Digital Signage: Cooking up revenue for restaurants


Photos courtesy NEC Display Solutions

By Richard Ventura
Digital signage has offered restaurant owners a new way to leverage their display advertising and increase revenue. While this is not to say digital displays will eventually replace TV advertising, place-based media and other forms of display advertising have certainly gained momentum in recent years and are on track to dominate the industry in the future. According to a 2014 report from Forrester Research, an independent technology and market research company, spending on digital advertising in the U.S.—including search, display, social and e-mail—will top $103 billion in 2019, with display advertising alone representing $37.6 billion.

Further, a Digital Place-based Advertising Association (DPAA) survey shows 64 per cent of strategic media planners have advised their commercial clients to shift funding away from traditional out-of-home (OOH), 
41 per cent away from TV and 40 per cent away from online, all to better fund digital place-based marketing channels. As such, this distinctly modern platform for display advertising is seeing its market presence continue to grow at a steady pace.

The restaurant industry, in particular, is well-poised to reap the benefits of digital place-based media, including a highly targeted demographic reach based on time and location, plus immediate and lasting access to a constantly replenished audience in high-traffic, protected-brand environments. Restaurants are also a perfect fit for this type of advertising because many are already using digital screens to entertain patrons and reinforce the benefits of their branded products.

Bringing advertising to the table
Active consumers tend to spend more money while they are out and about than at home. Marketers have a significant degree of power in this scenario, as restaurant customers are highly receptive to relevant branded messages that convey a sense of immediacy.

As mentioned, many restaurant owners grasped this advantage years ago, investing in digital screens both to communicate better with their patrons and to favourably position their branded products. Since then, they have become savvy at aligning customer-facing messaging across their various digital channels, including social media, smartphone apps and websites, and tying in with TV, radio and print ads.

Indeed, the integration of social media, digital signs and websites, in particular, has improved the consistency of many restaurants’ brand messaging, streamlining the consumer’s understanding of their offerings amidst a lot of ‘noise’ in the marketplace. This in turn has helped drive foot traffic through their doors.

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