Identity Crisis of Digital Signage: What Should We Call It?

I ran into an article that raised the question of ‘what is the right term’ for the medium, known as digital signage, digital out-of-home (DOOH), digital place-based media, screen media, and by many other names.

The author touched upon a key issue. The lack of identity for the (digital signage) medium causes the following problems:

- When advertisers allocate their media budgets, they don’t have a distinct silo to put the money in when they mean “digital signs”, so the money comes out of all kinds of other buckets: Outdoor, TV, online, experimental, etc.
The medium is hostage to its identity crisis and that prevents it from getting the share of ad spend it deserves.

- Newcomers don’t have a proper search term when they research the industry. They can get the educational materials they need only when they revert to the most commonly used “digital signage.” “Digital signage” is not a perfect term, but it certainly is the most popular search term by far. Advertisers, agencies and trade bodies, however, use an array of other terms, none of which is standardized yet.

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3 comments

  1. Robin Barnes

    I feel the same way about digital signage I like to think of it as marketing tool that generates the customer ROI. So I feel “AV digital marketing” works well for a USP.

  2. Katie

    “Digital Signage” seems to signify ANYTHING… from displays on little screens, big ones, LED, outdoor, and even some AV companies are calling digital signage – the playing of images from powerpoint/DVD players – “digital signage” ..give me a break… this is like a photo slideshow… it makes real digital signage seem expensive by comparison when people have no real benchmark. Yes, it is a crisis of identity.

  3. Ekaterina

    I agree that there are a lot of confusion around digital signage and how to generate ROI with it. In my experience Digital Signage failed as advertising media with LCD/computers driven ad networks-customers see not enough value to buy into it. However, I saw it making huge success as a promo/interactive tool because it has tremendous power to engage, if used right.
    I think it is very power marketing tool, but it has long way (few years) to go to get adapted.

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