September 14, 2010

2010 Prediction #5 – A fragmented industry will begin to resolve identity confusion

Digital Signage…In-Store Digital Media…Digital-out-of-Home (DooH)…

Confused yet?  The identity crisis among vendors, industry associations, and (most importantly) end-user customers, has caused a great deal of hand wringing and continues to be a nuisance.

In 2009, many of the proverbial wagons circled around the term Digital-out-of-Home as a catch-all term for much of the market usage of digital display applications in “public venues”.  This still leads to much confusion, especially when we look at the differences between advertising and merchandising applications.

So, is “Digital Signage” the underlying technology used for DooH applications?  And should in-store digital media, increasingly used for retailer and brand merchandising (and less so for traditional advertising models) belong in the DooH category, or a subset – “Digital Retailing”?

2010 will, by necessity, see more focus by all stakeholders to minimize the confusion and define the terms more appropriately.  There are great things to talk about, but breaking down the language barriers will help us all.

The identity confusion of the industry will show some improvement, but will still remain.  As long as there are companies trying to serve “all digital signage needs” there will be confusion.  Once we see more focus by companies on solutions for out-of-home advertising, in-store digital merchandising, and informational digital signage, respectively, then we’ll see some improvement in perception and understanding of the market.