Ultimate Digital Signage Solution Guide

Digital signage solutions serve as real game-changers for facilities in a wide range of industries. They provide exactly what you need to gain the attention of your target audiences and then deliver the engaging material that you want to communicate whether educational, promotional, or entertaining. In fact, using digital signs in your business or organization will deliver multiple strong benefits across industries.

Discover more about those benefits, how the use of signs has resonated across the ages, and types of digital signage that can benefit you based upon your industry.

History of Using Signs

People have created signs to communicate with others for thousands of years, using symbols on tablets and other mediums even before they actually had a written language to use. This evolved into the kinds of signage used by artisans and tradespeople in Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Perhaps formed out of stone, wood, or brick for more basic signs, more luxurious ones might be crafted out of marble or metal. Signs uncovered in Ancient Pompei are often still in excellent condition.

Medieval craftspeople continued to use signs and, by the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe, governments had formed laws around what signs were required and/or about the specifics of them: weight, size, and how far they extended into the streets.

In the 19th century, we see the first illuminated signs, which were powered by natural gas. In 1840, P.T. Barnum’s museum sign could light up in Chicago, Illinois for more than five hours. In Europe and North America, gas lighting enhanced signs in stores, banks, theaters, public buildings, and more. In 1882, incandescent electric bulbs spelled “EDISON” on a sign and, by the early 20th century, electrically lit signs in the United States could encompass hundreds of feet in size. By the 1920s, neon tubes illuminated outdoor signs; by the 1930s, fluorescent tubes played that role. From there, technologies continued to improve, providing the basis of today’s digital signage.

Arrival of Digital Signage

Digital signage draws upon numerous technologies—requiring electricity and benefitting from technological elements of televisions, VCRs with their display screens and media players, computers, the internet, and more.

Today’s digital screens are typically one of two types:

  • Light-emitting diode (LED): Light appears when currents run through a semiconductor device; this occurs through an emission of photons through a process known as electroluminescence.
  • Liquid crystal display (LCD): With this technology, light occurs when electric voltage makes contact with a layer of liquid crystal, changing its optical properties.

Credit for LED screens goes to Nick Holonyak, Jr. In 1962, this scientist created an LED light bulb that forms the basis of these technologies today. LCD screens came about because of research, independently conducted, by RCA researcher Richard Williams and a man not connected to RCA named George Heilmeier.

The result? Modern digital signage, which uses technologies mentioned and more to create visual—and, often, multimedia—displays for informational and/or promotional purposes. They can supplement or, many times, replace the static signs of yesterday. Content management systems allow the data to seamlessly be broadcast and changed as desired.

Digital signage is used in numerous places in today’s society: from airports to retail stores, and from stadiums to restaurants, hospitals, hotels, conference rooms, schools, and much more.

Benefits of Digital Signage

Numerous benefits exist when you use digital signage for your business or organization. They include the following.

#1: Enhanced Exposure

Digital signage options are eye-catching, indeed. Sometimes, that’s because of their size; even when they’re not especially large, quality signage always comes with crisp and clear images that grab people’s attention. You can strategically place them in areas with high traffic and choose how to rotate messaging to reach optimal saturation points.

#2 Increased Attention

Dynamic displays naturally capture more attention and views than static displays. Because of this, studies have shown that people recall the information more thoroughly with digital signage. With this type of electronic signage, you can leverage it to catch people’s eye and invite them into your facility or further explore what you have to offer.

#3 Seamless Updates

Updating static signs can be a real hassle but, with the right hardware and software, changing the content you provide through digital signage can be quite seamless. In fact, with clicks of a button, you’ve got up-to-date information, which is ideal when providing scores at a stadium, changing restaurant menus when new ingredients arrive, broadcasting schedule changes or emergency bulletins, and so forth.

#4 Cost-Effective Solutions

When it’s time to change static signs, you need to physically remove your old ones, design new ones, and then physically put them back into place. Depending upon circumstances, the need for this could happen often, and you might suddenly need to make unexpected changes. With digital signage, you can design and change your streamed content in convenient, cost-effective ways using your content management software.

#5 Holistic Approach

With digital signage, you don’t need to choose among text, images, video, audio, animation, and so forth. You can have them all in one content solution. As far as the type of content being broadcast, you don’t have to pick between informational, promotional, live news, social media feeds, and emergency alerts. Again, you can have it all! You prioritize what matters to you and integrate them into your digital signage program, dovetailing the messaging into what is most relevant at what time. When designed well, this produces a cohesive branding experience.

#6 Targeted Yet Versatile

Whether you have multiple screens located in various places in your organization or you have a central video wall, you can distribute the content you want in ways of your choosing. You can vary the content by screen location, by days of the week or times of the day, in tune with traffic patterns, and so forth. This ability to target actually adds much more versatility to your ability to broadcast information in scalable ways.

#7 Revenue Boosts

Besides all of these important benefits, using digital signage to influence buying decisions and help to upsell can be especially powerful. Purchasing decisions are often made at the point of sale and digital signage can boost revenues brought in, including but not limited to impulse buys. You can strategically use text, image, video, audio, and more to enhance customer experiences in immersive ways.

#8 Wayfinding Solutions

Nobody likes getting lost—and, when you use digital signage to guide people where they need to go, you greatly reduce their stress and enhance their experiences as they navigate your locations. Place your signage in logical places and experiment with what provides visitors and customers with the most seamless guidance.

Digital Signage Usage By Industry

Besides the general benefits of this kind of signage, there are more specific ones based on industry.

Hotels, Motels, and Resorts

You can seamlessly engage with guests through today’s touchscreen technology, using it for self-check-ins and more. You can welcome them, along with vendors and other visitors, to your facilities by using outside signage and then in lobbies and other strategic locations. Wayfinding signage is ideal in lodging facilities; so are signs that share information about in-house amenities and surrounding attractions.

Conference Room Solutions

Whether located in a lodging facility or somewhere else, you can provide modern technologies to benefit groups that rent your rooms. Video walls, quality audio, and more can enhance the experience for people who attend a conference in-person with technologies also allowing people to participate remotely.

Restaurant Digital Menu Signs

Dynamically list your menus, changing its contents as needed: when you’d like to market a special dish; add one when you receive hard-to-source ingredients; or let diners know when an in-demand dish has sold out. You can list ingredients in your dishes for people with allergies or on special diets, including nutritional and calorie information, and much more.

School Signage

Welcome students, parents, visitors, and more, providing them with easy to follow wayfinding signage. Display schedules, room numbers, cafeteria menus, field trip and assembly information, sports team schedules, musical concert dates, book fair times, PTO/PTA meetings, times when the school is closed for holidays, and much more.

Sports Stadium Solutions

Keep track of sports scores, times on the clock or innings, and much more with digital signage in your sports arena. List player numbers, include their stats, records set or broken, and so forth. This same signage is ideal for homecoming night, graduation ceremonies, and other special occasions in the stadium.

Hospital Digital Signage

Healthcare facilities can use electronic signage to educate, inform, and entertain patients and their families. You can also promote cafeteria and gift shop specials, broadcast emergency bulletins, provide wayfinding data, train new staff members, and more.

MDM For Your Quality Digital Signage Solutions

No matter what signage solutions you need, the MDM experts can guide you through product choice and delivery. We also offer installation services, technical support, content and graphic design services, and more. To get started or to ask questions, please contact us online or call 800-359-6741 today.