November 5, 2018

GameStop TV Network to Rollout to 3,800 Stores

If you had to pick a sub-category of the retail industry to utilize digital signage - who would it be?  We choose gaming!

 

It appears that GameStop Corp. is upgrading their digital video network to more than 3,800 locations.  Their network delivers advertising, interviews, game previews and other content on HD displays in their GameStop stores.  It's called GameStop Tv.  We are in love with it!

"GameStop is gaining more brand traction every year, and part of our success is creating a fun, exciting store environment where our customers like to hang out," Mark Qualls, vice president of operations at GameStop, said in a press release. "The digital GameStop TV network will add a new dimension of excitement and community to our locations, while at the same time providing excellent opportunities for advertisers."

 

 

Picture from @Marisha_Ray Twitter


October 30, 2018

Digital signage helps firefighters save lives

Originally posted on www.digitalsignagetoday.com on  | by Bradley Cooper


 

Digital signage isn't just for advertisements; it can also supply lifesaving information. One example of this is the FireRescueTV platform, designed specifically for firefighters. Martin Grube, executive producer of FireRescueTV, created the platform to help firefighters train, get information on fires in progress and relax with entertaining content.

Digital Signage Today spoke with Grube to learn more about this platform.

Q. What kind of content does FireRescueTV offer?

A. I was a firefighter for over 35 years. My vision was to provide on-duty firefighters an easy-to-access library of training videos and provide a 24-hour loop of entertaining content catering to firefighters. Content such as fire house cooking, fire history, new firefighting equipment and new fire apparatus are just a few videos broadcast on the FRTV screen. Training videos created by firefighters out in the field are also added to the library along with FEMA, and other government first responder videos buried on the web are now easily accessed on the FRTV system.

Q. What is the primary benefit for fire stations?

A. There is a tremendous amount of information that is relayed to fire stations daily through emails, phone calls and paperwork. However, fire officers must log in, read each email, print and then post or verbally tell members of pertinent news. This information is fluid and constantly changing, and because firefighters work 24 hours a day, this information must be updated quickly. FireRescueTV allows the fire officers to send messages to one or all their fire stations in seconds. The data is updated on the screen and the information and meeting reminders rotate every 90 seconds.

Firefighters are required to perform a mandatory one-hour daily drill while on duty. Training never ends in the fire station, and many times, the shift begins with a morning muster and quick drill or safety talk over coffee. FRTV offers a complete library of over 300 content-based video drills on demand. Topics such as safety, EMT, HazMat are some of the categories. They simply use the provided touchpad (mouse) to access these drills that are streamed from the FRTV server. These drills are changed often to keep the content fresh.

FireRescueTV has partnered with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration weather and the local weather for that client's zip code is displayed on the their FRTV screen every 15 minutes.

FireRescueTV has a working relationship with first responder news agencies and over 150 freelance news reporters and photographers who send in breaking news to FRTV. This news is fact checked and then placed on the FireRescueTV exclusive news crawl on the bottom of the FRTV screen.

Every fire station has a U.S. flag pole. Therefore, FRTV has placed a U.S. flag status widget on the bottom position of the screen to provide firefighters the proper flag status; full staff or half staff for the day.

Q. Do you provide a CMS for the fire stations?

A. FireRescueTV allows the fire officers full access to the message portion of the FRTV screen where critical station data and events are posted. Street closures, broken fire hydrants, upcoming training sessions can all be posted by the fire chief via a web portal or by using the free FRTV app.

The firefighters in the station have full access to the video library of training videos and new equipment product videos. The client does not have any control over the software other than posting messages. However, if they produce their own video content and want to share it with other firefighters, they send it to FRTV and we add it to the library and recognize the department for their submission.

Q. What type of displays do you use?

A. FireRescueTV has an account with a national electronics retailer and we order a 43-inch display nearest the new client location and they handle the delivery and drop off. This reduces the expense of storage of displays and shipping costs. We just ship the media player to the address. It is a plug and play system.

Q.How does the platform improve staff morale or help improve response times?

A. FireRescueTV allows volunteer firefighters to have easy access to content-based training every time they stop into their fire station. They do not have to drive to sit in a classroom for lecture. It is always available to fit their time schedules. They city career firefighters who are on duty for a 20-hour period can also obtain the lecture portion of training in their station, on duty and still available for calls in their area. This saves time and money.

Our software will also allow for the 911 CAD from their area to be fed onto the FRTV screen. It provides the firefighters the address to the calls as they are dispatched to.

Our software upgrade now will allow firefighters to post up to five JPEG images on the screen such as fires that they responded to, new truck photos or department history photos. This will greatly improve staff morale.

Q. What is the cost of FireRescueTV?

A. For $1,495, the fire station is shipped a media player with a 12-hour loop of content, a 43-inch display, an HDMI cable and a touchpad to access the video content on-demand. The screen comes with a stand mount or is hung on the wall by a team of two strong firefighters. The monthly service fee is only $19. Grube knows fire department budgets are limited and wanted to keep the monthly service very low and affordable.

The secondary revenue stream is from advertising. With the decline in print over the past decade, firefighters do not get fire related magazines to the station. Many magazines are going digital and firefighters have a vast amount of time between calls at the station. Fire equipment manufacturers and service providers are looking or ways to reach this multi-billion-dollar vertical market. FRTV offers these sponsors free production costs to develop their 60-second commercial that is broadcast every hour in every screen. Only fire related commercials are on the FRTV screens.

 

April 17, 2018

Is Your Signage Ready to Launch?

It's an exciting time at your company when you've decided to go digital with your signage - but that knot in your stomach saying "Is it ready" is probably keeping you up at night.  Here's a list of things to keep in mind to deciding to go LIVE! 

Core Concept

At the core, your digital signage is promoting a product or a brand.  Is your signage properly addressing your target market and how they receive information about your product/brand?  If not, rethink your digital strategy to ensure they are open to your messaging and more likely to buy!

Technology

Are you working with a reputable company who has the knowledge to put together all the pieces of your signage?  There's not only the digital screens, but hooking it up, making sure it is all compatible and finally the messaging platform.  All components need to work flawlessly together?  Not sure...contact BLR for a consultation.

Hardware

You've picked out your technology, but have you thought through how that technology gets put together and displayed?  Making sure your digital display has enough space to be mounted and is in plain view is just as important as the technology itself.  Make sure before you go live with your messaging that you've thought through this as well!

 

 

June 27, 2017

Cut Waiting Room Distress!

Think about the last time you were in a waiting room for a doctor appointment or office meeting.  How long were you in the waiting room - and how long did it FEEL like you were in the waiting room?  Chances are it felt like you were sitting in the waiting room longer than you actually were. 

Perceived waiting time is generally more than the actual time - but that time tends to feel like torture!  Digital signage is now being used to help reduce the perceived wait time.  Here's some items an office could display on their digital signage:

 

  • Welcome message
  • Check-in instructions
  • Approximate wait times
  • Building directory and navigation information
  • Staff recognition
  • Promotions
  • General information about the business

Need help implementing digital signage or creating a marketing strategy?  Contact BLR for a free quote!

 

 


May 16, 2017

Subway® launches ordering of sandwiches and salads on Facebook with a bot for Messenger

SAN JOSE, Calif. and MILFORD, Conn., April 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Subway® restaurants launched a bot for Facebook Messenger today that allows guests to order sandwiches and salads from more than 26,500 Subway® restaurants in the U.S. The first-of-its-kind sandwich ordering bot was announced at the F8 Facebook Developer Conference with Agilitee, one of Subway's digital partners, and is the latest innovation from Subway® Digital. Guests can use the bot to order a sandwich or salad, customize it with their favorite bread; cheese; vegetables; and sauce, and pay on any device that supports Messenger. The bot for Messenger is the latest addition to the brand's mobile order systems that includes web ordering and app ordering.

To use the bot: launch the Messenger app, visit Messenger.com or visit Facebook.com/subway and tap 'Start Order.' The bot will ask for the user's location to find the closest Subway® restaurant. Then, the user is guided through selecting the sub bread, cheese, vegetables and sauce, as well as drinks, cookies or chips. Users choose their payment method: Facebook's payment system or Masterpass, a digital payment service from Mastercard, and the order will be ready for pick up in 15 minutes or less.

"Our bot for Messenger was just deployed in more than 26,500 U.S. Subway® restaurants- the largest deployments of a Messenger bot in the restaurant industry. We're proud to offer our guests an innovative new way to order and pay outside the restaurants," said Carman Wenkoff, Subway's Chief Information, and Digital Officer.

"This is a new initiative in the on-going quest to enhance the guest experience."

"We're excited that Subway® is expanding their mobile order capabilities with a bot," said Stan Chudnovsky, Vice President of Product for Messenger. "It's a simple way to order food, and available to anyone who already has Messenger."

The Subway® Digital team is innovating the brand's digital properties, enhancing the guest experience with a comprehensive global strategy. Subway® Digital, created in 2016, is hiring more than 150 people for jobs supporting the brand's omnichannel approach.

 

About Subway® Restaurants

Guests in 112 countries have easy access to a fresh line-up of vegetables for their made-to-order sandwiches and salads at more than 44,600 franchised locations. Sandwich Artists serve 7.5 million sandwiches a day around the world. The company, founded over 50 years ago by then 17-year-old Fred DeLuca and family-friend Dr. Peter Buck, is still a family-owned business with thousands of dedicated franchisees/entrepreneurs in neighborhoods around the world, providing easy access to vegetables, detailed nutrition, dietary, and healthy lifestyle information. This has been a priority for the Subway® restaurants chain for many years. To learn more, visit www.subway.com. Subway® is a registered trademark of Subway IP Inc.


October 4, 2016

Expectations: Everybody Has Them

Influential Digital Signage Content includes 4 main components. This is the last part of our 4 part series that investigates the: audience, placement, balance and expectations.

Expectations

Honestly, everybody has some sort of expectations in life - and people expect things from companies and brands they do business with.  We all expect, to some extent, that we will be "sold to" by a business, but we hope that the balance is kept (see part 3 of this series on 'balance').

But what happens when companies exceed customer expectations?  Companies can improve customers' digital signage experience with engaging content that allows for touch and movement.  The experience is elevated from a traditional set of images to a fully immersive experience that allows customers to talk about how much FUN they had BECAUSE of a company, not despite it!

What can you do to bring your customer engagement to the next level?

September 27, 2016

Balance: It's Not Just for Athletes

Influential Digital Signage Content includes 4 main components. This is the part 3 of our 4 part series that investigates the: audience, placement, balance and expectations.

Balance

Yes, a main objective for your company is to sell - but too much "selling" can be a bad thing.  Remember, people are engaged by things they LIKE and are EMOTIONALLY engaging.  If all your digital signage focuses solely on selling - then you can guarantee people will check out.

Do you remember when Apple came out with their 1,000 songs in your pocket campaign?  The campaign didn't "sell" anything.  It gave you a glimpse into an experience that you would now be able to have.  Check it out for yourself:


September 20, 2016

Placement: A Key To Success

Influential Digital Signage Content includes 4 main components. This is the part 2 of our 4 part series that investigates the: audience, placement, balance and expectations.

Placement

Think for a moment about where your digital content is going to be displayed.  Is it outside or inside?  Near a major highway or in a more rural area?  Is it displayed where people are in line - is it a short or long line?

People expect for content to be appropriate to their location and duration of time to view.  If the display has a lot of text, but if the person is unable to finish reading it in time, they may miss important and relevant information.  Also, if people are in a line and have to view content that continually repeats in a loop, they may find the content to be aggravating and it could hinder their purchasing process.

Let's be honest.  Our number one priority as a business is to "sell" and each person's experience and view of our company and brand is vitally important.

  1. Balance — We see too many brands that use digital signage to sell, sell, sell. That's a worthy and fruitful objective, but too much promotional content can negatively impact customer engagement. If all you saw on TV were commercials, how long would it be before you'd tune out or change the channel? (Remember, think like a TV producer!)

    Incorporating informative local news and weather is a great way to draw attention to your content. Showing branded content that highlights your involvement in the community can also drive deeper interest and loyalty to your brand. Showcasing product promotions, limited-time offers or sales messaging can still be utilized, but to get the most success from your digital signage, it's important to ensure that your branded content has a local feel that your customers can relate to. You'll create a stronger customer experience and greater demand when you have a strong balance of content that keeps your audience engaged.
  2. Going above and beyond the expected — Brands can elevate their digital signage network by turning it into an engaging consumer experience. Whether that is through the creation of physical touch points such as an interactive display, or a more abstract touch point such as an opportunity to showcase content, digital signage allows businesses to engage and interact with consumers on a personal level, thus providing unanticipated value. Brands should strive to stay ahead of technological trends to deliver the most relevant innovations to their consumers, helping their brand stand out from competitors by delivering the unexpected.

The allure of a new technology or product can easily overshadow the need for an agile strategy. In order to leverage digital signage effectively and thoughtfully, it needs to be utilized like any other marketing tool — with an objective-based content program designed to help brands meet their goals. By lending a little time and attention upfront to the development of a smart digital signage content strategy, brands can create a solid foundation for delivering strong messaging that creates greater demand, while achieving an even broader range of objectives.

 


September 13, 2016

Audience: Who Are They?

Influential Digital Signage Content includes 4 main components.  This is the start of our 4 part series that investigates the: audience, placement, balance and expectations.

Audience

The 5 W's have been taught since the very beginning of school - Who, What, When, Where and Why.  When telling a story - or creating a marketing campaign - the "who" is a must.  Without knowing who we are talking to, or about, people are unable to formulate a clear picture of what is happening.  With that, the "audience" has always been a large focal point of any marketing strategy. 

  • Who are we trying to reach? 
  • What do we know about the customer?
  • What do they like/enjoy?

 

Without knowing our audience, we are unable to focus in on their needs, wants and desires - or their motivation to BUY.  Which, let's face it, is the number one reason any business exists...encourage a person to see a need for their product/service and get them to make a purchase, in a timely fashion.


 

 


August 8, 2016

3 DO's for Store Displays

3 Things you SHOULD be doing with your strategy for in-store displays:

  • Keep It Simple.  Even though digital displays make it easy to update content quickly, it doesn't mean that the content should be constantly changing.  Keep the message simple and schedule updates to be done every few weeks to months.  If the strategy includes too many updates, it will be difficult to maintain!

 

  • Plan it Out.  Make a plan for how your content will be displayed, when it will be changed and what updates will look like.  By making the plan in advance, the guesswork and back-tracking will be kept to a minimum.

 

  • Make an Objective.   Think about the ultimate goal and best way to achieve that goal.  Without proper planning in place, your objective cannot be met.  Set the expectation and then create the materials based on that.