Digital Signage- Don’t Do It!

We provide digital signage solutions, we love it and think you would too if you went down that path.  So why on earth would we suggest “not to do it?”  Well obviously the title didn’t afford us the space to explain ourselves.

As we have previously made note of, we finally saw the digital signage boom in 2014 that many had been prognosticating for years.  That same trend has continued through the first quarter of this year as more and more companies are using digital as their signage medium.  Similar to other trends, an increasing amount of people begin to notice and, as such, begin to ask questions.  This is where we enter the picture as one of the few “true solutions” and one of the thousands of “Digital Signage” companies.  

Don't Do ITIt is not only through these customer-company conversations but also through our sales data that we began to notice something.  Most of those who are seeking digital will end up going in that direction but that isn’t what we have noticed.  What we have seen is a lot of self-rationalization that keeps individuals and companies alike from going with a solution that would likely be in their best interest because of the dollar amount, which is perfectly fine!  I have never been the type to shove ROI info and/or do the hard sell to drive people in to something that A- makes them uncomfortable from a financial perspective or B- makes little to no business sense for them.  What I will suggest is that if they are hell-bent on “digital” they should either wait until the capital presents itself to procure their ideal solution or begin with the most primitive of digital- a JPEG saved to a USB > Monitor set to USB input> Voila, “digital signage” and move in to a solution at a later date.

(It is probably worth noting at this point that I recognize that we are not a fit for everyone no matter what the financial situation and contrary to what I may be suggested, we are far from the most expensive on the block)

It is pretty easy to interpret that there is a grand canyon that exists between the USB way of doing things and a system that will provide you the tools you need for a fluid digital process.  In a lot of cases and despite my unsolicited advice, many will “find what they are looking for” right in the middle of this canyon.  They have demo’d a system, spoken with a sales professional and are convinced that they have found what they need.  Truthfully, I am not naive enough to think that this isn’t the case for some.  Now getting to the sales data I mentioned earlier, we have seen 40%+ of our digital business replacing systems that “worked for a while,” or became “too complex to manage” or “doesn’t meet their needs anymore.”  So what we have happening are double investments in to the same signage deployment.

So back to the title, “Digital Signage- Don’t Do It!” What I am saying here is to not enter the market “just because.”  Do your due diligence, determine the needs and wants and work towards the system that checks off the vast majority on your punch-list.  The idea that you can manage your content, or troubleshoot network errors, or schedule your playlist with inferior systems may be the case, however failing to account for your  own time to do so shouldn’t be overlooked.

Take for instance a recent conversation I had with static menu board client of ours who went elsewhere for digital.  He went with what we’ll call a “canyon system.”  He did say that it works, works well in fact, but he did add a tidbit that it took a “few weeks” to figure it all out.  Assuming on the low end that we value his business-owner hourly rate at $50 and assume he put a good 2-3 hours/day in 5 days a week for 2 weeks, we’re looking at $1000-1500 dollars worth of his time.  Now take that time and amount and you can build a bridge over that canyon.  There are disjointed systems where you can “shopping cart” (content here, schedule there, update with them, etc) your way to a good start where this pain is felt later on.

To summarize, I want to again emphasize that there are varying systems that are really, really good and that may or may not work for you.  I don’t want the voice of this entry to come off a “high and mighty” suggesting that it’s us or the highway.  In fact it is the opposite;  I want you to make the best decisions possible in the name of your business and sometimes it aligns itself with us and other times it does not.

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