Ask the Board – January 2, 2018 | ANGEL CORDERO

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If you could put out an industry SOS, how would you fill in the blanks: CONTENT CREATORS OF THE WORLD, PLEASE STOP WITH THE _______. THE INDUSTRY REALLY NEEDS MORE ________. Why?”


Content creators of the world, please stop with the static content. The industry really needs more dynamic content.

It’s pretty easy to reuse that old computer or last year’s TV and put a few images on slideshow to put up a quick sign that lasts months or years.  But this mostly static content isn’t going to really improve sales, customer satisfaction or employee engagement.  So let’s walk through a few industry ideas where we can use dynamic content to achieve better-than-average results.

Today, most restaurants show static meal names and prices all day for months or years at a time. However, think of the benefits of changing “Catch of the Day – $Ask” to “Catch of the day (local Yellowfin) to $9.99.” Customers would be motivated with mouth-watering descriptions and even a picture of today’s meal. Staff would have to field fewer questions about the catch of the day, and you could change pricing to drive revenue. This update could be accomplished in under five minutes with the right desktop or mobile CMS app.

Imagine how a resort operations team could motivate staff by viewing customer satisfaction levels in real time on the break room TV.  Not only seeing the current 0- to 5- star rating, but the satisfaction trend over the last six hours. Showing the last three customer complaints and “likes” could also enhance instant reporting. This one change would greatly improve upon today’s static employee communications, which begins to appear invisible to staff after a few viewings since it is rarely updated. Even changing the frequency of static messages from monthly to weekly would drive readers and action.  A system like this could be put together by having the web survey system create an RSS data feed that could be read by the signage presentation just like many systems support Facebook widgets that read news data feeds.

What would happen if a merchandise store took a standard product promotional poster and overlaid a snipe that said “Only 8 left?”  We know from marketing that scarcity drives demand. Additionally, what if the quantity correlated to showing an appealing price for higher inventory levels and a premium price for reduced inventory levels? How would sales improve if we shared which colors or SKU models were available?  Do you know if your inventory or payment data is available to other systems?  What if we allowed the user to touch the screen to go interactive and select a specific product variation or build a personalized combination of item, whether assembling a lunch order or a clothing ensemble? Perhaps you didn’t know this, but building a touchscreen sign is as simple as HTML running on your signage device, and each touch command is just a mouse click that is sent through a USB cable coming out of the screen.

Transportation has made great strides towards dynamic data, going from copies of printed time schedules to real-time and exact minute schedules, but there is still progress to be made. Think about how mobile app maps have evolved. There is no reason why signage maps couldn’t leverage color-coded paths, traffic alerts and alternate paths.  Also, why not make wayfinding portable using beacons/bluetooth, SMS, or QR codes to help travelers take guidance on the go.  Putting together a system like this may not be an off-the-shelf presentation template, but with a small vendor or tech team, you could combine some HTML, scripting, applications and data feeds to create a very smart and personal signage solution.

Hopefully, you’ve been inspired to update your static content more frequently.  But eventually, you should start planting seeds for a dynamic and interactive future by thinking about your CMS capabilities, presentation widgets, mobile use cases, system integration, data feeds and your media player hardware capabilities. Remember, it’s not just a digital sign. It’s a smart personal interactive multimedia problem solver.

 

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Signage & Kiosk Solutions
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts

MEMBER OF THE DSE ADVISORY BOARD
End User Council

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