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From Sneaker-Net to Day-Parting: The Evolution of Digital Advertising Software

Jun 23, 2008
A customer walks into a jewelry store. Behind the watch display, driven by cutting edge digital advertising software, is a four-screen digital wall showing images of high-end watch brands. As the customer asks to look at a particular brand, the employee touches a screen behind the counter that triggers specific content about that brand on the video wall.

A bank installs a digital wall with nearby radio-frequency identification (RFID) icons representing bank products. As a customer picks up an icon, a touch-screen displays information about the corresponding product, including a print option that enables the customer to print a brochure.

What's next? Facial recognition software that can "guess" a person's demographics and change video display content accordingly? Actually, the digital signage software people are probably already working on that one.

If you've ever met a software developer, or better yet a team of software developers working together, you know that they can be a pretty creative and ingenious bunch. Driven by some kind of strange passion for coding and a burning desire to build the next killer app, they work throughout the day and night to create new software features that are both functional and cool; the kinds of things that make their clients "ooh" and "aah".

Apply these people to digital advertising software and you get some pretty interesting results. A look at the functionality on offer in current digital advertising software, summarized in a recent Digital Signage Today guide, shows us how far developers have come from the sneaker-net days of updating in-store video via manual changing of video cassettes.

Day-parting is one of the must-have features that makes digital signage so powerful. Software with this technology enables users to define criteria that control when particular messages are played. Better yet, it can allow for quick last-minute changes with automatic updates of the playlist. Sudden snowstorm? Push snow shovels at your gas station. After-work time? Push quick meal ideas to your grocery store customers.

Integration is crucial. The latest digital signage networks can integrate with your existing systems and the software is the key to making that happen. Developers have created a range of software solutions to make your network tie into in-store audio and, on the back end, your existing data and media assets. With integrated systems, some digital advertising software can even control the volume on in-store music, making sure it gets lowered or turned off when a message with audio is playing on the in-store digital signs.

And what of audio? Even stores who don't currently have an audio component in their in-store messaging look for this feature in their software. Digital narrowcasting networks need to be ready for future growth and software with an audio component is a wise choice.

A Web component is another must-have. Digital signage needs to be accessible from a variety of locations. With a Web interface, users can log into the network from anywhere and easily upload new content, preview it, and decide which screen location it will play on.

Digital signage already has a ton of potential, based on some pretty powerful and flexible digital advertising software. Given the creativity we've seen to this point, can you imagine what the future has in store?
About the Author
For more information on digital signage, narrowcasting and digital advertising software, visit EK3 Technologies Inc. at www.EK3.com or call 1-866-353-8324 for business solutions and services that capture your audience and deliver your message!
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