Digital Signage Is All Grown Up Now, Speaking with the Consumer, Not at the Consumer

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Photo by Denys Nevozhai.

I’ve been attending Digital Signage Expo (DSE) in Las Vegas for quite a number of years, and now more than ever, the show organizers, Exponation, deliver on their promise: a highly impactful four-day event jam-packed from early morning to late at night. Transforming the Customer Experience was this year’s theme, and the event offered something for everyone.

I had the opportunity to attend the DSF DOOH Summit the day before the two day expo and was personally excited to see the creative side of the business addressed by Jake Lee High from Future Colossal and Amahl Hazelton from Moment Factory. These are two extraordinary companies that take experiential and the word creative to great new heights I’ve never seen before. In the 12 years or so I’ve been involved with digital out of home (DOOH), the creative side has always been a missing link, and these companies as well as several others like Grand Visual are destined to bring additional ad dollars and sponsorships to one of the oldest mass media channels in the US and worldwide.

As digital signage has become more mainstream, a relatively new player in the programmatic space has entered the sector with much fanfare and great expectations. Adomni, which also happens to be headquartered in Las Vegas, captured everyone’s attention and was booked completely with appointments 10 days prior to the show. Thankfully, I was able to sneak in for a demo that did not disappoint. The icing on the cake was an announcement just prior to DSE that PlaceIQ would be layering audience-based insights on top of the already robust Adomni solution. That is a solid partnership for marrying media and location with insights and analytics.

All of the larger players at the show like Samsung, NEC, Peerless, Broadsign, Brightsign, Stratacache, Ayuda, ComQi and others were all bustling on Day 1 with very little room to move around. One notable new player to the space was Verizon, which captures one of the must-haves of the industry—connectivity. It will be interesting to watch Verizon launch its products in a very crowded hardware and software space, but after getting a bird’s eye demo myself, I think they have something very significant to offer. Facial detection and tracking from AdMobilize and Quividi were also front and center, as was interactivity and retail intelligence and video analytics solutions, nicely showcased by Samsung’s NexShop and ALP from NEC.

Lastly, a just announced initiative by five major industry associations—DPAA, DSF, IAB, Geopath, and OAAA—brings together the very sought after best practices for DOOH.

Content may be king, but context is definitely queen. Location is the new cookie, and all the out-of-home industry stakeholders are now finally aligned for much success in the years to come.

Jeff Gropper is President/Founder of JKG Consulting, a strategic firm specializing in the MarTech and AdTech ecosystems. During prior positions, Gropper worked for MAD Creative Production Agency, Broadsign, RMG Networks and Adspace Mall Network, among several other companies in the digital transformation space.

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