Since the explosion of the internet and all things tech more than 20 years ago, digital advertising mediums have become increasingly popular and are now seen as a necessity for businesses, both small and large. Digital signage in particular has gained an enormous amount of positive attention as a powerful marketing tool in recent years, engaging customers, increasing online traffic and boosting sales.
The digital signage scene is already hugely popular and continues to grow and prosper as it lends itself perfectly to a wide range of different industries such as healthcare, retail and education. Digital signage has even become hot sauce for the catering industry more recently, with restaurants and food chains just a few amongst the crowd now making the most of the phenomenon.
Engaging large audiences and varying demographics through creativity, interactivity and ingenuity, businesses across the world must now focus their marketing efforts towards the advertising abilities of digital signage in a digital era.
As it begins to surpass traditional offline strategies as one of the most commonly used forms of advertising, digital signage – whether in the form of video advertisements or online campaigns – is set to undergo some major changes in 2019 which will help to shape the long-term future of the sector.
This year is the year of personalisation for digital signage – through artificial intelligence and interactivity, businesses who have embraced digital signage into their marketing methods will be able to take advantage of new savvy tools that place a huge importance on both consumer experience and real-time machine learning.
Today we’ll be taking a look at six predicted industry trends that are set to unfold throughout the year.
A growing market
The first trend we can expect to see in 2019 is an increasing number of businesses from all corners of the world adopting digital signage into their marketing strategies in a bid to reap the advertising benefits. The fast growing digital signage market, which is forecast to be worth more than £25 billion by 2023, is expected to become one of the most popular marketing methods for businesses in the next five years.
There are a number of benefits to digital signage, from its dynamic nature to its efficiency to its ability to reach a wider audience which make it such a powerful and vital tool for businesses.
Artificial intelligence makes great strides
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a commonplace term used in 2018, but this year we could finally see more artificial intelligence and machine learning in action within the digital ad sector after much anticipation. AI will also revolutionise the digital marketing scene in broader terms as it changes the ways in which businesses operate and becomes more accessible.
When introducing artificial intelligence into digital signage, retailers can expect to benefit from machine learning and data gathering which will provide them with genuine customer-based research which has been collected in real time, so that in turn content can be optimised and advertising strategies can be improved.
Despite artificial intelligence being universally recognised within the digital ad industry, there have been restrictions when it comes to use in the wider sector, however there is no doubt that in 2019 we will see AI at the forefront of the scene.
The rise of A-commerce
Automatic commerce, a-commerce for short, refers to a new kind of shopping experience whereby customers choose a product in-store that they would like to purchase and then receive an automated payment system where there is no tedious queuing involved. Shoppers will simply scan an item using their smartphone, then wait for receipts and warrantees to be sent via email.
Think of it as online shopping, but you have to get out of bed and look at the products in real life.
Retailers must now deliver technology, personalisation and empowerment throughout the shopping process, and a-commerce is able to do just that by making programming purchases possible and predicting them based on previous buying patterns, with little room for personal reflection.
Interactivity remains at the heart of digital signage
Interactivity has become the hallmark of impacting digital signage, and has continued to prove itself within the sector. Interactive ‘lift and learn’ solutions are now entering the marketplace, and will give consumers the ability to view related information to products, such as specifications, simply by clicking onto the product itself.
Basic interactive technology that gives information related to the customer via a digital screen will aid the overall purchasing process whilst also empowering the consumer by letting them set the pace for their shopping experience and personalise it based on their tastes. Artificial intelligence also benefits from interactive features as it helps gather information more easily and accurately, and then apply that learning.
New analytical technologies
When it comes to outdoor digital signage, it has typically been difficult for businesses to track the performance of their advertising strategies as technologies in the past have not been savvy enough to be able to precisely measure when, and if, a consumer sees and engages with a digital display and in turn, acts by making a purchase.
But luckily in 2019, new analytical technologies which will successfully be able measure engagement rates through proximity sensors and face recognition cameras will come into play. Modern algorithms will even be able to detect parameters such as age, sex and even mood by analysing facial expressions.
These new and advanced technologies will give businesses the ability to measure, analyse and track the successfulness of campaign efforts simply through visual engagement rates.
More focus on security
2019 will also see an increase in the security efforts being made to safeguard the information of both businesses and consumers alike. With data protection regulations such as GDPR governing the behaviour of all, digital security is becoming increasingly important. In 2019, the digital ad sector is expected to place a huge importance on managing concerns of users, as well as ensuring all business networks are well secured.
Digital signage, which will place a strong focus on personalisation through interactivity and artificial intelligence, will be a force to be reckoned with in the digital ad sector throughout 2019. The industry has already made great improvements in the past decade, and will continue to do so this year and for many more years to come.
Chloe Ward, Marketing Executive, Display Technology
Image Credit: Flickr / Toshiyuki IMAI