According to Darren Kirby, Managing Director of Technique Media, the age of digital has resulted in a period of change for many industries, including the branding, signage and Out-of-Home media sector.
Evidence from the latest display advertising reports by various organisations suggest that:
• Due to its availability and affordability across developed and emerging markets, print advertising and signage is the most widely used solution around the globe. Indoor print and point-of-sale signage dominates the market while – with the emergence of digital signage – outdoor printed information, directions and traffic signage are witnessing a lower demand.
• Not surprisingly, being one of the most visible and predominant forms of outdoor signage, billboards continue to hold a large share of the spend.
• While television remains the top advertising medium, its share has been falling since 2009 in favour of online videos, which is set to record the strongest growth this year with the rise of mobile usage and Smart TV’s driving internet-connected television growth.
• The advancement in transport networks, public infrastructure, educational facilities and new commercial buildings, particularly in developing economies, is creating more opportunities for digital signage.
But while technological advancements are definitely closing the gap between multi-channel marketing solutions to bring about a more integrated omnichannel approach, the emergence of digital brings about a time of uncertainty for many.
Digital signage can offer significant benefits: real-time information exchange, a greater flexibility of the type of information on display and the increased scope for innovation are to name but a few. Content is still king, and creativity is the key to reaching a diverse market such as ours. One of digital’s strongest USPs is its ability to offer differing creative on one network, dependent on the target market or markets, thereby giving advertisers greater strategic communicative control and less wastage on investment.
On the flipside, going digital requires careful consideration. Most digital forms of signage need high amounts of electricity to operate and marketers should take into account things like CMS capability, skill set service requirements and human resources, hardware and software upgrades, as well as budget requirements. So, consultation with experts is always highly recommended.
Whilst the global and more recent local trend indicates a move towards an increase in digital signage, many brands and agencies are still coming to grips with this complex medium. Going digital can be likened to a ‘hamster wheel’ effect, where once you’re on it’s not so easy to get off.
If anything, it can place a greater burden on companies to first determine the environment in which they operate, the markets they reach and the practicalities and delivery of their messaging and content. In fact, in the much longer term we expect more complexity with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s artificial intelligence technology.
I believe that only time will tell which industries are more suited to adopting digital platforms and who can adjust and best afford its requirements in the long run. In fact, we are already seeing finance options for companies looking to go this route or to stay the course. This said, all insights point towards digital far outweighing static media in terms of reach and customer engagement capability. Time to gear up.’