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Making Digital Signage Work for Specific Clients, Part 2

Jun 9, 2010 12:01 PM

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Editor's note: For your convenience, this transcription of the podcast includes Timestamps. If you are listening to the podcast and reading its accompanying transcription, you can use the Timestamps to jump to any part of the audio podcast by simply dragging the slider on the podcast to the time indicated in the transcription.

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Making Digital Signage Work for Specific Clients, Part 1
When the Alabama Teachers Credit Union decided to install digital signage at its five locations, they called Rise Display for advice and support on how set it all up...

There's a lot more to digital signage installation than mounting monitors and splashing on some snappy pictures; Rise Display Managing Director Ryan Cahoy is here to get into the details on how Rise worked with the Alabama Teachers Credit Union to get the right results for clients in their five locations.

OK Ryan, in part one we were talking about the digital signage installation that Rise Display did at the Alabama Teachers Credit Union and about the way that you have a captive audience there. The staff in these five locations hear sort of the same questions all of the time, it really saves times and mistakes to be able to post those questions and answers on the signage system. All of this is done through the software application. What do you call the authoring software that you use to do this?
We're using a software called Display Wire. It's a web service that's used to manage the content. [Timestamp: 1:18]

OK, and what's the general learning curve on Display Wire?
The nice thing with a web service is it's a pretty easy learning curve. You don't have a lot of the complexity when you're looking at more traditional software applications that are up there on the space. It's more of a scale-balanced, simplified version, which is ideal for things like financial applications where you really just want to maybe have the tellers or a branch manager—somebody that doesn't have a lot of IT or technical background, nor the time to have to learn a complex application—where they just simply want to log in, make the change to their daily rates or their announcements, make sure it's approved, and get it out to the display. So from a learning-curve standpoint, it's really designed so that it's very plug-and-play. You can sit down and, within maybe with an hour of an online learning course, really understand the basics of what you need to do to manage that content. Obviously, if you are looking at it from an IT perspective where you're monitoring the displays or running proof-of-play reports or changing schedules, there's a little bit more complexity there. But again, it's designed around the concept of a very simple application that's easy to use and easy to understand. [Timestamp: 2:28]

And one of the big decisions that you have to make at the beginning is whether you've got just one location or the whole network is going to be—who the local guru is in charge of all this, and what's going to be the extent of access for various members of the staff. Is this usually done the same way everywhere, or how did you work in the five location credit union installation on this one?
Well, there's a lot of flexibility and scale ability in the system, so we really try to put that power in the client's hands to decide. Do they want a very centralized control where you've got that one dictator, if you will, that's monitoring the content and pushing it down, or do you want a more decentralized approach where you've got each of the branch managers maybe contributing content? And in a lot of cases you're trying to find that happy medium, that hybrid, where you're balancing those two opposing ends to get the best possible messaging content out. And in the case of the Alabama Teachers Credit Union, they're running a little bit more centralized. They've got a marketing group that is really controlling the message that is going out to these five branches, and they're controlling that from that department. But they've always got the flexibility as their needs change and evolve if they want to give that local branch manager control to put up announcements that says "congratulations" to local baseball team or a local fundraiser. And one of the things that I know they're working very closely on in the credit union is working with the local nonprofits to showcase their community events and announcements. And then by locating that content to the teller lines, they're finding ways that they can educate those members while they are waiting in line. They're drawing them in with the live TV and the live data to help reduce the perceived wait time, but also by bringing in that information and those announcements from the local nonprofits; they're making that connection in the community. [Timestamp: 4:15]

When they get ready to actually come up with a design for the content, have they got a selection of stock templates they can choose from, or do they normally start from zero and come up with something completely new every time?
We do have a number of templates, but to be candid, very few people use them just because nobody really wants their display to look like the guy down the street's display. Everybody is looking for that unique experience, so one of the key value-adds we provide in offering that complete solution to our client is we've got creative designers and we've got project managers that have—this is what they do every week, every day. So as they're working with those clients, we can make suggestions. We can get their branding elements, their colors, their fonts, and some of the key requirements they're looking at in terms of, Do they want TV, do they want the weather, what kind of messages do they want to put out? We can render several different designs for them to look at, choose from, and put them into their library so if a client wanted to start from scratch and they've got a lot of creative talent, they can use third-party off-the-shelf programs like Adobe Photoshop or ... Flash or something like that to build a background to the design that they insert their content into. But for those clients that maybe don't have those resources or are looking for the guidance, that's where we really step in on the creative side to make sure that the end result when that screen goes up on the wall is a unique experience for their viewers. [Timestamp: 5:39]

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