Retail marketing agency John Ryan, which is somewhere between mostly and entirely focused on retail banking, has issued a report on the findings from a survey done with some 200 large- and medium-sized European, Australian and North American retail banks – whose collective footprint is more than 150,000 branches and 32 countries.
The survey was skewed to specific opinions on digital signage, and the finding should be encouraging to anyone who targets big finance as a software or hardware client.
The executive summary of the report says:
- Nearly 60% of respondents have tested or deployed digital signage in branches and another 20% plan to within the next couple of years intend to do so over the next 12-24 months. Two-thirds reinforced how in-branch marketing is important and said budgets for that will hold or grow.
- Almost 60 per cent now get this stuff is more than eye candy and can have measurable returns
- More than half of the respondents say they have been only “moderately satisfied” with their deployments, meaning some will flush their current vendors (the bank thing I worked on led to vendor #3 for digital signage). In addition to an ongoing inability to “feed the beast,” this year’s survey reveals a wide spectrum of additional frustrations, from unexpectedly high FTE requirements to IT challenges. While these issues are unlikely to stem the tide of adoption, they present a cautionary warning for the industry to acknowledge the complexity of this new tool.
- The ability for a vendor to provide end-to-end deployment and management support is now the No. 1 criteria for selecting a digital signage partner, beating banking knowledge and technical know-how.
Minneapolis-based Ryan says the survey indicates a profound shift in banks’ understanding and use of digital signage, moving from tire-kicking and testing to full, budgeted rollouts.
There’s lots of other interesting stuff in there, such as staffing, connectivity choices and who drives decisions. I found it intriguing that IT has such a big grip on these deals, maybe because these platform usually end up inside firewalls or tunnelling through them. Says the report: IT was involved in the decision process at 75% of banks deploying digital signage. This represents a significant increase over last year’s survey. Marketing was solely responsible for the decision in less than 25% of cases.
It’s a free download, but bear in mind this was not done entirely of kindness. There is, quite logically, a healthy amount of rah-rah John Ryan stuff in there. The company has its own content management system and has it running with clients in different companies, but it makes most of its money providing supporting services to banks, like merchandising and analog in-branch marketing.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.