Smarter Digital Signage Inevitable in the Workplace (and All Places)

In Mobility, Technology and Innovation by Daniel NewmanLeave a Comment

Whenever we talk about the workplace these days, the conversation is hardly complete without some high-tech words being tossed around— the cloud, big data, the Internet of Things—each of which signifies a new type of work, and work environment. But are these things also relevant to the role of digital signage in the corporate space? Yes, of course they are.

Digital Signage: Gearing Up for the Workplace of Future

To keep pace with the changes in today’s business, digital signage is also evolving. Breaking out of its static, ad-only image, it is becoming a popular medium to compliment a company’s content strategy. A 2014 report by Grand View Digital estimated the global digital signage market to reach 20-plus billion by 2020. So what’s pushing this growth? One of the major reasons is the expanding use of digital signage as an effective marketing tool.

The old, dated ways of handling digital signage systems in business is changing as well. For the longest time, it was fed through software. Someone in marketing or communications would be responsible for creating content, including the brand message, a video, perhaps a ticker with an RSS feed, or a weather bug. For so long, signage has been too static, too slow to change, and required a lot of effort from a dedicated few to create the right experience.

Signage Experience Turns More Personalized and Interactive

The old view of digital signage is giving way to a sleeker, smarter, and more interactive experience. This year’s Digital Signage Expo saw some exciting innovations, with signs becoming more intuitive and communicative than ever. Digital signs as touchscreens allow users to manipulate the brand content they’re seeing, viewer reactions to what they’re watching are adjusting and/or changing on-screen images, and so on. Data collection and the growth of digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising networks will be some of dominant trends in this industry, but personalized digital signage will take center stage.

While signage apps have evolved and improved over time, a new, more dynamic Web experience is going to bring another wave of change. In the future, signage apps, not only in the workplace, but also in retail and other spaces, are going to operate differently. Using near field communication and other mobile technology, the signage experience is going to more closely mirror the content that people want to see, rather than what they are force-fed to see. In fact, the worlds of digital signage and rich media have already collided.

As customer demands surge, messaging through digital signage becomes more intense than ever. We have entered a world where people are making well-informed decisions, and are extremely particular about the content they want to see. Such changes are disrupting the ways signage content has been traditionally served up. The days of marketing professionals loading up slides or images is coming to an end. Today, viewers—consumers— have control.

Signage Needs to Replicate the Experience of the Web

Today, personalization and a one-to-one approach are common on the Web. Companies see the value in these tactics and use them to strengthen their business strategies, because they realize people have the power to move the needle. To be able to compete and survive, businesses need to give the customer the experience they want.

Similar disruptions are visible in the workplace as well. With BYOD becoming more and more popular, smartphones and tablets are prominent fixtures in many organizations. Syncing the big screens with the “second screen” leads to a better experience for staff, helping businesses improve employee satisfaction, ensure greater retention, and increase productivity.

If digital signage is going to survive and thrive in these tech-obsessed times, it needs to continue to evolve into a more engaging, interactive, and personalized medium. Otherwise, people will maintain their current habit—eyes down, focused on their smartphones. A more sustainable strategy is to integrate both the mediums. Fortunately, the road is clearly bending in that direction.

This article was originally seen on Ricoh Blog.

Photo Credit: SiseTV via Compfight cc

Daniel Newman

Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.