Blog | August 28, 2012

What Spencer's Taught Me About Digital Signage

By Mike Monocello, editor-in-chief, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @monocello

You might recall a previous video blog where I talked about the homemade digital signage I came across in a small privately-owned pizzeria in a nearby college town. At that pizzeria, the owner had mounted a digital photo frame on the wall to create his own digital signage solution. It was about as low tech as you can get when it comes to "high tech" signage. Charming.

Fast forward to this past weekend when I found myself at our local mall walking into Spencer's. If you aren't familiar with Spencer's, it's a chain of stores that specialize in pop culture items and assorted crude whatnots. Imagine my excitement when I glanced toward the entrance and saw what looked like digital signage.

Now imagine my disappoint when I got up close and discovered that the digital signage was no more impressive or effective than what I encountered at that local pizza shop. Yup, this popular national retail chain was using a digital photo frame for its digital signage just like John's pizza shop. Spencer's even had the power cord dangling down the wall to make the match almost perfect. Ugh.

On one hand, I feel a sense of hope because this is just another example of a retailer understanding that digital signage can be a good thing. On the other hand, it's clear that no one has shown Spencer's just how powerful and effective a real digital signage solution can be.

So, mark this blog post as a lead for whoever gets to Spencer's first to sell them a true digital signage solution. For the rest of you, know that retailers of all shapes and sizes truly are embracing the concept of digital signage, but it's up to you to build a compelling case for why they should invest in a full-blown system and not simply re-purpose the photo frame they were given at Christmas.

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