A good content management system (CMS) is the glue that holds a digital signage network together. No one wants to have several displays in different locations with the only way to update them is to drive around town with a pocket full of USBs. True story – we had a client who did exactly that. When they had new content, they’d load up USB keys then travel all over the city and manually insert them into each display. It was quicker than the post, cheaper than a courier but a huge waste of time, right?

There’s a smarter way which lets you update any display in your network with the click of a mouse. A good CMS will let you maintain your schedules anywhere you can get data reception.  Another true story – a client of ours has been known to update their CMS from a phone while sitting at the beach. We call that Working From Home, In Style.

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So what does a good CMS need to do?

1). It needs to work at scale. Whether you’re updating content on 1 display or 100 displays, you need a CMS that makes that process easy. You don’t want to have to update each display separately, you need to be able to issue one command that sends every screen new content at once.

2). It needs to play still images and video. There’s nothing as captivating as the moving image to tell a story, sell your brand or inform customers. Yet there are times when a still image is more appropriate, or legally required. Therefore your CMS must be able to play both, and play them seamlessly.

3). Don’t stop there. While images and video are the bread and butter of digital signage, it’s just as important to be able to bring up html files, websites and run apps on your network. You need a CMS that can do all that while also being able to assign different elements to different areas of the screen.

4). It needs to be web-based technology.  No one wants to have to visit the office at 10pm because a player in the network is not running the correct video. However, few of us mind logging in on a browser to load a file, or make a simple adjustment to a playlist. It takes seconds, not hours.

5). Most importantly, it needs to be secure. It is critical that your CMS does not compromise the data security of your company. You need complete confidence that no one can hack your CMS and burrow further into your organisation’s IT network, nor compromise your digital signage network itself.

Laqorr does all this and more. Download our cheat-sheet to see how easy it is to load content, build a playlist and run media content on a national (or international) network of displays.

If you’d like to learn more about how Laqorr is the perfect fit for a digital signage network, get in touch with one of our subject matter experts today.

Full disclosure; we use Chromebooks. Why? Because we love them.

There are so many reasons why Chromebooks work for us and why they can work for you. Here are three of the best features and how they can help your business. We’ve also included a handy calculator for guidance on the cost savings available when switching to Chromebooks.

The Big Three

Chromebooks reduce IT, hardware and licensing fees. Chromebooks are secure. Chromebooks enable your mobile teams and frontline workers. Let’s find out how.

Save Money

Every organisation needs to reduce expenditure where it can. When deploying a new fleet of devices, it’s not just the upfront costs that matter. IT management, technical support and licensing feeds adds to the operational costs of investing in technology. There’s also the hidden costs associated with inefficiencies that old or tired hardware means for your teams. Chromebooks save you money because of the significant benefits and low-touch impact of running devices on Chrome OS. Technical support is minimised for much the same reason along with the rugged, commercial build of Chromebooks. Finally, the licensing structure of Chrome OS is cost effective, especially at scale.

Safe and Secure

Chrome OS is both safe and secure. Here’s a great example that made the difference for one of our clients, a financial institution. They wanted to bring a cloud-native, mobile device to their customers in a branch and give them access to their accounts. Obviously security was a great concern, but after every user session a Chromebook will reset and erase ALL of the data from that session. As well as resolving any security concerns, that simple action also builds trust between the bank and its clients, and that’s powerful.

Team Enablement

Detaching your frontline workers from a desk or terminal enables them to deliver the best customer experience your organisation can offer. They can help create a seamless experience as customers transition through online to offline shopping, and by placing a Chromebook in their hands, you help your team reach their full potential. It builds customer satisfaction which, backed by the trust generated by Chrome OS, translates into improved sales.

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Chromebooks are available in a variety of form factors to ensure you get the right fit for your business. Learn more about the value proposition they offer, not only in upfront costs but long term savings as your team members become more efficient, and more productive.

Check out this handy calculator which demonstrates the savings that a Chromebook can mean for your organisation.

If you’re thinking about a new fleet of portable devices for your business, or updating the one you already have, let’s talk about the Chromebook and options available to you.

We can demonstrate many of the advantages of a Chromebook but more importantly, we can show how it can add value to your business.

That’s not what you’d expect to read from a company whose mainstay is signage, but datmedia is also a supplier of in-store music. We help organisations leverage cloud-based technology to connect with their customers, and music is a fantastic way to do that.

The retail industry has experienced major disruptions in the past, but consumer preferences and shopping patterns have never shifted so quickly as they have in recent months. As well as changing how they shop, the reasons why consumers shop has also changed forever. Retailers need to draw on data-driven insights to re-engage with consumers.

Studies into the benefits of in-store music consistently tell us two things – it lowers customers’ perceived wait times while increasing dwell time. Why? Because music makes people feel better, they linger longer and that in turn stimulates sales activity.

We are registered with all the background music organisations (ARIA, APRA-AMCOS and OneMusic) and have an accomplished history in providing our clients with retail friendly music solutions supported by (often vendor funded) in-store messages and ads.

It’s easy to insert messages between songs. That might be promotions, brand messages, updates on security, alerts or, well, anything really.

One of the ways we’ve been helping our clients recently is to leverage their background music solution to advise customers about their COVID-19 related restrictions and rules of engagement. This helps build trust and increase confidence in your organisation.

Our library of over 4,500 retail friendly songs is regularly updated with new music and the latest hits. We filter additions for consistency and ensure they’re suitable for any audience.

And because it’s not a streaming service, you don’t have to worry about connectivity. The music keeps on playing even when your internet connection doesn’t.

We have clients who initially ran in-store music as a pilot project in key locations. Initial feedback was so positive that by the end of the pilot, they made the decision to install our music solution in all future store refurbishments.

You can read more about in-store music here. Get in touch if you’d like to talk to us about a music-and-messaging service for your organisation.

From hospitals to local GPs, across the country our healthcare workers are doing an incredible job. They’ve turned a terrifying threat that was poised to overwhelm the country into what’s becoming, fingers crossed, a manageable illness. For some, one of the tools in their belt has been digital signage.

Information

Getting information to people has been the key. In the middle of a stressful situation, helping people understand that situation is crucial, and that’s something that digital signage can do incredibly well. Take wayfinding for instance. Simple questions like ‘where can I get something to eat’ or ‘where is the toilet’ can be answered through digital signage. It’s vital for people navigating an unfamiliar environment like a large hospital or medical centre, especially when your mind is, understandably, elsewhere.

You Are Here

Interactive touch screen technology gives people a self-service option, and a sense of control over their circumstances. It’s the same with queuing systems; understanding how you fit into the busy environment around you helps reduce stress levels, and helps people have a better experience.

It also helps take some of the burden off staff. A surprising amount of time is devoted to giving visitors directions or assisting them in ways that digital signage can otherwise do. It frees up time for staff to focus on more urgent matters.

Helping Hand

They can also help staff in more direct ways. Employee messages can be separated from public display and used to inform and engage staff. Basic safety reminders, staff achievements or training opportunities are simple ways that help foster a sense of community in the workplace. Everyone likes to be congratulated on a job well done, and healthcare workers sometimes have a very hard job.

It doesn’t stop there. You can promote donors, fundraisers, blood drives and other important public events. If you offer classes, or workshops in health and safety matters, digital signage can help there too. Investing in digital signage pays for itself in so many different ways; helping make lives a little easier, and a little safer, is certainly one of them.

Get in touch if you would like some information about how digital signage can make a difference in your organisation.

One constant in our new lives is trying not to touch anything and washing hands a lot. But what if you own equipment that your staff or customers have to handle – like a touch screen kiosk? Now’s the time to practice good screen hygiene.

Keep Your Screen Clean

Depending on traffic through your business, a kiosk could be touched many hundreds of times a day. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned regularly: you need to make sure they’re kept sanitised to prevent the spread of germs.

Use a soft cloth

A soft, lint-free microfibre cloth is best when cleaning a touch screen. Avoid paper towels or rags as these abrasive materials can damage the screen’s surface.

Use approved cleaners

Old fashioned soap and water is a great way to keep things clean. Professional solutions vary but be aware that alcohol based cleaners are not suitable for plastic screens as it can damage the surface. For glass screens, the most widely recommended screen-safe solution is a combination of 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% distilled water.

Avoid highly concentrated solutions

Cleanliness is important, but so too is protecting the surface of your screen. Products that contain ammonia, benzine, acids, strong solvents, acids, fluoride detergents or any abrasive cleaner should all be avoided.

Above all, don’t get any liquids inside the screen. It goes without saying, but any solution that seeps into the screen or the kiosk itself is going to cause problems – either to the sensitivity of the screen, or the kiosk itself. Apply cleaning solutions to the microfibre cloth, not the screen, and be sure to remove any excess liquid. Clean with care.

Practising screen hygiene with touch kiosks is more important than ever before. Keeping them sanitised is one more way you help keep everyone safe.

It’s no secret that that the future is much less certain than it was twelve months ago. Things were already changing fast enough before the impact of bushfires, COVID19 and recent share market volatility, so predicting what will happen in the weeks and months ahead has become that much more difficult. Yet the outcome is not out of our control.

Planning goes a long way. So does having the confidence to use all the tools at your disposal. Those that have digital signage have an advantage because they already have a mechanism to boost the profile of their product or business. It’s a wonderfully flexible tool that lets you create the desired ambience in your premises. It can let you share information in real time – whether that’s a promotion for customers or information for staff. Digital signage is a powerful technology that, harnessed properly, can help business owners weather the most turbulent economic storms.

So what can digital signage do for you?

The biggest single thing digital signage can do for you is attract customers to your business. Humans are hard wired to notice visual information, and we notice it more quickly when it’s dynamic. Its’ said that the brain processes an image 60,000 times faster than text. With video content on digital signage, you have a winning advantage over your competitor who is relying on static, printed communication. And once you have a customer’s attention the hard work has been done, and they’ll be more responsive to your offer. Which leads to sales.

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Digital signage is perfectly positioned to help you create atmosphere. Whether you’re using one LCD screen or an LED video wall – you can use digital signage to shape how customers feel about your premises and add value to your brand. It lets you do whatever you want, whenever you want to – promote products, price points, concepts and values. Use it to help make people feel good about your business.

Digital signage is also cost effective. The same piece of artwork can run on any number of screens in any number of stores while eliminating expensive print runs, distribution costs and compliance issues. You can control your marketing strategies or corporate communications from one location, which further reduces the financial burden on your business. It also reduces customer confusion which might arise through misaligned campaigns as well as any cost implications.

And you can change content on demand. That’s real power.

If you want to do more than just survive in the marketplace this year, make sure that digital signage is one of the tools at your disposal. Used wisely, it will help your business stay ahead of the competition, weather the storm and add real value to your brand.

The idea of digital signage can be daunting. When starting out, there are so many questions: what sort of screen should I buy, how big should it be, how is it hung, connected, by USB or a CMS, and what will it all cost?

There are so many questions but really, there’s no reason to be intimidated by digital signage. To help clear the air, let’s clear some of the myths that surround digital signage.

Some people still believe it’s too expensive (it’s not, the return on investment has been proven time and time again), or that it’s too complicated. Again, it’s not. Single sites can easily run digital signage from a USB. Multi-site use cases require a content management system and there are many good value packages on the market. Laqorr is a great example of an easy-to-use CMS designed for business small or large.

But let’s take a look at three of the largest myths, and bust them.

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Digital Signage is expensive

It’s really not, especially when you factor in the ongoing costs of conventional signage. For a start, you’ll no longer pay for printing and shipping, nor the added cost of distribution. You also eliminate the cost of compliance, that is the waste incurred if signage isn’t hung on time and in the right location. If no one can see your messaging, what’s the point of doing it in the first place? Once your screen, or network of screens, is in place, digital signage eliminates that ongoing expenditure. The return on investment (ROI) is much more tangible, and since the cost of hardware is now cheaper than it’s ever been, that initial outlay is quickly recouped as your business generates increased revenue by targeting customers when it matters most, at the point of purchase. A high-performance HD display and media player using turnkey software can be installed for a very reasonable sum.

A consumer-grade screen will be OK

It might be, depending, and they’re certainly cheaper than their commercial-grade cousins. However they’re not designed for use sixteen hours a day, seven days a week and doing so could void any warranty. A typical consumer warranty is one year (void if used in a commercial environment), whereas commercial grade screens can be warranted for up to six years. They also come with useful features their consumer cousins don’t such as being able to lock down inputs. Most significantly, you have a much greater range of ‘nit’ (brightness) ratings on a commercial screen. This is particularly important if the screen is exposed to direct sunlight. Your content will be almost invisible on an outdoors facing consumer screen, next to useless if it’s facing the sun. Whereas your message will cut through on a hi-brite commercial screen, plus they’re full warrantied. Consider the old maxim of “buy cheap, buy twice”.

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Managing content is too complicated

If you know how to create a Powerpoint presentation, or are used to building an iTunes playlist, then you’re good to go. That’s all a Content Management System is – software that allows you to load an image file or a video then play them in the order you want to see on your screen. There are many on the market but ultimately they all do the same thing (although the better the CMS, the more creative you can get with your playlists). Good systems like Laqorr takes the stress out of managing that playlist while ensuring content appears in the right place, at the right time on any number of displays, from one to one thousand. If you’ve only got a couple of screens you might not even need a CMS; loading content on a USB could be all you need to do. There’s a range of solutions available at different price points proving again that digital signage isn’t expensive.

Thanks to advances in technology, today’s digital signage is brighter, energy efficient and more cost-effective than ever before. Consequently the smallest business can now use it to drive higher revenues with up to the minute messaging, meaning the ROI is both real and meaningful.

Digital menu boards allow restaurants to change menu items and update prices. You can add (or remove) promotional content across an entire network remotely and seamlessly. And you can do it easily. Unlike static boards and light boxes.

This ability to change content at a moment’s notice has made digital menu boards increasingly popular. However maximising the benefits, as well as the potential to improve sales and minimize costs, takes some planning and consideration.

Here are some crucial elements to consider when deploying a digital menu board solution:

Know your objective

One of the first things operators need to consider before investing in digital signage is exactly what it is they hope to achieve.

All too often, businesses invest in a digital menu board system without a clear objective or content strategy in mind. As a result, they end up using them as a fancy poster board.

With a well thought out content strategy, digital signage has great potential to engage consumers, improve perceived wait times, increase sales uplifts, and improve the overall customer experience.

Don’t cut corners to save a few dollars

The worst mistake operators can make when deploying a digital menu-board system is trying to substitute commercial grade devices with cheaper consumer grade versions.

Commercial grade displays and media players come with a 3 year warranty and are hardened to withstand the rigours of a QSR environment – heat, humidity and 24/7 operation.

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The right CMS is crucial to success

Inserting USB drives into the back of screens is awkward and inefficient, even for a single site set-up.  Across multiple stores it becomes difficult to track and almost impossible to verify compliance.

A good content management system (CMS) allows you to quickly and easily distribute promotional and menu content via a secure web-based portal as required.

A great CMS like Laqorr will also allow you to monitor the status and performance of your menu boards so that you can quickly address any issues and ensure maximum uptime (device management).

Content is king

Whilst one of the appeals of digital signage is its ability to feature animation and full-motion video, like all good design it is best to keep it simple.

A crisp, high quality graphic of a delicious burger with steam wafting up from the bun will be far more enticing to consumers than a screen cluttered with multiple items and flashy animation.

It is also crucial to allowing adequate time between content rotations for the consumer to read and absorb the information being presented to them.

Stress-free installations (that look great) take careful planning

Just attaching a digital display to a wall doesn’t create the aesthetic that will keep customers coming back for more.  Nor does it connect the display with your content management team.

It is important that installation of digital menu boards is discussed with the store design and fit-out teams, to ensure seamless visual integration of the digital with the physical.

Access to power and data and cable runs in the right locations are also potential banana-skins that can be avoided with the correct planning.

And finally, close cooperation with the IT department is required to ensure that connectivity is provided to the media player, and that the media player and communication protocols meet the IT security policies of your company.

Return on investment

Whilst every digital menu board deployment is unique, industry research indicates that they can result in a sales uplift of as much as 5 percent. With the ability to schedule unique promotional content and adjust margins in real-time, digital menu boards allow operators to enjoy improved sales results that are simply not possible with traditional static menu boards or light boxes.

In addition there are also the indirect benefits of:

  • customer engagement
  • lowering perceived wait time
  • an increase in customer satisfaction
  • eliminating printing costs
  • lowering labour costs

Engage an expert partner

With so much to consider when making the switch to digital menu boards it is important to choose a digital signage partner that understands the needs of quick service restaurant operators and can provide an affordable solution with best practices advice.

Let us help you develop a complete solution from concept through installation to ongoing management. It starts with your objective and ends with your satisfaction.

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Are you considering taking your company into the cloud? Many businesses are, and there’s never been a better time to get on board with cloud-based technology.

Devices are the most affordable they have ever been, equipment failure rates are much lower than ever before and if you are currently refurbishing or renovating, it makes perfect sense to include cloud-based tech in the budget.

There are a number of things to consider when choosing a cloud partner, especially when you’re looking at a digital signage network, or networked devices designed to empower your frontline workers.

There are so many ways to join the cloud. You could hook up a couple of tablets bought from a discount retailer to some random, cloud drive. Arguably you can share data, but is it secure? Is it properly networked? Are the tablets robust enough for the environment you want them to operate in?

It’s the same with digital signage. A cheap screen with a flash drive will play videos and images; and for some companies, that’s enough. But it’s impossible to network content, it’s difficult to manage updates and, again, is it robust? Will the screens survive in a tough, commercial environment. Most importantly, will the warranty cover inevitable failures?

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Here are three things you must put at the top of any list when buying into the cloud.

  1. Account Management

Some partners are more interested in getting the ‘sale’ than starting a relationship. Because cloud-based technology will play an important role in your company’s digital transformation and will be a valuable customer-facing tool for your marketing strategy, you’ll need a partner that has your long-term best interests in mind. They’ll need to solve complex challenges, offer objective, best-practice advice and be available when you need them.

  1. Technical Support

In a perfect world nothing would ever go wrong with your new cloud-based devices. However if any technical support is required you want your staff to be able to pick up the phone and resolve any issue with a friendly, capable and, above all, experienced client support officer. Their ability to turn a technical complication into a remarkable customer experience will be important to your staff and their productivity.

  1. System Training

Seldom do you buy a device and know how to use it. Given you’re buying them for digital signage or frontline users, you’d hope that was the case. Therefore you’ll need training, whether that’s in basic troubleshooting or running a content management system such as Laqorr for your commercial digital signage solution. Although most CMS’s are designed to be somewhat user-friendly, initial training for your marketing team is essential. One of the reasons you are considering a cloud based solution is to improve productivity. Professional system training will ensure that your team is operating with maximum efficiency.

Conclusion

The best deal isn’t always the cheapest price. The best solution is when the cloud partner you choose adds real value to your business. Technology, prices, equipment and even the installation processes are often comparable. Where your new business partner will shine is when you need them after it’s all up and running.

Give us a call when you’re ready to move into the cloud. Whether that’s indoor or outdoor digital signage, touch screens or portable devices, we’ll talk about what’s best for your business and help you achieve an outcome that adds real value.

2020 has given many businesses time in which to replan their future and refurbish their stores. Smart businesses included digital signage in their plans. If you’re thinking about refurbishing, you must think about digital signage as well.

Opening a new store or refurbishing an existing one is no small project. If it’s part of a broader plan there will be many stakeholders to satisfy: Store Design, Marketing, IT and of course, the CFO. Though each party has different priorities, the overall objective is about propelling the organisation into the new consumer landscape. An objective that’s never been more relevant than it is today.

Digital transformation is now the central pillar of any refurbishment, and that’s why it’s the perfect time to invest in a digital signage solution.

Research from Google suggests that over half of all purchase decisions are influenced by digital marketing, and bringing an online experience into the physical world is one of the greatest challenges facing retailers.

Consumer engagement has never been more important for businesses that have yet to establish an in-store digital strategy. Even knowing where to start can be daunting. Here are some common challenges that digital signage can overcome and why including it in the architectural design and shop fit makes perfect sense:

Posters are boring

Not to mention high maintenance and labour intensive. You know the headaches caused by printing in multiple (non-standard) sizes then relying on human compliance to ensure all of that expensive content reaches its audience on time. There’s got to be a better way, and there is. Put digital signage at the top of your refurbishment to-do list.

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Shopfitting adds value

Although retrofitting digital screens is always an option, it can look like an afterthought (usually because it was). When you see digital signage that has been part of the architectural design and installed by professionals, it actually serves as more than a marketing tool. It improves the aesthetics, enhances customer experience and validates you as a digital native.

Refurbishment helps fund hardware

It’s unlikely that your marketing team doesn’t want an easy-to-manage digital signage solution. It’s more likely that they have been requesting it, and looking for a way to fund it, for years. Now’s the chance. While budgets for shelving, lighting, furniture and fittings are getting approved, it makes sense to incorporate a digital signage network into the refurbishment budget. More sense than Marketing having to fund the network from budgets set for brand awareness and boosting sales.

It’s a great time to plan for the future

To paraphrase Karen Lamb, the best time to start a digital signage strategy was one year ago. Failing that, today will do. Digital transformation is inevitable. When all the stakeholders come together, when the refurbishment plan places digital signage and cloud-based technology at the heart of that development, the results are empowering.

Learn More

These are just a handful of reasons to involve digital signage when planning a rebrand, refurbishment or new site. If you need help incorporating an innovative, easy-to-use digital solution into your upgrade, get in touch. We have helped some of Australia’s favourite brands connect with consumers, boost sales, streamline communications and improve operational efficiency. Let our team show you how digital signage adds real value to every project.