August 28, 2018

GET OFF YOUR PHONE


Have you ever been driving down the road and find yourself telling the car next to you (who cannot hear you) to "GET OFF YOUR PHONE?!"  Of course you have! People are always on their phone despite the warnings.  

Norfolk county, near London, is testing a new technology that will flash a warning at drivers who are on their phone.  The technology utilizes a scanner that detects radio signals from a mobile phone that is on a call and then sends the signal to a digital sign down the road.

This type of technology wouldn't be possible without our advances in digital signage along with scanning technologies.  The possibilities for your business are endless!!

August 21, 2018

Visualize The Future With Digital Signage

 

Originally posted on Forbes.com By Jose Avalos

 

Businesses intent on galvanizing customers to patronize physical stores are faced with the challenge of how best to understand their customers, strengthen their brand identity, increase efficiency, boost revenue and reduce costs.

One of the tools for overcoming these challenges is digital signage. Today, smart signs and interactive kiosks offer companies the ability to capture customer data in real-time, and to offer personalized recommendations based on individual preferences.


Digital signage is being used today by advertisers who want to customize messaging to target particular demographic segments. INTEL

A case in point are quick-service restaurants, which are installing self-ordering kiosks to better serve and understand their customers. Fast-food giant Wendy’s, for example, installed more than 1,000 self-ordering kiosks in the U.S. last year, in a move that underscores the growing popularity of this new breed of smart kiosks.

The adoption of innovative technology is expected to lower costs while increasing sales and customer satisfaction. In the case of the fast food industry, interactive kiosks are boosting total sales per transaction. The ability to collect real-time data facilitates everything from targeted marketing and more informed decision-making to better customer experiences and higher profitability.

The Connection Between Advertising And Outcomes

Digital signage is being used today by advertisers who want to customize messaging to target particular demographic segments. Accurate tracking requires, for example, the ability for a sign to distinguish the difference between a 25-year-old woman and a 55-year-old man.

Using facial detection technology and artificial intelligence (AI), different ads can be displayed based on an analysis of who has just walked into a store or stopped in front of a store window. That can mean higher conversions that ultimately boost bottom line.

Data being collected from digital signage is completely anonymous, with the results aggregated for specific demographic groups, but not individualized. But now, some retailers, such as Lolli & Pops, are testing the ability to identify and target individual loyalty program members — who have opted-in — as they walk into a store. Privacy is, of course, an important consideration. Businesses should ensure that their advertising and marketing meets applicable local laws and are respectful of individual customers.

Ultimately, AI-driven analytics will enable advertisers to track whether a customer made a purchase related to a customized ad they saw. Ad attribution, which connects the promotion with the outcome, is the Holy Grail for both retailers and advertising agencies.

The ability to connect the dots between advertising and outcomes is essential for companies investing in kiosks and digital signage. As advertisers gain a better understanding of how digital signs can deliver ROI, it will enable them to best use this technology to personalize customer experiences and increase bottom line.

Investing In Digital Signage

Whether it is digital signage or interactive kiosks, companies that are investing in this technology should ensure that their systems can scale and grow with their needs. It’s important to make sure the technology being implemented can handle future growth, and easily accommodate new capabilities. It also is essential to be able to add new features with software upgrades, rather than having to invest in new hardware.

The Intel Smart Display Module (SDM), for example, offers a scalable media player solution that is optimized for digital signage, kiosks, and point of sale systems. It accommodates a wide range of processors — from the Atom to Core i7 — and can handle whatever workload is required to run smart signs and interactive kiosks. Intel’s innovative visual technologies are making low-power, high performance platforms available for AI-related computing. This facilitates the kind of processing firepower necessary for workload consolidation when managing compute-intensive AI applications.

Visual solutions, such as digital signage and interactive kiosks, enable companies to deliver dynamic content, increase efficiency, and save time and money. Sensors that facilitate the collection of real-time data can now be paired with machine learning systems and IoT connectivity to facilitate data analysis on-the-fly. The result is better targeted advertising, improved customer experiences and, ultimately, positively affecting the bottom line.

To learn more about Intel’s digital signage solutions, visit www.intel.com/digitalsignage.

Jose Avalos heads the leadership and management of Intel’s world-wide retail and digital signage business. He holds an Executive MBA from Harvard Business School, an MSE in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University, and a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Follow him @Intel_Jose on Twitter.

August 14, 2018

How to measure digital signage ROI

Originally posted on: Digital Signage Today by Debbie Wilson-dewitt
 

Return on Investment (ROI) is a financial term, often calculated using a simple formula: sale profit from an investment minus the cost of that investment, divided by the cost (again), and the ROI is expressed as a percentage. As an example, Michaela buys $2000 of stock in Acme Corp, and later sells that stock for $2600. She takes the $2600 she sold the stock for, subtracts her initial cost of $2000, and gets a net profit of $600. She then divides that $600 by the initial cost of $2000 to get 0.3, which then gets multiplied by 100 to get a percentage of 30 percent for her ROI. Simple enough when it comes to money matters, but what about measuring something a little less tangible, like digital signage ROI?

A digital signage system should be looked at more like marketing than straight costs vs. profits, since the goals aren't necessarily always about money, but about engagement. John Wanamaker, founder of Macy's, famously said, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half."

Today, there are formulae for measuring marketing ROI. No matter which formula a company uses, the goal is to get the highest return possible and to increase that ROI percentage over time. One method looks at gross profits vs. marketing budget, another uses Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) in place of gross profits. This seems a little closer to what we might think about when considering digital signage ROI, but still deals with income from sales.

Digital signage is different

Marketing is used to try to influence people to choose your products and services over those of your competitors. Much of retail digital signage is used in this way. But organizational digital signage is different – it's used to inform and entertain internal audiences and visitors, so they engage with the organization, understand its values, and stay updated and motivated to internalize a message or take a desired action.

There are measurable costs to set up and maintain a digital signage system:

  • Hardware (screens, media players, etc.)
  • Software (content management software, design applications)
  • Infrastructure (network, power, cabling)
  • System training
  • Content subscriptions
  • External design services
  • Support and maintenance contracts
  • Labor for consulting, installation, etc.

Then there are the additional operational costs of paying staff to create and schedule content, and generally maintain the digital signage system.

That's all easy enough to add up. But it's very difficult to assign dollar values to the results of general communications that aren't sales-focused. Many of the benefits are intangible (brand loyalty, guest experience, employee morale, etc.), and contribute to other larger business factors (employee retention, guest satisfaction, etc.). So then, what is the "profit" from digital signage?

Instead of Return on Investment (an accounting benchmark), focus on specific goals for individual communications or campaigns by looking at qualitative feedback, behavioral changes and business outcomes. Borrow ideas that come from measuring internal communications, where professionals use SMART objectives, KPIs and other tools. Instead of Return on Investment, a better term for this might be Return on Involvement.

What has value here isn't money, but information. So, to measure digital signage ROI, you need to have information that tells you:

  • If people are engaged
  • If they're having a good experience
  • If they're informed or entertained
  • If they'll continue to use the digital signage system because they feel it's valuable
Objectives determine the task

It is essential that you have a clear idea of what exactly you want your digital signage system to achieve. Is it to improve productivity? Increase event participation? Improve the guest experience? Boost online interactions? Your goal has to be relevant and measurable, and shouldn't be simply to give people information. Your objectives will determine both what you're going to show on digital signs and how you’re going to judge success, so they need to be well-thought-out.

The weird truth is that we care about what we measure, not the other way around. So, make sure you figure out what you want to know before you decide on methodology. It's easy to publish statistics and graphs, but they are ineffectual without analysis that you can use to further your goals. Measure something that is useful and gives clear data, or you may find yourself going down a rabbit hole following unproductive lines of inquiry.

Since a lot of the answers to engagement questions are subjective, a good way to get those answers is quite simply to ask your audience. But there's another powerful tool as your disposal — one that you should already be including in every message, and one that turns each message into its own ROI measurement tool — a clear call to action.

August 7, 2018

Digital Signage In 2018

Technology is ever evolving in the 21st century.  Advances are coming at lightning fast speeds and 2018 is no exception!  In 2017, we saw a huge push for adopting digital signage across many industries.  Now that it the technology has been adopted, 2018 is focused on on-screen personalization, interaction and better customer contact.

Content will become more responsive and automated (who has time for it NOT to be automated?!).  Screens will be able to engage with customers while providing content back to the cloud.  With the in-depth knowledge gained at the screen, companies have an even bigger advantage to get in their customers' heads and gain sales!

"Things are getting more integrated, more comprehensive, faster, smarter, and better looking." - Digital Signage Today