The Perspective 
Tuesday, 23 September 2014

by Joe Holley
Frank Mayer & Associates, Inc.

Millennials are as large a demographic group as their Baby Boomer parents and their presence is already felt at retail. Their power to purchase and influence is on the rise.

Despite having lived through the Great Recession and carrying an average of $25,000 in student loan debt, Millennials’ $600 billion of spending is projected to increase to $1.4 trillion by 2020. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is naturally interested in this economically powerful group and concludes they will “completely upend many of the established businesses, methods, and processes that have defined the U.S. Public and private sectors for decades.”

This generation is moving at a pace that legacy retailers are hard-pressed to keep up with. The physical store is still the focus of the vast majority of sales, but there is a plodding but undeniable “any channel” transformation being influenced by Millennials’ desire for shopping without boundaries.

Besides renovating disparate technology platforms, what are retailers doing to court this powerful, ascending generation? Their responses include changes to format, visual merchandising, product displays, digital signage, interactive shopping experiences, location-based mobile communication and targeted product offerings.

Take for example, Macy’s, which is incorporating many of these strategies. They’ve developed apps and installed Wi-Fi. They’re using Shopkick and testing iBeacon for location-based in-store offers. They’re integrating interactive technology into numerous departments to satisfy expectations for immediacy, access and engagement with fresh content. Localized product assortments catering to specific Millennial sub-segments are a part of their merchandising strategy. So committed to this target is Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren that he has breakfast monthly with a group of Millennial employees to get their feedback.

There are numerous other examples of retail transformation in our latest whitepaper Succeeding with Millennials as well as a list of implications for marketing to Millennials that emerge from vast amounts of research being conducted on them:

  • Embrace the multi-channel mindset by catering to expectations for relevancy and accessibility that are rooted in online experience.
  • Create store environments that merge physical and digital elements.
  • Create environments that are vibrant and dynamic.
  • Balance deal-oriented incentives with exceptional experiences in order to win hearts and pocketbooks.
  • Develop marketing and merchandising plans that incorporate multi-directional engagement.
  • Incorporate opportunities for validating purchase decisions through peers and ratings/reviews.

I’m sure you have others to add.

Posted by: Admin AT 01:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Glen Young
Sr. Product Marketing Manager
Philips Signage Solutions

Can remote control apps damage your digital signage?

Smartphone technology continues to amaze with so many different features and functions. But the latest one is the one to be extremely wary of in certain situations. Among the most recent advancements coming from the smartphone is a TV remote changer app.  

This app can be downloaded into a smartphone, and all of a sudden, the person holding that smartphone has the power to remotely control a  TV just in case he or she misplaced the one usually found on the coffee table. Who knows? Maybe one of the kids may have picked it up for whatever reason.  

Not a bad app. Life is getting easier with apps like this one.  

However, there’s a downside to this TV remote control app, especially if a business has taken the low-cost route and is using a consumer TV and PC for its digital signage. There's lots of money saved there — but, boy oh boy, there are a multitude of pitfalls associated now with the smartphone remote control apps.  

Let's say it's a highly competitive business. Who's to say, anyone could stroll into a store, restaurant, fast food place, a small retail business or whatever business? With this new remote control app in their smartphone and a few quick strokes, a business's TV-based signage display could be turned off, switched to another channel, or the speaker volume, colors and contrast could be messed up.

It's one thing to take the low-cost route and incur a considerable number of potential problems associated with using consumer-grade TV screens and PCs for a commercial signage application. But it's another thing entirely to get sabotaged without knowing who or where the culprit is.  

Also, it could be that particular business or restaurant is one of the unlucky ones with a commercial signage that lacks a lock against others' remote control ability. But now, a business owner is placing himself in a position where almost anyone coming into the shop can sabotage all the sales efforts promoted on that signage, and the business owner wouldn't be not aware of it until after the damage is done. When I say damage, I’m talking about incurring glitches in the business operations by altering or jeopardizing your sales displays.

While it's a bit more expensive, it makes good business sense to not only upgrade to, or start out with, a commercial-grade digital signage display, installed professionally, as well as making sure to have the key feature of a remote control lock in that new signage or video wall installation.  

A business owner works long and hard to get the business to a healthy level. The last thing he or she wants is to be a candidate for competitive sabotage or a victim of a prankster who'll do damage to a place of business's signage just for kicks via that smartphone remote control app.

Posted by: AT 10:32 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Tuesday, 02 September 2014

Kelly Eisel
Industry Weapon

Brand advocates are easily the knights of the branding chess board. Versatile enough to reach the audiences regular marketing can’t; they are key players well worth your time and effort. Armed with one of the most powerful weapons of our time, the internet, advocates can create a tidal wave of buzz around a brand in few simple clicks. Their good reviews are marketing gold. In fact, 90% of consumers believe Internet recommendations are the most credible persuasion when purchasing a product or service(1)

How Do You Get Customers to Advocate Your Brand?

So people seem to like your brand: Your products are trustworthy and you’ve trained your employees to have great customer service skills. You market your sales and special events, but you still can’t seem to create a special connection between your customers and your brand. While customers may spend money on your products and services, they aren’t compelled to talk about it.

To create conversations about your brand, you need to be innovative and unique. 60% of consumers feel more positively about a company after reading custom content on their sites or #digital displays. (2) Digital signage incorporates endless options for viewer engagement. One of the top three reasons consumers will follow a brand on social media is for interesting content.(3) Digital signage is a medium that can provide interesting content that reaches every shopping persona.  Instead of using static marketing to relay one or two messages about your brand, digital signage plays dynamic content and integrates social media applications. Therefore, campaigns can be designed to target specific shoppers at specific times of the day.

Select the Right Promoters

Once you’ve engaged and engrossed potential advocates with your dynamic digital media, you can start deciding who is worthy of being your brand cheerleader. Keep this in mind: the entire world can love your brand, but they don’t all have to be your advocates. Choose a couple influential members (with lots of appropriate followers) to can reach your targeted audience with the correct messages.

3 Ways Digital Signage Can Help You Retain Your Advocates

Once the relationship is solidified, put together a program to thank, reward, and maintain your advocate. Don’t make this a campaign, campaigns don’t last; make this an ongoing program. Longevity is good for a relationship, after all. Have an entire plan for the program so that you can identify how you and your advocate will both get what you want for the entire length of the program.

1.) Give ‘Em Publicity: An easy way to show appreciation is to display advocate-generated content on your digital signage. With Instagram and social media integrations, your advocates can become your models.

2.) Keep It Exclusive: Interactive Kiosks are a fantastic way to keep your advocates engaged and coming back for more. Implement a reward system for exclusive offers that only advocates can access via the kiosks. Hashtags for reward points!

3.) Contribute Together: Donate to charity on behalf of your advocates. Create an ‘Advocate of the Month (or Week)’ system that will honor a select member. Then your brand can donation in their name to a nonprofit organization. Their picture and donation can be displayed on your digital signage.

Marketing for sales doesn’t cut it anymore. Consumers need a fellow shopper with an opinion that they can trust.  Obtaining, choosing, and keeping your advocates might seem intimidating at first, but with digital signage, the integrations practically do all the work for you. By making sure the content around your brand is dynamic and interesting, you’ll start conversations that will lead to recommendations.  

1: Ciceron, 2: Ciceron, 3: Ciceron

Posted by: Admin AT 02:54 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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