Plain old billboards are so 20th century. These days, digital signs are what capture the eyeballs, whether it’s to sell a luxury car, publish the lunch specials, or announce an arriving train. Digital signage is now used anywhere traditional signs and billboards once were used, including government and public spaces, hospitality, sports arenas, corporate communications, public transportation, and, of course, retail.
Digital signage started out using wired and Wi-Fi connections, but the growth in the industry has made these technologies inadequate. IHS Markit Technology reports that the worldwide digital signage market is expected to grow from USD $15 billion in 2014 to over USD $24 billion by 2020. Cellular connectivity has become the standard with digital signs and billboards are connected to cloud servers for flexibility and remote management. With digital signage networks offering customized, updated content deployed to multiple outlets across various venues, high-speed 4G LTE connectivity has become common. In fact, the high data opportunities of LTE are becoming valuable in many digital signage operations as streaming video and high-definition screens are in demand.
Digital Signs Go Mobile With Video
The digital signage of today and tomorrow is increasingly mobile or at least flexible. Small installations need to be moved around retail locations from checkouts to end-cap displays to suit seasonal promotions. Event-based digital signage such as for conventions or product launches may be mounted on trucks and vans that cover cities with the latest messaging. These types of digital signs rely on LTE for the high speed connectivity and broad coverage.
The high data capability of LTE encourages the growing use of video in digital signage. Consumer engagement with video online is extremely high, especially in advertising campaigns, so it makes perfect sense to include digital video signs as part of a wider ad or branding strategy. Also, consumers are used to experiencing high-definition video, which requires the higher data throughput of LTE.
Ultimately, advertisers are demanding digital signs because they're more eye-catching than traditional signage. A Posterscape study found that consumers had a 53% higher recall of digital billboards vs. paper ones, and a Machina Research report suggests that widespread adoption of cellular technology is lowering the barrier for small businesses reaping the benefits of digital advertising.
Interactivity With Digital Signage
The high data advantage of LTE helps make digital signs interactive with customers in retail, as well as in corporate settings with employees, in healthcare locations with patients, and even sports arenas with viewers. Large interactive screens or interactive screens embedded in kiosks can deliver customized content to a person based on their inputs or even triggered by their own smartphones. Creating custom experiences builds brand or team loyalty for shoppers or fans and makes employees or patients feel appreciated.
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