The Big Picture - January/February 2014 - (Page 12)

dynamic signage Vital Considerations: Location and Content By Beth Osborne T he old maxim about brick-and-mortar retail stores is, "location, location, location." That same fundamental principle holds true when it comes to digital electronic signage - where and how you place dynamic signage can make or break its effectiveness. Unlike choosing a retail site, however, dynamic signage brings another essential element to the fore: content. The components that make up the moving message - text and image - and how they're presented can be just as important as location. We'll look at these two critical aspects, location and content, in this month's column. Determining location and placement Dynamic signage can be seen everywhere today, from food courts to commuter trains to retail stores. All too frequently, however, its location seems like an afterthought. As with static graphics, dynamic signage has the same objective: to provide information that either allows people to make a decision or urges them to take some action. Understanding where to install signage and graphics, depending on the environment and purpose, is the same in many ways for dynamic work as it is for print. Let's consider menu boards as an example. The initial question should be all about traffic flow: How do customers order? Many times, menu boards are badly placed, which subconsciously acts as a deterrent. If the customer lacks a good visual, then he or she is less likely to be ready to order. BETH OsBORnE is a dynamic-signage consultant based in Charlotte, north Carolina, and the former director of marketing for Visual Impressions, a print and dynamicsignage company headquartered in Charlotte. a long-time advocate of dynamic signage, she currently works as a marketing strategist in the professional-services industry. Contact her at 12 THE BIG PICTURE January/February 2014 It's important to keep the line moving. Dynamic signage has been shown to promote a quicker decision and ordering process, which equals serving more diners in less time. But this can all stall out when a restaurant has badly placed screens. Once you determine traffic flow, the unit's placement should be as close to average eye level as possible - approximately 55 to 60 inches from the floor (a craned neck is not the reaction you want). Think, too, about distance. How far is the screen from the person who is sixth or seventh in line? Obviously, the larger the screen, the larger the text can be and thus a customer standing some distance should still be able to see the content. But don't mistake this as an opportunity to create a huge video wall - you'll see a consistent return on screen size and recall only up to a certain size. A good rule of thumb: There's typically no reason to go bigger than a 52-inch screen. After all, your customer and their diners don't want the feeling of being in the electronics department of a big box store. When it comes to placement, you can choose myriad ways to mount screens, including wall, ceiling, and articulating mounts. Articulating mounts secure to the wall but have an adjustable arm to angle screens for a more optimal view. And don't forget that screens can hang vertically as well as horizontally. This is not a "stick-a-TV-on-the-wall" venture; rather, it's planning the experience for the customer from the moment he or she walks in the door. You should visit a site at its busiest time to ascertain exactly where to place screens. Two other things to keep in mind: Screens don't have to be all in a row; and, it's sometimes advantageous to have a screen at the store entry to highlight specials. King content One of the first questions I always ask customers in initial creative meetings is, "What do you want to sell?" Whether the customer wants to push a special of the day, up sell a dessert, promote a seasonal offer, or capture repeat business, there's a way to manipulate the clientele - and it all ties back into content. And remember: You have about eight seconds to capture a person's attention. So how do you best use content to take advantage of those previous seconds?

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Big Picture - January/February 2014

The Big Picture - January/February 2014
Wide Angle
Up Front
Graphics on the Go
Dynamic Signage: The Importance of Location and Content
Special Section: FOCUS 2014
From the Show Floor: SGIA and Print13

The Big Picture - January/February 2014