Digital signage is no longer the domain of science fiction movies and has gone mainstream. In fact, some consider it to be an essential element in any business’ marketing strategy. This, in large part, has to do with the significant improvement in technology. So, here’s what we can expect in the digital signage world this year.
1.The Digital Signage Market Will Grow
In 2016, the global digital signage market was valued at over $19 billion, but it is expected to reach $32.84 billion in 2023, coming close to doubling in size. And we will definitely see some of that growth this year.
Some of the elements that will contribute to this growth include:
- More widespread adoption of programmatic digital out-of-home advertising, which will further put this form of advertising in the spotlight for media planners
- Digital signage is impactful, a fact that media agencies are starting to acknowledge, meaning they will be spending more marketing dollars in this space;
- Combined with mobile, it’s one of the most effective forms of advertising allowing businesses to reach consumers with the right message, but also at the right time and in the right place.
2.Video Walls Will Become More Popular
A bigger market means a higher demand, so we’ll definitely be seeing many more screens. However, we’ll also see a significant increase in the number of video walls. Video walls offer a wide range of benefits, not least of which is the additional surface area advertisers have to work with as well as the fact that their potential for interactivity is higher than other digital signage approaches.
3. Content Will Become More Interactive
In all mediums, interactivity generates engagement. So, the more interactive the content is, the more engaged consumers will be.
In terms of digital signage, interactivity is becoming a necessary element of a campaign for it to succeed. And interactivity isn’t just limited to touch, as now things like voice recognition and behavior based on the data the unit is recording are also on the table.
Content will also become more personalized thanks to sensors and data feeds from computers and the internet allowing for adjustments based on real-world situations. For example, if the weather is sunny, ads for swimwear and outdoor activities will be shown, whereas if it’s snowing, ads for skis and the local ice rink might be displayed instead. Thus, content will no longer be shown on a set schedule, but when it makes the most sense to do so.
4. Messages Will Be Longer
The shift towards storytelling and building relationships is happening in all areas of business. And, to this end, campaigns will focus more on long-form, story-driven content to build relationships, which will cut through the information overload created by the one-shot messages that are so popular at the moment.
Research shows that consumers are shifting away from direct marketing, with Millennials actively disliking it. Instead, they prefer stories and narratives that include a subtle sales message, and for campaigns to see success in the future, they will have to listen to what the market wants.
5. More Focus Will Be Placed on Security
One of the biggest issues in the digital advertising industry in recent years has been security and trust. The supply chain is complex and opaque, from an advertiser’s viewpoint, which is why it is essential for ad agencies to be transparent with their clients if digital signage is to continue to grow.
Furthermore, security is even more important when one considers the public nature of digital signage networks. All it takes is one slightly more industrious hacker with a slightly skewed sense of humor or a desire to do harm breaking into the network and displaying inappropriate content to cause a lot of trouble.
This is why it is essential that the entire network is controlled and well-secured, from the hardware to the apps being used. It’s also vital that everyone involved is also on board. It doesn’t matter how secure the system is if someone’s password into the system is password.
6. The Real World Will Become More Digital
People spend a lot of time in the digital world, and this will only increase as time goes on. In fact, the digital world will bleed into the real world more and more, a trend that we will see a lot of this year.
Thus, displays won’t just be used to advertise events, but will become key components of those events. Geofencing and beacons will gain more traction and consumers will receive prompts to install apps in particular areas that will allow them to interact with the digital world around them.
And this will, of course, impact digital signage as screens become more prevalent and not just for advertising purposes, but to enable brands to interact with their customers more effectively.
7. Technology Will Continue to Advance by Leaps and Bounds
Screens are growing in surface area but becoming slimmer than ever, with narrower bezels. But that’s not the really interesting news. Technology in the reflective display field has made incredible advances. In other words, it’s not going to be long before we have screens that are micrometers thick and can be rolled up for easy transportation. These screens can be seen from both sides, and will be excellent for engagement when placed in store windows. At the moment, the refresh rates don’t allow these screens to play rich video, but it won’t be long before that happens.
In the meantime, this year a 42-inch black and white reflective screen – also referred to as e-paper – is expected to hit the market. And these screens are cheap to purchase and use, as well as being incredibly mobile, which will enable a wide range of applications.
Other things we can expect to see include higher resolutions for LCD screens, and even more colors with the switch to BT.2020 from sRGB.
Digital signage will only continue to grow as technology advances and our real and digital worlds mesh more and more. In the end, though, displays are only a tool, and everything should be done with the customer experience front and center.
A business that can relate to consumers as human beings will find more success than those that see their customers as nothing more than walking dollar signs.
Pepsi Max surprise commuters with an ‘unbelievable’ augmented reality experience at a bus shelter on New Oxford Street in London. Watch their reactions as unbelievable scenarios unfold before their very eyes; from a giant robot crashing through the street to a passer by being abducted by flying saucers.
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