This post was written by
Geoff Bessin

Looking Back at 2019, Looking Forward to 2020

Looking Back at 2019, Looking Forward to 2020
What were the major developments for place-based digital experiences in 2019, and where is the market headed in 2020? Here's is our take.

As we turn the page on 2019, let's take a look back at the marketplace for place-based digital experiences - and then turn forward and make some educated guesses about where things are headed in 2020. For our projections, we promise to take full credit for those that turn out to be correct and to blame others for those that miss the mark. With Intuiface's unique perspective, the odds are in our favor. What's your take?

Major Developments of 2019

Data was central to our forecast for 2019, and what we’ve seen matches our expectations.

The screen is embraced as an edge computing sensor. Yes, content is king – but so is context. The move to display relevant, targeted content, to (hyper)personalize the digital experience, requires environmentally aware signage. Motion/presence sensors, computer vision-based gender detection, and broader influences like the weather and location are determined at each endpoint. Armed with this insight, installations ensure(hyper)local digital media is tailored not just to the audience but to the moment in time.

Analytics has a seat at the table. Between human-machine interaction and sensor-derived context, deployments are awash in data. Data is currency, purchasing design, operational, and business insight that enterprises can use to improve project success and drive future investment. The problem: classic digital signage platforms were data-poor and thus directionless. With the screen as a sensor, and with the increasing use of real-time back-office integration, these legacy platforms are forced to adapt – while new entrants treat data as a first-class citizen.

Privacy and data integrity are on the mind of every client. It is no longer a luxury to demand that data be secured and personal information be inaccessible. GDPR is the tip of a spear spurring action among all digital signage vendors to protect information and respect data ownership. Certainly, prospects are beginning to ask and expectations are being raised. The days of ‘trust me’ are long gone.

Looking Forward to 2020

So what’s next for digital signage and it’s kin, DOOH advertising?

The physical space gets its due within the customer journey. In the past, across industries, attention to the “customer journey” focused on the web and mobile devices. This limited perspective failed to provide a true 360-degree view of a customer or prospect. What about the store, the museum, the trade show, the face-to-face sales pitch? That is, what about the physical space? As noted earlier, place-based installations deliver significantly actionable data. Agencies, integrators, and signage vendors will be pushed by their clients to innovate in the physical space, generating actionable data-based insight as well as effective, engaging, branded installations that complete the journey. A side-effect will be platform integrations with Digital Experience Platforms and other customer-centric infrastructure, like CRMs, to provide global customer views.

Prospects and clients will demand enterprise-ready platforms. This development is the next logical phase after the earlier-mentioned development surrounding client concerns about data confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Starting with large enterprises, clients will require ISO 27001 compliance – or the equivalent infrastructure modifications – as table stakes. IT organizations will demand vendor process transparency or they’ll take their business elsewhere. The resulting “enterprisation” of digital signage platforms is a maturation equaling what has already happened in other industries like ERP and CRM.

Accelerated no-code/low-code evolution of signage platforms. All of this talk about digital transformation, hyper-personalization, and enterprisation – which, collectively, equates to richer and more complex experiences – creates a high hurdle for agencies, integrators, and vendors (let alone the enterprise user) who don’t have the capacity or the skills to solve such challenges using bespoke in-house or outsourced software development. As a result,digital signage platforms will be forced to deliver more no-code/low-code options to solve problems once thought to require coding expertise. The signage domain has always had a non-coding appeal, so consider this an evolution, not a revolution. But laggards will be left behind.

Geoff Bessin
Geoff Bessin

I'm Chief Evangelist at Intuiface, which means I think about the intersection of digital interactivity with signage and presentations. Pearls of wisdom? Well...

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