What is a digital signage “total solution”?

By now you may already know that good software, good content, and the optimal management of the physical equipment are some of the key components of a well rounded solution. Only by delivering this “total” solution can you ensure the successful execution of your project and the achievement of its goals. Here we take that a step further. What follows is a table of major factors, or components, in a total solution.

Component

Description

Project Management From ideation & planning, through various stages of execution, analysis and review, digital signage projects are IT projects and like any other IT project, success digital signage initiatives depend on effective project planning, management and control. This kind of project management is cyclical and continuous as new phases of the project are rolled out, such as a wave of new locations being added to the network, or as new brand partners are introduced as advertising partners.

Likewise with the execution of each distinct marketing campaign the process of improving the programming and promotional messaging on your network is, by definition, a continuous process. Thinking ahead and putting processes in place to steward your project is the key to long term success.

A strong Executive Sponsor who oversees the Project Manager is also a hallmark of successful digital signage projects.

Software The software solution you choose to help operate your digital signage network will either help you to achieve your goals more completely and more rapidly, or it will be an obstacle to reaching your project goals and a financial burden. This is why choosing the right software solution is the most strategic decision, with the greatest implications for success or failure, in any strategic plan.

In today’s connected world you should look for software that helps to make your digital signage network stable and reliable, easy to use, easy to deploy and easy drive growth & participation.

Physical Infrastructure The hardware required to support your digital signage network, things like large format displays (screens), mounts & cables, and media players, are becoming more and more industry standard each year and more and more commoditized.

In September 2014 we introduced a new and streamlined way to connect any TV to ScreenScape. What is ScreenScape Connect?

Content Management It’s obvious to most network operators that, to be effective, digital signage content must be beautiful, engaging and consistent with brand standards. What might be less clear is that good content is anything but static. Rather it must be changed frequently, within specific parameters, and easily adapted to local audiences on a timely basis.

For this reason the effective management of content for digital signage promotions is, by definition, a complex and multi-faceted endeavour that requires constant care and attention. That doesn’t mean, however, that it has to be difficult or costly. With a good software solution in place, one that uses templates to standardize the formatting of content without sacrificing its dynamism and local relevancy, you can create a process that is both efficient and flexible.

Content management refers to the process of creating content, curating digital assets for others to adapt and repurpose in whole or in part, and distributing beautiful and highly tailored content to the right location at the right time.

The scalability of a digital signage solution depends on an elegant software platform that helps to distribute the cost and effort of creating and managing content on a timely and ongoing basis.

An effective content management system will encourage participation among local business owners that want to contribute to the messaging on location in their place of business, and among brands and marketers, or any partner.

The result is a system that balances the need for central coordination and control on the part of the network operator with the need to share the cost and effort of content management with key stakeholders.

Brokering Brokering refers to the process of opening up your digital signage network to allow industry and community partners to participate on terms you deem to be satisfactory. While brokering is closely related to content management, it has tasks and characteristics that are distinct and sometimes overlooked.

In order to monetize your position of network operator you might decide to either sell advertising placement opportunities, or to extend privileges to use your network to a 3rd-party. A 3rd-party might be a content provider, a not-for-profit community partner, or an industry partner that wants to influence purchase behaviour inside the venues that comprise your network.

This process may be simple or complicated depending on the relationship you have with the third party and the kinds of business terms that you deem acceptable. If you would like to professionalize the business of offering advertising placement opportunities you may wish to develop a media kit and a standard rate card for participating advertisers. You may also want to develop a robust method for analyzing and measuring the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns based on playback reports, the health of the devices that comprise your network, and more.

You might also choose to conduct a supplier summit or seminar that invites various industry and community partners to learn about your network and engage with your team to begin participating in the programming and promotional messaging it offers.

Other The five pillars of a total solution are outlined above: Project Management, Software, Physical Infrastructure, Content Management, and Brokering (also called supplier enablement). That said there are a range of peripheral opportunities that might intersect with these core components of a digital signage solution. An exhaustive of list of these extras is beyond the scope of this document. They include brand strategy, the integration of data driven sources of content, the integration of complementary mobile engagement strategies, and more.