“I don’t think people are going to talk in the future. They’re going to communicate through eye contact, body language, emojis, signs,” said rapper Kanye West. While his comments may not arouse as much controversy as some of his other actions or statements, these signs of the digital kind do matter to marketers.
A couple of decades ago, signs pretty much consisted of display ads at stores and billboards along the highways. Today, it’s not uncommon for shoppers to be surprised and even shocked by the barking of dogs in a video when they pass a store display or being pitched by an in-store video. Even highway billboards have evolved.
The use of video has increased as a result of studies reporting that they cultivated a trust factor. The entry of digital video now gives companies the ability to deliver custom content and to focus on their target market.
Some digital videos are also interactive and invite passersby to become engaged. Digital videos are so widespread they can now be found everywhere there’s a lot of traffic – train and subway stations, malls, and even some bus stops besides the stores and restaurants.
Just The Beginning
Digital videos are expected to continue growing in use and popularity with the recent entry of AI. In interactive digital, AI can take and analyze responses and deliver immediate customized feedback to customers.
Another trend that’s occurring in the restaurant industry is the use of self-serving kiosks, something that airlines jumped on years ago. It took restaurateurs some time to recognize what gas/fast food chains like Sheetz and Wawa knew, and had been using for years, in employing point-of-sale kiosks.
Restaurants that are now beginning to introduce kiosks are realizing the benefits. According to Advantech Online, the kiosks reduce customer wait times, minimize the possibility of server error in taking orders, boost production, and raise sales. The company, which markets kiosks, cited a survey reporting a 21% increase in dining order sizes and suggested that diners feel more comfortable ordering more food when they did so on a kiosk instead of with a server.
Another advantage that was cited is that the kiosks offer real-time information to restaurateurs about the most popular items during the busiest times of the day. The data also tracks inventory on a real-time basis and Advantech suggested that the work performed by kiosks builds stronger relationships by allowing employees more time to engage diners.
Video walls, an array of 5, 10 or maybe even more monitors is becoming more vogue. Advantech says it has been proven to be highly successful across several industries because they are attractive and entertaining. Tailoring the customer experience with AI can also be highly useful here.
A shining example is the Space Needle in Seattle, an array of 520 digital kiosks successfully integrate digital signage and video walls to create a unique and satisfying visitor experience.
One only has to walk into an electronics store and notice the sizes of video screens. The same is expected with video walls where larger screen sizes are also being predicted. As if in contradiction, the use of smaller screen sizes is also expected to grow due to the entry of inventions like Power over Ethernet which permits showing videos on the smaller screens without the need for any electrical power.
Perhaps Kanye was right. With digital signs conveying a company’s message through eye contact, body language, and emoji, and AI personalizing things, why converse?