Digital signage has gone global in the last few years, becoming the new go-to marketing solution for large corporations with extensive marketing budgets, but as with all technologies as more competition hits the market, prices begin to fall and digital signage is now working its way into boardroom conversations in small to medium-size enterprises (SME’s).
In 2018 the global market has an estimated worth of US$16 billion. In just five years from now in 2023, the market is expected to expand to US$32.84 billion.
With the larger corporations nearly doubling their current spend.
With an expansion of this kind, the industry is abuzz with rumours and predictions of what developments and trends will be seen through the end of 2018 into 2019.
If your business is starting to take notice of signage industry trends or even thinking about becoming a reseller, there are important factors to take into consideration.
What can you expect moving forward?
As 2017 played out, we had seen rapid advancement in hardware. The look and feel of displays and general tech spec had advanced rapidly, but 2019 will bring a new dimension to the industry due to insatiable consumer demand for integration, personalisation and efficiency.
User Experience (UX) is now a focal point for developers, manufacturers and advertisers. Digital screens have been with us for years now, but the realization of their effectiveness means no longer will they be just around the street, on the side of a building or in commercial districts showing advertising on a loop, they will be responsive, interactive and personalized.
Here are five signage industry trends hitting the headlines in 2018
- Upgraded hardware
In the past 12 months, hardware has become more sophisticated. NEC released their Raspberry Pi Displays. The technology behind these was a new level to what the market had seen before, the integration model was ground-breaking, with full display intelligence. This was a tailor-made solution with integration of scalable computing power such as Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) slot-in PC’s that embed into the display. This year new upgrades are due, and the demand for sleeker designs is still ever-present.
- Personalisation and interactivity
Closer ties and integration between manufacturers and suppliers are leading us towards new and innovative solutions that are changing the way digital signage engage the user.
The interactive side of the industry is a boom period right now, touch screen displays in conjunction with proximity marketing screens will be upgraded by 2019 along with AR, and VR technology will be heavily used in interactive retail display both inside and outside premises.
- Video walls
With manufacturers feverishly making designs quicker and easier to move through their respective production lines, video walls are on the increase and will reach a peak in 2019.
It is apparent that you won’t get through an airport, train station, hotel, shopping mall, or even a school or office today without encountering one. This is the mass marketing of the future. The almost abstract way of looking at what it brings to your marketing strategy as odd as it may sound is it covers more marketing space by using less. It also helps that they are stunning pieces of equipment.
Video walls provide an engaging viewing experience. These systems are faster to install, have higher resolution quality, are bezel-less displays, have higher reliability, and are easier to service. Suffice it to say they are endearing themselves to a whole range of industries.
- More responsive content
By tapping into the consumer’s needs enables companies to gather data and information to be able to bring the responsive and engaging content.
External triggers have moved the industry into what was perceived the future only a few years ago.
The trigger is responsive to changes in the outside environment. Creating and providing information entirely relevant to the public’s needs at that moment in time. For example when the outside temperature hits 30ºc automatically the screen will show ice cream, suntan lotions, cold drinks, sunglasses and so on.
The same theory applies to traffic showing motorist the delay time and alternative routes. Time of day plays a factor, for example at rush hours when traffic is slow or lunchtime, the rate of advertisements increase. 2019 will be a watershed year for how we interact with this most futuristic of marketing tools.
DIY Digital Signage – Don’t Do It
With the largest corporations on earth over doubling their marketing budget on digital signage from 2016-2017, it seemed like the digital signage world was a closed door to (SME’s). Companies like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Apple, Geico, Amazon and American Express weighs in heavily with many other big-name firms following suit.
It’s easy to see why smaller companies could be intimidated to a point whereby digital signage wouldn’t even get discussed in the boardroom when it came to the annual marketing budget.
A growing trend is smaller companies making digital signage ‘in-house’ to limited expenditure and take the cautious approach. In reality, in many cases, it does not work, and the reliability is not there, not to mention the higher end technology. In 2018 we have seen productivity increase and prices come down, mini-price wars are ideal for the customer so skip this trend.
Get On-Board – This is Going Places
New tech, new spec, new integration, new looks, new shapes, new sizes, new resolutions, new interaction and a whole new way to look at your marketing strategy for 2019. Prices are falling, and new players are entering the market to get a slice of this unique marketing platform. Never before has such flexibility been at the hands of marketing executives. Small and medium-sized businesses should be gathered around the board room table discussing next year’s marketing budget and how much of it will be spent on utilising digital signage.
The marketing tool of the future has more than already arrived.
Tim Blaine is an avid tech blogger, traveller and sports enthusiast, who likes to share his tech knowledge. He is associated with Pantherdata who are experts in the field of Digital Signage and Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units in Australia.