BlogRetail Digital Signage

Retail Digital Signage Models

By February 1, 2008 No Comments

By Richard F Trask, Director of Public Relations, Scala

digital signage networks have implications for both the retailer and the
consumer package goods company (CPG). In certain instances, the considerations
will be similar for both. For example, digital signage networks represent a new
advertising medium available to retailers and the CPG industry. Digital signage
networks impact upon the consumer shopping experience, the retailer’s brand
in-store, shopper loyalty, etc., on the other hand, represents issues that are
mainly confronted by retailers. This article addresses the issues faced by both
groups as advertisers as well as those considerations mainly of importance to
retailers, as gatekeepers of the store. As it is the retailer who ultimately
adopts or forgoes installation of digital signage networks in it stores, an
understanding of the three business models being adopted by retailers is

Three different
business models of digital signage networks are currently being embraced. Each
has advantages and disadvantages to a retailer. These include the following:

  1. Advertising Network Model: The generation of ad revenues is a major motivating factor for this system deployment. An incremental lift in retail sales is, of course, important as well. In this case, the system’s cost, advertising sales and content creation are generally managed by a third-party on behalf of the retailer. Examples include Pharmacy TV in Warsaw, Poland and Imperial Oil (ESSO) service stations in Toronto, Canada. Ad revenue and airtime are divided between the retailer and the third-party provider. Variants on this model, such as in the case of Tesco TV and ASDA Live, reflect the retailer bearing the digital signage network’s infrastructure cost, while working with third-party providers to sell advertising and produce content.
  2. Captive Network Model: In this instance, the retail digital signage network is purchased and managed by a retailer without accepting third-party ads. Examples include Nike Town and Rabobank. A slight variant on this model, finds merchandising vendors assisting the retailer in the production of content, such as a segment on “how to”, which is paid for by the CPG and may also contain brand promotional content. The generation of additional sales, control of the customer experience and of the messages delivered in-store are primary motivational factors for adopting this model of digital signage networks
  3. Outsource Network Model: Generation of advertising sales is not a primary motivator for retailers adopting this business model. This business model is characterized by portions of the system being controlled or managed by third-party vendors on behalf of a retailer. An example is Weis Market TV Network, where the third-party owns the hardware and software and manages ad sales and content on behalf of the retailer.

respect to digital signage networks as a new advertising medium, marketing
spend decisions have been plagued by a lack of adequate methods to gauge their
impact on consumer purchases. While the results from some promotional tools,
such as coupons, may be easier to qualify than those of various advertising
vehicles, such as advertising in newspaper and on television, the fact remains
that marketing metrics have, to a great extent, failed to keep pace with
technological advances. This issue is significant because of the dollars
involved. Consider that for 2006, US advertising spending is projected at
$280.6 billion, and worldwide spending is projected at $553.4 billion. In
addition, as marketing channels continue to fragment, advertisers will seek new
platforms to deliver their message.

professionals are charged with allocating communication dollars among five
broad communication platforms. These include advertising, sale promotion,
public relations, personal selling and direct marketing. Each of these
promotional tools has a unique set of characteristics. Yet in the final
analysis, the justification for such expenditures rests on having an impact on
sales. However, in the majority of cases, the impact of such marketing
investments is either unknown or, at best, determined at a later time. The
inherent flaws in marketing measurement have been well documented in both the
scholarly research and by the firms investing these marketing dollars.

advertising medium is defined as one of the various mass media that can be
employed to carry advertising messages to potential audiences or target markets
for products, services, organizations, or ideas. The audience for these
messages tends to be mass market in scope, with limited capabilities to segment
the market. Ad-based digital signage networks are clearly capable of carrying
messages, the issue is not one of being classified as a new media per se, but
rather whether they are effective media for achieving targeted retail
store-level marketing objectives. This is a function of whether digital signage
networks can influence consumer-buying behavior in a measurable way relative to
other media.