11 Aug 2010

Leveraging “Fifth Screen” Affordability To Improve Customer Engagement

Marketing & Sales 3 Comments

It started with the silver screen, over a century ago. And while the advent of TV, personal computers and mobile devices as the second, third and fourth major screen technologies have clearly changed life as we know it, Digital Out Of Home (DOOH) technology – the “fifth screen”, as it’s known – has created amazingly influential opportunities of its own.

Today’s digital networks are easier to design, present and deploy than ever before, in part because of the price drop in flat panel displays and Content Management Systems (CMS). We’re also seeing an increase in education and technology advancements, as well as manufacturers and suppliers taking a more holistic approach in supporting those who want to get into the DOOH business.

Black Box Corporation (NASDAQ: BBOX) is a trusted provider of comprehensive communications and infrastructure solutions. As a value-added reseller of platforms and applications from the industry’s top manufacturers, and a provider of our own line of technology products and services, we design, build, and maintain today’s complex voice and data networks.

Headquartered in Lawrence, Pennsylvania, Black Box Network Services has the largest footprint in the industry, with 194 offices serving 141 countries. With more than 4500 Team Members worldwide, we serve more than 175,000 clients in every major industry sector.

But before you install digital displays to engage customers, fans, guests, or even employees, think carefully about how to maximize your investment. It’s important, for instance, to consider the incredible flexibility of DOOH displays. Push this flexibility to its limit with content that adapts to meet audience needs.

Depending on placement and purpose, digital displays can be used to generate maps and directions, communicate wait times, provide entertainment, convey news, or sell product. Screens can even be made interactive, making it easy for people to find answers or place orders. Without exploring the full range of uses for this medium, your displays are no more valuable than a painted sign. On the other hand, the more ways you use DOOH, the more cost-efficient each display becomes. With every new use, the price per impression continues to drop, increasing your display network’s return on investment over time.

Many fifth screen users also make the mistake of thinking of their display as a single piece of visual real estate. In reality, a flat screen can easily be subdivided into zones that convey a great deal of information simultaneously. Today’s CMS devices, which display content according to the user’s preset instructions, are capable of controlling multiple zones on any number of displays, regardless of whether those displays are across the room or across the country. Again, by taking advantage of the full array of content, you create additional value for your business and your viewers.

Other ways to leverage the unique capability of DOOH is to focus on the appeal of video. Product demonstrations, movie trailers, even newscasts can attract attention to other, more static information you have to convey. Also, don’t forget that DOOH technology is ideal for in-the-moment updates. Whether you’re letting people know about an upcoming event, a special two-for-one deal, or a spur-of-the-moment markdown on that fish filet platter that isn’t selling, digital displays are ideal at keeping up with the changing pace of business.

Thanks to its affordability, Digital Out Of Home technology allows businesses of any size to compete effectively with larger competitors. Research proves that DOOH signage captures the attention of consumers more than any other media – including the Web and traditional media like TV, radio and print. By making the most of what this exciting new medium has to offer, you can increase sales, improve customer satisfaction, and create bonds with your audience like never before.


About the Author

Steve Acquista – CTS ([email protected]) is a 20-year industry veteran and the Director of Digital Signage at Black Box, a world leader and provider of comprehensive communications and data infrastructure solutions. In addition to designing, installing and maintaining unified communications networks throughout the world, the company offers more than 118,000 networking and infrastructure products. To learn more about Black Box, visit: www.blackbox.com/go/icompel.

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