By Stephen Gottlich
Dynamic visual communication has never been easier, and it is becoming increasingly more cost-effective as well as accessible. Now more than ever, retailers have recognized that dynamic, well-designed content delivered on a multitude of digital screen types is critical to inform and engage customers at the point of decision.
But because there are many elements to consider, it is not always clear where to begin. If it’s not done correctly the first time, retailers can find themselves on a confusing and expensive journey.
Stephen Gottlich will copresent Seminar 5 with Chip Harding, SVP of business development for Simon Property Group, on Wednesday, March 29, at 9 a.m. at DSE 2017, to be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For information on this or any educational program offered at DSE 2017 or to learn more about digital signage, go here.
In the past, retailers would look to an AV company to provide LCD monitors (usually with the maker’s brand prominently displayed) to be hung on walls or suspended from ceilings. Media players were added, and an expensive content management system (CMS) would complete the package.
To ensure the success of a digital signage installation in today’s marketplace, it is important to have a comprehensive roadmap. Desired outcomes must be discussed before decisions are made about hardware, software, and content. Like a new building, a new digital signage installation requires an architect, a general contractor, and subcontractors; they must work together with a clear plan that guides them to the desired solution. It is also important to communicate with all stakeholders and senior management within an organization to ensure that all perspectives and requirements are included and realistic expectations are set.
When business goals for the installation are enumerated, it is also critical to develop a content strategy that reflects those goals. The team must ensure a plan for supplying, refreshing, and replacing engaging content that not only provides information the customer wants, but also will meet business goals.
In many cases today, various types of digital media are employed in one place or space. There could be outdoor LED screens, interior LCD videowall digital posters, window displays, interactive kiosks, mobile phone apps, and more in one location. All these elements must be tied together with a CMS program that can be easily managed centrally, allowing for quick updates through connections to data sources that feed time-sensitive information with the flexibility to cater to many screens in any part of the world in real time. Today, solutions providers need to be consultative in their approach, pairing an in-depth knowledge of all digital technologies with audio and video expertise. We no longer live in just a visual world. Retailers must appeal to all senses, and that is only the beginning.
The roadmap for creating an engaging digital experience in retail demands a great working relationship with the client and an understanding of the client’s business. Without the understanding of business goals, failure is almost guaranteed. Supplying a turnkey solution where clients expect a complete, working digital experience is the only way to create and deliver an engaging and effective dynamic digital experience.
Stephen Gottlich is VP of digital solutions and strategic alliances of Gable, an award-winning, Shop!-member provider of digital displays, AV, and media; signs and architectural elements; and lighting solutions based in Baltimore, Md. Gottlich oversees Gable’s digital business. Gottlich’s role involves the ongoing development, education, and relationship-building with Gable’s international partners.