Capturing the attention of customers and prospects is getting progressively more difficult as attention spans dwindle and customers become more jaded about marketing. So it's not surprising that marketers are scrambling to find innovative ways of keeping their fingers on the pulse of a fickle and hard-to-convert customer base.
Fortunately, as pro AV and digital signage converge with the Internet of Things, shrewd marketers are finding more opportunities to engage customers whose loyalties can shift as quickly as the wind changes direction.
No matter what the marketing vertical?retail, hospitality, healthcare, travel, etc.?pro AV and digital signage are coming to the forefront of marketing strategies where attention-grabbing results are becoming more competitive and harder to come by.
For value-added resellers (VARs), it's imperative to know how marketers are employing pro AV and digital signage in their marketing strategies. Let's take a look at some trends that marketers will be focusing on in 2016.
Retailers and fast-food restaurants are leading the way in the evolution of dynamic signage content. It wasn't too long ago that menu boards listed food items and prices in black and white and retailers used static posters to announce sales or discounts but nothing else.
As pro AV and digital signage technology advance, content designers have almost endless opportunities to customize content offerings based on a number of real-time factors like:
- Time of day
- Regional buying habits
- Product inventory
- Foot-traffic patterns
The ability to deliver precisely targeted content gives marketers not only a canvas for creating an immersive digital experience for their customers but also an ongoing platform for gathering information as to what works and what doesn't.
Digital signage sensors-gender recognition
Science has been working on gender recognition sensors for almost two decades, but the technology has only recently advanced to become an effective marketing tool.
The sensors are similar to Web cameras that work in tandem with facial recognition software. When a person passes the device, the camera zooms in on the person and makes a determination as to whether that person is male or female.
In the past, a digital sign may have advertised an ad for women's makeup or a man's dress shirt, but marketers had no idea who actually viewed the ad. Now, customized content can be delivered in real time.
A sensor designed to detect height and infer gender from population averages?or facial recognition?could give marketers a significant advantage by delivering content with more accuracy, which could lead to higher sales.
Using beacons to connect mobile devices with digital signage
Beacons can trigger smartphones and tablets, but they can also trigger a digital sign. With these devices working together, profile-based messaging can be delivered to a shopper’s smartphone and to the digital signage that surrounds the shopper.
Beacons located within retail stores or airports, for example, can be used to deliver product information, coupons, and even departure and gate assignments to mobile devices. Expect marketers to find even more strategies using beacons to increase conversions and sales in 2016.
Enhancing event experiences
Who hasn't been to a sports stadium and seen a huge Jumbotron centered somewhere in the facility? While they still command attention, marketers are deploying projectors, tablets, and kiosks to engage audiences prior to and during many events in order to improve the visitor experience.
When combined with product giveaways, pro AV and digital signage can be very effective tools for increasing brand awareness or to help distribute health or financial information.
Further integration with social media
Marketers already know that digital signage and social media naturally go together like hand and glove. With over 73% of Americans having some sort of social media profile in 2015, it makes perfect sense to integrate pro AV and digital signage into the lion's share of marketing strategies.
And why not? Among other things, social media provides auto-generated content, furthers brand awareness, and offers an incredible platform for providing useful feedback.
Small displays vying for attention
The trend in pro AV and digital signage has generally favored the implementation of larger and larger displays. And that's not going to stop anytime soon, but lately smaller displays are proving they can be very versatile signage solutions because they can be viewed at shorter distances, thereby providing interaction on a more personal level.
In 2016, it's likely VARs will see more requests for signage in the 10-inch-to-22-inch size, especially from the retail and health verticals. They are already being used in supermarkets for in-store recipes and coupons and in tablet form at medical facilities for patient intake.
The year 2016 may very well mark a watershed in how pro AV and digital signage are deployed to provide creative, interactive marketing solutions across the entire range of verticals.
Do you expect more requests from clients for unique or creative pro AV and digital signage solutions in 2016?