Digital signage can open a whole new world of publicity and advertisement avenues for a business, especially a small one that cannot afford to pay huge amounts for print and electronic publicity and which has its market in a well-defined geographical area. It is such an effective communication medium that digital signage has grown to become a $20 billion industry. Projections are that it will grow even more rapidly in the coming years. If you are a small or a medium business owner, digital signage is an aspect of business which you cannot afford to ignore. To be able to use it to grow a business, it is important to understand what digital signage is.
What is digital signage?
To put it very simply, digital signage is a screen or set of screens that display information and content to the market. The content can be repeated or varied as much as is required. If digital signs are placed at multiple locations, the content can be controlled centrally. The essence of digital signage is that, it must be flexible so that the content can be changed when required, and also catch the attention of those who see it. The content must be such that it stays in the memory, to be recalled when the need for the advertised product or service arises, and also strong and durable enough to withstand continuous outdoor use.
How it began
Signs have been around since the first humanoids learned how to draw pictures on cave walls to convey information. Digital signs, as we know them today, have been around since the early 1990s. The first digital signs were video walls made with old CRT TVs to create a platform on which continually variable and animated content could be displayed. The advent of the flat screen a few years later meant that content could be better displayed with signage taking up less space. The next stage in the evolution of digital signs was the arrival of computer-generated media which could quickly churn out varied content at low cost and directly place the material on the digital signs. Soon content management software was developed to automate the process and make it even more efficient.
How it is used today
Digital signage has become the way for a business to communicate directly with the market at a defined location in a dynamic and positive manner. The concept of digital signs is today moving away from the idea of huge towering signage as is seen in New York, in Times Square, to more focused smaller signs that target specific potential buyers with variations and cater to precise marketing needs. For example, a digital sign in a busy commercial area could remind those going to work in the morning that coffee and donuts are available nearby. In the evening it could remind passersby that a convenience store is around the corner where they could pick up their essential shopping.
Part 2 of this blog will look at other things you need to know about digital signs.