. It’s not radio. It’s not print. It’s a completely different medium and requires a fresh approach.
Look around you. Don’t let this game changer pass you by and risk intellectual paralysis by over analyzing the obvious. Digital signage is here to stay and is becoming the communication medium of choice for messages where consumer engagement and frequent changes in content are desired. Avoid hiring an agency with old-school paradigms; consider teaming with a full-service digital signage company that has a proven track record and will assume some accountability for your return on objectives.