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A smiling woman on a crowded subway looks at her smartphone.

The Rise of Digital Advertising

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Q: When did you start to notice the shift toward digital advertising and marketing (this can include everything from electronic billboards/signage to online advertising to social media)?

  • A: We noticed billboards shifting about eight years ago. While sporadic, it seemed to be increasing over the years. We also noticed it in the QSR/Fast Casual space about six years ago when several clients were looking at changing their menu boards and converting interior menu boards and drive-thrus. This is a slow process due to costs.

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Q: How has it impacted your business?

  • A: Although the increase in digital communications has taken away some print business in the QSR/Fast Casual space, it has really just changed what we’re doing for our retail customers. We’re doing more experiential displays; we’re doing more interactive displays and we’re integrating technology with our displays. And, because our customers still buy print and graphic solutions to promote their brands, things like color and material quality are extremely important to them. We’ve also seen a nice increase in direct mail because consumers still like to touch, feel and review printed items. It breaks through the clutter of emails.

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Q: How are you adapting to this change?

  • A: One of the main benefits of digital is that it’s fast and easy to change your message. Since we do have many customers whose signage/graphics plans do not include digital, we’re designing and producing fixtures and graphics that are easy, fast and safe for in-store employees to change and/or update.

    All our clients are looking for ways to enhance the in-store customer experience. So another way we’re adapting is presenting and executing solutions where traditional graphics/print enhance digital to either create some sort of interactive experience or customer engagement opportunity. Technology (apps) is now a key feature in a lot of our work.

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Q: What do you believe will be the next big disruptor to the industry?

  • A: While we anticipate digital marketing and social media budgets for our customers to grow, we’re also seeing a shift in our retail business that’s going back to focusing on in-store shopper experiences. Some retailers are adding locations because brick & mortar is still a very popular way for consumers to engage with brands.

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  • Thanks to The Vomela Companies for providing these answers. With change comes new opportunities. With an open and innovative mind, graphic manufacturers can continue to support their customers in new and unique ways.

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  • A restaurant has colorful wall and floor graphics and large-scale black and white wall photos of workers.

    While investments in digital advertising and displays are growing, Mary McCahey of The Vomela Companies said that her company still has many customers whose signage/graphics plans do not include digital. For those customers, Vomela is designing and producing more fixtures and graphics that are easy, fast and safe for in-store employees to change and/or update.

  • A restaurant has a “Cookie Cart” wrap logo on the counter and a colorful graphic wrap on the floor.

    And for those businesses still buying print and graphic solutions to promote their brands, things like color and material quality are extremely important, as is enhancing the in-store customer experience.

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