March of the Statistics

Many of our past posts have discussed marketing, retail environments, sign design, content and audio considerations. But why is this dynamic sign technology getting so much attention? Why should you invest in this new learning curve as a digital print or sign professional? From software selection, to network design and configuration, to the right displays and peripherals and then installation and training for the client, it is quite an investment. Is it worth it? Okay, let’s march a few statistics out for March, and then you decide…. (We’ll use plenty of pictures to keep it lively!)

It is no coincidence that with 74% of all purchase decisions in mass merchandisers made in store, an increasing number of brand marketers and retailers invest in this medium.

When electronic digital signage first came onto the scene a few short years ago, there was no way to quantify it in terms of return on investment or impact on the marketplace, or even consumers. With the advent of scanner technology, brand marketers and retailers have been able to immediately determine the effectiveness of P.O.P.

POPAI‘s studies, undertaken from 1994 through this year, have consistently demonstrated significant sales increases for products supported by Retail Marketing across industries and geography.

Digital Signage has been proven to reduce perceived wait time by 40%-60%. That makes for happier, friendlier, more relaxed, and more satisfied clients.

LobbyPOP SayingAt the same time, you have a unique opportunity to tell your audience about additional products and services you offer.  You can be sure they’ll remember… it’s proven that digital signage can increase ad recall by more than 60%. And in case you’re wondering about the bottom line: Digital signage increases sales by 18%-62%!

InfoTrends/CAP Ventures has been tracking the industry since 1999, and adjusted Compound Annual Growth Rates are over 30%.

And, the most recent Digital Signage Pricing Report from Wirespring shows that the cost to deploy displays has dropped 14%. When Wirespring first began tracking in 2004, the cost per node (screen and media player) averaged $8500. In 2010, this had dropped to $3720.

It was only a few short months ago that Walmart released some information pertaining to their (in)famous Smart Network. In case you missed the announcement, the company calculated the following percentage increases in store departments using the Smart Network:

Sales lift by department
  • Electronics: 7%
  • Over-the-counter: 23%
  • Food: 13%
  • Health/beauty: 28%

They also disclosed the point in a product’s life cycle when the network seemed to be most effective:

Sales lift by product type

  • Mature items: 7%
  • Newly-launched items: 9%
  • Seasonal items: 18%
  • Items on rollback: 6%

From two case studies on how the Smart Network affects product sales (thanks to Digital Signage Today for the summaries):

In the first, a breathing-strip manufacturer purchased an endcap campaign, in which a 90- to 120-second message ran on endcap screens with product positioned around it. While the program was running, the brand saw a 100 percent sales lift on the specific product, determined by testing versus a control group.

In another campaign, the retailer wanted to increase the number of shoppers that opted in to receive discounts and offers via SMS. It staged a four-week campaign in which shoppers were told that if they’d sign up by dialing a specific code, they’d get exclusive announcements of new “Rollback” offers. During the four-week period, the retailer saw a three-fold increase in daily opt-ins.

Still with me here? We’re giving you this so you can go forth and conquer your clients’ fears!  Okay, how about YOUR fears 😉 Check this out:

According to data cited by Microsoft’s Edson, there are approximately 2 million digital signs across the US right now, and that number is expected to grow to 7 million over the next 5 years. For that to happen in a nice, linear fashion, it would mean that the industry will deploy 1,000,000 screens every year for the next 5 years.

The above chart shows that Retail remains the largest piece of the digital sign pie, and that Hospitality is second. With Retail, we find every imaginable style of display – from kiosks and endcaps, to video walls and window projections. In Hospitality, the range is not so dramatic. Both present ready opportunities for digital sign professionals.

Hopefully this March round-up of current research has given you a new perspective on your own potential in this arena. Next post, a bit about technology as it relates to content…

The Fourth Screen

The number of public displays is forecast to grow by 44% in 2009 reports Chris Connery,Vice President of PC and Large Format Commercial Displays at DisplaySearch. But this increase to the 900,000 displays of 27” and larger already installed is the tip of the iceberg, since smaller displays are typically used for elevators, shelves, service counters and other uses. “Digital signage is accelerating rapidly, even in the midst of a recession in the larger economy” explains David Keene, Executive Editor of Digital Signage magazine, “because Money is shifting into more ‘TiVo-proof’ places where consumers commute, wait, shop and gather, prices for LCD displays and related technologies have declined.

Add to that, a demographic shift toward younger consumers with mobile technology devices, and you have the ingredients for the kind of technology boom not seen since the birth of the Internet.”

Beyond the “three-screen” world of televisions, computers and mobile devices, National Datacast, Inc. a subsidiary of PBS, sees digital signage as the “fourth screen”.

PQ Media, providers of media econometrics are bullish on digital out-of-Home. “Despite severe economic headwinds and declining traditional advertising spending, the U.S. digital out-of home (OOH) media industry grew 12.3% in 2008 to more than $2.4 billion
and is on pace to grow 9.1% in 2009, according to PQ Media research. Digital out-of-home accounts for almost 30% of the overall out-of-home advertising market, which grew 5.0% in 2008 to $8.31 billion. “Economic crisis are resulting in a seminal transition across the media landscape,” says Patrick Quinn, president & CEO of PQ Media. “This will likely be the first recession in which advertisers not only spend less, but also spend differently.”

We believe affordability is and will remain a determinant of adoption rates for digital signage systems. As systems proliferate, and when the economy improves, the cost for some of these hardware and software packages – internet based or not – will be close to free. The X factor will be content. That’s where we hang our hat.

$13 Billion by 2010

In today’s world of digital marketing techniques, there has been a marked increase in
creative advertising to communicate core messages across a broad audience. From conference rooms to retail, digital advertising is a way of educating and engaging consumers through unique content applications on a variety of products, services and messages.Over the next three years almost half of corporate AV budgets will be spent on digital signage and videoconferencing goods and services. According to iSuppli, the U.S. digital signage industry is also expected to grow to $13 billion by 2010.

Average recall rates for digital & video out-of-home advertising networks are around 40 percent.Compare that to other traditional media recall rates like TV (32%), radio
(27%) and magazines (21%) and it’s easy to see why this medium can be very effective for marketers.

Consider becoming a digital sign expert and building on your videography or sign technology skills. LobbyPOP was here first, and will keep you ahead of the curve. Contact us through our website, or at 1-888-LOBBYPOP [1-888-562-2976] 

And that concludes our sponsor’s message 😉   


Waiting Rooms – Where Opportunity Knocks!

Reduce Perceived Wait TimePediatricians, veterinarians, ER staff– Your primary goal should be to minimize the time patients spend in your waiting room. But it is also essential to create a waiting area that reflects your dedication to patient care and customer service. Each detail affects patients’ impression of your practice. Here, experts weigh in on what makes a professional, practical, and pleasant waiting room, and provide some interesting statistics!

Did you know? The average wait time for patients in an ER waiting room is more than 40 minutes! This is an opportunity for building credibility, reducing perceived wait time, and lifting sales – with dynamic signage.

Auto Service Center Example: LobbyPOP focuses on three main goals for an auto repair business:

  1. Increase customer satisfaction by improving the service experience.
  2. Strengthen the relationship between the customer and you – their service advisor.
  3. Educate the customer on the various maintenance services and parts replacements they need to receive to ensure vehicle performance and safety, and to save on overall vehicle costs. This leads to an increase in the sales of products and services you offer.

Unlike television, radio or the Internet, full-motion ads enjoy the benefit of a built-in audience that’s guaranteed to pay attention whenever they’re broadcast,” explains Young.

“There’s no “distractions” in a waiting room.  Once they sit down, patrons have little choice but to watch whatever comes on screen. That’s an important consideration for business owners facing an increasingly fractured media universe.

“In a waiting room or lobby, none of the guests have a converter in their hands, and the fridge is a mile away,” says Young. “They are watching and listening.”

Surveys suggest that full-motion ads generate higher recall than TV and radio. One done in 2000 for Cineplex Odeon by Thompson Lightstone and Co. ofTorontolooked at “total recall” (the ability to remember an ad, with or without memory clues) among 323 patrons of film, TV and radio inToronto,VancouverandCalgary. Full-motion movie ads enjoyed a 74% average recall rate (the combined total for aided plus unaided recall). This was compared with figures of 37% for radio and 32% for television, according to research by the ComQUEST division of BBM Bureau of Measurement inToronto.

Did you know?  Independent programming (i.e. not created by the business itself) is viewed as 2-3 times more credible by the viewer – your customers. Greater credibility leads to greater response from the viewer. This is why programming in similar environments increases sales 18-62%. LobbyPOP Pros have these and more statistics at their fingertips, in a National Video Sign Statistics guide.

Next post: Selling with Stories

Digital TV & the LobbyPOP Concept

As we provide information in this blog to fulfill our goal to create “Better Retail Through Education and Technology,” we must share what we can about the LobbyPOP premise and platform. Over the coming four years, we anticipate great growth in the arena of “video signage” and predict that the “traditional” sign industry will also come to embrace this “fringe” trend. Don’t be surprised to see the International Sign Association offer seminars to the entire sign industry on the subject!

In the meantime, here’s what we see and do:

Industry predictions about the likely penetration of digital TV over the next few years vary wildly. But for those concerned about access to information, there remains a danger that the digital revolution could leave the small, independent business even more threatened by large-chain use of technologies and costly brand-building techniques, including satellite-fed narrow-casts. How will the digital sign enterprise compete?

LobbyPOP  was launched by Sign Biz, Inc, last year, with first product packages shipping in September of 2006, to help small businesses increase their sales, credibility, and profits.  The LobbyPOP dealership is unique in the marketplace, and provides a selection of exclusive client products and services which aim to give independently owned establishments a point of difference to compete with any multiple chain.

The LobbyPOP package of complete waiting room supplements to build stronger identities includes a cornerstone product that is a point of differentiation in the marketplace: Customized waiting room “Edutainment DVD” and media package.

To ensure the success of small enterprise, LobbyPOP dealers reach out to local small businesses with free one-to-one consultations in the use of video-inspired multimedia techniques that are affordable, targeted, and as high-quality as those displayed by the large chain outlets. LobbyPOP dealers also guide their clients in developing their own company image through simple “make-over” techniques, as featured on the website.

“The overriding aim of our program is to ensure that retail-based companies obtain sufficient knowledge and training to enable them to make the best business use of branding and multi-media techniques,” explains Teresa M Young, President & CEO of Sign Biz, Inc, and founder of LobbyPOP.

One stand-out feature of this approach is that LobbyPOP Pros are already digital sign experts – in print and graphics. By adding this dynamic element to what is already available, a very complete branding program is now available.

The mission could now be stated as, “The design and distribution of advertising and brand identity material to promote the business goods, services, and credibility of others through the mediums of audiovisual displays, murals, and floor graphics in business lobbies and waiting rooms; and by rendering sales promotion and branding advice.”

Next post: On-Demand Wallpaper!

Sign Companies as Branding Machines

Branding machines, such as ad agencies, media companies, marketing firms, sign companies, and brand managers, must be great at keeping up with the trends, spotting trends, utilizing the latest technologies and knowledge, to help build those consumer brands….  So we,visual communicators, must brand ourselves as “In the Know” for the coming decade… as part of the “Brand Building Ecosystem.”

The Jargon:

Above the Line advertising for inclusion in any media.
Below the Line packaging, promotions, sponsorship, point of sale signage, mail order, etc.

Current reality: From the Big Three lighting companies and their research to produce new light sources that find their way to shopping malls, parks and building structures where large screen video has become an identity beacon in creating digital public space, to the shift in advertising spend from “above the line” traditional media, to “below the line” retail environments, these are now trends firmly in place, recognized by more industries than ever before.

Even the boutique publication, Southern California Business Chronicle, says, “Don’t spend another marketing dime” until you know the changing face of advertising.

During the past decade, according to an article in this month’s Signs of the Times magazine, the sign industry has adopted three EDS technologies:

  1. LEDs illuminate outdoor video screens and electronic message centers
  2. LCD and
  3. Plasma Screens advertise indoor, retail messages.

Wade Swormstedt of Signs of the Times, after last year’s trend discussion at a Sign Biz convention, wrote that our industry needs to get on board and understand Content. This is a term for the coming decade- -what can we deliver to our clients- -with a focus on the “less than 80” location client.

More next post about our industry’s role and the market for dynamic digital signage…