Digital Signage: An Identity Crisis?

by Jude Carter

Electronic message boards are popping up everywhere—retail stores, malls, airports, campuses, gas stations and corporate offices. Digital signage users have one thing in common: they’re looking for a dynamic way to deliver messages to their target audiences. Typically, they start their search by looking for a technology partner, and that’s where the confusion begins.

The industry can’t seem to agree on its own terminology. They’re using any and all of these terms:
· Digital signage
· Narrowcasting
· Electronic display networks
· DOOH -digital out of home (signs/networks)
· Captive audience networks
· Place-based media

Meanwhile, those terms mean nothing to prospects that are out there searching for:
· Electronic billboard signage
· Digital display boards
· Employee TV
· Electronic posters
· Electronic signs
· Electronic message boards
· Retail TV
· Digital posters
· Digital message boards
· Electronic bulletin boards
· LED signs

Every time we do a tradeshow, people see our Electronic Communication Station for communicating in the workplace, and say, “We’ve been looking all over for something like this, but had no idea where to find it!”

The industry has to do a much better job of putting all this great technology in the context of what prospects are trying to solve. Are they really looking for a bunch of big TVs? Of course not. It’s all about what they’re going to use them for, be it safety, customer care, wayfinding or advertising.

Until we get that right, there will be lot more frustrated people who can’t find us!



Jude Carter
August 9, 2010

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