The Power of Engaging and Inspiring Audiences with Digital Signage

The Power of Engaging and Inspiring Audiences with Digital Signage

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Unedited transcription of the show is included below:


Welcome to Mr. Biz radio, Biz. Talk for Biz owners. If you're ready to stop faking the funk and take your business onward and upward, this show is for you. And now here's Mr. Biz, Ken Wentworth.


All right. Welcome to another episode of Mr. Biz Radio with me, Mr. Biz Ken Wentworth. And we today, this week, today, this week, we're going to talk about an interesting thing that's continuing to evolve in the business world, and that is around digital signage. But before we get into that, we've got a lot of other things to talk about. So our guest this week has been a prior guest, and before the show started here, we were actually talking.


He's a FOS, he's a friend of the show, former central Ohio resident. Now he's moved to the warm, sunny skies of Florida. And so I'm a little jealous of, you know, we've obviously stayed in touch and all that kind of stuff, and he's been involved with a lot of grant cardone related activities and everything over the years, and we connect with those as well, and we'll talk about that. He's actually done something different with sort of the Cardone family of companies, and we're going to talk about that a little bit later in the show.


Pretty exciting stuff. But before we get into that, I want to welcome to the show the COO chief operating officer, the man with the plan of Coffman Media,Jason Ault. Welcome back to Mr. Biz radio.


Thanks for having me, Mr. Biz.


Yeah, as I said, before the show started, I was talking to Jason, and I'm like, I know you were on before. So literally, this is how long it's been and how much time flies. So Jason was on, and we had him on. They were celebrating their 10th anniversary at Coffman Media, and he was actually, when we were doing the show in the radio station studio, we weren't doing video or anything back then. And so Jason came on, and they were having a celebration for their 10th anniversary of Coffman Media.


And just a few days ago, actually, at the time of this recording, they celebrated their 14th anniversary. So I'm like, holy crap, Jason, it's been four years since you've been on the show. I can't believe it's been that long. So why don't we start there, Jason, if you haven't seen the show when Jason was on before, go back. It's out there on all the platforms and all that kind of stuff. I don't want to rehash a lot of that stuff, but there's a lot of stuff I know you guys have done and you guys have changed some things up over those four years. Tell us a little bit about, I guess, a Coffman Media update overall.


Yeah, absolutely. Well, first and foremost, I think the newest thing is having a second office in Florida, in Jacksonville. We opened that. It'll be two years this coming June. So it's hard to believe it's been that long, but that's been really great to kind of grow the market. We've actually hit our 13th country that we have our software and services in. So that was a big milestone over the last 14 years.


And then we have kind of shifted based upon client need from, yes, we provide digital signage as our number one solution offering, but we're also helping others do that through our partner program. So traditional sign companies, it shops, business consultants, architecture firms, people that want to or naturally have customers that will want or need digital signage. It's a natural bolt in. We go in and teach them how to do it, give them the methods to buy and to resell and become that expert, the man behind the curtain, if you will.


And then we've also added some really great room, meeting room solutions. We all know that we're meeting like this and we're able to come in and help huddle rooms, large conference rooms and be able to share because we've all been to those rooms where it's like, how in the world do I get my screen to that with their antiquated plug this in and do this, and it never works. And so we just really have a great solution for that aspect. And we've been really driving it home with kind of those new offerings and new products.


I guess maybe it's kind of a duplicative answer here. So if it is, just let me know. Especially again, it's been four years since you've been on, but especially, obviously this post Covid time. Right. So what have you noticed the shifts and changes with Coffman Media, especially post Covid, right. Post March of 2020 or whatever, literally three years ago that you've noticed? Obviously the virtual thing is a big thing, but have you noticed other things that have shifted, Jason, in the business and you guys have had to kind of bob and weave and change a bit.


We have. I mean, just the way that our customers want to do business with us, whether that be having financing offerings because they're going to hold their purse strings a little tighter. So we've had to link up with folks that can provide those resources and financing options to customers. Now, even though we're doing remote things. Still, they want to see us face to face. So our travel has been ridiculous. I think last year I spent 100 days on the road, or a little over 100 days, 107.


So that's been something that was different. Even pre Covid, no one really wanted us to travel. But now I think everyone's kind of let loose, and so we're back out on the road and doing things a little differently. And then I also think the new ways digital signage is used is exposing itself from the results of COVID getting information out as fast as humanly possible to everyone within an organization, whether on premise or in a remote location. And we're able to help them do that.


Well, it's interesting you say that, because that's a little bit counterintuitive that you're traveling more now. I mean, more than Covid, right, but more than pre Covid, even. I mean, what's kind of crazy, I've seen a little bit of that, too, in that I think that people. We got a little bit not soured on it, but people kind of moved away from it. And then Covid obviously just cut it all off and then people kind of eased back into it.


But I feel like that sort of old school way of the handshake and sitting across the desk from someone is really coming back into favor now. And it seems that your experiences kind of supports that.


Yeah, I think you're spot on. I mean, everything, what's the phrase was once old becomes new again. People miss that handshake deal, if you will. People want to see who they're doing business with, not necessarily just from a laptop. Whether you have a high ticket item or a low ticket item, it's all about the relationship. Because at the end of the day, no matter what industry you're in, competition will creep up. And so the only thing you really have to differentiate yourself is your service and yourself.


And that's our value proposition, is you're doing business with us. Me, Jason, Tim, Tyler, whoever it is from our team, you're doing business with that individual. And they happen to be on the ship called Coffman Media.


Yeah, I love it. And I got to tell you, I actually just reached out to Jason recently. I've got a client here based in central Ohio that they have. Just to give you guys an idea of. I mean, you guys know the power of digital signage, but they've had a sign that they've had on the side of their building pretty like 18ft by 18ft ish on the side of their building. That's just a simple old school lighted sign.


It faces east, and so it gets a crap ton of sun every day, right. So I don't know how old the sign is now. It's quite old. It's got faded and it doesn't look great. And when you light it up at night, it just doesn't shine because it's been so faded, everything. And so I recently were exploring some options, replace that sign, and reached out to Jason recently to say, hey, what would it look like for us to get an 18 foot by 18 foot digital sign up slap on the building to where we could have different messages?


You could do all sorts of things, all sorts of different options, instead of just a static sign that's got, that's what it is right now. It's a big, giant logo of the company with nothing else on it. So a lot of different options there. And I'm sure you guys have seen a lot of really cool stuff that they're doing in the digital signage world. We're going to talk a little bit more about that, but I think next, Jason, we're going to hit a break here, but I want to talk a little bit about this new thing you've done.


Well, not super new, but fairly recently that you guys have done with Cardone ventures, part of the grant Cardone Enterprise World umbrella or whatever, a program called ten X 360. And I want to talk to Jason @about that a little bit. I know when we were at Growthcon last year out in Vegas, I think is when you guys signed up, if I remember correctly, and it was like, oh, man, I can't wait to talk to you about how this goes and everything because Brandon Dawson, who kind of is the main man running cardone ventures or whatever, is a big part of that. So we're going to hit a break here again, talking this week with Jason Ault Coffman Media, We'll put that in the show notes as well.


Come back after the break. We'll give the Mr. Biz tip of the week and we're going to dive into this whole concept of ten x 360. What does that look like? What has been Jason's experience with Coffman Media with ten X 360?


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All right, welcome back to show it's time for the Mr. Biz tip of the week this week. And as they are often when I say them out loud, they seem extremely obvious. And you're like, geez, captain obvious, thanks for that. But this is something I see, frankly, too often with clients, with people who come to me and ask me questions, people I mentor, and that is to make sure that when you have a challenge in your business, that you're focusing on the problem.


Duh, not the symptom. And again, what I think happens so often is you're chasing, you're putting out fires too often, and you're just chasing everything. Oh, my gosh, we got a problem over here. And you treat the symptom, you put a band aid on the problem, on the symptom instead of treating the problem. Dumb example. But I use this example all the time, and it seems to resonate with people, is if I blow up my acl on my knee, I'm not going to take ibuprofen every day, three times a day for the rest of my life.


I'm going to figure out the problem. I'm going to treat the problem. First of all, I'm going to get my ACl fixed. And then potentially what you do is you figure out, how the hell did I blow up my acl in the first place. Right? Don't just keep taking ibuprofen. I know that sounds like a silly example, and it's kind of extreme for a reason, because too often people do that. Again, you get so tactical in your business and without thinking strategically that you got a problem. And holy crap, I got to put this fire out. You put the fire out instead of figuring out what caused the fire.


Extremely important thing to do to make sure you take a step back in your business when you do have a challenge like that and make sure, and maybe that day you just got to put the fire out. I get it. But then go back with your team and figure out what the problem is. Address that. Super important. Again, sounds very obvious, but it happens so often as we're running around chasing fires and becoming too tactical in our businesses. Too often.


That's Mr. Biz tip of the week. All right, back with Mr. Jason Ault here with Coffman Media. So, Jason, so this ten x 360 thing with cardone Ventures, first of all, I guess fill us in a little bit. First of all, what is it? And then kind of why did you guys decide to go this route?


Yeah, absolutely. Well, I think you actually chose the business tip of the week very well because the ten x 360 does just that for your business. It focuses on the problems or just the business itself and not all the other symptoms that you think you need to be focusing on or all the other tasks. It's really this holistic view, this complete 360 picture of your business, and they really start tearing down and rebuilding the core elements of people development and alignment, because if you don't have connected people, you're not going to have a connected business expansion and operations.


And then how do you plan for that? Where do you go next? Where are you at now? And then how do you get from a to b? They talk about the financials and modeling and reporting. How do you continue to look at your numbers to ensure you're going the right way on the operations and planning and when to hire and when to stop and freeze based upon those numbers and reporting. And then obviously the thing that drives the whole engine, the sales, marketing, and execution. So it kind of takes a look at those four core elements of your business and either builds them up and keep the foundation that's already there just completely tears them down, because maybe it built on sand and rebuilds it more on sturdy foundation.


Well, I love that. And it's funny, one of the things I know that I've heard Brandon talk about, Brandon Dawson at Cardo Ventures talk about often is this whole notion of, at a minimum, you got to have a business that's doing $250,000 annually per employee. And I've been using that metric. I was using 275. I heard Brandon do it. I'm like, Brandon's probably a bunch smarter than me. He's got more experience. I'm going to go with 250, but it's a super important metric. And again, I know they do a ton of different things, but just to use as an example. I've heard them talk about that. So I guess, what's been your experience so far with it, and how far along are you? Where are you at in the process?


Yeah, we're two months shy from being involved a year into the ten x 360 process. And I would say we've got the v one of implementation done, so 100% around the whole wheel, if you will, because outside of those four cores, you also have. Each one of those cores has three things that you need to focus on itself. So as you go around the circle, there's twelve second ring items, if you will. And we've gone around the whole gambit from the core four to that second ring of twelve.


And now it's ever evolving. We're dialing it in and basically using that as our steering wheel. Everything from our data and infrastructure to how we're doing competitor analysis or acquiring talent, really burning down our processes and rebuilding them, aligning our team, doing employee modeling, to making sure we know how to communicate to that person. Because how I talk to you, Mr. Biz, is not how I need to talk to the person over in the corner. So how do I become like minded with them?


And then the biggest driver for us is really diving in and going, how do we invest into our employees? Because we're saying, hey, employee, hey, team, come in and give us eight to five or whatever their time is. But how do we give back to them from five until they come back in the morning? And we need to know what drives them from personal, professional, and financial goals and help them achieve that. Because if they help us achieve their goals, it's our duty and obligation to help them achieve theirs as well.


Yeah, I love that. So what would you say, Jason, so far, ten months into this, what's been sort of the biggest eye opener that you guys are like, holy crap, didn't even realize that, or whatever. What's been that biggest eye opener you've seen so far?


It might seem like it was the duh moment, but really diving in and doing purposeful one on ones and understanding what our operations manager goals are personally, professionally, and financially, because we're uncovering, one person might want to learn how to play the drums better. Well, how can we help them achieve that along the way? And it's not just about giving them money, but maybe we found a clinic and we get them tickets for that. Or they have a goal to go to Mykonos, Greece, and, okay, well, if you do XYZ in your KPIs, because, again, everything is now data driven and reporting and modeled, then maybe we'll do a leg of their ticket or whatever it might be.


That was really the biggest driver is once we started investing in, and we've always had a good culture, but truly pouring into understanding how can we help their home environment when they're not inside of our four walls? That's when it just really started to resonate.


Yeah, I love that. And it's another one of those things. It's kind of like the tip of the week this week is, especially as a business owner and maybe even a small business owner, you got less than 50 employees, and you get too much in the tactical. You're running around constantly chasing, putting out fires and all stuff. That sort of element to your business is something that we all know is important. Like you mentioned Jason, like, well, it kind of seems like a da moment, but it's easily, I don't say forgotten, but push down the list, right. Because, oh, I want to have a one on one with Jason, but, man, I got to go do this. I got to do this. Jason. We'll meet next week, and then next week comes and know Jason's out or I'm out, and then it gets pushed back, and it gets pushed back, and next thing you know, it's off the calendar.


And I think that's super important. And I talk about this all the time, which, and it fits right in with this is becoming the employer of choice. The bar is so low because what I just mentioned with that, that when you were doing things like that, I can't imagine. I would be really curious to see if you guys had taken, like, an employee survey before you started implementing some of these things and then doing it after you've done some of the stuff, because I guarantee you it would be off the charts.


Right. Because people appreciate that because not enough business owners are doing it.


And to your point, we did do that instructed by cardone venture team. And you're absolutely right. It's a hockey stick curve. We had some really low scores, and it's like, oh, shoot, are we really that bad in that particular area? Self reflection. It's like, oh, we've got a lot to work on, but now we're kind of humming along. Yeah, we still have bumps and bruises and things. Who doesn't? But now we have a way to get back on track. And all of these things, no matter if it's the personal, professional, financial goals or anything else, they have to be non negotiables, and we built them as pillars of the business.


Yeah, I love it. And again, it makes you the employer of choice. It's going to help you have, your employees are going to be recruiters for you, and they're not going to recruit people that are crappy, right? Because they don't want to pull the slack for someone who's a bad employee. I mean, it's just a massive way to accelerate and scale your business. Again, talking with Jason Ault from Coffman Media. We're going to come back and we're going to get some tips on how digital signage can help you solve many of your business problems that you don't even realize.


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All right, welcome back to show, and it is time for us to pick Mr. Ault’s brain a little bit about digital signage. So again, some of these things that you might not even consider, you go, oh, I know, signs, blah, blah, blah, whatever. But I know that Coffman Media has what I feel like. And again, I'm not big into the digital signage world, but I think are kind of unique approaches to help you solve some of your business problems that, again, that you're like, holy crap, I could do that with the digital sign.


And maybe you hadn't even thought about those things, because again, it's one of those things that's kind of, we've got some billboards up, or we've got a bulletin board, old school with push pins, and that's how we update employees or whatever it is. So, Jason, tell us a little bit about some of those things that you've been able to work with clients and use digital signage to really just create some unique and innovative approaches to solving some of those problems.


Sure. At the end of the day, digital signage can be kind of boiled down to three main areas. You're trying to engage, trying to illuminate or inspire an audience, regardless of what vertical you're in or where you're at in the world. And digital signage is able to do that. So we've all been to a sports stadium or some sort of grand lobby where there was this visual piece, and it created a stunning experience that was meant to engage. You think about going to the blue jackets or any other sporting event, and they take out all of the jumbotrons and video walls and screens. It'd be pretty boring.


So it's really meant to drive that engagement, to drive that experience, and then to even be the inspiration behind organizations. And again, that's across vertical, and it could be front of house, back of house. It really doesn't matter. Everything boils down to those three elements.


Yeah. And I think that's important. And one of those things, and this is a really silly example, but I'm almost positive they were doing this. Yeah. Because you've only been gone from central Iowa for a couple of years, and I know you travel up here pretty, you know, a very simple example of this that I actually kind of look forward to. And this is going to sound kind of stupid, and it's not really business, but the digital signs over the highways and some of the highways in Ohio, and my wife, actually, she's a nurse, and the guy who actually writes the messages for that, she has a patient recently, and he's the one for those that don't live in Ohio, they usually have something that's pertinent information.


Right. So you see things about traffic and things like that, which is obviously important, but they also have funny messages about making sure to buckle up, making sure to put your phone down, not being a distracted driver and things like that. And again, I thought, man, that's another interesting way to be able to use digital signage, pre digital signage. You got billboards, which we still have those, right? Non digital billboards, I should say.


And you kind of get ignored because they're the same all the time. They're static, whereas with these, they're updated very regularly. I passed through one this morning and I looked up to see, like, there was a traffic, and then the next screen over was like, what funny message is on it today? Because I know it's not a static message. It's changing. It's evolving time. And so I think that's another thing that digital signage brings to the marketplace. That over old school sign or something that's more static.


And like you said, the experience, it enhances the experience, whatever that experience is, whether it's a sporting event, whether it's coming into work every day and finding out that, oh, today's Tyler's birthday, and we're all going to go to cheesecake factory, whatever it might be. But I think it enhances the experience so much.


Yeah, you're absolutely right. I mean, there's really five things that a digital display could do outside of those three cores of its root being. But you want to enhance the engagement. So bring awareness to that employee, to that customer coming in. You want to have real time content updates. To your point, those billboards on 270 or 315, they're going to tell you how far it is to get down to Grove City. Well, you might want to veer off because of a crash or whatever. It may be cost effective, to your point, of static billboards or anything static, the more times you have to reproduce it because of an update, spelling error, price change, whatever that costs money to do that, not only just from the print, but from the logistics, the employee time to change whatever it is out, and then you have operational efficiency. So that's kind of to your point. Again, back to the billboards or ensuring employees that might not be tethered to email because they're on a manufacturing floor, getting them the information as soon as humanly possible.


Real time creates better operations and thus streamlines that efficiency for the organization. And then targeted communication, meeting the audience at the time when they're there in front of the screen. We're getting into some really cool AI driven stuff where we can know that if we're tethering to an app or we're just saying, hey, this is a 50 plus male. His sentiments are leaning toward happy, show him this kind of content, or based on proximity to the screen.


So we're really drilling down into really a limitless possibility. Once that screen is there, that's the initial gateway, and then we can do a ton of different things from there.


Yeah. And I love what you mentioned because I think so many people about the whole email aspect, like the kind of old school way that people were communicating, especially, like just an example you mentioned in a manufacturing environment where you got this giant warehouse, a giant floor. And I just talked to someone who's not a client, hopefully will be a client soon, that I can help with this particular aspect among other things. But they're relying on employee communication coming through email.


And one of the things they mentioned to me was at least a third of the people don't check their email often enough. To your point about having it very getting it out there as soon as possible, whereas having digital signage to where you can update something like that on a floor, on a manufacturing floor, whatever it might be, instead of you're relying on people that if you're working on a line in a manufacturing environment, are you checking your email during your work? Email during the day?


I mean, when you get a lunch break, is that your priority? Probably not. Right. And there might be something intraday that they want to make sure they communicate to employees so that they come over the loudspeaker. Well, depending on the environment, maybe they can't because of the noise factor or people have headphones on or whatever it might be. And so I think there's a lot of aspects that digital science brings to the plate that helps with a lot of those communication issues like you outlined, Jason.


Yeah, you're absolutely right. And again, when you boil it down, it's those three inspire, engage and communicate. And you're just trying to do that in a more efficient manner. And at the end of the day, it's becoming a tool that as more organizations adopt it, because I would say it's trending upward to 86% of businesses have some form of digital signage, whether it's just PowerPoint plugged into the screen via HDMI and driving on a laptop all the way to what I was mentioning, kind of AI driven content delivery.


Everyone is dipping their toe in. It's just a matter of time before it's going to become that necessary tool that you have to have in order to do business in the present world.


Yeah, I mean, it's lead follower out of the way as far as I'm concerned. I mean, ten years from now, it's not going to be 86%, it's going to be 96%. And the four that aren't doing it are probably going to be out of business soon. I mean, let's be honest, seriously. So you might as well get on board now and figure out ways innovatively to do that. And again, it goes back to even one of the things, Jason, I'll take it back to the last segment, and you mentioned having some of the things with ten x 360 of engaging with employees. That's a big part of it.


Whatever messages you have, and like you said, a workstation in front of someone specific that you want to send someone specific, a message. You want to give someone a shout out. You want to give a team a shout out. Hey, KPIs, yesterday this team had 102% efficiency. Right. That public recognition, things like that. I mean, it's super important and easy to do.


And also gamification. So if you have someone that's underperforming and on their team and they see they're outperforming from their peers, they're going to maybe boost up their morale or their effort a little bit because they don't want to be the lowest person on the totem pole. So it really becomes that driving force to boost even productivity levels.


Yeah, I think the gamification is super important because I know some companies will use a bulletin board and maybe they'll print it out every day. But then if you're the low performer, you just stop looking at the board because I don't want to see it. I'm at the bottom. I don't want to see it. Right. This is up in front of everybody. Everybody's seeing it all the time. So super important again, easily can drive productivity again, talking this week with Jason Ault, Coffman Media,


Check them out. Jason, thanks so much for coming on the show again. I really appreciate it.


Thanks for having me.


Yeah, absolutely, guys. Thanks for watching. Thanks for listening. Have a great rest of your week. And don't forget, as always, cash flow is king.


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