Google Gives Us a Sign—Maybe
How many of you were surprised that during this year’s international Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas a keynote speaker from Intel announced almost casually that Google would be developing some features and promoting its Chrome platform for use in digital signage content management?
I going to bet that it’s really not a huge surprise, right?
Signs, Signs Everywhere Signs
According to an IHS report, the global digital signage market was expected to be $13.9 billion for 2013, and by 2017 is projected to reach $17.1 billion.
Why? Because digital signage works in reaching customers with information they want, and deployed effectively, when they need it most.
Neilson studies show that recall rates for digital signage are better than any other advertising media.
Think about it, the best signage grabs your attention, but the medium is not the message. Signage works best only if it includes the right message, at the right time, tailored (almost personalized) for the audience. You can have the most creative presentation, but if the message is old, or worse, inaccurate, you are not doing yourself any favors. This means constantly changing and updating content.
And this is where a digital signage system, where content can be changed conveniently from a centralized location, can really excel.
Digital signage can be an eye-catching, cost-effective solution to showcase targeted messages in a coordinated fashion across distributed locations — showrooms, conference centers, lobbies, customer waiting areas, or other high traffic retail locations.
It makes sense for Google to promote its Chrome platform for use to push dynamic content to distributed and increasingly inexpensive Chromeboxes driving digital displays. In an interview following the expo, Google's director of product management for Chrome business and education pointed out this should help bring down the IT and support costs of digital signage networks and deployments "dramatically.”1
But what about the content itself? Where does it come from and how is it managed? Specifically: How do you ensure messages are timely, accurate and targeted effectively?
One source of this content will clearly be the information contained within your own business processes – and perhaps not from where you expect.
At least some of it will likely come from your marketing processes—product oriented and corporate brand messaging. But other information may come from beyond marketing: Pricing or daily specials (POS, eCommerce, or ERP systems), scheduling and booking processes (think flight status boards at airports), facilities and building maintenance systems (safety and emergency messages), or HR programs (training course descriptions and sign-up deadlines).
Remember the business value of information, e.g. if the weather gets good, sell ice cream, but if the rain starts sell umbrellas! An example, optimize the productivity of expensive staff with an 'airport arrivals' style information board so people arriving at hospital can see locations, availability and where they are in the queue and check-in via a kiosk.
The fact of the matter is the availability and timeliness of this content will depend upon how you’ve optimized the information flowing through these different processes. It will depend upon how well you’ve designed for the integrity of the process, and providing the right information in a timely fashion in format a signage system can employ.
So, continue to hook up those displays – but when you are thinking about what will be on them, give some thought to how your processes will support the messages going forward.