By Dominic Feik

Choosing the right digital signage solution is both about choosing the right system and the right partner. Choosing the right partner will help you select the right system and also work with you as your needs evolve. Some key considerations in this choice are:

  1. Value for money/Price – While obviously a key consideration, the capital cost is only one component –  the cost of content, management, maintenance, power and system replacement are the true determinants of system cost. Skimping on upfront costs will likely result in higher whole-of-life costs and lower ROI.
  2. Ease of operation – The value you derive from a digital signage solution over its life comes from the use you get from it. A system that is easy to use, flexible, and has the functionality you require will deliver far greater returns than one that is difficult to update. 
  3. R & D capability – Digital signage is rapidly evolving. The best vendor will deliver what you need today, but equally importantly bring you benefits from changes to technology and digital signage strategies as they happen.
  4. Strategic input – Work with someone who understands your business, not just the technology. Applying digital signage in a retail environment requires both retail and technology expertise.
  5. Service Capability – You want to run your business, not maintain a digital signage solution. Choose a vendor who can support your solution with helpdesk, rapid onsite support, and geographic reach. 
  6. Content – While content may come from your existing creative agency or in-house function, developing effective digital content differs in important ways from traditional point-of-sale, print or TV. You need to ensure you have this expertise in your solution.

Common pitfalls in implementing digital signage are:

  • Treating digital signage as static signage that is installed and then updated once every six months. It needs to be frequently updated content to generate value.
  • Skimping on hardware (such as using domestic screens), leading to loss of reliability and longevity.
  • Short-cutting on the digital signage management system (for instance, implementing a USB-based solution), leading to a difficult to update and monitor system.

By using the six points above to guide your digital signage choice, you will minimise the risk of poor ROI from your digital signage solution.

Dominic Feik is General Manager, Digital of Sumo Visual Group, one of Australia’s leading visual display and digital signage providers. He brings to digital signage extensive experience in applying emerging technologies to innovative business strategies, and large-scale IT service delivery.