According to One Digital Media (ODM) over the past two decades, the impact of digital signage has been explosive and so too has the growth in cross-sectional industries. At startup, many viewed this communication tool as a ‘creative sales gimmick’, however within a relatively short space of time, it has morphed into an expansive industry.
Business leaders and marketers across more and more industries are using digital display boards as a tool to achieve communication objectives, regardless of audience, product or service.
Andrew Ridl, ODM CEO said, ’In the early days interest in this realm came predominantly from the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) and retail clothing sectors, but now has spread wider to industries such as hospitals, shopping centres, small businesses and the like. At any given time nowadays, we are working with clients from various industries, who use digital signage to achieve different results with distinctive objectives.’
Digital screens in the motor industry
Take a motor vehicle dealership for example. Digital screens are now also being used in this space not only to enhance the look and feel of the service waiting area, but to also advertise new vehicles and parts, prices and product information, as well as to educate an already existing captive audience in this area.
ODM recently completed Phase 1 of the digital display installations in the service areas at Nissan dealerships, in major metropolitan districts around the country. ‘We installed digital display units in this space at 48 Nissan outlets,’ said Ridl. ‘As the service area in any motor vehicle dealership is the perfect location for customers to view content while they are waiting for their car to be serviced, strategic product content and information can be screened with short educational and influential videos.’
The success of Phase 1 resulted in the roll-out of Phase 2, which is now also complete. ‘A total of 73 Nissan sites around the country have been fitted with screens in our waiting areas, which provide an excellent mechanism for us to communicate with a captive target audience already seated in our waiting area,’ said Wimpie Strydom of Nissan. ‘We are able to share information with our customers there and then, that is fresh, current and educational, but is also unique as it is not used on any other media channels in our marketing efforts.’
One of the first industries to ever use digital signage was the clothing retail sector that discovered that a faceless, static mannequin (which is still part of the store’s interior) isn’t the best model to show off the style and design of a wearable item.
Representation of products
Ridl said, ‘It’s important for clothing retailers to give the best possible representation of their products, and sometimes digital displays can be programmed to show off ensembles on real people in real scenarios, acting as a constantly running advert for the brand.’
ODM has recently concluded an installation for Froggies Shoes at all of their five stand-alone stores located in shopping malls, in KwaZulu Natal. The client’s brief was to increase the footfall in each store from the passing shopper traffic. In response to this, a 1 x 49” screen was placed in the window, on a floor mounted pole, that blended in with the store look-and-feel, where a continual slide show of their products was run. Passing shoppers were enticed into the store to have a closer look at the available product.
‘When people walk near our storefront now, instead of walking past, they slow down, take a look at the moving content on our screens, and more often than not, enter the store to have a closer look at what’s on offer,’ said Froggies Marketing Manager, Linda Trinkies. ‘These moving screens are definitely magnets for passing foot traffic.’
Even in outlets where business to business trade occurs, digital signage has a presence. In early April this year, ODM installed a 3m x 2m LED screen in the new Jonsson Workwear store in Montana Park, Pretoria. ‘The opportunity to influence the SME business owner with an in-store digital screen of this size, is ideal and worth the investment,’ said Ridl. ‘Not only does it make a powerful statement about the outlet’s product offering that shouts ‘authenticity’, it also adds to the overall atmosphere.’
Digital signage in doctor’s waiting rooms
A few years back, hospitals, doctors’ rooms and health centres didn’t seem like the places where digital signage would fit in, however today it is commonplace. From providing way-finding and directional information to sharing important registration details, and conveying wellness tips to improve a patients’ health, digital signage in medical and health establishments has found yet another home.
In addition, digital signage is increasingly seen inside office blocks and shopping malls for directional, navigational and information purposes, as well as in the hospitality arena for guest relations too.