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Lee Summer, Reflect CEO, far right, and Mason Page, executive vice president, strategic business planning at Reflect, talk digital signage strategy.

Connecting with the consumer is front and center for retailers and customercentric digital technology is just as critical but it’s way more than just figuring out display location, hardware and content.

A digital signage effort requires two big steps up front: mapping out a strategy and defining objectives. Both, according to industry experts, are critical for success — whether that success objective is more sales, greater consumer loyalty and brand awareness or all three and more.

Overall, it’s a quest to capture connections, and was the focus of a session at the ICX Summit event taking pace this week in Dallas. As Lee Summer, Reflect CEO, and Mason Page, executive vice president, strategic business planning at Reflect, explained, it’s also all about data, knowing who the customer is and understanding the retail evolution taking place.

Simply, it’s not just plugging in innovative technology.

Where to begin to connect

The good news, Lee said in kicking off the talk, is that the ‘retail store is still the star’ in today’s increasingly digital world, citing a U.S. Census Bureau statistic that 92 percent of sales are happening within the brick and mortar environment.

What is changing, he told the audience, is the role of the store in today’s retail environment.

“That’s why retailers need a hybrid approach,” when it comes to the in-store experience and the convergence of online commerce.

“Everything you do must have the customer at the centric,” said Mason, adding that the customer-centric strategy must be driven by insights and knowing what consumers need.

Digital signage, along with other digital marketing efforts, should be viewed as a tool to compliment the sale experience, and serve as an assisted sales tool.

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During the hour-long presentation the Reflect leaders shared examples of rewarding digital signage efforts at top name brands, including Levi’s and GMC. The examples provided insight on the need to balance digital signage with other media and marketing projects.

“You don’t want the store to look like Times Square,” noted Lee, adding that there is no longer a question regarding the value of digital signage as it’s proved to boost sales an average of 15 percent.

How content plays into digital signage

When it comes to deployment of the strategy, placement of digital signage is crucial as content, noted the leaders.

Content can provide the personalized experience consumers want and expect. For example, a customized display can serve up rain boots on rainy days, or sandals if hot weather has hit.

The collective linchpin in making any decision with digital technology is knowing the customer, knowing what success looks like (expectations on return on investment) and measuring and analyzing the results.

“It’s not that retailers don’t have the data they need. That isn’t the problem. Retailers have more than enough [data] but many are failing to analyze it,” said Mason.

He advised retailers not to look at hardware and software before doing the necessary initial steps when it comes to digital signage.

“Shopper insight is critical for building the connection with consumers. You need to investment in strategy, define ownership within the organization. Start with the objectives.”

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Photo Credit: Networld Media Group

Judy Mottl

Judy Mottl is an experienced editor, reporter and blogger who has worked for top media including AOL, InformationWeek and InternetNews. She’s written everything from breaking news to in-depth trends. She loves a great pitch so email here, follow on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.

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