Business leaders love to discover that an investment delivers even more value than they anticipated. In fact, this is the best possible scenario for a decision-maker whose mission is to generate added revenue for little to no additional cost. Digital signage is one of these surprising solutions, offering more value to the organization than leaders ever thought possible. Here are six unexpected ways in which signage can benefit the business. 

1. Connectivity with user devices: Retailers are finding that mobile connectivity can drastically enhance the shopper experience, and now, digital signage is making its way into the fold as networks support more mobile devices. Soon enough, signage systems will be able to connect with smartphones as shoppers walk throughout the store, displaying recommended items and promotions based on the details of the user profile. This will surely lead to better message targeting and more sales over the long run. 

2. Integration with social media: There seems to be a role for social media in nearly every corporate communications effort these days, and digital signage is no different, despite what many end users may think. Companies can now connect their signage systems to platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to deliver a never-ending stream of brand-related, user-created content to the screen. It's a great way to encourage shoppers to participate in brand building while drawing attention to the store from the outside. 

"Signage thrives when creators have no boundaries."

3. Compatibility with all key formats: Many signage users purchase software expecting to be limited to a small set of video and image formats for displayed content. The reality is that the best digital signage software can show a wide array of content types, allowing creative teams to open up their canvas to a range of new ideas. When creators have no boundaries, they are much more likely to enjoy breakthroughs and develop strategies that positively impact the brand. 

4. Generation of new data types: Modern brands thrive on data to fuel their decision-making processes, and digital signage can be a surprisingly fruitful source of information. The insights generated from signage systems, such as message effectiveness and promotion engagement, can tie back to marketing efforts and sales strategies to better target audiences in other channels. As an article from Digital Signage Today contributor Lyle Bunn stated, organizations that generate more data are at a significant advantage in the modern age. 

"On the basis that 'information is power,' or, more accurately, 'information is powerful,' data is an asset that is captured and monetized as it is aggregated and refined at its levels of abstraction including data, statistics, information, knowledge and wisdom," noted Bunn. 

5. Improved in-store dynamics: The brick-and-mortar store is still alive and well despite ecommerce developments, but today's retailers demand a bit more insight into factors such as store layout, item displays and other aspects of retail strategy. Signage can help enhance the shopping dynamics within the brick-and-mortar arena, sending visitors in the direction of an on-sale item or reminding them of their purchase priorities.  

"As a communications utility digital place-based media provides a highly efficient method of merchandising, branding and providing ambiance that makes places, people and processes more productive," continued Bunn in the piece for Digital Signage today. 

6. Stronger workplace communications: A business will generally purchase signage to send a message to its target audience, but will soon find that communications between employees and higher-ups will improve as well. Signage can be used to convey updates to a workforce in motion and even help generate workplace morale. This is especially helpful for companies that leverage gamification strategies to boost sales or customer service initiatives.