Signs of the times: digital signage represents a new opportunity for brands

May 3rd, 2017 by

Brands need to start thinking now about how to optimize content and message for a new customer engagement channel
digital signage

Drop by your nearest consumer electronics store, and you’ll see that the prices of LED displays have tumbled in the last 2 years. At the same time, internet-of-things (IoT) technologies have proliferated. These two factors have enabled a new channel for engaging with customers: digital signage. You’ve probably noticed the recent proliferation of highly branded and informational in-store displays, in-restaurant signs and interactive menus, kiosks, in-mall signage, informational displays inside office buildings, and even roadside billboards.

The market for digital signage is growing fast. ABI Research and other market research firms are projecting that spending on digital signage systems (digital displays, media players, software, installation, maintenance) will be around $13.8 billion this year.

Supporting this trend, and growing out of the traditional outdoor advertising market, specialized content management system point solutions for digital signs and billboards have emerged. But these point solutions are often not integrated with the brand content management systems (CMS) that power many companies’ customer relationship and engagement systems. Meanwhile, the major digital marketing system and digital asset management vendors such as Adobe have already expanded the scope of their products to add these new forms of customer engagement. For us here at Trilibis, it’s déjà vu, all over again.

Interesting parallels with the emergence of mobile

A few years ago, and before the emergence of the smartphone, Trilibis pioneered the creation mobile-specific websites. Brands that wished to engage with mobile customers had to deploy specialized “m-dot” websites that mirrored the content of their main website, but presented so that it could be viewed on mobile phones. From our vantage point, the evolution of the digital signage market is showing distinct similarities to the early evolution of the mobile web and app market.

Back then, mobile was treated as standalone engagement channel, loosely tethered to a brand’s digital marketing platforms and initiatives — just as we’re seeing today with digital signage initiatives. Of course, today, mobile is an integral part of any brand’s customer engagement strategy, and is an essential requirement of any digital marketing and CMS platform. It therefore seems likely that being able to optimize customer engagement for digital signage using existing enterprise systems will soon be a requirement.

There’s more to a device than the size of its screen

A key area of interest for omnichannel marketers will be how to adapt their brand content which, until now, has been presented on desktop/laptop browsers, tablets and smartphones, for a broadening array of displays and kiosks. Can responsive design techniques scale to these displays, or is additional optimization needed? The answer: “yes” and “yes.”

With our deep roots and experience in presenting customer engagement content optimized for every device, and our focus on making the central content repository “device-aware,” Trilibis is innovating with enterprises and vendors of digital marketing systems to engage with customers over these new classes of digital displays. The Trilibis SNOW® Engine will play a significant role here, by automating the process of delivering optimized code and images to any device. Stay tuned for more developments.

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