Digital signage or visual content?
Digital signage, digital out of home, out of home advertising, call it what you will, but the market self-defines around hardware, and to a lesser extent software.
We have always felt that the hardware is there to surface content, and it is the content that will ultimately impact retail customer behavior. We aren’t suggesting that hardware, content playback and management, and infrastructure aren’t important, obviously they are. But we question why technology tends to dominate coverage and discussion in the space.
A screen on its own isn’t going to increase dwell time or drive promotions. You can make it thinner, increase the resolution, decrease energy consumption, make it IP-addressable, but it is still a screen waiting for content.
We like to start with the business goal. What do we want to achieve? Then we consider what visual content will lead to us reaching that goal. Then we consider what technology will allow us to optimally place and manage that content.
We don’t manufacture our own displays, which is pretty liberating. It frees us to put in place the technology that best meets our objectives. For one client we might use Christie MicroTiles. For another client NEC, Sharp or Samsung hardware might be appropriate. Our designers aren’t under pressure to push any one piece of hardware because we have a backlog of inventory.
We do have our own proprietary software to manage content, called TeamCo. It allows us to target essentially any device with any type of content, and it allows for zoning, multi-channel broadcasting, and complex scheduling. The kind of power and flexibility the software provides is critical, but once again retail success lies knowing what messages to send to what locations and when to send them. It is all about the content.