As digital signage providers and integrators, we are often sidelined by client decisions that are born out of ill-conceived plans and ignore some basic fundamentals. These are the digital signage projects that fail.
Communication is an ever-changing landscape, as is a company’s goals and vision, which means we have to guide our clients to consistently evaluate and adjust their digital signage strategy to make sure what we’re doing is effective for engagement and growth.
What Does It Mean to Fail in Digital Signage?
Simply put, failure is not meeting objectives. Let’s say your client wants digital signage to increase customer engagement on social media—they want more likes, follows, and customer posts about their experience with the company. You help them craft a digital signage campaign to attract customers to follow, comment, or retweet and even add incentives for doing so. If at the end of the campaign your client has little to no new followers, then the campaign failed. Which begs the question, where did we go wrong?
Digital Signage Projects that Fail
Projects with a Funding and Knowledge Gap
It’s tempting to look at the success others have had with digital signage and to jump right in without enough thought and planning. This is a mistake clients make over and over. Such projects don’t pan out since clients tend not to consider the full implications of costs relative to goals and objectives.
To avoid digital signage projects that fail because of a funding and knowledge gap, digital signage integrators and resellers have to partner with clients to do proper homework. Clearly outline the objectives you have with the use of digital signage. What does the client want to accomplish? How will you helps them accomplish the goal? Clearly outline the financial needs, and then work the plan forward and backward to identify and fill any holes.
You’ll also need to figure out which metric you’ll use to measure success. Are you looking at ROI in terms of an increase in employee or customer engagement, an increase in tenant satisfaction (e.g. for digital building directories), an increase in upsells (e.g. for POS systems), a decrease in workplace accidents?
If you guide your client in avoiding “leaping without looking” and collaborate closely to put proper thought into what you are doing, you’re much more likely to have a successful digital signage project.
Projects that Focus on Quantity rather than Quality
Many believe that the more the merrier. However, that not always the case with communication and digital signage. Having a lot does not always translate into engaging more. In fact, without quality, quantity will suffer greatly.
Quantity always beats quality. A poorly written and visualized message isn’t going to reach the intended audience. When clients focus on quality, they can build campaigns that engage viewers and incorporate integrator and reseller tools that will improve interest from the target audience.
Projects that do not Consider all Aspects of Future Operations
The best preventative measure for digital signage projects that fail is proper planning.
Poorly planned projects that don’t take into consideration all aspects of future operation can have disastrous results. What does that mean exactly? The future is changing rapidly; in technology, in business, in the ways we communicate. If your client designs their digital signage specifically for now—for where their company is at now and don’t take into account where they may be in 1, 3 or 5 years—they’ll significantly reduce the shelf life of the campaign because it will not stay relevant for long.
As digital signage providers, integrators and resellers, we have the responsibility of spearheading projections; look at what’s happening now, and past and current trends, and how these will impact the effectiveness of our clients’ digital signage. The look at the client’s strategy and review how scalable it is and the shelf life expected.
This will enable our clients to thoroughly prepare to adapt to changing trends and future employee, customer and communication needs.
Projects that do not Engage Stakeholders to Validate Approaches and Assumptions
Stakeholders have a vested interest in the digital signage project, which makes it important to bring them in on important milestones and decisions.
Typically, there are two major challenges in this area: identifying the stakeholders and planning an effective approach to stakeholder communication.
Digital signage stakeholders may include advertisers, network operators, mobile and RFID technology providers, wireless providers, kiosk providers and more. Providers, resellers, and integrators of digital signage need to be in constant communication with these parties. They need to properly articulate and highlight the stakeholder contribution towards digital signage success or failure in order to engage them.
Active participation from stakeholders in validating approaches and assumptions will result in a fluid digital signage network that will consistently deliver on project goals and objective
The Role of Integrators in Digital Signage Success
As providers, resellers, and integrators, we have the advantage of experience. We know what steps are necessary to build solid digital signage projects. While clients own the project, we can control the education of our clients and its effect on project outcomes.
The earlier we begin to educate our clients about the proper frameworks and tools for successful signage projects, the better equipped they are at setting realistic expectations and goals and building powerful and productive digital signage networks that will not fail.