The Digital Signage Industry Is In The Middle Of Radical Change. Here’s Why And How …

June 7, 2021 by Dave Haynes

Guest Post: Stephen Gottlich, Gable

The digital signage industry is in the midst of radical change.

On one side, you have the typical AV integrators, who have focused on providing no more than the commoditized technology that enables both audio and video communication. On the other side of the spectrum, you have companies like JCDecaux and Clear Channel, who have used digital signage as an advertising medium.

In recent years, however, the development of fine pitch LED displays has led to the expansion of digital signage as a medium that can tell stories and create emotion in the built environment, in a way that no other media can.

I call the solutions the “Fourth Screen” – the first being television, the second PC screens, then mobile phones, and now our industry – screens that are in fixed positions, in the built environment, meeting people where they drive, travel and shop.

This expansion of digital signage as the “Fourth Screen” has been recognized by the marketing and communication experts as a critical media that can, and is, being used to influence consumers at the point of decision.

In doing so, this has spurred the development of solutions such as wayfinding kiosks that act as media – a customer experience and a delivery mechanism for advertising. The development of content creators has also advanced, with designers and storytellers now tasked with developing compelling content for a myriad of screens, from menu boards to digital window posters.

In my opinion, the most exciting result of this growth in our industry is the convergence that it has created. In the retail environment, digital signage is now an integral part of the in-store experience. What appears on screens is connected to the activity of the store, day-parting drives content, loyalty programs are amplified by touch screen offers directed at individuals and electronic shelf labels that are now available in color not only show a price, but are now able to promote a product benefit and alert a customer to a special offer. 

So, at the end of the day, our industry now offers far more than cheap screens. It offers true value, through the ability to communicate effectively, with emotion-driven content, to an audience that’s hungry for relevant information.

About The Writer

Stephen Gottlich is the Senior Vice-President of Innovation and Strategy at the Baltimore visual solutions firm Gable. Gable works with some of the world’s leading organizations, real estate developers, architects, and builders, providing visual solutions that attract, connect, engage and direct people to properties, buildings, places, and spaces through the integration of architectural and graphic elements that include signs, digital displays, audiovisual, media and lighting.

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