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01/2010

S I G N A G E

ISSUE

D I G I T A L

SPECIAL EDITION

DIGITAL SIGNAGE IN BANKING

Up to date, interactive and successful

Music in the bank: Security and discretion in the customer area Interactive: Assistance in communicating with clients Column: Right now,this very day... by Ronni Guggenheim


BANKING Contents

BANKING

Editorial...................................................................................................................................Seite

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Coverstory Digital Signage at Points of Banking – great!..........................................................................Seite 4 Technical DIGITAL SIGNAGE IN A BANK BRANCH WHAT DOES THE IT DEPARTMENT SAY?..............................................................................................Seite 11 Wincor Nixdorf “Advertorial” MOVING IMAGES MOVE THE CUSTOMERS DIGITAL SIGNAGE-CONCEPTS FOR BANKS.........................................................................................Seite 13 Marketing Why IS THE TELEVISION A GRETAT COMMUNICATION PLATFORM...........................................Seite 15 Interactive INTERACTIVE DIGITAL SIGNAGE THE SUPPORT OF THE CUSTOMER-BANK RELATIONSHIP CREATES A NEW FORM OF BANKING EXPERIENCE..........................................................................................Seite 18 AUDIO SECURITY AND DISCRETION THROUGH MUSIC IN THE CUSTOMER AREA.................................Seite 22 Case study: easy credit EXCEPTIONAL MOMENTS.............................................................................................................Seite 25 Kolumne RIGHT NOW, THIS VERY DAY.... ARTICLE BY RONNI GUGGENHEIM....................................................................................................Seite 27

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BANKING Editorial

Dear Readers, Good news: In 2010 everything will be different and better than in 2009! Optimism for the already commenced New Year can be felt from many different angles! That it will be different than 2009 is absolutely certain! If it is going to be better will also depend on the actions of people and companies! Also in the banking sector confidence is burgeoning again for the near future. A difficult year has come to an end and in many places different and better strategies needed to be worked out, analyzed and decided upon. Already now, in 2010, these new plans are going to be put to the test: in the implementation phase and the first results! The often propagated new old concepts are “to regain or strengthen the trust of the clients” and “to systematically save costs”. In some banks this is also expressed by a forward-looking rethinking in regards to communication with existing clients, approaches of new customers and customer service. But what can bank customers now expect? Is the up to now apparently neglected direct customer dialog going to experience a renaissance?

maybe changed life situation? Can I have products presented and explained to me in my branch office in a pleasant atmosphere without a “pressure to buy”? Personally, I cannot answer questions like these, but in 2010 banks’ multimedia technology used in customer relations will certainly play an even greater role. Be it on the internet, through touch screens or cell phones – even banks are adjusting to the modified information and buying behaviors of their clients. Digital Signage at Points of Banking is implemented as a consequent advancement in customer communication in combination with existing communication tools. Various marketing goals can be achieved more efficiently and effectively when seconded by Digital Signage.

Is my bank offering me the possibility to do business with it, when I have the time?

The fact that the demand for, as well as the implementation of Digital Signage solutions in the banking sector have already increased distinctively in 2009 was reason enough to address this subject in more detail in a special issue. I would like to thank the experts for their contributions and wish you all that things will become different or new and especially (even) better in 2010!

Is my bank now even actively offering me advantages through adequate products that suit my current,

Daniel Gasser Editor

Impressum Publisher: Relevance Consulting GmbH, Tulpenweg 86, CH-3098 Köniz, www.relevance-consulting.com Editor in Chief: Michaela Holy, Jens Dautzenberg The authors take full and personal responsibility in the texts written by them. If a law is broken, the responsibility i staken by the authors. Authors in this issue: Jens Dautzenberg, Ronni Guggenheim, Eckhard Reimann, Barbara Trachsel, Günther Pöttinger, Marcus-Michael Müller, Alexander Dal Farra, Manfred Bögelein Graphics: Relevance Consulting Marketing, Media Inquiries, Advertising and Partnerships E-Mail to: e-magazine@relevance-consulting.com The transfer of content - both as a whole, as well as concept - of this website and its associated magazine is not permitted without the written permission of the editorial team.

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BANKING Coverstory

Existing customers or acquisition of new customers It is known that the acquisition of new customers costs much more money than selling additional products to an existing customer. This results in the banks’ current goal of getting each customer to purchase multiple products and in doing business with several members of the same family.

Digital-Signage-tools in banks are usually based on similar motives, even if they may vary in different institutions and according to the customer portfolio: - more flexible and up-to-date presentations of offers, - a pleasant way to fill the time during waiting periods, - their application as guidance systems in larger branch offices, - a motivation for clients to enter the branch office, - conveying advertising messages for their own products and those of their partners, with minimal wastage through perfect control of time of day and target audience.

Source: PRI As today personally addressed advertisements to customers by banks often land in the waste basket even before the envelope has been opened, more efficient marketing tools than direct mail need to be used. The various product folders available at the branch offices are also not read very often. Mostly so when a customer is already interested in a product and is seeking more information about it. But how do you actually attract the attention of a client to an interesting product? When is a client inclined to take in such information? In the branch office DS helps the customer become aware of specific products, as here he shows high involvement and an above-average acceptance toward this information. Furthermore, he is pleasantly entertained with interesting, complex subjects and useful information. Latest news and weather updates round off the programs requiring intense attention and give the client the impression that he can obtain a lot of useful things from the bank while experiencing a learning and acclimatization effect.

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DS also offers clear advantages for active communication: • Customers can obtain up-to-date information in the branch office • It is possible to be extremely responsive to regional differences as far as language and customer needs are concerned • enhancing the productivity of the branch office • Helping the bank advisor explain complex products • Preparing the customer for the meeting with his bank advisor • Assisting in the training of employees • Providing the possibility of making customers aware of new products and services • New products can be tested for their efficiency and be ameliorated anytime according to the test results • Efficient communication about the brand and differentiation through the application of a comprehensive, coherent Digital Signage Package per branch office.

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BANKING Coverstory

SOME MAIN POINTS OF APPLICATION AT THE POS OF BANKS Waiting periods at the counter According to studies by PRI waiting periods in banks are perceived much more pleasantly and shorter when Digital Signage is used. The client waiting in line is informed about products and services of the bank. If the programs are well designed, they will show offers and

Digital Signage as guidance system in a branch office: The whole path to the counter can be used to prepare the client for his meeting with the employee/bank advisor.

Source: PRI services at the right time of day corresponding to the present target audience. The installation of queuing systems can be interesting and efficient in banks, as this helps the customer estimate when it is going to be his turn. He can then move around in the branch office until his number is announced or displayed on screen. During this waiting period the customer can take in product information or visit the cafĂŠ for a pleasurable moment. Through the subjective value added of information or coffee in a pleasurable atmosphere, clients will come back to this branch office, even if they have to wait. If anything pleasurable at all happens during the involuntary waiting periods while visiting a bank, this is the first step to a durable customer relationship and enhanced sales per customer.

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A rigorously installed system already attracts the attention of the client in the area of the display window, motivates him to conduct an interaction there or leads him to enter the branch office, offers him several different activities and then guides him to the right bank advisor. In waiting areas and/or personalized areas the customer receives further product information. Even in the hall in front of the counters there is still enough space and time to address the client.

The display window: first contact with the customer Already in the display window passers-by can be made aware of services and products of the bank. The goal is to acquaint the customers with the brand and to make them enter the branch office by using adequate communication methods for each target group during the hours of operation.

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BANKING Coverstory

Interactive display windows that allow an interaction with the bank and its products 24/7 also provide attractive possibilities. Various banks use their display windows during and outside of the hours of operation, in order to communicate real estate offers via touch screen or general service information of the bank.

According to the Grassfish company these bulletin boards are placed in the entrance hall or the waiting areas of the banks. They offer the waiting clients information and entertainment, and establish a feeling of familiarity through the visualization of the customer advisor. Interactive Digital Signage

Bulletin Boards give an overview After entering the branch office a bulletin board can be useful for the customer to get an overview. The boards can display information and offers in different domains, such as the most important news, information and expertise of the bank on specific issues. Particularly in difficult times communication with the client is even more important. The customer gets an overview and can find his contact person on the digital bulletin board. The individual information on the different subject matters can either be published by the separate divisions or centrally through the marketing or press offices.

In a modern branch office of a bank, customers can search real estate offers on a touch screen by using different criteria. Of course, the system can also immediately offer the client a suitable form of financing and introduce him to the adequate contact person. The most attractive systems can even establish spontaneous communication with the bank advisor per touch. The client can receive advice directly over the system or arrange for a meeting with the advisor. An important point: if the customer is interested, he has the possibility to react immediately. Naturally, the presentation of the objects through such interactive tools can automatically be tailored to the specific needs of the branch office and its clientele. These systems can be installed in display windows and the self service area accessible 24/7, and inside the branch office itself.

Source: PRI

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BANKING Coverstory

Effectiveness through content and integration into the architecture The complete effectiveness of the DS-System is of course deployed through its acceptance by the clients. And the acceptance by the client is primarily dependant on the relevance of the displayed content. [Dafür gilt… rest of the sentence seems to be missing; or was this supposed to be deleted?]. No less important though is the integration of the digital information system into the existing architecture of the branch office! How is Digital Signage implemented correctly? This recurrent question stands in direct relation with the general question about factors of success The whole evolution of Digital Signage resembles the issue of the internet some years ago. Different statements and theses are made about its effectiveness and success. There is certainly nothing mysterious about Digital Signage, but it is unfortunately also not a business which can promise banking institutions a sudden “guarantee of success” or “huge new advertising revenues through advertisement screens in the branch office”. Digital Sig-

nage is a normal business just like internet is today. When Digital Signage is well designed and implemented as a communication tool, and its success is measured and its content adapted, then this solution contributes to a sustainable success for the whole communication medium and thus for the institution.

Important factors of success are: • setting clear goals of what shall be accomplished • securing the support of the management for the project • considering the relevance for the customer in relationship with the goals • assuring an annual budget for content and adjustments (the purchase alone is not enough) • do it or leave it – doing things only half heartedly does not lead to success • integrated communication with the existing means of communication and DS • collaboration with the best specialists of the domains Technology Content Communication

Source: PRI

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BANKING Interactive

INTERACTIVE DIGITAL SIGNAGE THE SUPPORT OF THE CUSTOMER-BANK RELATIONSHIP CREATES A NEW FORM OF BANKING EXPERIENCE Financial service providers are nowadays immersed in a media landscape which becomes more and more diverse, and customers access banking services through different channels according to their personal needs. The banking industry will continue to exist, but its form will change. It will be replaced in its exclusivity by multichannel-banking, and every bank will have to create a competitive mix of retail ways. Concepts like convenience store banking, store banking, in-store banking, cyberbanking, mobile banking as well as experience banking, marketplace banking (with a snack corner), internet cafés and youth banks define the branch system today. The question remains, however, how the branches will be equipped and whether the comforts offered will lead to longer waiting times stemming from a lack of personnel. The customer doesn’t want to have a cup of coffee because they have to wait endlessly for their turn - rather, it should be a little treat after all business issues are settled. And nobody wants to get the feeling to be in the waiting room of an administrative institution.

for communication and transaction, a spatial as well as human presentation and a self-service unit. The goal of the new customer hall is the creation of an environment, a lifestyle and an experience. In the counter hall of the future the focus is not solely on representation, but rather on communication, not only on the respectability of money, but on real exhibitions of life; there, work, discussions, arguments take place and services of the new genera-

Source: John Lay Solutions The Lifestyle customer hall: The customer hall becomes more and more a meeting point of and between people, a stage for visions, the basis of adventure banking, a point of sale, a place

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tion are offered. The bank of the future will be something like a “money-bistro” or a “financing-bar”, but not a bank in today’s point of view. The new lifestyle-halls become places where the bank and its customer defy the tendency of ever-increasing depersonalization that stems from the

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BANKING Interactive

advances of virtual banking, and get together in person once again. But the re-branding is more than a simple refurbishing which leaves everything as it was and just provides a more colorful and appealing wrapping. Rather, it is integrated into the bank’s marketing concept, and so new concepts of customer communications become more important along with the architectural design of the customer hall.

Those who show a good example: Banks and saving banks compete in their appearance with retail stores and build their facilities with large windows that allow customers from the outside to look at what is going on inside. Once inside, the customer is “seduced” by the appropriate atmosphere, the use of complex lighting solutions and multimedia content. Examples are the Zuger Kantonalbank which has once been the Mekka of bankers when it came to multimedia, the Sparkasse Forchheim which was nominated for “Branch of the year” at the CeBIT 2005, or the the Investment and Finance center in Berlin laureate of the „Q110 – The German Bank of the Future“ award. Today, the aim is to inform the customer, who has become competent and knows their ways around interactive media, about the different complex banking products. Only a short amount of time which the customer spends

at the bank branch is available to achieve that goal so it becomes important to use the waiting times at the ATM efficiently. Digital Signage has proven to be very helpful at this task, but Digital Signage has to be more than just television or just advertising. It has to consist of different content forms focusing on the bank and its services mixed with

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global, national and/or local information. The information has to be integrated into a marketing campaign which the customer can remember from the TV, the internet, the leaflets and the conversations with bank employees. A milestone for that has been set in 2004 by the Raiffeisen Landesbank Niederösterreich/Wien with the Digital Signage system “Raiffeisen-TV (R-TV)” which displays customized information for the counter, cashier and entrance areas and also provides global and local news randomly or deliberately composed. This customized mix turns R-TV into a local, digital, up-to-date morning paper for customers which is cheaper than any comparable printed edition and that has gained a great degree of popularity among the bank’s customers. The kiosk terminals outfitted with R-TV offer the customer to get more information on the presented content and also to get into conversation with a bank employee, which is a wish put forth mostly by young ATM users in a study conducted by NCR.

WOW-effects: One of India’s largest banks, the State Bank of India (SBI) has recently used Digital Signage to specifically target young car buyers. To that end after the PR-Rallyumbai-Lonavala a marketing campaign for car credits has been implemented through a Digital Signage system at selected locations in Mumbai and especially at ticket counters of Western Railway and at airports. At some locations the customers can answer to the messages on the displays from their mobile phones or send SMS and MMS messages which appear on the screen. In this manner SBI was able to generate leads to new customers and establish a contact with them. The ING DIRECT USA, one of the USA’s largest direct banks, uses Digital Signage to initiate contact with the customers. In ING DIRECT’s new cafés, screens were installed, and passers-by saw information about new banking products as well as current beverage offers through the windows. Source: John Lay Solutions Thus they were animated into entering the café. In the bank-café the customers can control the displays via touchscreens, getting information about new banking services for themselves as well as for the other customers. The customer halls of the Umpqua Bank which has over 200 branches in Oregon, Washington and California are more like boutique stores, internet cafés or coffee shops

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BANKING Interactive

than traditional bank branches. For that reason they are called “Neighborhood Stores”. The center and so-called eye-catcher of those stores is a “discovery wall”, which is a video wall consisting of four displays showing animations and movies about the bank’s different services on the entire wall. It allows employees and customers to interact with the content and get more information on specific topics. By raising one of the colored objects, a RFID signal prompts the nearest touchscreen to launch a presentation about one of the bank products. The customers can interact with the presentation and in the end they are given the option to print such a “digital booklet”. In the HomeOwnership Center of the Bank of America people looking for houses and apartments are offered Digital Signage at so-called Display Points since 2005. At the DisplayPoints kiosk terminals pictures of eye-catching houses are shown. Once a potential customer enters the vicinity, the DisplayPoint switches to active mode allowing the customer to search for interesting objects and immediately use a calculator to estimate the financing possibilities. The customer may also ask an employee for more information at any time. A mention also goes to the Alior Bank of Poland which has been founded in November 2008 and strives to attract customers through the use of new media. In the display window passers-by are attracted through short spots which are product- or image-based, after which they are animated to enter the branch and start a query. Inside the bank the customer is greeted by a variety of 40’’ screens which offer an overview and direct them to the corresponding consultant. At the counters, in the consultation areas and basically everywhere where it could come to waiting lines, so-called broadcast screens inform the customer about products and services, so that when finally entering a conversation with a consultant, the consumer is well-prepared. The customers also have the option to inform themselves through interactive terminals in the branch. These examples show that it is not sufficient to broadcast product advertisements or other information. Digital Signage has to supplement a wow-effect for customers and potential customers and to lead them to stopping and look at the message more closely. But this alone isn’t enough, as the customer has to get the opportunity to deal with the information presented on-screen more intensely. This is achieved best when active information gathering is possible, meaning the use of an interactive tool. In the examples shown the institutions solved this tasked by different means.

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Eckhard Reimann Eckhard Reimann studied economics at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University in Bonn. He is a consultant for E-Kiosk & Digital Signage applications (www. ERCM.de), was officer for E-kiosk at the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft for 7 years (BVDW) (formerly German Multimedia Association (dmmv ) e.V.) and for 28 years he was marketing manager for retail banking and CRM solutions at Unisys Germany GmbH (formerly Remington Rand and Sperry Univac). He then worked for 2 years at METRA DIVO (formerly DIVO Institute for Economic and Social research and Applied Mathematics GmbH) as a project manager pro in Urban and Regional Research. He is the author of over 1,300 specialist articles about multimedia, self service, retail banking, CRM and multichannel management, co-editor of “Practice Handbook in Customer Management” (Oct.2007) and author of the E-kiosk and Digital Signage Study “Media City Report with multimedia in the fast lane”. Between 2002 to 2005, he was the Chairman of the Jury for kiosks systems and interactive rooms installation for the German Multimedia Awards, and has co-created the conferences SMART KIOSK 1999 to 2002 in Berlin and Stuttgart, KIOSK Europe Forum 2003 in Dublin, KIOSK World Asia 2004 in Singapore and the KIOSK EUROPE EXPO 2007 and 2008 in Essen. Last but not least, he has been organizing and moderating the “E-Kiosk & Digital Signage networking“ event since May 2008, which so far had over 300 participants. Kontakt: E.Reimann@ERCM.de

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BANKING

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BANKING Audio

SECURITY AND DISCRETION THROUGH MUSIC IN THE CUTOMER AREA

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BANKING Audio

In the case of banks, neither the optical presentation nor the design of a counter room or self-service zone are left to chance. Those design elements are meticulously planned and their relevance is undisputed. They are important to demonstrate qualities such as solidity, innovation, trust and discretion. However, for the definition of a bank’s “acoustic” image little to no guidelines exist. The following article shows the impact which can be generated by the systematic use of acoustic solutions and the important factors for the choice of music.

It is not uncommon on the market that little attention is paid to the acoustic design of a bank or hotel. For example, in well-off four-star hotels the interior design and the lighting are carefully chosen, but the music in the reception area is often left to the current mood of the receptionist. In rural areas it happens that the reception area of a bank plays the local radio station which may broadcast music as well as local traffic information. Such an approach may appear to be appealing at the first glance, but it is not good for the atmosphere and gives the general impression of low professionalism. With dynamic communication ways gaining importance in the banking business, the keyword being Digital Signage, we perceive an increase in the sensibility towards acoustic solutions.

Variable musical concepts Different customer areas require different musical solutions. In the banking business we discern between the following logical areas: • Counters • Reception/Private Banking • Self-service zones/ATM’s

These areas have to be outfitted with the appropriate music. To ensure the technical implementation this requirement should be taken into account as early as the planning stage. However, such acoustic zones can also be created subsequently. An important role in the acoustical well-being is taken by the sound’s volume. While the music in the counter area should be loud enough to prevent customers from eavesdropping on the others’ conversations at the counter, other rules apply for the private banking area with respect to both the type and the volume of music used. In the around-the-clock self-service areas the musical background at night and on weekends seeks to grant the customers a sense of safety. Thus, the goal of the acoustic presence in a bank can be summarized as “The right music at the right place at the right time, used to ensure the best possible customer satisfaction”.

Three factors are important for the right choice of the music mix: • Customer profile • Bank profile (brand) • Employee profile Customer profile As we have already indicated, different kinds of customers usually inhabit different areas of the bank. In the counter area the majority often consists of older customers,

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Source: DMD2


DIGITAL SIGNAGE PERFECT FOR HOTELS

Interview: Truc Pham, Vienna International Hotelmanagement AG, Wien Social Media: Hotels use Facebook and Co. Audio: Music solutions on the Internet

Euro 25.-- / CHF 39.--

ISSUE 02/2010

UK EDITION


HOTEL Contents

HOTEL

Editorial....................................................................................................................................Page

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Coverstory DIGITAL SIGNAGE – PERFEKT FOR HOTELS..................................................................................Page 4 Interactive THE GUEST SAYS “YES“ TO INTERACTIVITY OFFERS DESIGNED WITH TOUCH SCREEN TO REACH THE TARGET GROUPS.............................................Page 9 Hotel Kommunikation THE CHANGE OF PUBLIC WLAN A NEW SYMBIOSIS OF DEVICES, APPLICATIONS, AND INFRASTRUCTURE...............................................Page 11 Marketing THE ADDED VALUE OF ONLINE DISPLAYS,SHORT HOTEL VIDEOS, ETC. DIGITAL MEDIA IS PREFERRED..............................................................................................................Page 14 Social Media THE PERSONAL ENGAGEMENT OF HOTELIERS WITH FACEBOOK AND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA NEW MEDIA BRINGS A LOT AND IS COST EFFICENT...........................................................................Page 18 Interview TRUC PHAM, VIENNA INTERNATIONAL HOTELMANAGEMENT AG, WIEN................................Page 22 AUDIO TO ACCOMPANY THE GUESTS WITH MUSIC HOSPITALITY MUSIC SOLUTIONS THROUGH THE INTERNET CLIENT AND TARGET ORIENTED MUSIC OFFERS PAY OFF......................................................................Page 24 Content DYNAMIC SERVICE EXCELLENCE WE ACCOMMODATE OUR GUESTS FROM THE HOTEL INDUSTRY THROUGH SERVICE.............................Page 29 UK MALDON HOTELS USE ONELAN DIGITAL SIGNAGE TO RE-BRAND THEIR NEW HOTELS ACROSS IRELAND...............................................................Page 32 UK AV-FOCUSED GRANGE HOTEL CHOOSES INFINITE PLASMA......................................................Page 34 UK SOFITEL LONDON HEATHROW...................................................................................................Page 35

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HOTEL Editorial

Dear readers, Few industries have been offered as many new possibilities through technological development over the last few years as the hotel industry.

Does this lead to huge expenditures? How do such solutions work? Aren’t they suited for large hotel chains only?

Facebook, Twitter, websites offering hotel valuation services, and online booking platforms allow hotels to acquire customers from all around the world. For hotels that grow with the trends, this can be an advantage, but for those lagging behind, it is a competitive disadvantage in the fight for customers. In this issue of our e-magazine we show how hotels can use digital media, including Facebook, Digital Signage solutions, audio concepts, and more to their advantage.

To successfully implement Digital Signage in a hotel, its potential has to be internally recognized and provided with adequate resources and concepts. Read about interesting concepts for increasing employee efficiency and generating more revenue per guest with the help of Digital Signage. Both long-term promotions and last-minute offers can be broadcast quickly and easily. Some of them can even be created automatically, without any extra work for employees! That sounds like a great opportunity, doesn’t it?

The experts who have authored the articles herein show how Digital Signage can become an important part of any hotel’s communication strategy. Information displayed on screens in public areas and in guest rooms ensures efficiency, an increase in revenue, and new possibilities for informing and entertaining guests.

I wish you fun with the magazine and I hope you are inspired by many interesting ideas for recognizing and using Digital Signage - and digital media in general – as an opportunity for the future! Daniel Gasser Publisher

About Publisher: Relevance Consulting GmbH, Tulpenweg 86, CH-3098 Köniz, www.relevance-consulting.com Chief editors: Daniel Gasser, Jens Dautzenberg The authors carry full responsibility for the contents of their texts. In case of a legal offence the author of the offending article is to be held responsible. Authors of this issue: Barbara Trachsel, Brigitta Füri, Jens Dautzenberg, Eckhard Reimann, Michael Nägele, Philipp Benker, Daniel Gasser, Thomas Peter Fischer Graphics: Relevance Consulting Please send marketing and press requests as well as advertising and collaboration offers to: e-magazine@relevance-consulting.com The use of the contents of this e-magazine in full, in parts or in derivative forms is prohibited without prior written permission by the editors of the magazine.

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HOTEL Coverstory

DIGITAL SIGNAGE – PERFECT FOR HOTELS Customer acquisition and customer satisfaction in the hotel industry has become more and more a question of technology. The guests are used to information technologies nowadays which make their life and work more pleasant and more comfortable. Digital Signage is pre-destined to become such a technological aid for hotels. It makes the guests comfortable while lowering the workload of the hotelier and the employees. The guests receive information on the hotel’s special offers along with invitations to make use of them, allowing the hotel to make more revenue from each guest. That being the case, all hotels should be using digital signage, shouldn’t they? By Daniel Gasser

Specific implementations of Digital Signage are already being put to use in many hotels. They can take the form of information screens in the lobby, a guidance system, or digital doorsigns for conference rooms. But, the various possibilities are often not used to their full potential. After all, the aim is not to put a nice screen in the lobby, but to employ an innovative marketing instrument to generate more revenue and to increase customer satisfaction. The cornerstone for that is an integrated and effective marketing strategy of the hotel’s executives. Digital Signage provides a technical instrument to implement this strategy in an efficient way. Not all hoteliers and hotel managers are familiar with the current technological advancements as they do not have the resources necessary to monitor all the new trends. Among these trends are Facebook, Twitter, Digital Signage, IP TV, and many other technological solutions, each of which undergoes constant development. A hotel or a hotel chain in want of the neccessary know-how and tools for its efficient implementation needs a separate officer who is responsible only for digital media. Various hotel chains that went that way have reaped the rewards, and in the future the importance of digital media will only increase. Along with Digital Signage, digital media technologies like social networks, booking and tourism web portals, seacrh engine optimization, and marketing become important tools to acquire and see to the needs of customers.

Areas of use for Digital Signage Digital Signage can be very efficiently used in the following separate areas and also in combination allowing for greater utility. More service yields more revenue!

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HOTEL Coverstory

Information screen in the lobby

Guidance systems

The information screen in the lobby can display generic hotel information that is often demanded by the guests as well as other relevant data like current flight times or ski slope conditions. The employees won’t have to answer routine questions, yet the guests are still able to obtain quick access to important information, special offers, and relevant data about the hotel and its surroundings. Information can be combined with special offers. For example, you might see, “You can book a table at our beautiful lakeside terrace for a sunset cocktail at 7 p.m.” underneath the weather forecast for the evening. The information screen can increase the employees’ efficiency and at the same time generate more revenue by offering suitable promotions of hotel services.

Guidance systems make increasing use of Digital Signage technology. Often, smaller screens, showing the guest the way to the wellness area or to the conference rooms are used. When used efficiently, such guidance systems display not only the way, but also special hotel offers for the area in question, and time or weather conditions. In addition, tips about wellness offers, current cosmetics promotions, or available treatment times can be displayed on such screens.

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This information can be routed automatically, for example, from the wellness area management software to the Digital Signage system. Automated service and promotions are efficient and revenue-generating.

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HOTEL Coverstory

Hotel information TV channel in the rooms An information channel which can be accessed through the room television is used to advertise promotions and offers available in the hotel itself, as well as in the vicinity. Some hotels show seasonal offers through the information channel and change the program only twice a year between winter and summertime offers. Hotels with a more creative approach use the information channel as a direct wire to the customer and offer targeted promotions to increase revenue. The difference between an interesting and a boring information channel is often decided by the 10 minutes that are needed to prepare an up-todate information mix through the Digital Signage system and feed it into the hotel channel. Source: LG

Conference room overview and digital doorsigns In seminar hotels with a multitude of conference and seminar rooms, Digital Signage is often used to help the guests find their way around. In the lobby or in the conference area a large screen often shows an overview of current activities and the rooms where they take place. Interactive doorsigns also have their uses, as they allow guests to directly re-book a room at the end of the meeting or to signal that the conference has ended and the room is now free. Data for digital doorsigns are automatically exported from the room management software and displayed on the doorsigns at the correct time. This system avoids the expense often associated with the usual static doorsigns, of having to re-sign the doors. The hotel reduces costs and presents itself as an innovative venue.

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Advertisements for partners vs. promotion of own products Imagine that you could, with a single mouse click, broadcast the following message at frequented hotel areas and through the information channel: “Special last minute offer: 20% price reduction on facial treatment! Starting in 20 minutes! Please book at the wellness area or dial 907 on your room phone!� This allows for recouping lost compensation for a short-term cancellation or for filling in a free hour between two booked sessions, allowing the hotel to allocate its resources more efficiently. This kind of marketing is a cornerstone of Digital Signage applications and it can be done very efficiently. Hotels can also advertise for partner corporations. However, the hotel should not aim to turn the lobby information screen into an advertisement billboard in order to generate direct revenue from ad-placing. The in-

RELEVANCE 02/2010


HOTEL Coverstory

formation screens serve better as a promotional tool for the hotel’s own services. This leads to increased revenue and allows for establishing direct communication with the customer. The guests’ comfort has to have priority. A special much-demanded service is, for example, a guided tour offer that depends on the day’s weather. A business traveler will also appreciate tips on restaurants in the vicinity. As the hotel knows its vicinity well, it can offer the guest a lot of useful information. Digital Signage makes this information available for the guests in the lobby as well as in the conference or event areas. Low expenses for more service and revenue? The big advantage of Digital Signage is the fact that you can present relevant up-to-date information in real time. In the conference area you can display current room information. The lobby may provide guests with reports on weather or snow conditions and the day’s offers. And, openings in the wellness area may be offered on short notice. Guests appreciate these services and consider the hotel to be high in service quality and in customer friendliness, compelling them to return the next time they visit the area!. High-quality Digital Signage content-management products allow a hotel that has a thought-out marketing strategy to easily implement it. This does, however, require serious preparation, creativity, and good marketing ideas for use in daily operation. The activation of the promotion itself is then accomplished by a few mouse clicks. You simply choose the graphical template, define the text and images to be displayed, choose which screens will be used, and indicate the timeframe for the promotion. The only thing that remains is to inform the hotel employees of the promotion so that they can answer guest requests on the topic. At a very low cost you can offer your guests better service and transform them into regular customers. This, in turn, ensures more revenue - all with the help of Digital Signage!

Planning and implementation In the planning stage, the areas where Digital Signage should be used are defined. This requires an assessment of the goal that is to be achieved, the neccessary hardware and software, and the locations and the media used to achieve these goals, all with the help of Digital Signage. Another important point is the definition of the internal workflow and organization. Anything is possible. A single user may be responsible for all screens, or responsibilities can be divided among separate areas.

for regular use. These can then be edited to fit a specific promotion. Templates created for the hotel design are also a good starting point. Such a procedure lowers the cost and ensures that all content is presented in a way that corresponds to the corporate identity. Graphic templates are created at project start by specialists and made available to the users of the Digital Signage software. Digital Signage as a part of the hotel’s communication mix If Digital Signage is employed in a hotel, it is important that it should not act separately from other forms of communication, but rather be combined with them. Often, audio concepts, website content, social media, and online marketing which allow the guest to find the hotel in the first place are combined with Digital Signage. When combined with other communication platforms, a well-planned, creative, and subsequent implementation of Digital Signage can offer significant added value both for the hotel guests and for the hotel itself. It acts as support for personal contact between the guest and hotel employees, but it doesn’t replace such contact.

Daniel Gasser Daniel Gasser is an expert on Digital Signage. He has been working with Digital Signage, and more generally digital media, in hotels since 1999. He is the founder of RELEVANCE e-magazine and the owner of the international Relevance Consulting corporation. For the last two years he has been working at Grassfish Marketing Technologies in Vienna as the Business Development Manager, developing international and strategic partnerships for this successful Digital Signage software provider. Contact: daniel.gasser@grassfish.tv daniel.gasser@relevance-consulting.com

A high automation rate of content-displaying should be attempted. For example, weather forecasts or snow conditions can be obtained from an external agency and fed onto the information screens through an automated interface so that the employees don’t have to worry about them. To allow for easy promotion video-generation, existing and often-used templates can be stored

RELEVANCE 02/2010

7


HOTEL Marketing

THE ADDE OF ONLINE D SHORT HOTEL VIDEO

14 Source: Republica

RELEVANCE 03/2010


HOTEL Marketing

ED VALUE DISPLAYS, OS, ETC.

Printed hotel documentation and colorful brochures are things of the past. Nowadays, hotel guests want to be entertained. Digital Media offers the optimal carrier to place messages for the relevant target groups. By Barbara Trachsel

The hotel lobby. A place of meetings, a place of communication. Here, the requirements of those checking in and out have to be met. At the same time the lobby is a place for the effective placing of messages. They mustn’t appear invasive, but have to be tailored for the target group. Whether it is a business hotel or a leisure hotel, the guests are interested in a quick check-in or check-out, but they will happily accept some entertainment along the way. Hotel marketing has to be directed at the guests’ emotions and it must support their high spirits. Digital Media supplements printed and online media and allows for capturing the recipient’s attention with interactive, dynamic, and visual contents. Digital communications in a hotel can take the form of online displays, short video sequences, or motion graphics which energize guests emotionally. The virtual concierge The use of online displays, short videos, and motion graphics has to be well-chosen. While the message has to reach the audience and enter their perception, the hotel guests mustn’t be bombarded with an overflow of visual data. Ideally, Digital Media sweetens the waiting time in the lobby, animates the guests to spend some more time there, and most importantly convinces them of the merits of the proposals being advertised. The content can be a presentation of internal hotel events, special offers, or cultural events in the vicinity. The optimal situation is when the visitor is allowed to react immediately. An example is the virtual concierge, a touchscreen terminal allowing guests to immediately book the presented offers. Digital Media as an intermediary In hotel rooms Digital Media may be used as well. They make the guest feel pampered, exquisitely cared for, and sometimes leave them quite dumbfounded. It starts with small signs of attention like a personalized welcome message (with indefinite expansion possibilities) when the guest enters the room. For example, if the visitor’s specific interests or preferences are known from previous visits, the corresponding offers can be tailored to them specifically: What would you like? A session at Beauty&Spa which you’ve booked before? A special event at the gourmet restaurant which you visited last year? Tickets for a match of your favorite soccer team? But, pay attention. Targeted information can seem like invasive advertisements. Guests should feel the individual touch of the offers, but they shouldn’t get the impression that they are being monitored or that their privacy is being compromised.

RELEVANCE 01/2010 03/2010

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HOTEL Marketing

Prevent information overflow While no limits are set when cooperating with partners on digital media projects, you should nevertheless follow the rule of “less is more.” Visitors should receive messages in quick, unobtrusive ways. They should not become overwhelmed with information and visual content. In the end, you should always keep in mind that short videos, motion graphics, and online displays are an excellent addition to the customer relaitions department; however, they are no replacement for personal contact or consultation.

Source: Republica

Success by cooperation The production of online displays, short hotel videos, and motion graphics is a labor-intensive and expensive process. But, if those tools are used in cooperation with partner enterprises, synergistic effects can be exploited and marketing services exchanged. The deciding factor is that both partners have the same target audience. If that is the case, both can deliver services while putting the partners’ services to use and opening up new audiences for themselves. For example, a hotel can decide to cooperate with a fashion business. The fashion shop can provide the hotel’s staff with uniforms and sell their wares in a hotel-owned shop. At the sime time, the online retail is linked to the online displays used at the hotel. The fashion business, on the other hand, integrates offers of the hotel into their newsletter or website. Customer satisfaction should thereby improve. For example, florists can draw attention to their shops by using a video message played in the hotel. Or a regional souvenir shop chain might inform the guests (through a short video sequence) that a small gift has been prepared for them and will be available at check-out, or it can be delivered by the hotel.

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Barbara Trachsel Barbara Trachsel is CEO of the Swiss communication agency Republica AG. With the promise of “360 power,” Republica designs and implements effective, integrated communication solutions for advertising, branding, public relation, internet, and events. www.republica.ch

Contact: Bala.trachsel@republica.ch www.republica.ch

RELEVANCE 03/2010


HOTEL Social Media

THE PERSONAL ENGAGEMENT OF HOTELIERS WITH FACEBOOK AND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA

Source: istockphoto.com

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RELEVANCE 02/2010


HOTEL Social Media

While, in former times, the phone and a bit of gossiping in the hotel lounge constituted social interactions between host and guest, nowadays this role is fulfilled by Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. A clever use of those new communication channels can have a significant effect at a low cost. Here is an introduction to the topic “social media,” using Facebook as an example: Flimser Hotel, Friday morning, 6:30 a.m.: Annina Campbell logs into the hotel’s Facebook account and writes: “Group of snowboarders has been stranded; therefore, we offer a Weekend Special to our favourite guests: You and your companion sleep, eat, and use our wellness are for free from Friday until Sunday!” She sends the same message to her “followers” over her Twitter blog which can be seen by anyone.

Faster and closer to the customers The Weekend Special at the Flimser Hotel is a nice offer which could have been marketed through conventional marketing channels given enough time. But, it’s 6:30 a.m. on Friday. The evening dishes are ready. The snowboarder group of 30 people has cancelled on short notice and will not be present in the restaurant, at the hotel bar, or on the ski slopes. Thus, if the beds are not to remain empty,,action has to be taken fast - very fast indeed! Social media: To be where the guests are If the customer is king - a notion which nearly every hotel states to be true - then there is no way around using social media. It is the core of a good hotel’s identity to personally cater to each guest. Unlike hotel brochures which have a random broad target audience of potential customers, social media is personalized. Facebook, Twitter, Xing, Blogs, recommendation services, or HotelTV. The forms are numerous. A phone call between a hotelier and a repeat customer where an intensive chat takes place and the hotelier presents a nice offer to a long-standing customer is basically the starting point of social media. But, while a personal chat is a really nice gesture, from the commercial point of view, it is horribly inefficient. A hotelier cannot phone every single customer to make special offers. Social media platforms combine the advantages of personal interaction with those of modern communication channels. Along with the phone, Facebook, Xing (more business-oriented), and Twitter (a publicly accessible net-

RELEVANCE 02/2010

work which can be accessed from the internet and from mobile phones) are the communication platforms of today. Internet blogs, on the other hand, can be interesting for hotels only when dealing with a hotel with a special focus or interest (like golf hotels, family-friendly hotels, hotel of the year, etc.) For most hotels, however, a regular newsletter is preferable to a blog . Does every hotel have to catch up on the trend? Some hoteliers might be thinking, “here’s another new trend that costs a lot, but brings little real benefit.” But we rely on history to make a case for social media. History repeats itself. When the internet arrived, many hesitated to use it and claimed that business was running just fine before the internet, instead of exploiting the great benefits the web offered. In some cases, inertia and unwillingness to change prevailed. Although the internet has become the most important, as well as the most efficient, marketing tool for hotels, there are still some hotels without an internet presence. Many continue to invest heaviliy in classical print media and spend only a fraction of their marketing budget on establishing a high-quality web presence. An example to illustrate the point: There are some 1.9 million Facebook users in Switzerland. If a hotelier sees him or herself as a service provider, he or she has to go where the customers are. It is not a question of whether the hotelier approves of Facebook or other social media. Rather, the question concerns the platform best suited for the type of hotel. While a highquality hotel is perfectly suited to use a specifically recom-

19


HOTEL Social Media

Source: Republica


HOTEL Social Media

mended platform, the average hotel probably won’t use it as successfully. This is an individual decision based on the individual hotel, and the wrong choice can lead to lost cutomers. Not a “youth” trend This trend is more than just a trend. This trend is a fact. As of January 2010, in Switzerland 1.9 million people use Facebook for communication, compared to the entire Swiss population of 7.5 million. Worldwide, over 350 million people use Facebook. Thus, Facebook has irreversibly become the communication platform of the new century. For the hotelier, this has a simple consequence. Where everyone else is, the hotelier should be as well. Social media: The universal solution? The use of social media should complement the hotel’s marketing mix. Social media should help the hotelier reach a large number of people, while investing only a modest amount of money. Word-of-mouth should then enable information to spread exponentially. They tell each other that the hotel has 483 “fans.” That makes a serious impression, as 483 people (or how many you could convince) guarantee the quality of the hotel with their name. What more could the hotelier hope for? What other media channels create such an effect with so little an investment on the part of the hotel?

to check out new offers? Maybe several dozen. But, on Facebook, a great deal of people login every day. And, some even spend all their time there...

Flimser Hotel: Weekend Special booked Flimser Hotel, Friday afternoon, 3:50 p.m.: Annina Campbell logs into the hotel’s Facebook page and writes: “Dear guests, our hotel is completely booked. We wish everyone a pleasant weekend.”

CHECKLIST SOCIAL MEDIA Facebook The place to be. What offers can our hotel present on the Facebook page? (Hotel videos? Photo albums? Party snapshots?) Are the contacts from our guest database a good target group for Facebook requests? What incentives can we offer to our Facebook friends? (Vouchers? Drinks?) Twitter Are there enough people who would be interested in reading our stories? Do we regularly publish interesting news? (Christmas calendar? Joke of the week?)

Social media is more than Facebook

Recommendation platforms (assorted):

Many hotels are already using hotel TVs or terminals in the rooms to greet their customers. The greeting can be more elaborate than a simple “Welcome to the Flimser Hotel.” You can place the offer for your Weekend Special on the displays as well.

Recommendation platforms give direct links to your web site. Thus, it’s popularity is increased. A nice side effect is that Google’s ranking of your web site increases. Thus, you will be better placed in Google search results.

The clever, charming host For the detail-attentive hotelier, social networks provide great opportunities. Facebook, Xing, Google, and others provide fantastic research tools for the host. When is a given customer’s birthday? Who of the other 350 guests knows our custumer? There is a good chance that you will find this information. Let Facebook friends sit at the same table. Many customers would be very pleased with that kind of attention. Résumée

Editors: Philipp Benker, Relevance Consulting GmbH, Marketingberatung Martin Baumann, metaphor GmbH, langjährige Erfahrung Hotel / digitale Medien

If you are not using social marketing as a hotelier, you will lose. It’s as simple as that. 1.9 million Swiss cannot all be wrong! What you yourself think of Facebook is irrelevant. Just use it! Open an account. Gain experience. If you are not sure how to proceed, ask your grandchild. He or she will gladly assist you and think it’s cool. Invite your regular customers to join you as Facebook friends. Use an incentive, like a bottle of wine for everybody who registers as your “fan.” Experiment! Let your friends create a slogan. How many people visit your hotel website

RELEVANCE 03/2010 02/2010

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HOTEL Audio

TO ACCOMPANY THE GUESTS WITH MUSIC HOSPITALITY MUSIC SOLUTIONS THROUGH THE INTERNET Thanks to internet channels, music offers for hotels and restaurants which are tailored for specific customer groups and target audiences have become attainable at a reasonable price. Not long ago, the installation of expensive music computers was neccessary to adjust to different guests’ requirements. However, the advantages of “streaming audio” have become obvious. Music which is always up-to-date and adapted to respective areas and time of day while still offering high quality is possible on demand.

The significance of music in hospitality has increased steadily over the last several years. The host doesn’t want to leave the musical accompaniment to chance or to the taste of a single employee. That has long been true for brand images and interiors of hotels, and it has become increasingly important for restaurants as well. Background music is compiled by professionals and constantly updated. The effect and the sense of well-being of the customer are enhanced when the right music is played at the right time and place in the restaurant. When choosing the appropriate music, three factors have to be taken into consideration: the kind of customers who usually visit the restaurant, the brand image, and the employees who spend the whole day in their respective areas. In a hotel, spoken words, like news, traffic information, or radio ads are not appropriate. Thus, conventional radio programs are not good for hotel lobbies or restauants. Local music sources (CDs and music computers), which are still often used, require a lot of time to maintain and update. Furthermore, such installations seldomly provide satisfactory solutions for the issues of volume control and repetition.

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Music distribution over the internet allows for individual choice of music programs in hotels and restaurants. The offers vary from default musical themes to individually tailored hotel radio stations. These systems have the great advantage of being constantly updated without taking up the host’s time. The music is combined by professionals and the choice of an appropriate musical mix is left to the experts. hotelradio.fm - the proven music solution “hotelradio.fm” is a music solution for hotels and restaurants. It includes multiple musical and sound channels. Thus, different areas can be equipped with the appropriate audio background. For example, in the lounge there may be a jazz station, at the bar pop songs, and sounds of nature in the wellness area. Experienced musical editors of hotelradio.fm provide content which is always up-to-date. The full hotelradio.fm solution offers over 40 channels. You will find everything from classical music, jazz, pop from different eras, and modern-day hits to lounge and chill-out offers.

RELEVANCE 02/2010


HOTEL Audio

RELEVANCE 02/2010

25 Source: DMD2, www.lamargna.ch


HOTEL Audio

Functionality is as simple as it gets. The hotelradio.fm tuner gets the digital signal via the internet, decodes it, and puts the resulting music onto the local speakers or hi-fi-system. If you install multiple receivers, different areas can be provided with music from different hotelradio.fm channels. The system does not require a computer. Only an internet connection is neccessary. The installation of ho-

26 Source: DMD2, www.resortragaz.ch

telradio.fm is easy, too. Just plug the tuner into the internet line. No special knowledge is required for handling the device. Just turn it on and the music starts flowing. “Our customers don’t have to worry about updating the playlist or repairing an out-of-order CD player, but can concentrate solely on their guests,” says Michael Nägele, partner and marketing director of DMD2, the company from Bern that produces hotelradio.fm.

RELEVANCE 02/2010


HOTEL Audio

Individual wishes easily satisfied Mit Hilfe von „hotelradio.fm“ lassen sich auch individuelle Wünsche verwirklichen, wie die Anwendung im Grand Hotel Quellenhof in Bad Ragaz in der Schweiz zeigt. Nach den Vorstellungen der Inhaber realisierte hotelradio.fm eine ganz ausgefallene Warteschleifenmusik: As shown by the Grand Hotel Quellenhof in Bad Ragaz,

Switzerland, hotelradio.fm can also be used to satisfy customers’ individual needs. There, the music mix for the waiting loop for callers is an exotic mix of classical music and water sounds. The hotelradio.fm concept is also used to provide music to the different rooms in the hotel. It is also possible to provide a number of channels to the guests in their rooms through the usual cable network of the hotel. The La Bohème Appartement Haus of Hans-Ruedi Julen in Zermatt/Switzerland implements this idea nicely. The guests can enjoy an exquisite opera channel which can be played in the individual rooms through the TV and radio devices. Test us here: http://hotelradio.fm/relevance

Michael Nägele Partner, Director Marketing

Contact: e-mail: info@hotelradio.fm ph: +41 (0)31 961 61 12 web www.hotelradio.fm About: hotelradio.fm™ (www.hotelradio.fm) and DMD² (www.dmd2.net) The Digital Media Distribution AG (DMD²) is devoted to the digital media market. The Swiss enterprise consults the music industry and media holdings, and produces radio mixes for business customers and provides music to stores and hotels. Register now for a free trial at www.hotelradio.fm

RELEVANCE 02/2010

27


HOTEL UK

MALDON HO ONELAN DIGITAL S TO RE-BRA NEW HOTELS ACROSS Having acquired nine hotels from the Choice Hotel Group, Maldron Hotels required a visual display in the reception areas of their properties that would introduce the new brand to visitors to the hotels. In addition, the digital signage was required to provide a variety of information – such as directional information in hotels where meeting rooms or other hotel facilities are located at a distance from the central hotel lobbies - to its customers in a clear, concise and consistent manner. In addition, a notice board facility was required in each hotel to inform guests about events, menus and special offers. Onelan’s Net-Top-Boxes (NTBs) were chosen as the digital signage solution, because of their ease of use and the range of layout designs available. To reach a diverse and large audience base, flexibility in terms of the screen layout and scheduling was of utmost importance. The Onelan NTBs allow a screen to be divided into different zones, which allow different media formats such as Live TV feeds, RSS feeds, animations, still images and audio to be run. A large LCD screen and Onelan Century NTB were placed in the foyers of each of the hotels, to attract the attention of both resident guests and other customers. The screens show restaurant information, latest hotel information, welcome messages and directions to meeting rooms, providing an informative display that shows content relevant to all visitors. Some screen uses vary from hotel to hotel depending on each hotel’s facilities, but all content retains the overall Maldron branding.

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RELEVANCE 02/2010


HOTEL UK

OTELS USE SIGNAGE AND THEIR S IRELAND

RELEVANCE 02/2010

For example, if the hotel has a leisure centre along with a bar or a café then the screens would provide information about the hotel, and about the bar and leisure centre. On the other hand, if the hotel has a conference centre and a restaurant then content would include details on meeting rooms and special offers and opening hours for the restaurant. The digital signage solution received positive comments from resident guests and other visitors. Anthony Murray, Group IT Manager of Maldron Hotels, commented, “In addition to managing the day to day signage needs of our hotels Onelan allowed us the opportunity to communicate to guests the re-branding to Maldron Hotels in a clear and consistent way. We are very pleased with our decision to use Onelan.” Each hotel can personalise its NTB with specific hotel information, while using a standardised format to maintain the branding of Maldron Hotels.

33 Source: Onelan


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