The Power Of Signs

How today’s digital tech can increase sales across a franchise network.


The Power Of Signs

Chris Day is the co-founder and MD of Moving Tactics SA (1997), a company specialising in digital signage solutions. The business services leading brands including Famous Brands, Hungry Lion, Food Lover’s Market, FreshStop and the Edcon Group.

We’re living in a digital age in which consumers respond to digital marketing. Chris Day of Moving Tactics discusses the advantages of introducing digital signage to your marketing strategy.

What are the advantages of digital signage in a business?

There are four main advantages:

  1. You maintain brand integrity by proactively managing how a brand and its offering are marketed within a network. It’s dynamic, accurate, timely, and easy for the franchisor to manage with a smart device.
  2. There’s a cost saving element by reducing print numbers for promotional material. Human error is also reduced with distribution of promotional material.
  3. The system offers greater flexibility as multiple displays promote multiple offerings, or segment promotions for times of day across the whole network — all at the click of a button.
  4. In-store marketing leads to increased sales: 47% of customers have been shown to be influenced into buying a new product through promotion screens, and customers look at promo boards on average four times for 14 seconds per view each time they make a purchase.

How does digital signage aid franchisors and franchisees with marketing?

Research with our QSR clients has shown a 5% to 10% increase in sales when an existing menu item is promoted via digital screens. When a new item is marketed, retailers have experienced a 25% increase in sales. If the screens are removed, sales go back down to their original numbers.

Digital screens give franchises the ability to segment their promotions by time of day, season or region. In some franchises, each store offers different menu items and promotions, but national campaigns can still be flighted at these stores when the need arises.

It’s a great way for a group marketing department to quickly flight promotions that tie in with their latest TV or radio advertisement campaign, or for individual franchisees to target the needs and wants of their local customers and create demand.

Whose responsibility is it to bring digital signage into a business? Franchisor or franchisee?

It’s best that both parties agree on the mutual benefits of a digital signage system. For franchisors, there’s the benefit of effective, accurate and uniform national marketing campaigns. For franchisees, the digital screen promotions upsell their products, bring in more sales and create local demand.

While we can support a single user or 500 users, it’s best for the franchisor’s marketing department to bring digital signage into a network after a solution and costing analysis has been performed to ensure technology and content cohesion across the network.

Tell us about the ROI that can be gained from introducing digital signage?

Moving Tactics conducted research to determine the effectiveness and ROI of using digital screens in-store to promote products and special promotions, and we found the following:

  • Digital screens have a 47% influence on purchasing of new and untried items. Specifically looking for new items to order is not normal purchasing behaviour for fast food consumers, so digital screens encouraging this behaviour is instrumental in increased sales of new products.
  • On average, return customers will view digital promo screens 12 times a month and spend 2,2 minutes a month taking in the advertising.
  • 88% of customers believe digital screens are the best form of in-store advertising, with 74% saying they specifically notice the screens and 72% saying it was the most appealing form of in-store advertising.

What should a franchisee keep in mind when bringing digital signage into their business?

  • Don’t get locked into proprietary technology or long contracts. Also make sure your digital signage provider has a clearly defined service level agreement with deliverables. Monthly management fees per screen are the norm. These fees should cover on-site maintenance, all off-site maintenance, software and content management.
  • The brand must commit to digital signage as part of its marketing strategy. Planning promotional content at the pilot stage is essential. You need to research what promotions, day segmenting or specials will work for your audience. Increased sales won’t materialise if you simply use the screens for pretty pictures.
  • Don’t overdo the content. Too much moving imagery in your campaigns and promotions can alienate your audience, especially if you have multiple boards installed.
Tracy Lee Nicol
About the Author
Tracy-Lee Nicol is the managing editor of Franchise Zone Magazine and deputy editor of Entrepreneur Magazine. She studied her Masters degree in Art History and Visual Culture at Rhodes University and spent the next two years working and travelling in Asia. Her love of people, business and teaching is reflected in telling the stories of entrepreneurs, franchisees and franchisors, inspiring others to take the leap to being their own boss and bringing about positive change in South Africa.

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