Investing in the Message: the Road to DSE, and Beyond

Investing in the Message: the Road to DSE, and Beyond

As digital signage professionals meet at Digital Signage Expo next week in Las Vegas nothing less than the foundation of the success and growth of the medium must be top of mind. DSE profiles the enabling tools and best practices related to giving marketers and communicators what then need to succeed– and it’s not primarily about technology. It’s about the effective leveraging of technology to enhance your messaging investment.

DSE 2014 delegates will meet on what will be the largest and busiest industry trade show floor with over 200 exhibitors, and attend a comprehensive education program of 11 pre- and post-show educational events, 28 general conference seminars, as well as 60 targeted Roundtable discussion groups and 28 free presentations staged in on-floor theaters. Perspectives from more than 125 presenters promise to make this must-attend event an inflection point for the success of many digital signage end users and providers.

What they don't want is digital signage in particular. What they really want is the benefits that it can deliver. Brands, retailers, location managers, administrators and others that invest in communications approaches want:

• More compelling messaging: Research proves that relevant messages with animation of text or graphics will gain viewer attention.

• Better audience targeting: Context is king. Messages that speak most directly to target audiences at the time and location where it can resonate most significantly with them are the absolute, uncontested desire of marketers and communicators. Digital signage must efficiently and effectively enable this message targeting capability.

• Leverage of messaging investment: Most organizations use multiple communication approaches such as” paid” advertising, “owned” media such as website, posters, digital signage, emails/ecasts, newsletters or direct mail, and “earned” media including social media, public relations or sponsorships to improve word-of-mouth and viral marketing. It is a ”multichannel” world. Digital signage must both leverage and contribute to the creation of effective messaging. This “Transmedia” approach maximizes the return on message creation time and investment well assuring brand “fidelity”. Every communications approach has different strengths and those of digital signage make it a very adaptable, applicable and powerful tool in the marketer’s tool chest.

• Consistent, quality branding: Communicators require the assurance that their message will be presented at the intended time and location. 100% “compliance” is a particular and inherent strength of digital signage. Attractive high resolution messages in and of themselves present the “brand promise” and instill the confidence of quality that marketers desire in the perception of their brand.

• Better Messaging Results: The investment in any messaging or engagement medium is based on its cost/benefit promise. All research related to digital signage impact validates that positive outcomes are achievable through even a minimal investment in this tool. Results from a cost/benefit standpoint can be improved dramatically as content is optimized and the cost of this is spread across increasingly expanding networks.

The bottom line of what really want is better messaging return on investment of time and spending.

Marketing and communications is an infinite, ongoing journey during which adjustments and refinements are continuously made based on the status of a brand and the market influences upon it. When the retailer Wanamaker declared “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted - the trouble is, I don't know which half” he was profoundly citing the challenge of all communicators. There is no endpoint in meeting this challenge. It is a journey. The ever present question “are we there yet” is the true call to action that directs decisions on communications.

As digital signage offers its capabilities for more cost-effective and better messaging results, the keys to the success of digital signage professionals and organizations is in the realization that:

• Defining communication objectives is the essential first step.

• Content is primarily responsible for delivering communications value.

• Technologies must be selected and applied that can assure the most cost-effective media presentation and engagement to meet today's and tomorrow’s needs.

Lyle Bunn is an independent analyst, advisor and educator in North America's digital signage industry. He has been named as a member of the Distinguished Faculty of Digital signage Expo.