Digital signage allows the display of information or advertising content on screens installed in public spaces. Unlike conventional signage, digital signage can include video and other dynamic elements to enhance the message and allow a single installation to display a range of content at various times.
“Like any other technology, digital signage needs to serve a purpose and provide a clearly defined benefit.”– David Gemmola, Fifth Dimension research director
Reasons to go digital
A recent study by Fifth Dimension Research and Consulting across a range of industries found four common reasons businesses invested in digital signage: brand perception (particularly to convey a “modern” image to the market); cost efficiency; to sell advertising space to third-party advertisers; for their own advertising purposes to drive sales revenue; and as part of an integrated solution incorporating an interactive element.
Four ways to make it work
So if these are the factors behind the push for digital signage, how can businesses ensure a return on their investment? Director of Fifth Dimension Research David Gemmola offers four points to keep in mind when considering digital signage:
- Have a clear objective for investing in digital signage
“Like any other technology, it needs to serve a purpose and provide a clearly defined benefit,” Gemmola says. “It need not be a strict metric, it could be something less tangible such as brand positioning, but it needs to be agreed that this is why you are making the investment.”
- Design a complete solution with the objective in mind
“If you’ve got a clear understanding of what you want to use it for, you’ve got to then design an appropriate solution to achieve that rather than going into it in a piecemeal manner,” Gemmola says. “Some companies would just build on a system incrementally without actually having a bigger picture in mind. They may not be able to invest in the entire technology infrastructure immediately, but they at least have a clear picture of what the end goal is in terms of the technology solution such that you can add to it and pursue that purpose.”
- Remember that digital signage is more than the screen
“If you’ve got the smarts in the back end – the control systems that feed the screens – then you are going to get a better solution,” says Gemmola. “Content management and content distribution are very important insofar as the more sophisticated the system you put in place, the greater capability you have to use the screens in an effective manner.” Your audience changes depending on the time of year and month, even throughout the day, so effective scheduling of content is vital to success.
- Know what you want to measure
Digital signage systems must be constantly tracked, and measured so that performance is optimised, and ROI assured. There are many factors for which you could obtain metrics, so you need to work out what is going to be useful to you. “It could be consumer engagement, particular things that are going to drive revenue, effectiveness of directional signage,” says Gemmola.