Digital kiosk sign
Achieving Success with Headless and Hybrid CMSs

The Next Wave of Customer Experience Technologies: Digital Signage

January 24, 2023 5 minute read
Digital signage, screens, and billboards are now part of the customer experience.
Digital kiosk sign

Digital signage, screens, and billboards are now a part of the customer experience (CX) journey. They exist in the moment as one part inspiration and one part explanation. As a channel for organizations to keep up with consumers’ ever-growing demand for content, digital signage enables the delivery of the most current and relevant information in ways that other marketing experiences can’t compete with. It allows brands to meet customers at the point of greatest influence with targeted communication that’s well-placed and well-timed. It’s also a great medium for increasing brand awareness. When it’s used effectively, digital signage has the ability to not only inform, but engage your target audience.

Let’s learn more about how the demand for content everywhere is giving rise to digital signage.

Use cases for digital signage

Enterprises are figuring out how to deliver content and campaigns far beyond the website and mobile experience, and now, they have the tools to meet the demand for content everywhere.

And not just content delivered to one screen at a time, but perhaps thousands of them. Digital signs and screens, networked across many locations and powered by centrally managed content, represent the next wave of CX technologies. In the realm of digital transformation, organizations are embracing emerging technology to deliver digital content to screens and signs to enhance the customer experience. Examples include:

  • Real-time screen-based information, news, and alerts, such as the current score of the football game, displayed in college buildings or other high-traffic locations, 
  • Offers aligned with the time of day, day of week, or profile of an in-store customer interacting with a screen or device, like a price scanner that displays on-sale items similar to what the customer just scanned
  • Wayfinding and information screens in locations like hospitals and airports to improve the customer experience, such as informing a passenger their flight has changed gates

Powering digital signage

As companies look for new ways to deliver increasingly sophisticated, highly personalized digital experiences to their customers, headless and hybrid Drupal offer one solution to meet the demand. 

With headless Drupal, the possibilities for the user experience on the front end are unlimited. Through APIs, Drupal exposes its back-end data to other front-end applications, such as native mobile apps, digital kiosks, or conversational UIs, that are then responsible for rendering the front-end presentation layer.

Headless Drupal is powerful and ambitious, opening up new possibilities for digital experiences that harness the latest technological innovations. It acts to future-proof your platform for delivering content and experiences to channels, devices, and end points that may not yet exist. And keep in mind that content isn’t only words and images; it’s data, feeds, and triggered alerts that can deliver maximum, personalized experiences to any screen or web-enabled device — even one without a screen. (Amazon Echo and its capability for voice interaction is a great example of that.)

Digital signage in action: Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)

To highlight the application of headless Drupal in digital signage, we can look at the largest public transit system in the U.S.: the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York City. Keeping the MTA’s millions of daily commuters updated on everything from daily traffic to emergency alerts and severe weather events is critical to creating a seamless CX across all touchpoints and channels. 

With headless Drupal, the MTA can use the same CMS that powers its website to also push content and data to 1,800 digital signs in more than 400 stations in New York City. The centralized system pulls data from external feeds, then pushes messages to networked devices and signs across various locations — a daunting feat when you consider transit messages must be tailored for each platform or station. For example, the Columbus Circle station in Manhattan should only display the next arrival times for trains and service lines available in that station — not the next G train at Greenpoint in Brooklyn. But thanks to headless Drupal, the MTA can streamline communication and deliver a consistent and relevant experience for riders. 

Assessing your organization’s readiness for a headless CMS to power digital signage

The push for content on screens as disparate as a Times Square billboard, rapid transit alerts on subway platform screens, and limitless retail use cases leaves one question on the table: Is your digital experience platform capable of delivering a truly end-to-end experience?

Assessment questions can help you determine how far along you are in your planning:

  • Does your organization want to deliver cross-platform, multichannel experiences?
  • Have you considered how content presented in a new context can shift your message and help drive home a point in the right setting?
  • Are you aware of how you can personalize for context based on time of day or physical location within a store rather than, say, a user profile?
  • Have you considered how to track engagement from multiple channels and use that to drive strategic and tactical improvements?
    These are just a few questions on the minds of digital marketers and others who care about multichannel experiences and the rise of digital screens in stores, venues, and other physical locations.

Learn more about headless Drupal

If you’d like to learn more about how headless and hybrid headless Drupal can help your organization create innovative, customer-focused digital experiences, download our guide, Headless and Hybrid Drupal 101, which provides an overview of how a decoupled architecture works, when you should consider decoupling, and how developers and designers can leverage Drupal in various architectures to deliver ambitious digital experiences.

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