Digital signage has become an accepted and necessary marketing and advertising channel across most industries, most notably in retail and Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) outlets. What were previously digital signage technology trends have become core requirements for marketers wanting to engage with customers and build their brands.
According to Chris Day, Managing Director of Moving Tactics, South Africa’s leading digital signage solutions company, “The trends that we have predicted over the last few years have become the norm and they work exceedingly well. With retailers and QSRs such as Edgars, McDonald’s, Famous Brands and Clicks, we have experienced great success. It is, however, essential that the basic building blocks are in place on which to build a value-add system that has the capability to accommodate the digital signage solutions that will continue to shape the industry in the coming year”.
Get the Basics Right
Kevin Bierman, Head of Digital Signage at Moving Tactics, says, “My best advice to clients would be to get the basics right, such as employing quality commercial grade screens and implementing System-on-Chip technology, which replaces the need for external media players. These are absolute musts”.
Firstly, quality commercial grade screens end up costing brands less in the long run as they are less likely to fail, use less power and hardy enough to deal with load shedding and regular power cuts. These screens also automatically switch back on after a power failure so that your marketing and advertising content can continue unaffected.
Secondly, System-on-Chip (SOC) digital signage technology does away with using multiple pieces of equipment, resulting in a much more streamlined solution, whilst providing overall health of your digital signage assets. This technology makes it possible to pair normal digital signage with value-add features such as scheduling and day parting, among others.
Weather-based Menu Boards
Content for weather-based digital menu boards is becoming the norm for leading QSR brands. Weather-based digital menu boards will replace menu items being displayed based on the actual weather being experienced outside, in real time. So if it’s a cooler day, warmer and heartier foods will be promoted and displayed in place of frozen drinks and salads on the menu boards.
In addition, menu items promoted based on the time of day, also known as day-parting for breakfast and lunch, give customers more choice as well as more practical and relevant food options. And for the restaurateur, the pricing on menu boards can be linked directly to the point of sale system and updated in real time.
Research has confirmed that consumers shop for longer, spend more money and have an enhanced shopping experience if they’re exposed to music. In this way, local and international retail and restaurant brands are installing in-store music and audio solutions to create a more engaging and brand-specific experience.
In-store music as well as tailored and regionalised radio services can be developed with Moving Tactics and this channel can be used for the additional purpose of staff training, as and when needed.
Staff Training on Digital Screens
Early morning in-store training for staff has progressed with the latest technology advancements and can be scheduled in a similar way to promotional content. Staff training no longer needs to be done live or scheduled weeks ahead of time. With the latest technologies, staff are able to stream or download the most recent training that needs to be undertaken via the corporate network. Using the digital audio and visual network in-store, makes training as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Refresh your Network
Technology is ever-evolving and Day recommends that a digital signage network be refreshed every three years to keep equipment compatible with the latest software. Obsolete equipment often negates the time and effort put into creating content to promote products and services.
“We do, however, understand that refreshing a network can be a costly exercise. It’s for this reason that we recommend rental finance options with financial flexibility. Over and above the explicit advantage of effective cash flow management, the fact that you have up-to-date technology that is always under warranty and replaced every three years provides peace of mind. It really is a new way of doing business for the digital signage industry here in South Africa,” adds Day.