What’s New in Digital Signage

Digital sign displaying WELCOME
By Doug Braun

5 minutes

Top trends and the future of member engagement

Financial institutions, particularly credit unions, were early adopters and continue to be at the leading edge of employing digital signage, video walls, kiosks, tablets and other products in their branches to create member experiences that are more engaged, satisfying and meaningful. In the past, cost was an impediment to multi-product implementations. The complexity of integrating several technologies to work together in a concerted fashion remains a challenge in delivering an immersive member experience in the branch. But the next evolution of digital signage will support a seamless member journey, resulting in more needs met, added relationships and a stronger credit union.  

Screens: Bigger, Lighter, More Affordable

The increasing affordability of video displays is making it possible for CUs to deploy more and larger displays, including multi-screen video walls and touchscreens, to create compelling visual and interactive experiences in the branch and expand the amount of information available to members. It also keeps members’ attention from straying to the 6-inch smartphone screen in each pocket or purse.

Driven by growing demand for larger displays, manufacturers expanded production of LED screens and have been competing aggressively for market share. The last five years have seen screen prices drop by 15-20 percent, while lightweight LED technology has made installation less complex and costly.

Media Players: Smaller, Smarter, More Reliable

As screens get bigger, the “brains” that present content on them have shrunk dramatically—without sacrificing capability or performance. Thanks to ongoing advances in chip production, data density on integrated circuits is doubling every 18 months, resulting in smarter systems in smaller packages. With an appliance no larger than a pink school eraser, credit unions can present high-definition video content on the largest displays, video walls or interactive screens. Both Intel, which features Windows-based systems, and inLighten, which offers both Windows and Android-based systems, manufacture ultra-compact digital signage sticks with integrated software. Other options, like Raspberry Pi products, offer basic computers that require integration with digital signage software from a third-party.

Ultra-compact design has significantly reduced player cost, and made installation simpler and less costly. This flexibility is enabling credit unions to explore more creative ways to incorporate a variety of digital signage touchpoints into branch design.

Content Management Systems: Cloud-based, Powerful & Precise

Cloud-based digital signage solutions are making it easier and more efficient than ever to manage a digital signage network. Fluid, intuitive user interfaces can now be accessed from any device at any time, and the learning curve is short. Credit union administrators can easily access every aspect of creating, programming and delivering the most effective messaging mix to their members.

With a cloud-based system, CU marketers can integrate video and graphic content they’ve produced as well as access libraries of editable content, incorporate social media favorites like Twitter, select from online video aggregators like YouTube or add streaming media sources via RSS.

Design software within the CMS also enables content composition and editing on-demand from any device. For example, do you want a back-to-school message in your lobby? In just a few steps, your marketer can pull up school-related images, add the appropriate text and publish the message.

In addition, an ever-expanding selection of value-added content programming—such as news, weather, sports and entertainment features—are available to sustain viewer interest. With controls for defining content destinations (for example, lobby vs. billboard, or branch A vs. branch B) and message scheduling with ever greater granularity, marketers can more precisely match their messages to the right member at the right time.

The Future: Convergence, Convenience, Choice

Consolidated control for all digital displays in a single content management interface will enable big-picture control of all touchpoints on a single dashboard so that content, scheduling and presentation occur across multiple devices and allows CUs to create a truly coordinated in-branch member experience.

In addition, systems integration will enable digital signs, tablets, kiosks and other devices to interact with and react to one another based on conditional programming that responds to user inputs at any touchpoint. For example, a member who uses a check-in kiosk or tablet at a branch and identifies the reason for her visit as interest in information about mortgages may trigger presentation of mortgage-related content on flat-screen displays in a seating area while she waits to meet with a service representative.

Driven by consumer demand for broader choice, greater convenience and more control, the future of member engagement will soon incorporate menu presentation concepts that provide more at-a-glance exposure to a wider range of product offerings. Taking their cue from social media sites like Pinterest, credit unions can use large displays and video walls that allow them to display 10, 15 or 20 product prompts on-screen at the same time. Analogous to the way quick-serve restaurants pair digital signage that dynamically presents menu items with kiosks that consumers use for order entry, CUs can make tablets and kiosks available for members to learn more about products and services they’ve seen on their CU’s multi-message “menu board.” Using tablets, members can watch videos, print literature in the branch or have applications sent to their home email. Ultimately, the product and service selection made by members will be analyzed in real time to deliver more predictive menu board messaging, using intelligent algorithms to assemble content rotations that reflect member interests at any given time.  

As digital signage and member engagement evolves, CUs will learn more about their members, respond more effectively, solve their problems and help them achieve their goals.  

Doug Braun is a senior vice president at CUES Supplier member inLighten, Clarence, N.Y. , a credit union service partner that provides digital signage, interactive and audio solutions.

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