Signs of the Times - April 2014 - (Page 18)

T e c h nology Upd at e to assess recent, native-advertising practices. Mary Engle, the FTC's associate director of the advertisingpractices division, said the agency's intent was to determine if it should issue additional guidance that would help advertisers and publishers follow legal practices., reporting on that meeting, said Bob Garfield, its former editor, stated native advertising was a violation of the most basic publishing ethics. He said publishers are destroying [reader] trust and will eventually destroy the media industry. Sharethrough (San Francisco), an advertising agency that lauds native advertising, says native advertising " ...provides a native monetization platform to leading publishers that allows them to generate revenue in a way that is 'native' to their user experience, as opposed to interruptive." Interruptive? Sharethrough says outside-the-box ads are interruptive. It believes native ads must follow form and function. They should "match the visual design of the experience they live within; look and feel like natural content; and behave consistently with the user experience, and function, just like natural content." Meaning, if the native advertising piece is successful, you won't notice you're being taken in. Obviously, many advertisers (and politicians) will love it, because, in the stimuli ratings, editorially written content rates just below word-of-mouth, which is the top go-and-buy motivator. David Franklyn, a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law Research, said most consumers simply don't care if the content is paid or unpaid. He said 50% don't even know what the word "sponsor" means. The ones who believe the sun revolves around the Earth. n ISA Sign Expo 2014 - Making the most of it By Dean Derhak Dean Derhak is a product director at SAi with 17 years' experience in RIP software, management, marketing, sales and engineering technologies. Here, Dean gives some easy, but effective, tips to make your website win more of today's customers. Reach Dean at L ike most sign and printmakers, you will attend ISA's Sign Expo 2014 primarily to research - and perhaps purchase - new equipment and materials. There, big vendors will display new, next-generation printers and materials that grab lots of attention, which could cause you to miss smaller, but important, business opportunities. Here are three things smart signshop attendees tell me they'll do at the show - which may also make your visit more valuable. First - Check out the latest dynamic-digital-signage (DS) products. Expectedly, several industry leaders will introduce new systems specifically for sign and print businesses to sell. If you haven't considered handling DS, its great the time to take a serious look. The technology has so improved that installation and content-management systems are almost turnkey. Prices on such hardware and software have diminished to a level that will attract your existing signbuying customers. In particular, your restaurant and retail sign buyers will show interest in systems that allow them to up-sell products. Even if you don't want to sell DS, install some in your own shop, to sell your products. Second - Visit your signmaking- and RIP-software vendors' booths, to obtain the latest version. Most 18 SIGNS OF THE TIMES April 2014 vendors have recently released new, competitive-edge versions that can make your shop more diverse and profitable. A printer or cutter is only as good as the software that drives it, and falling behind in software versions makes you less competitive with shops that have the software features and fixes. Also, ISA is the opportune tradeshow to get a bargain from your software provider. Most have show promotional discounts, so be sure to ask. Additionally, if you purchase equipment from a dealer, be sure to include a latest software upgrade in the deal. Third - Study new signage applications and consider investing in one. As your competition and costs increase, sign and print businesses need to adopt new products to retain their customers, let alone increase profits. The most popular print application is vehicle wraps. However, you'll find other applications to easily adopt, with less up-front costs. For example, backlit signage could be your new print-application offer - if your printer can handle such work. Many shops have also found new profits in the small-format, dye-sublimation print applications found at the show. Think profits - carve out time to look for such new technologies as DS, sign and RIP software updates, and increased offerings.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - April 2014

Signs of the Times - April 2014
Columns & Departments
ST Update
Technology Update
ISA Sign Expo 2014 – Making the most of it
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Electric
LED Update
Software Update
Technology Review: Roland’s SOLJET Pro 4 XF-640 printer
Technology Review: EFI’s VUTEk GS2000/3250 digital-hybrid printers
Sign Museum News
New Products
The 2014 Intl. Sign Contest
2nd Annual Readers’ Choice Award
For the Record
ISA Expo Adds SEGD Component
Surprising Evidence about Neon’s History
Editorially speaking
Advertising index

Signs of the Times - April 2014