Digital screens lead the race in advertising evolution

Digital screens are taking over the advertising space as the fastest-growing out-of-home advertising segment, according to the media marketing firm ReelAnalytics.

Outdoor advertising is dominated by billboards, which command a 60 percent share of the market. However, digital screens, which currently occupy just 1 percent of marketing space, are increasing at an incredible rate.

With the increasing use of smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs, consumers are more connected than ever, providing advertisers with multiple touchpoints to reach their target audience throughout the day.

Digital screens in public spaces

These digital screens are mostly found in museums, public spaces, stadiums, transportation systems, restaurants, hotels, retail stores, and corporate buildings. I’m sure anyone living in big towns like Nairobi sees these screens all the time, especially in the CBD and on the highways. For example, Thika Road is clustered with such screens, notably featuring Carrefour advertisements. Places like Muthaiga Square and TRM also have these adverts.

Other brands that have embraced the use of digital screens include Naivas, Nice & Lovely, Nivea, Showmax, and smartphone and electronic companies.

Digital screens are also being incorporated indoors, with buildings like the NHIF building in Upperhill being an example. The screens have been fitted inside elevators, allowing people to interact with the displayed information conveniently. It’s also a clever way to reach one’s audience.

The sheer proliferation of digital devices in people’s lives significantly contributes to the preference for digital screens in advertising. “There is an increased proliferation of digital screens across the country; hence, it is the medium to look out for,” reads Reelanalytics Media Landscape report for the half-year.

Reshaping advertising

The rise of digital screens in advertising has been revolutionary, fundamentally transforming how businesses connect with their audience. This surge in digital screens, ranging from TVs to smartphones and billboards, has reshaped the advertising landscape for several compelling reasons.

Firstly, the preference for digital screens in displaying video content stems from their unparalleled ability to captivate audiences.

Unlike traditional static ads, videos on digital screens are dynamic, engaging, and can convey a narrative or message more effectively. The combination of visuals, audio, and sometimes interactive elements creates a multisensory experience that captures attention in a way that print media or static billboards cannot.

Moreover, the flexibility and targeting capabilities of digital screens make them highly attractive for advertisers. These screens allow for precise audience targeting based on demographics, location, and browsing behavior. This targeting ensures that the content reaches the intended audience, maximizing the impact of the advertisement.

The inherent adaptability of digital screens is another driving factor. Advertisers can easily modify or update content in real time, enabling quick adjustments to reflect changing market trends, consumer preferences, or promotional offers. This agility is particularly valuable in the fast-paced digital age where relevance and timeliness are crucial.

Interactive kiosks

Digital signage deployed in the form of video walls, digital hotel signs, or interactive kiosks usually provides increased customer engagement, enhanced guest experience, increased revenues and brand loyalty, reduced perceived wait times in queues, and a slash on printing costs.

As a result of the aforementioned benefits, the digital signage market in the Middle East & African region is projected to witness massive growth over the forecast period. The digital signage market’s growth results from rising infrastructural developments in emerging countries, growing demand for 4K and 8K, increasing adoption of digital signage products in the commercial vertical, and growing technological advancements in display products.

In a world where e-commerce, the internet, and social media have gained supremacy, digital screens in the advertising space are not a surprising revolution for businesses. According to a study by Grand View Research, the global digital signage Industry value is estimated to be $45.3 billion by 2030, witnessing a CAGR (Compounded annual growth rate) of 7.7 percent over the forecast period.

Read also: Happy branding wanted

Digital signage software market

The retail segment is anticipated to hold the largest share over the forecast period, accounting for 34 percent of the digital signage software market share. The retail industry has always been interested in using marketing strategies to take advantage of the large variety of products it offers.

The impacts of this shift to digital screens in advertising are multifaceted. On one hand, it has allowed for more personalized and targeted advertising, enhancing the relevance of marketing messages and potentially leading to higher conversion rates. However, this level of personalization has raised concerns about privacy and data usage, prompting debates about ethical advertising practices and data security.

Additionally, the constant exposure to digital advertisements has led to a phenomenon known as “ad fatigue,” where consumers become desensitized or annoyed by the overwhelming volume of ads. This poses a challenge for advertisers to create compelling and non-intrusive content that resonates with audiences without being overly disruptive.

The rise of digital screens has also reshaped consumer behavior. With the convenience of accessing information anytime and anywhere, consumers expect seamless and engaging experiences from brands. This has pushed advertisers to innovate and create more immersive and interactive content to stand out in a crowded digital space.

Digital signage, too, has had that spark. Over the past years, we’ve seen great shifts and patterns in the out-of-home advertising spaces.

Digital signages have proved to be quite an undroppable resource for getting the word to the masses. With a particular inclination towards video content or media that showcases motion due to its immense and notable successes in the advertising spaces since its inception days with the VCRs a few decades ago.

Dynamic digital displays grab customer attention and create experiences that traditional static signs simply cannot compete with. Through enticing visuals and videos, digital signage captivates attention and entertains customers, making the in-store experience more engaging and enjoyable for the audiences.

Digital signage has come to bridge the gap between the physical and digital realms. Potentials can now integrate these digital signages with their social media feeds, online reviews, and e-commerce platforms, giving their customers a holistic and all-round experience.

Over the years, Digital signage has been on the rise, eliciting great feedback and results from the places used. A number of high-traffic places use digital signages, such as shopping malls, commercial office buildings, medical facilities, airports, train and bus stations, banks, and other public venues.

Growth of advertising

One that most of us have interacted with is the big digital screen at Kenya National Archives in the CBD that displays various ads, including the Spotify ads. We’ve also seen several posts by Kenyan artists celebrating their wins when they come up on New York’s Madison Square digital screen, which is a big flex.

In 2019, the global digital signage market size was estimated at $19.3 billion and is likely to reach $32.12 billion by 2025, growing at an annual rate of about 8% from 2020 to 2025.

The increasing numbers are a result of the positive outcomes of the gradual adoption of digital signage products in the commercial vertical and growing technological advancements in display products. It also signifies the actual rise and growth of the advertising sector, specifically the digital signage industry, which has been on the rise since its inception.

Lastly, the ascendancy of digital screens in advertising has been driven by their ability to deliver engaging video content, precise targeting, adaptability, and widespread consumer adoption of digital devices. While offering unprecedented opportunities for advertisers, it also presents challenges in maintaining consumer engagement, addressing privacy concerns, and combating ad fatigue. Balancing innovation with respect for consumer preferences and privacy will continue to be pivotal in shaping the future of advertising on digital screens.

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