A little late to the game this Friday, but found a great nugget in this article where small business owners discuss the benefits of geo-location-based services. I’m a big proponent of geo-location apps and like many others, see the natural integration with digital signage. In this article, a couple of the business owners mention a platform called ScreenScape – a simple, internet-based program (software) that allows “anyone” (like small business owners) to operate digital signage. This is the first I’ve heard of these guys, and my question is – can they be the X factor in digital signage adoption? Today’s 4-1-1 is dedicated to one of my new favorite companies (I don’t know anyone there, haven’t met anyone there, but next week, I’m going to reach out to them to learn more about their product.)
1. Advantage #1 – cost. I suppose this depends which side of the fence you’re on – $10/month subscription makes digital/interactive signage attainable for just about anyone now. It makes you wonder how successful they can be based on this model, but there are group licenses available for larger subscribers.
2. Advantage #2 – ease. The platform is Internet-based. You don’t need any special technical skills to work your way around the “administrator” dashboard. And by dragging content here and dropping it there, with the push of a button (and a computer, and a display, and an Internet connection), you’ve got yourself a digital signage solution. And network if you need it.
3. Advantage #3 – flexibility. I’m talking about flexibility with content here. Images, video, text, RSS feeds – you can include any of these as pieces of content that will wind up in the end-display. (The program basically converts everything to a flash file.) There are drawbacks with this, of course. Processor, connection, file size, load on the computer, etc… But look, it’s $10/month so to me, if you’re the right “brand” to use something like this, the value and benefit totally outweighs the downfalls. One of the coolest things about this system – and it’s core to their business model – is allowing the community to share content with each other (they call it “venue networking.”) This is yet another “cost” advantage to people like small business owners who are strapped for money and resources.
4. Advantage #4 – integration. With Foursquare, in particular. On September 14, they launched a “Foursquare widget” that allows the software to integrate and pull in check-ins for the location (where the screen is placed). The widget ultimately allows consumers to see things like who the mayor of the place is, the actual “mayor offer,” total check-ins, and everyone else who has checked in. To me, this feature is critical – to both the brand and the consumer. The consumer gets to see their name in lights (“fame” as Stephen Randall says) and the brand has just given another reason for the consumer to interact with them (via their screen). A simple example:
“Uh-huh” – a year ago, Mashable featured Screenscape in their Spark of Genius series. It’s interesting reading that article now. Case in point that no one knows how to talk about “digital signage” though. The term was not used once in the article and I’m pretty sure it’s been around for much longer than a year. Kudos for flagging it, though.
“Duh” – am I giving them too much credit? Or is there any merit to them giving a shot in the arm to digital signage? I think this is a true “duh” because it seems like to me, as long as the brand has ownership of a screen and a connection, and is in-tune with reaching consumers in new ways, why not? What’s the drawback here?
I think this is beautiful because it taps into what geo-location has tapped into for brands (especially “small” brands) – it’s no/low cost, it’s relevant, it’s engaging, and most of all, it’s a way to connect with people while they’re “outside of the home” on a device that they’re glued to. For $10/month, you can advertise it/them for everyone to see and hopefully, keep them coming back for more.