How can a franchise owner stand out in a sea of traditional display ads?
By Sylvain Bellaïche
With the advent of affordable and reliable digital signage and easy-to-use software to run it, franchise owners are increasingly utilizing this technology as an attractive option for connecting with their clientele. Franchisees who have not yet done so might be asking themselves: What are the specific advantages that digital signage can bring?
First, no matter how quaint your storefronts might be, they won’t tell potential customers what they need to know regarding sales, products, hours or other actionable information. Digital display advertising aligns perfectly with your goals of catching consumers’ attention, delivering relevant information and promoting your company brand – without compromising your stores’ aesthetic appeal.
Digital displays are designed for change. Not only can all of the same information and compelling imagery of static displays be placed on a digital display board, but that screen also can be updated in real time and based on a franchisee’s needs. In fact, you can experiment with a different ad style every week and see which one works best. Embracing digital displays gives you a level of control over your stores’ appearance and marketing simply not possible via static ads.
Fresh New Flair
For a franchise, there are at least three different ways in which digital signage can shake things up. Think of the constraints inherent in display ads: The words have to be legible, the images have to be clear and eye-catching, and the connection to the company has to be understandable. With digital signage, these goals are less burdensome because the medium allows for video, sound, multiple slides and even collaboration with other digital displays.
Second, with the dynamic messaging possible via digital signage, an entire story can be created through advertisement by aligning each display to perform a specific, tailored function. For example, it is possible to have one display pose a question and another one give the answer.
Third, the timeliness of digital signage is truly unprecedented. You may decide certain ads work best at certain times of day. You can also experiment more easily with digital ads by using two or more different campaigns, seeing which works best and then dropping the less effective one, all at an overall cost dramatically less than what’s possible with traditional ads.
Furthermore, there are far more ways to make a digital sign engaging than a standard print display. For example, audio can be synced to a visual display, attracting customers via music or dialogue that augments the message on screen. In addition, advances in touchscreen technology, when incorporated into digital signs, can be utilized to encourage a level of interactivity never before possible. As well, a series of digital signs placed side-by-side inside a retail location can create a panorama or lead customers to walk from one part of the store to the next.
A Range of Applications
Franchisees across a range of sectors have leveraged digital display boards in effective and creative ways. While each type of franchise is using these tools to suit its specific needs, businesses can still learn from one another and implement tactics that yield results regardless of audience and product or service. Four types of franchises, in particular, serve as exemplary digital signage users for various reasons:
* Quick-service restaurants: Restaurants change their menus throughout the day as well as seasonally, and digital displays allow for a smooth, fast transition. In addition, high-resolution displays let menu items jump off the screen and appear as appetizing as possible.
* Clothing retailers: A faceless, beige mannequin isn’t always the best model. Digital displays can be programmed to show off ensembles on real people in real scenarios, acting as a sort of constantly running commercial for the brand.
* Tech boutiques: These are no places for traditional poster-board displays. Tech franchises have rolled out digital signage aimed at effectively providing their customers with the information they need, such as product data, event information and service topics.
* Urgent care centers: Although they might not seem like the most obvious match at first glance, healthcare franchises are increasingly incorporating digital signage for numerous purposes, such as guiding visitors, sharing registration information and conveying wellness tips for improving patients’ health.
All of these benefits are great but how easily can they be implemented? The fact is that cloud-based platforms are now on the market that make digital signage management accessible to franchisees. One such digital convergence platform works seamlessly with digital signage displayed on Samsung SMART Signage Platform screens. The interface is drag-and-drop intuitive, combining playlist creation and content scheduling customized to each digital sign, such that any franchisee with the necessary technology in place could sign up and be up and running in a matter of minutes.
The future is bright indeed for franchisees wishing to harness the excitement – and the power – of digital signage.
Sylvain Bellaïche is the founder and CEO of Digital Social Retail, a company that has developed a beacon management platform that is revolutionizing the relationship between customers and brands.