It's almost December, and that can mean only one thing... No, not the start of another crazy holiday shopping season (though it is a critical time for retailers, who may generate 40% of their year's revenues in the next four or five weeks). I'm talking about the end of the fiscal or planning year for many medium and large sized companies who may be prime targets for digital retailing systems like interactive kiosks and digital signage systems. Integrators and solutions providers who have been working on deals this quarter and want to get deployments ready for next year will start pushing hard to get their loose ends tied up and budgets solidified before December 31st. And internal champions who have been asked to assess the ROI potential of an internet kiosk project or narrowcasting network should also get their numbers ready.
it's unlikely this late in the quarter that there will be enough
unclaimed funds to do a full-scale roll out of kiosks or digital signs,
there will probably be enough around to fund a pilot program of
a few screens or kiosks in a few key locations. In many cases (for
better or for worse) the department's spending this year will determine
next year's budget, so there is often an incentive to spend those last
few dollars experimenting with new techniques and technologies.
Additionally, a cross-discipline digital retailing project requires
expertise in both marketing and IT, so there are opportunities to build
goodwill not only in a single department, but also across the company.
those of you who aren't quite ready to start a pilot deployment, there
are still things that you can do do get your project ready for next
year, like putting together a deployment timeline (download it from the
bottom of our whitepapers page), project plan (Project Scope for your Interactive Kiosks and Digital Signs: Avoid Feature Creep!), and budget estimate (Budgeting for a Digital Sign or Electronic Sign Network).
Just keep in mind (especially if you're going after a retail client),
that this is a very, very busy time of year, and even your best and
most impressive efforts might fall by the wayside as the holidays draw
Finally, the holiday season is a great time to go out
and do some reconnaissance. Big kiosk and signage projects that have
been in the works the past year will start going live now, and even
something as simple as a trip to your local mall could yield new leads
(e.g. DVD-powered TV networks that could be converted to digital
signage on plasmas), new deployment tricks (e.g. using VGA over Ethernet
systems to split and deliver high-quality signals hundreds of feet
apart), and new technologies (e.g. through-glass touchscreens and
projected images on store windows).
And of course, we're
always on the lookout for cool new digital retailing techniques, so if
you have any other suggestions or encounter an application in the field
that you think is unique, we'd love to hear about it.