Why digital signage content silos are bad for omnichannel engagement

March 12th, 2018 by

Unless digital content management systems factor digital signage into their omnichannel offerings, point solutions will fill the void with content silos tied to specific signage applications



Twelve years ago, channel-specific content strategies were all the rage. Remember m-dot websites? These were the mobile-specific websites that were created alongside regular ‘desktop’ websites because mobile phones, back then, were incapable of handling full-bore HTML. At the time, it made sense: a new channel for customer engagement was emerging, and marketers were eager to connect with consumers on their mobile phones. So, they built what were effectively isolated content silos to address mobile users.

Running two sites side-by-side was complicated and fraught with problems, chief among the difficulty of ensuring alignment of the content on both sites (a classic content silo negative). This all changed when iPhone was launched, with its built-in Safari browser that could even load the desktop version of nytimes.com. Within a few years, marketers would abandon their m-dot silos in favor of a unified, mobile-first approach to their website content. Ensuring alignment of content across websites, email marketing programs, and various other channels drove the need for enterprise web content management (WCM) systems to manage and deploy omnichannel content and measure engagement.

In recent years, new channels have emerged for engagement with consumers: social media, mobile apps, SMS and chat, Internet of Things (IoT) such as wearables, smart home devices and other Internet-connected devices. In response, content management systems have embraced these new channels to provide a unified approach to content dissemination.

Signage silos are the comeback kid of content

Now, it looks like content silos may be making a comeback for one channel in particular: digital signage. Why? Because it’s gigantic opportunity that is fragmented across different industries and devices. Grand View Research is predicting the digital signage market will double from the 2016 figure of 16 billion to almost 32 billion by 2025, with the primary driver for that accredited to “the increasing demand for the digital promotion of products and services so as to attract the attention of the target audience in an effective manner.

With such a huge opportunity, it’s perhaps no surprise that the market resembles the Wild West. Digital signage can be bewildering for end users trying to develop and deploy the infrastructure on their own. It’s a complex undertaking that requires expertise in a variety of areas such as IT, audiovisual, software, mechanical and display technologies. Signage vendors have stepped up to the challenge by offering complete and customized digital signage solutions consisting of displays, web-based content management and supporting services, among other offerings. Meanwhile, value-added retailers (VARs) are offering complete solutions that incorporate products from various hardware and software vendors.

The signage silo antidote

While a point-solution approach may make sense for some digital signage applications, it will likely prove costly and complicated for the larger applications: retail, corporate, banking, healthcare, education, and transportation (retail being the largest of all). Typically, with every new digital touchpoint, companies often take the misstep of creating new standalone content silos, which inadvertently introduces inefficiencies and complexities into the content creation workflow.

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 these new, larger devices. These include video walls, video screens, transparent LED screens, digital posters, kiosks, and others. We predict that all the major enterprise content management system suppliers will include digital signage as just another channel, which will enable marketers to avoid signage-content silos and design/deploy a unified content strategy from a common asset repository across all devices.

Contact us here if you’d like to learn how Trilibis technology can shorten your time to market and adapt your enterprise web content management or customer engagement system to the latest digital signage and large-format displays.


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