Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Economist notices the "signs of the times"

The Economist is running an article about digital signage, and impacts (both positive and negative) that this technology can have on consumers. While there isn't actually anything terribly new in the article itself, the interesting part is that they're running it at all. Their take on things:

While advertisers warm to the idea, however, digital signage still has hurdles to overcome—so traditional television advertising is not obsolete just yet. For a start, the cost of installing and running a network means that retailers—a notoriously parsimonious bunch—must be convinced of the business case before going ahead with a chain-wide roll-out. Another problem, says Nikki Baird of Forrester, a consultancy, is the “store-multiplier effect”. Implementing any kind of new technology across thousands of stores in a retail chain quickly becomes very expensive. The expense of creating and managing fresh and effective content also poses a barrier to entry, she notes.

But for some advertisers, at least, digital signage is already taking its place in the media mix. Its ability to reach customers as they shop gives it an edge over traditional forms of advertising, such as television, radio and billboards. Ms Baird predicts further pilot schemes and the development of industry standards this year; 2007, she says, will be the year when digital signage really takes off. Those in the retail and advertising industries will be watching the new technology closely. They will be hoping that shoppers will do the same.

If you'd like to read the article and you don't have a subscription to the magazine, go to www.economist.com and choose the "view commercial for 1 day of premium content" button. After the commercial is finished, you can either re-click the article link above, or do a search for "digital signage."

No comments: