Sunday, 25 December 2016

Digital Signage Network - The out of box idea for sales and marketing

Digital Signage Network - The out of box idea for sales and marketing
What is Digital Signage?

It is a new medium of audio-visual advertising different than TV/Radio advertisements. In this medium, advertisements which are of multimedia nature (audio content, graphic images and video content) are played on large video screens. The only difference being that they are not present in the home of consumers. 

They are located mostly in public places. They are located generally at railway stations, airports, multiplexes, shopping malls, hospitals, bus stations ,pubs, hotels, even schools, colleges, etc. Choice of location is left to the creativity of facility provider and it is limitless. The main motto here is to match consumer eyeballs with right advertising content.

Strategically they are placed at such locations where actually consumer is buying goods or services. Since it is different than playing the content in the home of consumers, it is also called OOH or Out Of Home media. TV advertisements can also be termed as In Home Media.

Technology behind Digital Signage

Technically and essentially, it boils down to creating your own private TV channel where TV screens will be placed in prominent public places where footfall will be high. High footfall will ensure that eyeballs for advertisements displayed on the TV screens will be in high numbers thereby generating viewer traffic for a particular advertisement or content. 

Even Digital Signage Network or OOH media is dominated by content and as it is very well said that content is the king as far as marketing or advertisements are concerned. Since content plays a dominant role, computer technology comes into picture to ensure that right advertisement content matches right eyeballs.

Computer technology makes it simple to create your own private TV channel or Digital Signage Network playing your desired content. It offers fine granular control on content streamed  on each screen or display unit with reporting or feedback mechanism on performance of the content.

Some of the hardware/software required for creating Digital Signage or OOH media is as given below. 

Hardware requirements are like:
  • Large TV screens (LCD/PLASMA , LED screens, Video walls, ATM display screens)
  • Computer CPUs with graphics processing cards (GPU)
  • Wireless Internet or LAN connection for each CPU
  • Central Server CPU and hardware which streams/pushes content (audio file, video file or any other file) to various locations or CPUs attached to screens or display units
  • Each screen connected to CPU along with necessary hardware is termed as one display unit. 
  • Sometimes display unit is converted to touch-screen based display unit which is used to accept user-input also. Such display units are generally of interactive nature and are used to display promotional information also. These are called kiosks. Kiosks are used to display advertisements as well as for capture of user-information.
  • KIOSKs are also used as advertisement display units in Digital Signage Network.

Software requirements are like:
  • Audio/Video player for playing video file or audio file
  • Software for creating random playlist or schedule of play is required for advertisements. Here advertisement refers to one audio or video or graphic image file to be displayed on screen. This kind of software is required, if large number of advertisements are to be played on screen in random order or in a pre-determined schedule.
  • Scheduling software which will create schedule for various advertisers based on time-slots.
  • Software to push playlist and content on each screens via. Internet or LAN.
  • Software for billing and metrics for advertisements.
       
Innovative variants of Digital Signage or OOH network
  • On -vehicle Digital Signage Screens
  • Mobile as Digital Signage Screens
  • ATM as Digital Signage Screens
  • Gaming apps as Digital Signage Screens
  • Holographic Images and Content to play on VR and Augmented Reality Devices
  • Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Devices as Digital Signage Screens
  • POS and weighing machines with Video Display Screens 
  • YouTube and other social media channels as Digital Signage Screens
Basic configurations of Digital Signage Network

Single Screen Network

It contains only one screen or TV display with attached computer CPU. It is suitable for small merchants or establishments where in-house advertising is to be done.
       
Multi-Screen Network (in same premises or geo-graphic location)

It contains more than one screens or TV displays with attached computer CPUs. But all are located in the same building premises or at a reachable distance via. Cables. Wireless LAN or Ethernet cables can be used to connect all display CPUs and one computer CPU can be configured as server which will push or stream advertisement media files to other screen CPUs.
       
Multi-Screen Network (Different geo-graphic boundaries)

It contains more than one screens or TV displays with attached computer CPUs. But all are located in different geo-graphic boundaries where cable or wireless LAN connection is not possible always. Internet can be used to connect all display CPUs with the server in order to stream/push content.
Multi-screen Network can be mixture of LAN/Internet connected screens spread across vast geographically distant locations, sometimes across countries.
       
       
Comparative advantages of Digital Signage Network
  • Content can be of out of box and varied nature e.g. text, audio, image, video, etc.
  • Content can be of interactive nature. User feedback for products/services can be captured.  
  • Sales lead generation is possible because of interactive content. It is one of the great tools for planning your out of box sales and marketing strategies.
  • Performance of the content can be measured in terms of number of eyeballs with additional human tracking devices and hardware.
  • Targeted advertising of products/services can be done based on demographic profile of consumer.
  • Media planners can measure and calculate effectiveness of campaigns mathematically in terms of numbers.
  • Cost-benefit analysis of media campaigns can be done accurately.
  • The configuration and location of network can be changed based on changing business requirements.
  • It directly and implicitly impacts buying decision of consumer in favor of desired product or service.
  • Advertisers can pay based on time-slots or on no. of eyeballs. It increases effectiveness of media campaign as far as cost of acquiring media is concerned.
Companies offering Digital Signage Solutions

       http://scala.com/
       https://onsign.tv/
       
Summary
       
It is an advertising medium which gels consumer eyeballs with targeted content.