Success involves more than what you see on the surface
The digital signage industry is growing fast, and the benefits of it are becoming clear. According to a recent report, the worldwide market is expected to reach $23.76 billion by 2020, at a compound annual growth rate of 8.18% between 2015 and 2020. Behind such growth is the value digital signage adds to the bottom line: significant increases in brand awareness, sales and repeat business.
Digital signage communicates with targeted audiences in a more dynamic, engaging and effective way than other, more traditional mediums. Sometimes, however, companies that are considering digital signage put too much emphasis on the elements of it that are most obvious to their customers: modern, ultra-thin bezel displays, for example.
Markets1 and Markets Research: Digital Signage Market worth $23.76 Billion by 2020
Those are important, of course, but too much focus on them sometimes means organisations neglect the bigger picture. A successful digital media solution accounts for much more than what you see on the surface.
It’s what we call the digital media iceberg
We’ve broken it down into three key components:
- Really Sexy Stuff
- Pretty Sexy Stuff
- Geeky Stuff
If you’re considering digital signage make sure your focus extends beyond the sexy stuff
We’ll look at the less glamorous side of digital signage and provide some tips and tricks to avoid a shipwreck when you’re designing and implementing your solution. You’ll find that in terms of planning, decision-making and ultimate success, many of the elements that lie beneath the surface often are ones you want to bring to light first.
When you think of digital signage, the “really sexy stuff” immediately comes to mind: gorgeous displays showcasing amazing, dynamic content. That’s what everyone wants, and understandably so since they are the elements of signage that are most obvious to your customers.
Those same sexy elements of digital signage get us excited about its soft benefits: enhancing the customer experience, or how we assume people are going to react when they come into a store or restaurant with attractive, modern-looking displays. Among those assumptions? Our signage is so spectacular that customers are going to think about their experience days after. Or they’re going to be more brand-loyal because of it.
Displays are going to lose their luster, no matter how cool they are. But purpose-driven solutions will stand the test of time.
This pie in the sky thinking isn’t realistic and doesn’t address the heart of your solution: why are you considering digital signage in the first place? Displays are going to lose their luster, no matter how cool they are. But purpose-driven solutions will stand the test of time.
Sure, it’s tempting to plunge into screen types and sizes and spend time imagining content that’s going to make a big splash right from the start. And yes, both are critical in creating an engaging and memorable experience. But that doesn’t mean they are the first things you should consider in developing your digital signage program. Don’t be seduced by beautiful flat screens. They’re just a means to an end and should be considered much later in the process.
Avoiding a shipwreck
How to implement your digital signage solution
So now you know that the sexiest elements of digital signage aren’t necessarily those that should be at the top of your to-do list when you’re planning and implementing a program. What should be? Consider these steps, in this order:
Define your objectives
- Understand your audiences and their expectations.
- Consider other marketing channels and how they need to work together to drive results.
- Define success. What does it look like for your company? What are you hoping to accomplish with your digital signage?
- Define quantitative ways to measure success. Measures can include POS analysis for sales uplift, facial recognition for attention tracking and even the good old customer survey.
- Develop a media strategy and content design plan that will guide your work on an ongoing basis.
- Craft the content workflow process. It’s important to make the process as simple and efficient as possible, while making sure you have checks and balances in place to eliminate mistakes.
- Develop a programming strategy.
- Select the right hardware – displays, media players, tablets, mobile, etc. – to support your strategy.
- Choose a content management system that will support your creative and programming strategies and applications.
- Develop an implementation strategy that takes into account network design and integration and data integration.
- Create a technical support plan and implement a monitoring system.
Digital signage is being deployed in almost every industry and in an array of sizes: from single-site implementations to nationwide projects in thousands of locations. And with its contribution to brand awareness and sales, digital signage can be a fruitful investment.
But no matter the specifics of your program, remember that you need to think about the entire ecosystem – the sexy and the not-so-sexy. Like our iceberg, there is so much more to a successful digital signage solution than meets the eye.