Celebrating its 90th year in business, Rihm Family Companies (opens in new tab) operates seven Kenworth (opens in new tab) truck dealerships in Minnesota and Wisconsin that represent the pulse of its customer-facing operations. Several years ago, the family-owned and operated company transitioned from print media to digital signage for customer communications from its busiest and newest locations, using on-premise software from Carousel Digital Signage. (opens in new tab)
Rihm Family Companies is now switching to Carousel Cloud (opens in new tab) software at all four signage-active Minnesota locations to target specific welcome messages, vehicle and service specials, local interest information and more to customers in each showroom. The transition to a cloud-based network also allows the company's IT department to seamlessly scale the network to its other three dealerships.
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The company's digital signage journey started in 2017 as construction plans for new dealership buildings advanced in South Saint Paul, Coon Rapids, Mankato and Albert Lea. According to Kristin Oftedahl, Rihm Family Companies' marketing communications manager, the company envisioned "tech-forward" building designs that embraced visual communications to engage customers and enhance brand value.
Modernizing the Customer Experience via DS
"We customized these buildings from the ground up to best represent our brand, and that included using digital signage to modernize the customer experience," said Oftedahl, who was then in charge of the company's digital signage initiative. "Carousel helped us establish a tone inside our newest dealerships that emphasized visual appeal. it was also easy to learn and use, which was important since I was new to digital signage."
Oftedahl handed the Carousel keys to Megan Meier seven months ago as Rihm Family Companies was shifting to Carousel Cloud. The transition gave Meier a fresh slate to develop custom content that is relevant to customers where they shop. Carousel Cloud's IT-friendly architecture simplifies the process of creating, scheduling and targeting content at each dealership. That includes targeting content to screens in different departments.
"We have maintained that family-friendly style and appearance with Carousel's crisp and clean visual layouts, which remain unchanged as we move from on-premise to the cloud," said Meier, who serves as corporate brand marketing specialist. "Moving to Carousel Cloud brings a wider feature set that allows me to be more creative and targeted, and update content across these screens quicker and easier. We can show our corporate values or new product ads above the reception desk, and pricing for truck parts in our service area. We no longer have to show the same information across every screen in the network."
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Meier creates most of the content and builds most of the playlists on a monthly basis to promote new specials and messages. However, she can quickly add new content to greet special guests, highlight store events, or display inventory alerts to customers. She added that Carousel Cloud makes life easier by automating tasks that are easy to forget, such as deleting outdated ads and turning off screens at closing time.
IT Department Embraces Carousel Cloud
The IT department has embraced how Carousel Cloud simplifies device connection to the network, including the Apple TV devices that power content on each screen. Carousel Digital Signage natively supports Apple TV devices, automatically converting them to digital signage media players once Carousel content begins flowing. Meier adds that they will soon add more screens inside their corporate headquarters to communicate internal company information and messaging to employees.
"Looking specifically at our industry, digital signage provides a flexible platform to creatively communicate information to different audiences, both internal and external," she said. "Carousel Cloud has helped us create content that is fresh and engaging for both staff and customers. Especially for our customers, we can offer a compelling \visual touchpoint to remind them of our sales, promotions and values as they make a purchase or await a service diagnosis."