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The Digital Signage Business Continuum

More than broadcasting or publishing on steroids By Lyle Bunn
The sign of a revolutionary technology is when dramatic cost reductions and performance improvements are available, and when participation by a wide range of organizations is possible.

This paper describes how various organizations such as brand managers, ad agencies, display providers, message creators, publishers, technology providers and others naturally engage in the digital signage supply continuum.

The digital signage continuum seeks to reduce messaging cost (creative, production, fulfillment and display), increase messaging success, improve organizational alignment around branding messages, accelerate ?speed to display (therein also driving out process costs) and improve display compliance.

The desire to achieve these goals ?above the line as illustrated below, are achieved by elements ?below the line through Supply/Demand-Balanced, systems integration and deployment.

The starting point of the continuum is the brand strategy. A brand is a simple, cohesive identity. Branding increases shareholder equity, allows for premium pricing, enables higher gross margins and allows for easier line extensions, and decreases business costs relative to equity achievement. SUCCESSFUL BRANDING IS MARKETING ROI.

NY-based Interbrand has published Brand Evaluation reports including its July 2005 Global Brands ranking which placed Coca Cola as number 1 at $67 billion, followed by Microsoft at $60. McDonalds was up 4% from 2004 at $26 billion. Gillette $17.5, Pepsi 12.4, Kelloggs $8.3, Starbucks $2.5.

While branding is normally considered for product, service, retailer or service provider, branding increasingly applies to a location, personnel in that location (i.e. a bank manager, produce manager, etc.) and co-branding with other products, services and activities.

The advertising strategy and messaging definition both define and support the branding strategy. Branding is supported by media planning and buying which intend to engage the consumer.

Digital Signage wants to brand and sell.

Digital Signage as a communications device is important to all organizations involved in brand-building and merchandising.

A large volume of different messages can be triggered by ?playlists that control each electronic display (i.e. LCD, plasma, LED, TV) that help achieve communications and brand-building goals. Digital Signage messaging can reflect different ?territories to times of day or locations, empowering the Product Manager and agencies to better target messages to audiences.

Digital signage is not a replacement for other display medium such as TV, billboards, print ads, etc., but an addition option for ad placement.

Different display type can meet the ?need state of a consumer. A consumer NEEDS a particular kind of information or promotion while sitting in a TV room watching the game, or while driving or while reading a newspaper.

The ?need state differs while in a buying location, where multiple types of information and promotion can support brand building and inspire the purchase. ?BUY ME, ?TRY ME, ?BETTER THAN and ?GOES WITH can each be used effectively on Digital Signage.

Digital Signage is a unique display medium because it has the inherent ability to cost-effectively display different message types in day-parts, or triggered by interest or demographic, or even played simultaneously on multiple or split screens

Brand vs. Activation Content

Branding or Marketing communications seeks to generate revenues through branded or point-of-purchase sales ?activation.

?Demand implies that the buying decision is based on branding and the impression of previous purchases.

?Activation implies a buying decision motivated at the point-of-purchase.

The proportion of each differs from product to product. A carbonated soft drink has a proportion of 65% demand and 35% activation. Cereal has an 80%-20% proportion, Gasoline 55%-45% and Beer 70%-30%.

Media planners and buyers want to say ?yes to any display medium that can achieve their results?. including digital signage. They want and need justification, and there is growing confidence in the digital signage as a brand development medium.

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Related Keywords:Digital Signage, pro AV, advertising, marketing, broadcasting


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