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How Digital Signage Can Help in a Tough Economy

Jan 27, 2009 12:00 PM, By John W. DeWitt

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Other retail growth areas, DisplaySearch reports, include fast-food restaurants and movie theaters that are deploying electronic menu boards. Cinemas provide a good venue to target buyers as consumers cancel vacation trips and see movies during "staycations." Electronic displays, linked to point-of-sale (POS) information, allow cinemas to promote in-stock concession stand products as well sell space to outside advertisers.

Such POS-driven applications exemplify where growth opportunities lie for "real" signage that is "not some pre-canned PowerPoint slide," Collard says. "Digital signage products that are built around mining information and used for decision-making will do well in this economy."

Outside of retail, Collard foresees substantial growth for signage in applications for corporate communications.

"The great thing about corporations is that they have key performance indicators that they can measure and feed back to people to help motivate them or help them make decisions," he explains, adding that Omnivex "eats our own dog food" with digital signs deployed in every department. "The sales reps see the sales numbers, for example, and salespeople are competitive so it makes it fun and compelling."

But, Collard continues, the benefit of this strategic use of visual information "applies to any business." For instance, "in a call center, you're measuring call and resolution times, but managers don't have to sit at their desks. If they can look at the wall, know what's going on in that area, that's a powerful tool and employees can't hide from information."

The challenging economy will impact the digital signage industry, Collard thinks, principally by culling the herd of less viable products that provide limited value to customers.

"Digital signage will graduate from being the product with a lot of sizzle and little steak because people want the steak now," he says. For more information, visit and

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