Digital Signage: New Poll Reveals Growing Importance Of Internet In Gathering Information

Digital Signage Perspectives Give Marketing Insight

The new Pew Poll may have important implications for those who wish to market their products with digital signage.

A couple of weeks ago the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press released the results of a major survey about how people in this country consume news.

While the focus of the study was on the news media, I believe the research reveals some important demographic currents that digital signage marketers would do well to recognize and understand. The survey revealed four types on news consumers: News-Integrators, Net-Newsers, Traditionalists and Disengaged. I’ll disregard the disengaged for the sake of expediency and concentrate on three remaining groups because they are where the message for those concerned with digital signage lies.

The two groups offering the most fertile ground for digital signage marketers are News-Integrators and Net-Newsers. Together these two groups, which account for 36 percent of total, show a high propensity for using multiple media types to find the news they desire. According to the results, both groups are well-educate and relatively affluent –qualities most digital signage marketers will find attractive.

Where they differ is in the degree to which they rely on a combination of media technologies when seeking out news. For example, News Integrators view TV as their primary source of news, but supplement it by visiting Web sites most days. Net-Newsers, on the other hand, regard the Internet as their primary source of news. In total, 92 percent of Net-Newsers go online daily to find their news. Other sources, like television, are regarded as secondary. In fact, this group relies so much on the Web that more of them are likely to watch a news story online than sit in front of their TVs and watch the nightly news.

Traditionalist, who account for 46 percent of news consumers, are older, less well-off and less educated than Net-Newsers and News Integrators. Television is the dominant source of news among Traditionalists, and although they own computers, they rarely go online to find out what’s happening.

From my point of view, digital signage marketers can take a few lessons away from this survey. First, most people depend on TV as a valued news source. That’s good news for digital signage communicators because their signs are indistinguishable from TVs at first glance. Secondly, 36 percent of the audience, which happens to be the most affluent portion, likes using a combination of media to get the information they desire. Digital signage marketers can take advantage of this attraction to multiple media sources by adding a broadcast or cable channel into their signage presentations. By using TV in an on-screen digital signage zone, they can grab an audience’s attention while simultaneously conveying their own messages in the remaining zones on the sign.

Third, up-and-coming Net-Newsers and News Integrators show by their news consumption patterns that they are tech savvy and enjoy using technology to determine which media they consume. Hybrid, interactive digital signs adds the perception that the audience is in control of what’s displayed, something that dovetails nicely with this preference.

From my point of view, the results of this survey point out some characteristics about the news audience that can serve as guideposts as digital signage communicators define their message and their approach. Taking advantage of the affinity of these respondents for television news puts digital signage in the game. Using the tools that are available to make it interactive, positions digital signage to excel as an influencer.

David Little is a digital signage enthusiast with 20 years of experience helping professionals use technology to more effectively communicate their unique marketing messages. He is the director of marketing for Keywest Technology in Lenexa, KS, a software development company specializing in systems for digital signage creation, scheduling, management and playback. For further digital signage insight from Keywest Technology, download our Six Basic Digital Signage Applications white paper and case studies. Or, visit our website for many helpful tips and examples on how digital signage can benefit your business.

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