How does a layperson know if digital signage can work in their environment?”
One unique part about the digital signage industry is that it doesn’t have defined boundaries in regards to vertical markets. The most common market that people think of when talking about signage is likely retail/advertising, but the reality is that digital signage will work in any environment that has a basic communication need. This communication need is what will determine how effective a digital signage solution will be. There are three core functions of a digital signage system: 1) to inform, 2) entertain, or 3) engage audiences. As long as your network needs to accomplish one or all of those functions, you will benefit from a digital signage system.
Informational signage systems offer the most value to the viewer. These systems are often found in corporate lobbies, transportation hubs, college campuses and hotels. Common uses for these information systems are to display maps for wayfinding, airplane/train departure times, personnel directories, event boards and public service announcements.
Entertainment-based signage is leveraged to create an exciting atmosphere for guests and patrons. Public places like sporting arenas, concert venues and even hospitals incorporate signage to entertain their guests. This could be achieved through interactive and passive content. The intent is not to inform the viewers like traditional signage does. Instead, these entertainment-based solutions can be used to evoke an emotion, reduce perceived wait times and supplement the creativity of architectural design.
The third core function of a signage system is to engage audiences, and that can be interpreted a few ways. For this example, ‘engagement’ means sending a message that has a purpose and will trigger a response. Advertising and branding are typical messages that will fall within this category. Promotional materials, product placement and social media interactions can be used near the point of sale within a retail environment to engage shoppers. This third function is most often seen in retail, but it can also be useful within hospitality and exterior environments where branding and advertising are well received by the public.
Digital signage networks add tremendous value to nearly all environments simply because they fulfill basic communication requirements more effectively than traditional print signage. As long as the network is informing, entertaining or engaging patrons, then a signage solution is right for you. Another advantage to doing all your communication through digital is that the content/messages are updated in real time, which makes them more relevant. Digital signage networks are also easier to centrally manage than the traditional alternative, and they offer immediacy, something that traditional static signs do not.