Friday, January 15, 2010

Digital Signage Tipping Point Now Tipping: Retail’s Big Show 2010 Recap

As mentioned in my previous post citing DispalySearch, more and more large IT companies are getting serious about digital signage, sending that domino and an entire industry ever closer to its tipping point.

Its been tweeted and blogged about lots and lots all week, but in case you missed it, for further insight I would recommend reading Ken Goldberg’s “Broad Thinking. Narrowcasting.” post (along with my comment), as well as David Weinfeld’s “Digital Signage Insights” post, and also this WSJ article "Intel, Microsoft Offer Smart Sign Technology". This will get you caught up quickly with what happened earlier this week at the National Retail Federation Show at the Javits’ Center in NYC.

In brief, I attended and was very excited to see digital signage solutions taking center stage right next to other key technology solutions for retail from several of the largest technology companies in the U.S. Some were promoting their partner solutions (Dell, Intel, Microsoft) while others demonstrated current and future possibilities integrating their technology (HP, Intel, Microsoft, NCR) and others their own branded solutions (Cisco). In addition, highlighted in some of these exhibits and in their own spaces, were several leading digital signage software companies demonstrating simpler, easier to use and less expensive solutions for small to medium sized businesses interested in installing digital signs. The end result is lots and lots of positive spin about digital signage for the rest of us in the game. More importantly, to those of you considering how to best resell or implement digital signage in your business, more and more resources and certified solutions from leading tech companies are now available. Let me know if you would you like to know more.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Yin and Yang of In-Store Signage: Digital & Traditional

I kind of doubt that the supermarket I shop in (pictured here) is the exception, more likely it is typical, but I happened to be taking in my surroundings while waiting in line the other day (or as industry folks might like to say, I was doing some serious dwelling), and no I was not compelled by the digital signage screens located at each check-out aisle, why? Perhaps the clutter of signs hanging everywhere overhead was to blame for me taking my eyes off the check out aisle screens but oh my gosh, there are static dimensional, backlit and printed signs hanging everywhere! Does this represent opportunity and promise of all that's good about installing digital signage or what is wrong with this picture I thought to myself? Supermarkets (or those managing the network) are spending thousands of dollars many times over on digital signage at the checkout aisle as well as in the deli and bakery areas now more than ever, but with all this extraneous static signage competing for attention, how effective and how well are they really doing? If I was spending to be on a digital-out-of-home ad network in one of these supermarkets I would give serious pause to my spend and its ROI, wouldn't you?

So how do you clean it up? I think hybrid, or a balance between static signs and digital screens. Those that change with X frequency go static and those that change with Y go digital. Granted there is a lot more to it then that like location, design, operating costs, procurement costs, install issues, just to name a few but the key objective in my mind is that there needs to be a balance between the static and digital to better communicate all this information in a clear and concise way, a kind of yin yang or best-of-both worlds approach. Any takers? Let me know, what do you think?

Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 Data Bodes Well For Digital Signage In 2010

I came across this study a couple weeks back preparing an investment justification for the development of a digital signage business plan. I don’t recall it having received much press within the digital signage community since its release so I thought I would mention it here. While it does not call out digital signage directly it uncovers several consumer preferences and attitudes toward technology that indicate interest and acceptance of digital signage and kiosk technology in the restaurant industry.