Digital Signage—Connecting the Physical with the Digital ExperienceAs digital living expands, businesses strive to weave the physical and virtual into one all-inclusive and engaging consumer experience. The rise of digital signage makes great headway toward this end—enhancing consumer experiences and business efficacy in a seamless marriage of the digital and real worlds.

More so than most other audiovisual technologies today, digital signage bridges the gap between the online research and shopping consumers do via desktop and mobile devices and their in-store experience. Businesses can deploy digital signage technology in a number of ways to craft pre-brand experiences, engage with customers on-site, and use digital signage to gather information for re-marketing campaigns through mobile and social media platforms.

Craft Pre-Brand Experiences Through Digital Signage and Cloud-based Technology

Social media and search platforms allow targeted marketing and re-marketing, providing consumers with advertisements designed to interest them and then serving up similar ads to remind them of the brand.

However, this effort—until recently—remained largely in the digital sphere. The Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud-based technologies open the door to greater hybrid marketing opportunities that bring the consumer experience off the screen and into the real world.

Businesses need to shapeshift with the changing technological landscape to stay ahead, and digital signage offers an avenue to explore these changes. In this next evolution of marketing, four powerful technologies join forces:

  • Data feeds, courtesy of the IoT and ubiquitous smart devices
  • Digital signage
  • Beacon technology and geo-targeting
  • Other cloud-based technologies that integrate them all

Theoretically, relevant and targeted digital signage ads could “follow” customers down the street or through a shopping mall as they chose which shops to enter. Beacon technology tracks users’ movements, and geo-targeting tailors their experience to the location. This is an obvious opportunity for businesses to craft an engaging pre-brand experience with any consumer, wherever they may be. Customer acquisition could begin on the consumer’s couch (through a mobile device or streaming video on their Smart HDTV), continue in their car, and culminate at a store or restaurant location.

Engage Consumers On-Site with Relevant Marketing

Digital signage provides valuable information to businesses, which helps marketers deliver an exemplary consumer experience. Facial recognition plays a large role in ad targeting success.

When a digital sign recognizes demographic information, it can produce personalized content to the user. This type of software is already being used in some retail locations. With an ever-increasing level of responsiveness and agility in these systems, they will continue to grow more effective.

Digital signage also enables a real-time (albeit automated), two-way communication between consumers and the brand.  Visual and audio cues in digital signage can be designed to draw a customer into active interaction. Eye tracking software can record which images and words capture the user’s attention. That data produces adaptive marketing in the short-term, as well as important aggregate information in the long-term.

Real-time interaction with digital displays has additional benefits for consumers as well. Users save time by having access to a database of products, sizes, and colors. The display can tell them what is in stock and where products are. If something is unavailable, consumers can complete an order and have it shipped to the store or his or her home. This takes pressure off customer service agents during busy shopping hours, empowers consumers to take charge of their shopping experience and, theoretically, could capture sales opportunities that may have otherwise been lost.

Linking displays to employee tablets or computers further smooths out the process. Staff can be alerted when an item is running low or when a client needs help. The connectivity these systems provide will change the shopping experience forever. There will no longer be a barrier between digital marketing and real-world retail. The two will be inextricably tied to produce seamless experiences.

Reach Beyond the Storefront

Some retailers have begun to incorporate on-site experiences with social and mobile marketing initiatives. This is a solid step, and digital signage can further bridge the gap between these two worlds. As an example, a customer in a makeup store could be prompted to take before and after pictures and upload them to a digital signage kiosk. Once the customer has her makeup done, the  makeup artist could help her to scan the product bar codes through the kiosk, too.

When the customer provides her email address, the photos and product profiles would be sent for future reference. The retailer could also store the information in its database—then send a reminder email with a coupon after six months or a year, the time when most make-up supplies run low or need to be discarded due to age. The customer would not need to remember the makeup brands or colors.

The digital signage application could also link to the consumer’s favorite social media platforms or a proprietary mobile app, creating additional avenues for future customer contact.

Follow the Whole Customer Journey

Digital signage represents the first real and effective marriage of the tangible and digital. I expect to see an increase in investments for these systems in the coming year. They allow for an all-inclusive customer experience, guided by the retailer from start to finish. Clients receive extremely personalized service and businesses gather vital data. This is truly the future of marketing and business strategy.

At Advanced AV we empower live meetings and remote collaboration by deploying the technology that helps your organization connect, communicate and engage with its customers, employees and stakeholders. Connect with us to find out more about how Advanced AV can help you achieve your business and technology goals.

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