The History of Digital Signage

Modern digital signage systems as we know them today did not come into prominence until about five years ago. However, digital signage has actually been around as early as the 1970s. At the time, they mostly appeared in electronic stores where those bulky cathode ray-tube TVs with the Bunny ear antennae were used along with a playback of an ad from a VHS tape. Today, the evolution of digital display takes on a whole new meaning and continues to evolve and make use of the latest trends in technological advancement.

How Modern Digital Signage Began

The digital signage systems that we see today took on a life of its own when retailers began realizing that was digital advertising represented the next phase of marketing. In this stage, digital signage was still rather simple and often consisted of a commercial ad played on a mounted HD monitor. This worked wonders for its time as the mere sight of an ad shown in high-quality motion graphics was light years more impressive than the typical paper posters and banners.

Of course, retail signage displays became less effective as the public became accustomed and more immersed in digital technology. In order to adapt, businesses had to take the next step to make their displays more innovative and not just a mere ad played on a high definition screen.

How Digital Signage Took the Next Leap Forward

Interactive displays soon became the next phase of digital marketing. Nowadays, displays actually invite consumers to interact with them. Consumer engagement has been proven to result in higher ROIs and also gets people talking about it on their social media accounts, which is what precisely what the retailers hope for.

This is where corporations and enterprises began looking for creative ways to make their ads memorable. The most typical way to encourage consumer engagement was through touchscreen technology. This enabled customers to actively search for specific information regarding a product, service, or company. More advanced forms of interactive displays may even include miniature games that infuse the promotional content into the entertainment value. Some retailers may even go to the next step and reward customers that complete the game with a redeemable shopping code or something of that nature. As a matter of fact, some displays may even offer these freebies via QR code that shoppers can scan with their mobile device.

Social Media Integration

With social network integration, society is now witnessing digital signage 2.0. This is actually something many advertisers foresaw and was only really a matter of time. The integration was natural; after all, how often do we see people updating their Facebook status, sending a tweet, or taking a selfie through their mobile phone? Some retailers are now displaying their company’s social media channel and the comments as they are posted in real-time. A restaurant, for instance, can position an outdoor led display by the front entrance where patrons gather while waiting to be seated. As they see the social media posts and comments regarding the quality of food and service, they can decide to partake in the conversation by posting their own comments and see their post appear on the display.

Digital signage has come a long way and will only get better and more innovative as technology improves. In fact, even today’s digital signage systems, which heavily rely on interactive features and social media, will appear outdated compared to whatever the new trend is just five or so years from now.

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