Google Alerts’ digital signage search term digest for this morning popped up yet another software company going after the small business market with a cloud-based solution, but I was please to see this one had an interesting twist.
You pay for a media player with software, and the deal includes custom creative and content management services.
KIO Digital Signage, based in West Palm Beach, FL, markets four tiered packages aimed at small retailers and the hospitality industry, starting at $30/month and running up to $125.
“There’s no doubt that digital signage is an important part of any in-store marketing campaign,” says Josh Gross of KIO in a press release. “It’s a tool that business owners can use to inform and direct customers, telling them what they need to know to make the most of that company’s products or services.”
“However,” he adds, “it is our belief that digital signage hardware and software is useless unless a business owner has a way to get new, fresh content displayed in their store that attracts customers and compels them to buy what they’re offering. This is why the digital signage packages we have are different and go above and beyond what a business owner can get anywhere else.”
The lowest tier gets the customer five “visuals” a year, while the top tier gets 180. Visuals are jpeg/png stills, and they not surprisingly work off template libraries where it makes sense, to speed things along and limit costs.
The deal includes unlimited self-updates, cloud hosting, and personal support. All packages require a one-time $349 media player purchase. the company uses a Window device right now but is weighing other hardware options.
Gross told me by phone that his company has six people on staff, and runs lean because they leverage the resources of their private equity owners and also use/resell a third-party CMS. So they don’t have to build, evolve and support their own code.
He says KIO went down the managed services/creative services path because it reflects what the marketplace seems to need. “We discovered if you just sell small businesses the technology, the same content ends up on screens for six months, and then the boss walks in, looks at it, and asks, ‘Why are we still paying for that?’ ”
Every digital signage plan, KIO touts, comes with a dedicated graphic designer and content manager that will help keep a business’ content new and fresh throughout the year.
This is smart. I know other companies certainly offer creative services as an option, but I don’t think (and will no doubt be corrected) I’ve seen a company just flat build creative in to the bundle.
They also do motion graphics, but that’s an upcharge. However, for a lot of businesses that just want to convey prices and promos, stills will do the business just fine.
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.