The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said that “the only constant is change,” an observation upon which Carol Nordin has based her career. President at TouchSystems Corporation, Carol started out in finance and worked her way up to company advocate and sales champion by consistently being present in the field and reacting quickly to her findings.
Carol’s interest in digital signage was sparked in 2007 when she saw displays growing and evolving. At the time, TouchSystems was working with small format displays up to 17” in size. Carol noticed that some of the screens in retail stores were transitioning from simple input/output devices and point-of-sale systems to customer-facing displays running advertisements. She immediately began to drive the business in this viewer-friendly direction.
As the technology matured, sales increased. The 17” monitors that sold for $600-700 in 2007 sell for $250 today. Similarly, a 32” display, then considered large format and priced at $6,000-7,000, sells today for $1,500 with touch capabilities to boot. While touchscreens were in use before public interactive displays became available, Carol credits the Smartphone with changing everyone’s view on interactive screens. She dubs it a universal language. “Who doesn’t have an interactive product in their pocket?” she asked. “You even see kids with little tablets on their strollers!”
“Digital signage is more affordable and connected than ever,” said Carol emphatically. “I began my own career with a fortunate position that exposed me to focused education beyond imagination. While the digital signage industry was fragmented and relatively undefined when I started to push TouchSystems in its current direction, the industry can now provide a solid education similar to what I received early on.”
Carol is just as capable of identifying and responding to new trends as she is explaining them to others. At Digital Signage Expo 2014, Carol spoke about omni-channel marketing, noting that educating the industry is the part of her job she enjoys the most. She shares her knowledge not only through speeches but via conversations with potential and existing customers. Stories of her honesty and agility when working with potential clients always end with business wins and longstanding relationships.
Her willingness to share information is also noticeable when Carol speaks about competition, or lack thereof. “There’s no greater reward than helping somebody else be successful,” she said, “and there is plenty of room for success in the digital signage space. The market is so big that there is only a slim chance we will bump into each other.” Carol encourages industry entrants to learn from everyone but make their own decisions. It can be easy to speak with a single manufacturer and be swallowed in its message. Even if that company may be the optimal choice, it’s best to become familiar with all options before making a final decision.
Given her aptitude for staying in touch with the times, I asked Carol about the important trends she has her eye on. She noted that analytics proving effectiveness through the quick delivery of ROI and long-term business sustainment are imperative for selling digital signage solutions. Camera and tracking capabilities play into this, as does the performance of visually appealing screens. In a nutshell, brilliant displays with creative content and analytical abilities will be critical moving forward.
Carol’s “do what you say, say what you do” recipe for success makes it clear what she and TouchSystems will be working on, so make sure to watch and learn.
I have worked in the touch industry in various capacities for more than ten years. That work has allowed me to rise to the position of president at TouchSystems. The role is challenging, but I like it. I now have more frequent opportunities to share my knowledge of the industry. I also have the chance to pursue new technologies and to grow TouchSystems into the company it is meant to be. Part of that growth is sharing the TouchSystems perspective on touch technology with those who are willing to listen. The other part is partnering with like-minded individuals who are looking to the future of the touch industry while remaining grounded in the present.