September 4, 2018

What is A Call To Action?


Marketers will tell you time and time again - that's a great story, but what is the call to action?!  Well, let's talk about it!

Call to Action:

"an instruction to the audience designed to provoke an immediate response, usually using an imperative verb such as "call now", "find out more" or "visit a store today". Other types of calls-to-action might provide consumers with strong reasons for purchasing immediately such an offer that is only available for a limited time" - Wikipedia

 What Now?

 

You've identified your target market.  You've gone digital.  You've made an engaging and interactive display.  But, now you need to ASK for the sale!  A call to action is a reminder to your customers that you want them to take an action.  It may be to sign up for your email campaigns so you can start a drip campaign.  Maybe you want them to pick up an item that is available for a  limited time.

The key to it all...JUST ASK!

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 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.

July 17, 2018

Untapped Potential for Digital Signs


A Gallup Study has shown that over half of employees are not actively engaged in the workplace.  With millennials making up a large portion of the workforce, it is hard to keep them engage in their current job since they have only been their for a short period of time.  Their is a growing demand for employees to be engaged with their employer, but how can an employer accomplish this?

The answer: digital signage

By utilizing digital signs in the workplace, employees have access to relevant and important information in real-time.  These messages can loop through so that every employee sees the information and gets a chance to access the message.  This could include incentives, performance results or shout-outs for a job well done.

How can you utilize digital signs at the office to incentivize and engage employees?

Contact BLR for a brainstorming session!

May 29, 2018

Engaging Digital Signage Built with Intel Inside®

 


Get to market faster with feature-rich digital signage from Intel, deliver tangible value and leave lasting impressions, measure audience engagement in real-time, and quickly adapt to new trends for a seamless experience across every channel.


December 7, 2017

3D: New Personal Assistants in Hospitality


Originally posted on Kiosk Marketplace.  Photo courtesy of Umajin.

Intelligent virtual assistants offer an opportunity for hospitality services to improve the customer experience. Hotels can offer guests a more personalized experience by offering them a touch and/or voice virtual agent via digital signage, self-serve kiosks or smartphones.

David Brebner, CEO of Umajin, described ways that hotels can use virtual agents during a presentation on the digital concierge experience at the recent Global Gaming Expo at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas.

By offering a virtual agent to customers, a hotel can enable a guest to select services in the hotel using touch or voice commands.

Taking the form of a two- or three-dimensional avatar, the virtual agent can help the guest select a TV show to watch, control the hotel room lighting, order room service or access a hotel service directory. The virtual agent also enables guests to communicate with each other, making it convenient for groups of people staying in a hotel and doing things together.

The avatar can take the form of cartoon characters or realistic-looking figures.

"If you want it (the virtual agent) to be Mickey Mouse, and you have a 3D model of Mickey Mouse, you just upload the file," Alec Korba, Umajin's vice president of sales, told Kiosk Marketplace. "The platform can load any type of images or logos or animations the brand might already have. If they don't have anything, we can design it for them."

 

Integrating with artificial intelligence

The virtual agent can use artificial intelligence "backends" such as IBM Watson, Cortana or Alexa – or simply use voice-to-text services directly on the device, be it a kiosk or a smartphone.

"Alexa is something we would use as a component of the digital agent," Korba explained. "Alexa is what does the voice recognition and then puts a command in. We're using Alexa inside of the platform to generate digital experiences."

"It's not a standalone tool," Korba said in describing the virtual concierge. "It's something that kind of layers on top of everything else."

If the customer wants to use Siri, for example – an intelligent personal assistant that uses voice queries and a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of Internet services – the hotel's virtual concierge can integrate it.

"People feel they're getting a personal experience with these digital agents," Brebner said. "It gives you a huge amount of information."

 

 

The technology is especially effective for branded establishments looking to support their brand identity, Brebner said.

A management tool

In addition to improving guest experiences, the virtual concierge simplifies many hotel management functions. It comes in handy in use cases where kiosks display information to groups of employees. A virtual concierge can include access to the hotel's CRM data, security system or valet parking program.

A virtual agent can direct employees, for instance, to conduct inspections of elevators, HVAC systems and bathrooms.

"If you have an employee that needs to identify where things are on a map, it (the virtual concierge) makes it very easy to do that," Korba said.

If the hotel needs to combine data from their property management system with their security system, Umajin can create a user interface for this task as well.

"A lot of the employee use cases are about getting the right data to the right people at the right time," Korba said.

"All of these things are not digital processes today, and you can digitize them really easily," Brebner said. "It acts as a skin on top of other systems."

The technology has application beyond the hotel environment. At one airport, for instance, the virtual concierge allows employees at an airport to get alerts associated with their tasks.

'Gesture' technology arrives

Umajin has also introduced a three-dimensional "gesture" interface that enables users to control activity on large digital screens simply by pointing. This can turn a kiosk or a video wall into a shared interactive experience.

The limiting factor for gesture technology is there is no standard protocol or what different hand motions mean, Korba said.

"If you open our palm, close your fist or touch with two fingers, what does that do to the screen?" he said.

It is possible to use gesture interface in a closed environment to establish such standards, however. The technology is beneficial when working in areas where large groups of people need to share kiosks, such as airports or hospitals, or areas where food is being served.

Another example is retail showrooms, where virtual products can be displayed on kiosks and digital screens. Users can view and rotate three dimensional versions of a building or a vehicle.

Another application is wayfinding kiosks in large, multi-level indoor spaces.

Still another example is a medical operating room where the surgeon's hand movements communicate something specific.

The intelligent virtual assistant, also known as the personal digital assistant, gives companies an opportunity to leverage their existing digital infrastructure to offer personalized assistance to customers and associates.

Contact BLR Sign Systems to create your digital assistant, wayfinding kiosk, or digital wall.


 



September 6, 2016

A Mobile Life With Signage

What is the one thing everybody has with them at all times?

A Cell Phone.

So why do most companies rely on only one type of communication vehicles for their target audience?  What would happen if you created a marketing campaign that utilized phones and digital signage?

Imagine a customer walks into a store and immediately interacts with some digital signage that allows them to explore the store.  As they touch the screen and look for the department they were planning on visiting, their phone vibrates.  Instinctually, the customer grabs his/her phone and checks the message that came in.  It's a coupon code specific to the department the customer was planning on browsing for their next large purchase.  BONUS!

Now, the customer is enticed to make a purchase today.  The store has done it's job to ensure a sale, without lag time in the purchasing process.  Additionally, the customer is happy because they saved and is even more likely to visit the store they love.

What other ways could stores, and businesses, use these advances in technology to ensure a sale?

 


August 15, 2016

Digital Displays Go For Gold

The 2016 Rio Olympics is in full-swing and has been amplified across the globe by the use of digital displays.  Australians team organizers used digital signage to show who would be representing their country and carrying their flag in the opening ceremonies.  Some businesses have been displaying information from the Olympics to their patrons through a system of dynamic social feeds across digital displays.  Information provided varies from medal counts to pictures from various games.  

The Olympics have been a hot-bed for digital content and displays over the past week.  How can your company also use these amazing techniques and displays to distribute shareable and useful content?


July 26, 2016

OLED Is The Next 'Big Thing' In Displays

LED technology has become a widely accepted technology for providing high-quality imagery.  However, it is time to step up the game a notch with OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes).  OLED has been used in mobile devices, automotive, control panels and other small applications.  OLED is a lightweight, high-resolution solution coming to larger digital displays.

OLEDs are ultra-thin, flexible, and virtually weightless. The flat, light-emitting technology also offers better contrast, higher brightness, a fuller viewing angle, a wider color range and much faster refresh rates.  This ultimately leads to a superior image quality.

Be on the lookout for more information about this technology and it's application in marketing and customer acquisition during the OLED World Summit being held in San Diego, September 20 - 22.