Opportunities await those willing to commit.
Fairbanks had his first close look at the technology eight years ago, in booths at the back of the SGIA Expo, he recalls. “They really caught my eye. Right away I decided it was something we needed to be familiar with.”
At the time, a few clients were also intrigued with the possibilities, and the company partnered with them on early experiments. “The first project we did was for a client who wanted to see how effective a system could be at reducing a customer’s perceived wait time,” he recalls.
That was the proving ground. Five years ago, as the economy soured, DGI’s owners were looking for ways to diversify the business. Dynamic signage seemed a logical opportunity. “We acquired some high-end AV and structured wiring/cabling companies, and have been able to use their strengths to bolster our capabilities,” he says.
“One thing we had learned: Electronic digital signage requires a whole other skill set than large-format printing to be successful.”
And Fairbanks sees four core markets for its solutions, each with special requirements – retail; corporate buildings and complexes; tradeshows to draw attention and inform attendees; and “dynamic way-finding,” to inform visitors about what’s going on as well as how to get there.
“There’s still a fair amount of education going on,” he notes. “Most people know what a flat screen is, but they may not know how it can be used as a sign, or how to make it work for them.”
DGI’s emphasis is on turnkey solutions, an integrated system of display, media player, content, ancillary graphics, and professional installation services. “Some customers just buy large-format graphics from us, while some primarily only do digital signage,” notes Fairbanks. “But more are starting to blend the static graphics with dynamic signage.”
As an option, DGI offers professional content design services on a subscription or hourly basis. “Right now, 75 percent of people choose to create their content in house, but most are not doing it that effectively,” he observes. “We see more opportunities to go back to the customer after they’ve had a system a while, doing their own content, and it’s not working. When they find they can’t create it and keep it fresh, we’re here to provide it.”
It’s just part of what it takes to be a total solutions provider: “What we want people to know, that whether you’re looking for print or content, we understand your brand and how to communicate it.”