Freshwater Digital continues to grow, and we often hire people with little to no experience in the digital signage industry. During the onboarding process, I find myself explaining the history of how this industry formed and sharing my outlook for what it will become. More recently, that outlook is becoming a part of our conversations with clients.
Let’s use retail as an example. Retail communication is often spearheaded by a marketing department and/or merchants. They are focused on selling products and often look at in-store communications as tactics for achieving their sales goals. When our clients take this position, it’s easy to look at the various communication channels as individual tools for driving these objectives. This pattern of behavior has created several niche industries looking to capitalize on these one-off opportunities. This is where they will start to find the thousands of print signage providers, the hundreds of digital signage solution providers, the dozens of digital tag providers, and fixture companies bolting these various solutions together. What gets missed in this approach is a communication strategy. Additionally, as communication becomes more digital, there is a steeper learning curve to understanding how these systems work and how they are managed. It introduces new processes and workflows, and can become overwhelming. Sorting through providers, understanding how they all work, and making these systems function together in a meaningful way is a daunting task. In these scenarios, it is easy for proof of concepts to never fully realize their potential.
So, what is the future?
Freshwater has always taken the approach that digital signage is more than scheduling a video to a media player that’s connected to a TV. We dedicate a significant amount of time to R&D on platforms, software, hardware mediums, and all things data. In many cases the technology is much different than a screen on a wall. Ultimately, it becomes less about the hardware and more about data and content integration. By automating content through data integrations, updates are managed through programming logic, and utilizing multiple platforms becomes achievable. An example of utilizing accessible data within customized, templated content is what you see in the video attached to this post. The video demonstrates content managed across multiple platforms, but delivers a seamless viewer experience.
Let’s take it a step further and introduce variable data. Imagine utilizing real-time shopper data and personalizing the message based on the traits of an individual. This could be anything from foot traffic patterns to purchase history. Think of a store’s digital systems being managed more like a logic-driven banner ad, rather than pre-scheduled content that needs to be updated on a regular basis.
All these tools now exist to put this preaching into practice, and will forever change the customer shopping experience. This is how we help our clients reach their constantly evolving goals.
For more information on how Freshwater automates digital content, send us a quick note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Jon Dodge, COO