Digital signage systems have been oversimplified to a plug-and-play solution that can be purchased, installed, and used out-of-the-box. Brands read about the benefits of implementing digital signage and believe that all it takes is a simple transaction — the purchase of hardware — to start a digital signage network.
It’s, however, rarely that straightforward. There’s much more that goes into implementation than purchasing and installing hardware. Digital signage systems resellers need to understand and present the entire ecosystem in order to adequately push digital signage as a value proposition for each client.
Discover Your Value Proposition Advantage
Your value proposition, as it pertains to digital signage, is where profit margins of 80% and more are. Your value proposition is what will make you stand out in a crowded marketplace. Without a compelling one, you are just a commodity and, therefore, are dispensable.
Selling digital signage based on value means selling what you know, your expertise, your specialized skill — not selling a box or tech specs. It’s about what you know, not what you’re selling.
So if you think your digital signage sales could use a boost, consider your sales pitch: are you focusing enough on how to communicate your customer’s specific message?
A differentiated value proposition transcends functional product or service descriptions to express the results your clients can expect to achieve. When crafting your value proposition, consider the following:
- Value cannot be created unless your client has a business problem that needs solving.
- Value, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. No two clients will have the same set of needs and issues. That means you have to customize your value proposition to the specific needs of each client.
- A value proposition based solely on product pricing, features, and performance is not sustainable. It will get you short-term market share, but you will lose when your competition introduces better pricing, features, and performance.
- True value lies outside the product or service you are selling. It’s in what you know, your specialized skill set i.e. it’s in the intangibles that affect your client’s bottom line.
- To consistently win, you must be able to articulate your value when making the decision.
Below we’ve included guidelines on how to create value proposition when selling digital signage:
Starting with Basic Integration
The most basic digital signage systems include a media player, a screen with HDMI output, and content management software. While these elements are necessary to make digital signage functional, the hardware alone does nothing to support the messaging and marketing goals of each user — or produce much profit for resellers. When the adoption of technology is limited to a single purchase of equipment, the ROI is weak on both sides.
Fortunately, hardware sales aren’t the only option available to system integrators hoping to help their clients achieve their marketing goals while still turning a profit. This is where value-added services come into the picture — and where the real value of digital signage lives.
Including Value-Added Services
Hardware sales alone aren’t enough to drive substantial revenue for system integrators. But, those who re-imagine digital signage systems as a value proposition can increase their profit margins by selling value-added services on top of basic digital signage infrastructure. Consider how IT service providers and A/V integrators can use their expertise to drive value for their clients across each stage of deployment:
– Initial project consultation:
Integrators can begin by providing guidance on various deployment strategies tailored to each business user. Consider using data collection tools here to ensure that the goals of signage integration are clear and that everybody is on the same page.
– Network design:
From reviewing financials to determining technical needs, building a primary digital signage network should be led by the system integrators who have the expertise to do the job correctly. This is where those performing DIY digital signage installations often stumble.
– Product selection:
What are the client’s goals? Are they looking to deploy screens at strategic points-of-sale/decision to drive revenue? Do they want to implement video walls? Integrators can help end users select the type of signage that best meets their needs, as well as providing input on the network requirements and technical limitations of each setup.
Naturally, installation is a key driver of revenue for integrators. Most clients crave a seamless installation experience and will be willing to let professionals do the job.
– Software implementation:
Software coding and configuration can also be a billable service. That includes everything from basic software setup to integrating 3rd party applications such as internal databases for reporting, scheduling software for event listings, social media channels, news feeds, or local weather applications. The goal here isn’t to develop content for clients per se, but to take an active role in managing the software to support their overall messaging strategy. Offer them an easy way to embed any unique messaging applications or software tools that will help them achieve their goals. Taking on such an active, ongoing role opens up opportunities for recurring revenue.
– Infrastructure management:
After deployment, integrators can offer clients ongoing network support and troubleshooting management as another way to drive revenue over time. This comprises ongoing management of the digital signage media players, the commercial-grade screens etc. Taking on this role can be as simple as being the middleman between the client and the vendor (the vendors is doing all the maintenance work), or as complex as actually working on the infrastructure. Such continued support improves the ROI of digital signage collaborations. It also fosters ongoing partnerships with clients and provides them with a guarantee that the vendor will stand behind their products.
– End stage consultations:
System integrators can use their industry experience to provide guidance both before and after the project is completed. Strategies here depend on the organization, but should always include assigning a digital signage champion within the organization to act as a single point of contact for signage issues.
Benefits of Value-Added Services
Through these services, the integrator/client relationship extends beyond purchasing and becomes a value-driven partnership. The communication goals of the client are easier to achieve, and a stronger ROI is produced on both sides. These types of services are an essential part of the value of digital signage systems.
Value-added services also offer an excellent way to differentiate from the competition. Selling these services proves to clients that integrators are more interested in helping them get the most value out of their projects rather than just making a sale. This makes integrators more attractive to potential businesses who want straightforward and problem-free installations.
Services also provide a method for competing against digital signage vendors who compete only on price. They might have the cheapest equipment on the market. But, the value of the expertise and insight that quality digital signage vendors offer is worth more than any short-term cost savings.
Providing Necessary Education
These services have benefits for both provider and user. However, most clients still view digital signage systems as a one-time investment in hardware. In reality, services is where most digital signage budgets go. That’s why companies who purchase digital signage from cheap vendors and perform DIY installations often don’t achieve their goals. They end up uninstalling it several years later. The insight of industry experts and digital integrators is a vital part of digital signage as a value proposition.
But this is the problem — clients interested in digital signage systems don’t understand the critical role that integrators play. They are hesitant to purchase additional services on top of their initial investment. Therefore, education is important in supporting digital signage adoption for both integrators and the public as a whole. There needs to be a shift from viewing it as a “product” to seeing it as an ongoing collaboration between industry experts to achieve communication goals. The value of digital signage isn’t the technology itself — it’s the insight of those operating it.
Pushing Digital Signage as a Value Proposition
Data by Grand View Research predicts that the digital signage market will more than double in value over the next decade, with more and more businesses leveraging its benefits for business growth. And of course, value-added services are a substantial portion of this increase.
Looking ahead, system integrators must begin pushing a more comprehensive approach to digital signage adoption. End users may view it only as a one-time investment. However, the hardware must be complemented by high-value services if either party hopes to achieve a healthy ROI. To help users understand this, integrators must reframe how the benefits of digital signage systems are sold and start selling it as a value proposition rather than a product.
As an industry, vendors must help customers recognize that short-term cost savings are not a substitution for long-term project success. The best value for their investment is found by taking an ongoing approach to building their digital signage solutions.