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New Trends in CMS and Cloud-Based Digital Signage

people interacting with a touch screen

In today’s digital era, we expect that both online and in-person experiences will be seamlessly linked. Whether you’re an employee in a workplace break room or a consumer shopping retail, omnichannel experiences are driving behaviors that motivate, inspire, and stir emotions that prompt action.

Digital signage has emerged as an essential component of these experiences, providing a compelling way to deliver the right information at the right time to the right audience. Digital signage enables engaging, dynamic, customizable, and personalized content onsite—making it easier to connect with audiences of all types.

Hughes recognizes the pivotal role of digital signage in an organization’s communications strategy, producing significant value and a fast return on investment (ROI). As you consider digital signage, here are some emerging trends to look for in 2024:

The Cloud opens the door to innovation.

As businesses continue to embrace cloud technology, the pace of innovation increases. This is especially true for digital signage solutions which are now much smarter, more responsive, highly personalized, and technically advanced.

Cloud-based digital signage provides many benefits, including the ability to scale, ease of use, integration with a diverse range of systems and applications, accessibility from anywhere, and the opportunity to leverage emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics. As IT teams get smaller and budgets get tighter, the need to improve operational efficiency and move expenses from capital expenditure to operating expenditure becomes greater.

Artificial intelligence drives automation and efficiency.

Today, AI is common in cloud software and has become an integral part of cloud-based digital signage. AI empowers digital signage to make dynamic content updates based on real-time variables, such as inventory levels, user behavior, weather, geographic location, or time of day.

Through machine learning (ML) algorithms, the digital signage system can analyze data and adapt the content in real-time, tailoring messages to the audience's specific needs. This level of automation enables businesses to streamline content management, incorporate integrations with internal and external systems, and offer interactive features to create dynamic experiences that drive competitive differentiation.

Digital menu boards are a good example of using automation to enhance both efficiency and consumer satisfaction. The AI/ML-powered digital menu board removes an item when inventory runs out, changes the highlighted items from cold items to hot based on the outside temperature, displays product promotions based on the regional location, and changes content based on the time of day. Such AI- and ML-driven automations tailor the experience and make the local staff more efficient.

Dynamic content updates through integrations.

As with any modern cloud software, digital signage solutions offer robust application programming interfaces (API) and seamless integration capabilities with third party applications to facilitate real-time content delivery. Integrations with various system databases, HR platforms, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and productivity tools, like SharePoint, Adobe, and PowerPoint, enable businesses to deliver very specific, up-to-date information. For instance, a retail department store can utilize digital signage to display inventory updates in employee break rooms, keeping staff informed about stock availability and enhancing customer service.

AI-powered advanced audience measurement tools can tailor promotions or menu items based on general, non-identifiable demographic information, such as age range and gender of the viewers. This enables companies to display personalized content, while empowering them with data insights to better understand the business and their customers. Demographic metrics assist businesses in refining their messages, ensuring they remain relevant to their target audience.

Personalization enhances employee and customer experiences.

Personalization is prevalent in digital experiences, such as when shopping online or using a streaming service. But personalization should be considered in every phase of the customer journey, including in-person interactions. In an omnichannel retail scenario, customers are interacting through social media, email, websites, mobile devices, and physical stores.

Innovative retailers are using digital signage as a tool to not only upsell products, but to enhance customer engagement during in-store visits, leading to increased revenue and better customer experiences. A recent survey on personalization by McKinsey & Company revealed that 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions and 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen. Personalization can reduce customer acquisition costs by 50% and increase revenues by 5% to 15%. Likewise, providing personalized information to employees in the store’s break room, such as details about local employee events, recognition awards, or updates on store policies and pricing, can lead to higher job satisfaction, improved staff performance, and reduced turnover rates.

Smartphones and digital signage, better together. 

The mobile phone has been a critical tool for communication for some time. According to a 2023 Pew Research Center survey, 90% of U.S. adults today have a smartphone. Capitalizing on this widespread adoption, digital signage providers are exploring innovative ways to converge digital signage capabilities with mobile phones in two areas.  

The first is aligning the content between the two platforms—smartphone and digital signage screen—which are two important parts of the omnichannel experience. The use of a cloud-based content management system will enable easy sharing of content between all touchpoints (smartphone, digital signage, website, etc.). The smartphone is not only a channel for content delivery, but also a tool for interactivity with content on the screen, driving activity between the consumer and the business. Mobile apps can deliver interactive in-store experiences, offering product information and personalized recommendations based on customer preferences, fostering customer loyalty.

The second area is management and monitoring. A growing trend is the ability to remotely manage digital signage from a mobile device, empowering staff to change content, monitor, and control endpoints, and diagnose technical issues, regardless of where they happen to be working, improving productivity while not compromising on security. This makes the management of digital signage more efficient and convenient. With widespread adoption of smartphones and tablets, the ability to monitor and manage the digital signage system can be extended to these mobile devices. The cloud-based content management system again enables this functionality. Now local, regional, and national level management can happen anywhere and anytime.

Reliable and trustworthy support and maintenance.

Businesses of all sizes recognize the importance of reliable technology from a trusted digital signage vendor. Lean IT teams and limited resources are driving the need for low-maintenance, easy-to-use and deploy solutions. For instance, smaller organizations benefit from self-installation capabilities. Distributed organizations benefit from cloud-based centralized management.

With the rise of cybercrime and popularity of digital signage, there is a higher expectation of security, data privacy, and reliability. Bad actors see the potential to wreak havoc, disrupt operations, steal sensitive data, or even change content and spread false information through compromised screens. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a reliable network for delivery of content, and a secure platform to ensure the signage doesn’t provide a back door entry into more sensitive systems and data.

As digital signage becomes an integral component of a business’s communications strategy and brand image, the need for prompt, responsive support 24/7 is crucial. The ideal digital signage solutions bring together device management, screen management, and content management into one cohesive experience. However, most businesses, especially small and mid-sized ones, don’t have the in-house resources or expertise to manage the system effectively. For this reason, companies should rely on a provider with experience and expertise to help them use digital signage to create engaging experiences and maintain their digital signage infrastructure.

Plan your digital signage strategy now

According to Frost & Sullivan, Hughes is a leading-edge provider, guiding organizations on how to integrate digital signage into their omnichannel strategy. Customers can rely on the experience and expertise of Hughes in digital signage to utilize best practices to streamline and optimize their digital signage strategies.

Learn more about Hughes cloud-based digital signage solutions and contact us to explore a tailored solution for your business.