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.

I enjoyed a great Working From Home Lunch meeting yesterday (even though I was actually at the office). My Vietnamese Bánh mì was one of the highlights, yet it was the discussion that really made it great. After all the attendees had introduced themselves and their lunch choice, the conversation quickly shifted from customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) to buyer personas and customer journey mapping.

It was refreshing to talk to an IT leader (not a marketer) who had such a firm grasp on who their customers are, how they transact and a crystal clear understanding of their typical paths to purchase. Even though it was possible to carve their buyer personas into three distinct groups, it was evident that almost every path to purchase is unique.

In 2020, online research and transactions have skyrocketed (for obvious reasons). However, conditions have also shown us just how important the physical presence of brands and organisations is to the way that we purchase. A recent report conducted by payment provider Adyen revealed that although 33% of those surveyed say they will shop online more often now, 72% of respondents still prefer to shop in-store (here in Australia – more than any other country).

So it’s important to understand that the customer journey is more than just online, or in-store.  Shane Lenton, Chief Information & Digital Officer at Cue Clothing Co. explained in a recent article that: “It’s imperative we engage with customers in a holistic sense rather than look at them as online or offline customers – that’s a thing of the past”.

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Along every path to purchase are important opportunities to engage with and help customers. Google calls them Micro-Moments. Some of these moments will happen online, some on mobile devices and others will be in a physical space somewhere. One of the best ways to help your customers is to meet them wherever they may be and become a trusted guide for the rest of their journey.

Mapping your business’ unique customer journey can help focus your strategy, solve business problems, create contextually relevant content and ultimately add value for your customers.

Here are some handy resources to help create your customer journey map(s):

How to Create an Effective Customer Journey Map

Think Outside the Funnel: How to Create a Custom Customer Journey Map

If digital touchpoints in the physical space are something on your customer journey map that you would like to explore, we are here to help. The events of 2020 have accelerated digital transformation plans that may have been floundering for a while. Now is the time to ensure that organisations establish the right platform to unify business processes, deploy future-proof technology and delight their customers. Thanks for reading and sharing.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn as How to help customers on their journey

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.

Here’s something to contemplate.
80% of the global workforce does not sit behind a desk*.

That’s over two and a half billion workers who aren’t tethered to an office, many of which who now use job-transforming cloud tools do their job. Like a doctor, or the delivery guy who just dropped off your lunch.

They are often the first people your customers connect with, and first impressions last. A worker who knows their job and – most importantly – has information at their fingertips, leaves the best impression of all. It translates to a great customer experience, and that supports your bottom line.

Transforming Your CX?  Don’t forget the EX!

Cloud device technology has revolutionised the delivery of engaging digital experiences into bricks and mortar stores or branches.  But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed. A great in-store customer experience nearly always involves a satisfying interaction with a frontline sales associate or product specialist.

When you are upgrading your in-store customer engagement tech, consider how you can better enable your team members at the same time.

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Once you free your staff from legacy limitations, productivity soars. They value the speed, convenience, collaboration, fluidity and security of working in the cloud. The question is, how do you empower your frontline worker with CX-transforming cloud tools?

1. Make your frontline team part of your cloud device conversation 

They’re the backbone of any customer experience, and deserve access to the same cloud-based productivity tools that have already improved the day-to-day for information workers.

2. Remember that frontline workers are customer experience ambassadors

First impressions can become lasting ones, so make sure the impression of your company is a great one. Afterall, customers who have the best experiences spend 140% more.†

3. Many frontline workers are ready and willing to adopt cloud based technologies.

All of us regularly use cloud tools in our personal lives, and most want them at work as well. 53% of frontline workers use unapproved cloud messaging apps for work-related reasons but 68% said they’d stop if given approved internal communication tools.^ Don’t fight your staff, empower them.

4. datmedia supports your frontline workforce with Chrome Enterprise  

Chrome Enterprise was made for a cloud-first workforce. With benefits like fast deployment, company agility, built-in security, ease of use, and a strong multi-user experience, Chrome Enterprise ensures that IT and frontline workers alike can work better in the cloud.

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If you’d like to learn more about empowering your frontline workforce, download this whitepaper prepared by Chrome Enterprise. It has a wealth of information, ideas and inspiration as you continue your journey into the cloud.

Please get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you find the right cloud based technologies to empower your frontline workers, and transform your business.

 

* Emergence, “The Rise of the Deskless Workforce,” 2018.
† HBR, “The Value of Customer Experience, Quantified,” 2014.
^ Cision PR Newswire, “Frontline Workers Frequently Turn to Unapproved Messaging Apps for Work-Related Communications,

Many of us are now juggling Working From Home (WFH) with distractions – from homeschooling to working around the tradie who suddenly arrived to do that thing you didn’t plan being around for. Here are a couple of tips to help make the ‘new normal’ seem, well, a little more normal.

 

1. Create A Space

First of all, it’s important to create a space that is about work, one that tells your brain ‘this is where I work productively’. That’s not the couch in front of the television. This place needs to trigger the idea of daily routine – somewhere you go to at the start of the working day, and somewhere you leave at the end of that day.

TIP: Avoid Distractions It might be productive to do the laundry while your PC boots up, but it becomes a distraction. Try to keep your brain at work by keeping your activity about work. Schedule non-work tasks for a different part of the day.

 

2. Create A Schedule

Just like working in the office, WFH requires a schedule. It helps you shape your day and your week, and gives structure to the work you’re doing. Not that a schedule should be just about work. Build in breaks for lunch and other activities. If you need to make time for a child or someone else in your household, build that into the schedule. That way, when you’re at work, you’ll be focussed on work.

TIP: Make A List Lists are great, and one of the best ways to stay motivated is by ticking another item off a list. It can be thought of as a reward for successfully completing a task and coming to the end of a time block. It also helps you structure your day more productively.

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3. Collaborate

Find a way to see your colleagues. Zoom has become a byword for video conferencing these days because it has now gone mainstream. And that’s because talking face to face, as you would in the office, is the best way to collaborate. Communication is as much a visual exchange as it is audible. Phones are OK but you understand more when you see the response. Google Meet is a big player in the VC space and offers chat facilities which is great for a quick confirmation or request.

TIP: Make a Group Most VC platforms allow you to create a group of colleagues quickly and easily. It’s a simple way to check in with all your team at once, to collaborate and stay abreast of what everyone is doing and how they’re feeling.

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.