Smart Signage

This is a guest post by Hollie Azzopardi from Stolen Quotes.

Last Friday, we attended AIMIA’s Smart Signage Event ? a forum exploring modern-day signage usage, including the use of interactive displays to enhance a brand, and the future of signage as technology progresses.

If you’re thinking signage of the future is all about QR Codes, you are mistaken. Smart signage is much more complex than scanning a sign and pulling up information. Think Minority Report. There are now tracking tools that can track your emotion, age and gender, simply through skeletal and emotional recognition. Scary? Yes. Exciting? Yes.

There are already examples of businesses taking advantage of the technologies available in the signage space.

US donut chain Dunkin’ Donuts introduced an interactive menu that can be updated in-store by the manager via iPad. Menus are able to be adjusted according to what specials the manager wants to promote that day, are synced with the social media activity occurring live and can even recommend a drink according to the outside temperature at the time. This interactive signage was also successful in eliminating the businesses reliability on cardboard and paper menus, ultimately saving them money in wastage costs as menus became dated.

Another interesting concept was vending machines using smile-detection software to encourage people walking by to approach the machine ? the bigger your smile, the greater your chance to win a free ice cream.

While options are almost limitless when it comes to how your brand or company could incorporate smart signage into your marketing strategy, there are a number of things that should first be considered:

- Do you have the right people on board to implement a successful smart signage piece? Consider that it is perhaps not the role of the marketing team ? is it the IT team’s job? Should consumer psychology be considered? Smart signage is more than just marketing. It requires appropriate data, testing and a balance of the consumer connection and technology at play.

- How will ROI be measured? Do you expect the signage to increase sales, or is it a publicity stunt? What are you offering the consumer other than an experience ? free product? Discounted product? Vouchers? Nothing?

- As Executive Producer of Boffswana, Robert Stock, said ? just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Consider the sign’s purpose and cost. If it is not likely to produce the results you or your client is after, reconsider. There will always still be a place for simple signage. Unless you’re thinking about creating an interactive dancing bear sign ? apparently those are a hit!

Contributor:

Hollie Azzopardi, Account Manager at Stolen Quotes.

About michaelfieldcom

Michael Field is an independent strategy consultant with two decades of experience in strategy, marketing, strategic planning, market research, competitive analysis, needs based segmentation, e-commerce and innovation. His consultancy specialises in providing strategic advice to medium sized B2B and NF organisations. Michael has served as a Non Executive Director (NED) of Save the Children Victoria, is a former Save the Children New South Wales council member and former guest lecturer in marketing, small business promotional marketing and professional communication at ECU in Western Australia. He is the founder of the LinkedIn group Next Director for aspiring and emerging company directors serving more than 4,500 company directors globally. Specialties: - Strategy advice for medium-sized B2B, NFP and member services organisations - Strategic marketing - Market research and analysis - Competitive analysis - Market segmentation - Needs-based segmentation - Development of the value proposition - Marketing and business plans - e-commerce and online strategy development - Social Media - Keynote speaking - Technology and innovation - Ideas and inspiration

2 thoughts on “Smart Signage

  1. smart signage in the store or beside the stand seems like a dumb idea… most ideas that are based on pure cost cutting usually prove to be dumb…much better to put the effort expended here into the consumer experience at point of delivery (better staff and or products or service)…HOWEVER, if these signs are to work they must be both relevant and remarkable…I am thinking aloud now – signs located around the mall beyond the point of delivery that show people at the Dunkin’ Donuts stand talking about their extraordinary experience may prove relevant to a casual observer (the observer thinks “uh huh, I get that, a special donut made just for me, that would be cool”) and then it may also be remarkable (observer thinks “oh my goodness that is the most outrageous donut I have seen and that person is totally into it! I have to call up my friends and go over there to get our version of that”)…the fact of the matter is that the digital economy is brutal and simple interactive signage of the normal fair will not cut it… cheers, richard.

  2. “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” – I definitely agree here. All too often, I see new uses of technology solely for technology’s sake. Consumers get tired of gimmicks like this. However, when used properly, digital signage and detection software can be highly influential and useful to consumers.

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