The 5 Best Project Management Tools to Use With Digital Signage

No matter what initiative your company is working on, having everyone on the same page and working toward common goals is beneficial. Consider an army. There’s a lot we can learn about elite team building from some of the strongest teams in the world. Team allegiance is featured heavily in the oaths that soldiers take, and for good reason. Navy SEALs pledge that their “loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach.” US Army Rangers vow ”Never shall I fail my comrades.” Working together, trusting each other, and properly communicating are actions that a strong team engages in regularly. Obviously, teamwork can be the difference between life or death in combat situations. 

Man looking at digital display of project management dashboard

It’s unlikely you’re facing anything so weighty within your organization. That being said, teamwork and collaboration are essential in the workplace. Collaboration and cooperation can have a profound impact on your bottom line. In fact, a study by Mckinsey stated that 97% of employees and executives believe that a lack of alignment within project teams negatively impacted an initiative or task. Additionally, they found that workers spend 14% of their week on communicating and collaborating – but they are able to reduce that time significantly when using internal tools to communicate more effectively. 

Project Management Tools

That’s where a project management tool comes in. Regardless of project scope, size, or nature, it’s likely that a project management tool can help keep everyone on the same page. Project management is the concept of measuring progress in a formal way. Additionally, it gives team-members a heads up on any potential issues. Project management is a science all it’s own, but a project management tool can help leaders to monitor timelines, deadlines, forward motion, and upcoming challenges.

Project Management Dashboards

In project management, a dashboard is the tool that gathers data on key performance indicators across various aspects of the project and then displays them in a way that’s easy to reference and understand. These KPIs commonly include performance and progress (across variables like time and cost), workload information, resource allocation, and other critical project metrics. 

A typical dashboard is a collection of widgets that takes the form of charts or graphs, and updates in real time. Project management dashboards can take several forms, from a custom solution built in-house, to any number of platforms available on the market. Usually, companies will get the most benefit by implementing dashboards that speak directly to the department managing projects, such as marketing, operations, etc. 

Since dashboards offer one place for team members to see all of their project data laid out, there’s a tremendous benefit to installing project management dashboards across digital office screens. Similar to the army example, this information helps organizations drive toward their goals. Ensuring project information is visible and accessible to any people working on the initiative is critical. Furthermore, displaying dashboards in the office setting is a great way to boost employee engagement, which is a critical component of employee productivity and company growth. 

Example of a project management digital dashboard

Why display Project Management Platforms on your Office’s Screens? 

There are several benefits to using your office’s screens to display project management dashboards or other reporting: 

Visibility

A good PM tool can help to mine, calculate, and articulate data in a way that lets teams see at a glance if their projects are on track. The inherent purpose of a PM tool in the first place is to expose that information in a way that’s helpful. Keeping this reporting transparent is easier said than done – but making sure it’s accessible in your office space is a good place to start. 

Time and Money Savings

If you’re in the position of running a project within your company, how often do you find yourself asking for updates? What about reports, data, calendars, or paperwork?  Without proper PM tools, staff needs to spend time pulling all of this and organizing it into digestible formats. All that time spent gathering and configuring could be spent actually working on tactics of the project! With widgets already created, managers can check on progress at any time without stepping away from something else to generate or ask for a report. 

Centralized Data

One of the key features of a PM tool is the ability to compile important information in one place. This is the main way that PM tools can enable efficient teams. People who need to be in the loop don’t have to toggle from one screen to another, use additional tools, or create their own reports. 

Enable Data-driven Decisions

Any business leader wants to make choices informed by actual statistics. Data-driven decisions are naturally better ones, but sometimes the platform to make that data available isn’t present. Consider the benefits of giving your entire department access to figures that can help them make better decisions on a day-to-day basis. 

Accountability

It would be great if every project update showed that your team was right on track with no hurdles to worry about. Unfortunately that’s not realistic in a project management capacity. To get the results you truly want, you need to understand where things are falling behind. Better yet, your team should be able to see where things are falling behind before it becomes too much of a problem. Good or bad, staff can see what’s happening with key initiatives and take the necessary steps to keep things moving in the right direction. 

The Best Project Management Tools

Hopefully, if you weren’t bought into aligning your PM tools with your digital signage before, you are now! In a recent post, we covered different types of dashboards that are beneficial to display for various departments. Do you have the best tools in place to create those items currently? Chances are, you can’t display the dashboards like we suggest if you don’t use the correct platforms. If you want to make sure employees can see the right information in the most concise, helpful way, take a look at our tool recommendations. These are PM tools that pair nicely with the ability to display on digital signage. 

Example of PM Printed Report

1. Free Versions

For many companies, investing in new and untested software is not an option. For teams with less than 5 people, who only work on one to two projects at a time, premium features are probably not necessary. In those instances, you might try creating a simple Gantt chart with something like TeamGantt. If you’d like to offer real-time activity streaming, you could look at something like Wrike. This is a great way to see open or delayed tasks in one view. For a color-coded view of scheduling that everyone can keep their eye on, try something like Bitrix24. A simple Google search will turn up plenty of free PM tool options – but not all of them display nicely on a larger screen, in a way that will help collaboration and communication. 

2. Hive

This tool has been rated the best “All in one solution” by thedigitalprojectmanager.com. Companies like Starbucks and Uber use it to manage key initiatives and improve collaboration. Not only does the platform offer AI-based analytics, thousands of integrations, flexible project views, and so much more, Hive’s viewing capabilities are flexible and intuitive so that all teams can quickly observe information and understand the takeaways. The activity streams you can set up look really nice on digital signage, but can also be customized for individual use. (Cost is $12/user/mo.)

3. SmartSheet

For teams that are comfortable working in Excel, but need a little more, this tool provides really crisp and colorful sheets that are flexible and customizable. You can set up shared views of things like detail history, activity logs, automated alerts, reminders, and status reports. They also integrate with important platforms like MIcrosoft, Google, Jira, and Salesforce. (Cost is $14/user/month but they offer a free trial.)

4. Celoxis

For brands with a customer service focus, this PM tool is a comprehensive web-based platform. Their real-world project schedules take into account different time zones, work schedules and absences. So that anyone viewing it can be assured that those day-to-day factors are being considered in what they see. Make sure the entire customer support team is in the loop by setting up dashboards to gather 360-degree real-time insights around project health, tracking actuals vs estimates, team utilization and profit margins. (On-premise use costs $450/user one-time.)

5. awork

Best for creative project teams, the tool aims to make it easier to organize projects and tasks. By making to-do-lists, creating boards and timelines, managing resources, and collaborating with teammates. In terms of the boards and timelines, you can customize dashboards for entire teams to view quickly. Because of their intuitive interface, users don’t need an in-depth understanding of project management – which means any team can better collaborate no matter their project type or experience level. (Cost is $8/user/mo. and up.)

Best Practices for Sharing PM on Digital Signage Screens

Even if you’re not using one of the tools above, you can use what you have available to share better information with your team members. Here are our best tips for teams wanting to improve outcomes by applying transparent PM methodologies. 

Go Beyond the Numbers

Just sharing hard statistics won’t be that helpful for most people and in fact, could be frustrating. What are you trying to communicate with these numbers? There must be some takeaways that you want people to understand – trends, challenges, upcoming milestones. Create dashboards that distill this information down into information your project teams can actually use. 

Illustration of Projects

PM dashboard should fit your office design

It’s important to make sure that any screens are integrated into your physical office space. Ideally, everyone can see them in a way that’s beneficial. For example, placing a screen in part of the office where people will need to consistently get up from their desk to view it is not smart. In other words, it would likely waste more time than it saves. Similarly, it makes sense to show only data that applies to that department and the company overall. So, don’t simply rotate department dashboards across the entire office, for example. If there is a project team working on a certain initiative, it might make sense to group them for the duration of the project. And then have screens in their physical space with the relevant visuals for them. 

Don’t simply use your PM tool’s reporting suite as a default

The beauty of some of these platforms is the ability to customize. Which is important when you’ll have multiple people looking at the same information. With so much detail available, you need to pick and choose what’s most beneficial for your team. Build your own dashboard using widgets, and create custom reports within the platform to pull the data you actually care about seeing every day. Are tasks due most important to understand? What about open tickets? Or customer support calls currently in the queue? Only you understand your project timelines and what is most motivating to employees. But get creative in how you use the data supplied by your PM tools. 

According to PWC, digital PM software increases performance and found that 77% of high performing projects use project management software. Imagine the impact that your company could experience if you could share the benefits of this functionality across departments and teams? 

Furthermore, more informed employees are more engaged employees – and more engaged employees are more productive, more efficient, and more loyal. For more tips on using digital signage to help with project management, or creating more engaged and successful workplaces in general, contact us at 866.310.4923. 

Count Up Timer | How to Use It With Digital Signage Displays

Getting digital signage hooked up with a count-up timer is a creative way to keep track of the time that has elapsed since an incident or event occurred in an organization/business. It’s an ingenious way of taking you down memory lane so you can recall the facts that matter the most to the company.

As digital signage becomes an integral part of corporate and retail communication, marketers and business owners embrace the various applications of counters. Not only are they visually appealing, but they also concisely convey the intended message. You don’t need to read through a block of text on the notice board anymore. All you have to do is take a quick look, extract the message, and get going.

But if you may ask, what is digital signage? Or what are counters, and how are they important? We’ve got some answers for you.

What is Digital Signage?

Digital signage is any size screen that displays some form of content for general communication purposes. They can be used for advertising in the retail sector or passing important information in a corporate setting.

Examples of timers on digital signage displays - landscape and portrait example

For example, digital signage is used in gas stations to indicate the fuel prices, in classrooms to show the number of days left before an exam, or in restaurants to highlight the “today’s specials.” The applications are endless. Provided you have an important message to convey; digital signage comes in handy.

What is a Count Up Timer?

A count-up timer counts up from a past event, say, an important event of your life. Most count up timers are customizable, meaning you can choose to count up the time in seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and even years. This shouldn’t be confused with a countdown timer that counts down to a future date, time, or event.

How Does it Work?

A count-up timer is an electronic device that uses special circuits called bistable multivibrators, commonly known as flip-flops multivibrators. By applying signals to its input, a flip-flop change states from 0 to 1 or vice-versa. These changing states can be used to count events. By cascading these flip-flops in some specific arrangement, the displayed output vary; hence you get either a count up or countdown timer.

How can a Count up Timer be Used?

A count-up timer is used to track hours, days, months, or years that have passed from an event. For example: How long since the company was founded? How long since a specific product was launched? Or how long since the company rebranded, relocated, merged with another company, etc. 

Another useful way to use count up timers are in factory settings. For example, number of days since the last injury or production malfunction.

Yellow count up timer example

How Can it be Used for Digital Signage?

Count up timer can be used for digital signage displays. Not only will the count up timer display on the large screen outside your office, but you also have the option to add some catchy text or custom content to it. You can also make some tweaks to suit your taste. For example, change the background color, the text color, and even use custom fonts.

By combining the count up timer with an advanced signage’s social network functionalities, what you get is a robust tool that creates a unique viewing experience for your visitors, employees, and customers.

Using Digital Signage: Count up and Countdown Apps

Instead of using traditional media player systems, we now have count up and countdown apps. Such software allows you to connect with regular or android smart TVs along with other devices such as Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire Stick.

These smart solutions are becoming relevant in various industries where automated communication or advertising is a necessity. For example, business owners use countdown apps to power their digital signage during the Black Friday sales – creating impressive marketing campaigns without needing technical support from the design or IT team.

When to Use Countdown and Count Up Timers

Whether you’re counting down to a birthday celebration or using an intervals counter during a workout session – you’ll agree that counters are an integral part of our day-to-day life.

While both are relevant based on their applications, countdown timers are more common in the business world. The simple reason is that countdown timers creates some sense of urgency, which can be a great way to instill that fear of missing out (FOMO) and get prospects to take action. According to a strategy online research study, 60% of millennials make fast and spontaneous purchasing due to the fear of missing out.

Example of countdowns

Below is how businesses take advantage of countdown timers.

  • For email marketing – Business can use it to advertise special day discounts that are time-limited.
  • Countdown timers on product pages – Retail stores are using countdown timers to offer time-limited incentives pushing customers to make instant purchases or forfeit the discounts.
  • During cart purchase or checkout – Many businesses use countdown timers at the checkout page as the last and final attempt to win over a customer.

Count up timers are commonly used by organizations to keep track of important corporate events. They also find applications in real-life situations. For example, you can counting up the time since you last met with someone. Or from a specific date such as marriage, engagement or start of a business.

Final Comments

Digital signage is one of the technologies that’s rapidly gaining popularity in the market. That’s thanks to the convenience and flexibility of using in any setting that requires effective communication. On the other hand, counters are finding applications in the corporate and business world. Combining the two technologies creates a powerful tool that’s highly flexible and results-oriented.

Why would you print copies when you can display count up or countdown app on your existing office TVs with digital signage? Smart solutions are everywhere; you just have to look around.

15 Ways to Realistically Manage Internal Communications

Poor communication is a serious problem in business. Across organizations of any size, a lack of effective internal employee communications contributes to costly mistakes. What happens when you have three really smart people tackling a problem at the same time, but with different interpretations of the overall goals or necessary tasks? Potentially, missed deadlines, poorly allocated resources or wasteful spending. In other words, a general spinning of wheels that doesn’t create the outcome that’s best for the business. 

How can you make sure this doesn’t happen within your company? Well, for small teams, it makes sense to just get in a room and get on the same page. That becomes more difficult the larger your staff grows. That means you need a real process for getting information out there. Improving employee communications should be a high priority so you can avoid situations like the one above. Help your employees learn and process valuable information so that everyone can work together toward common outcomes. 

Meeting with a diverse group of people about employee communications

Maybe you’re already doing a few of these things. Maybe some of them will sound new to you. And, of course, in today’s pandemic world, some of these strategies are ones we didn’t need as much of before. Regardless of where your company is in their journey to improve internal communications strategies, you can apply these tactics. 

Business Leadership – Communication from the Top Down

Research an internal communications plan 

Before you can try to manage or improve anything, you need to have a realistic understanding of its current state. Where does your internal communication fall right now? Do you have an internal communications plan, or send items ad-hoc? If you have a plan, how effective is it? Who is responsible for executing and measuring the plan? 

There is not a one-size-fits-all internal communications strategy for companies. Only you can determine what your brand needs and the best way to get there. However, if you feel like your employee communications efforts are lackluster and falling short, try reviewing your overall plan. If there is no real plan in place, there’s never been a better time to develop one!

Document clear objectives 

If you’re looking for ways to improve internal communication, consider backing up and looking at the bigger picture. What are you hoping to accomplish with your employee communication? Come up with measurable objectives that cover what your plan will achieve and in what timeframe. 

Many times, company leaders feel they have poor employee communication, when the real problem lies in the fact that they never established what they wanted the communications to do in the first place. How can you know if something is working if you didn’t have a goal at the start? 

Address business problems in your employee communication plan 

Essentially you need to answer “What’s in it for me?” for your employees. Ensure that any internal communications planning allows for a “why”. The only way to get buy-in across the board is to show the various returns of the effort – how things will improve at an individual level if staff supports the plan.

Assemble key stakeholders and identify champions

For any messaging to be taken seriously, it needs to come from the highest levels of the organization. Important messaging also needs a driving force, or a team committed to managing it. Stakeholders could be company leadership, a senior member of your marketing or HR team, a whole committee, or even an employee who is passionate about the subject. 

Young business team in the office

It’s just as important to have a clear vision of who will manage communications day-to-day, as senior level stakeholders often become too busy or aren’t as available. 

Understand the tools you have available

This is where logistics come into play. Do you currently use tools to enable internal communications strategies? Take an inventory of the tools you have available, as well as what you need them to actually do. This way you can identify gaps, and in some cases redundancies that just complicate things. 

Based on your goals, are the tools you have the best for reaching your audience? For example, perhaps you have an intranet for sharing company information and you also have a collaboration tool for employees to chat, but do you have a way to enable two-way communication where employees can provide feedback to management? 

Different tools are suited to different forms of communication. Review the objectives you documented and then take an audit of your systems and processes. Prioritize where you’ll invest to cover what’s missing right now. 

Create Consistency – Get Everyone Bought In

Build an internal brand

Establish a consistent brand and voice across your intranet, newsletters, email, and messages. Doing so will establish a sense of ownership among staff and also help link content together. 

Make two-way communication a priority

We’ve covered a lot of top-down communications. Do you have a plan or channel in place for bottom-up communication? If your communications are strictly one-way, you’ll quickly find employees disengaged. 

Ensure that employees know they can respond to information, express concerns, or share ideas without being censored – and make sure they know which channels to use to do so. Let them know management will see their feedback, and help them to feel empowered to use their voice. 

Don’t overwhelm people

Research is proving that attention spans are getting shorter. In today’s hyper-digital world, it can be tough to compete for the limited time that people have. We are essentially facing a constant information overload. That means you need to be thoughtful and intentional about what you’re sending to employees and what they’re sending each other. Emails, meeting invitations, notices, announcements, social content – you can see why some internal communications messaging can get caught in the noise. 

Man with lots of papers and work ahead of him

Break your plan into smaller themes that people can better focus on. And before you send anything, ask yourself what the value is. Does the communication directly relate to the goals you set? Always ensure the most important information is featured first and prominently in emails or printed materials. We also suggest mixing up content formats, types, and channels, and utilizing video, imagery and other mediums so your team doesn’t get burned out reading the same types of communication over and over. 

Include everyone

“Everyone” means in-office workers, remote workers, people who work part time, etc. It also means ensuring any tools that you use for internal communication are ADA compliant and usable by people with various disabilities. 

Now more than ever, workplaces are diverse in terms of how employees get the job done. Ensure that your systems and processes meet people where they are. If announcements are made in person, or employees need specific VPN access to see the Intranet, you might be facing some gaps while people telecommute or vary their schedules. Consider every audience you need to reach and the avenues available to reach them. 

Have a crisis communications plan

It’s important to plan and prepare for things to go wrong. Eventually a problem will come up, and you don’t want to test your communication strategy in a crisis. 

Creating a plan ahead of time enables you to anticipate what could go wrong, and then ensure you have protocols in place and that they’re understood. You can also include internal communications elements like a two-way employee alert system and a chain of communications command. 

At the end of the day, you want to have a clear picture of how quickly your message can get out and how much it’s understood by your entire staff. 

Get Tactical – Tips for Managing Employee Communications

Hold group calls when needed

Most companies use a mix of email, internal collaboration tools, in-office notices and digital signage to relay messaging. Sometimes, though, nothing is a substitute for just hopping on a call. Consider setting a rule for when a call should be scheduled over engaging in an email chain. For example, if an email results in more than 3 responses, it might be time to just connect over the phone. 

Group call - video call with 17 people

Too often, important steps toward progress can be delayed or even missed while people wait for clarification via email, or further responses. For time-sensitive items or questions that will likely lead to more questions, just schedule a short call. 

Consider limiting or even banning email 

Email has its benefits, but it’s not a great tool for improving internal communications. The problem is that studies have shown employees spend up to 23% of their day on email. When you consider that people send or receive, on average, 112 emails a day, you have to wonder if it’s the most productive avenue for communicating. 

There are so many tools designed specifically for communication among teams – such as Slack – and they offer features such as grouping team members, controlling notifications, and the ability to make public when needed. Best of all: no accidental “reply all”! 

Take a look at what communication or collaboration tools you have in place and see if these platforms might replace email in some capacity. Encourage team members to leverage these tools rather than email when possible. 

Host weekly standups

A practice often held by startups, this habit can benefit any company seeking to improve internal communications. In a large organization, departments can have their own standup meetings, usually on Monday or Friday afternoons. Keep the meeting a running item on your team’s calendar, and ask them to bring their biggest questions or to-do’s for the coming week, along with the greatest achievement from the previous week. 

One question we always like to ask in these standing meetings is “What do you need from this group to accomplish your goals this week?” This fosters a collaborative approach and accountability, and means there’s no surprises when someone asks for your assistance on something time-sensitive. 

Display your achievements and employees

People want to feel like they work for a company doing important things, and that their work makes a difference in the company. Use digital signage to display dashboards, KPIs, employee spotlights, recent awards, or new client logos. The options for highlighting wins are endless – but here are a few ideas

5 people in an office smiling and high fiving

MVix offers over 150 data source integrations to keep signage engaging. Whether you’re an ad agency featuring your latest tv spot, or a financial firm displaying key graphs and charts, you can use digital signage to cultivate a more positive workplace where every employee feels included and responsible for recent successes. 

“Count down” as a team 

Another great way to use the digital signage available in your office is to keep track of progress on critical initiatives. Show charts or timelines that let employees see how close the company is to achieving certain milestones. 

Many companies use signage to keep a running daily count down toward important launches or events. Even if employees aren’t directly working on that particular project, they can get excited and experience the resulting morale boost. 

Remember: Internal Communication is Already Happening

A diverse range of communication is already taking place within your organization. Whether it’s just among friends at the water cooler, or managers sharing corporate news within their departments, people are talking. The question is: how much control do you have over the communication already happening? Are the current internal communications contributing to a successful, productive, and engaged workplace? 

If not, you may want to take some time to put in place a clear, consistent, and structured internal communication strategy. Today’s digital world offers a variety of helpful tools that enable employees no matter where they are, but don’t underestimate what goes on in your office. Digital signage, in-person announcements, and good old fashioned meetings are all part of effective internal communications. 

We help companies improve the way they communicate with their employees and within their buildings to create better aligned and more productive workplaces. For ideas on how to better engage and support your team, read more of our employee communications blogs

10 Best Project Management Dashboards for Displaying on Office Screens

What is a project management dashboard? Let’s look at this illustration. Imagine, you’re driving a car, you need to see how fast you’re going, how much gas you have left as well as be aware of any potential problems with your car.  A dashboard is how these metrics, controls and instruments are displayed. In other words, a dashboard is a control panel that the driver can see. Project management is the same concept: when working on any initiative, it’s helpful to measure your progress and get a heads up on potential issues. 

Project Management Dashboards

So, where a project management dashboard comes into play? While managing projects of any size, using a dashboard can monitor timelines, deadlines, forward motion, and upcoming challenges. In project management, a dashboard is the tool that gathers data. This data is gathered on key performance indicators (KPIs) across various aspects of the project and then displays them in a way that’s easy to reference and understand. These KPIs commonly include performance and progress (across variables like time and cost), workload information, resource allocation, and other critical project metrics. 

Function of Project Management

A typical dashboard is a collection of widgets that takes the form of charts or graphs, and updates in real time. Project management dashboards can take several forms, from a custom solution built in-house, to any number of platforms available on the market. Usually, companies will get the most benefit by implementing dashboards that speak directly to the department managing projects, such as marketing, operations, etc. 

Dashboards offer one place for team members to see all of their project data laid out. So, there’s a tremendous benefit to installing project management dashboards across digital office screens. Just like with the car example, this information helps organizations drive toward their goals. Ensuring project information is visible and accessible to any people working on the initiative is critical. Furthermore, displaying dashboards in the office setting is a great way to boost employee engagement, which is a critical component of employee productivity and company growth. 

Why Display a Project Management Dashboards on your Office’s Screens? 

There are 5 main benefits to displaying a project management dashboard:

Visibility

The purpose of a dashboard is visibility. After all, that’s why you create a dashboard and hosting it where more people can see it. A good dashboard will mine, calculate, and display data in a way that lets teams know if their goals are on track. 

Sample Dashboard Displayed on a Laptop

Saves Resources

Without a dashboard, staff will need to spend time pulling reports. Creating and configuring reports can be time consuming. It also counts as time spent away from the actual tactics of the project. With widgets already created, managers can check on progress whenever they want to without stepping away from something else to generate a report. 

All data is in one place

One stored location enable efficient teams. This enables everyone who needs access to have access. Furthermore it drives convenience, as employees don’t have to move from one screen to another, use additional tools, or build their own reports. 

Enable data-driven decisions

Any decisions can be backed by actual statistics are always better ones. Giving your entire department access to key numbers will help them make better decisions on a day-to-day basis. 

Accountability

Numbers don’t lie. It’s always great to view data that says you’re on track. But in order to see the results you want, you also need to understand where things are falling behind. A dashboard can let the team see at a glance where potential problems lie. Good or bad, staff can see what’s happening with the project and take the necessary steps to improve. 

Tips for Sharing a Project Management Dashboards across Office Screens 

  1. Ensure that what you’re sharing is actionable. Enabling employees to viewing numbers that they can’t really impact is frustrating for staff. Ask yourself, what are you trying to communicate? What do you expect employees to do about it? Focus on data that will help teams make better decisions in their day-to-day work. 
  2. Design dashboards that fit your office. You want to make sure that any screens are seamlessly integrated into the physical space. If you’re creating a dashboard in-house, we suggest putting the information that is most frequently looked at in the top left-hand corner. From there, make sure related metrics are grouped together. And that any metrics that need to be compared are next to each other. For an effective dashboard, less is more. If the dashboard is too convoluted, people won’t pay attention to it. 
  3. Display dashboards easily. Having to have team members cast them on screens  or change them leaves room for error and takes extra time. Make sure that project management dashboards are easy to see from the minute someone comes into the office space to the time they’re walking out the door. 

Infographic Dashboard with Countries

10 Project Management Dashboards that are Ideal for Office Screens

1. Marketing funnel dashboard

Teams focused on optimizing the customer journey and conversion points, this type of dashboard is helpful. Pull data from your CRM system and marketing automation tools to keep an eye on the number of visitors, leads, and conversion rates. You can also spark more action by keeping this information aligned with company goals or lead quotas. 

2. Sales dashboard

This dashboard serves dual purposes. First, it supplies information on important department KPIs. Second, it can remind the team how they’re doing against goals or targets. One easy place to start is by sharing the number of open and closed leads on your dashboard. If you break down goals into a daily, weekly, or monthly number, have the data available so everyone can see how they’re doing. For more context, you can break down different regional areas (if applicable) and provide a comparison to the same time period last year.

3. Customer support dashboard

The overall performance of your support team is important, and they need to regularly see how they’re doing and where there are gaps. Display key metrics like First Response Time and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) as well as open vs. resolved tickets.

4. Timeline tracking

If your company is working on a big launch, opening, or event, ensure everyone is included and motivated! Display the timeline or countdown on an office dashboard, and share when large milestones are achieved. 

5. Software development

There are a number of tools designed to manage software projects. Most of the KPIs and project documents will be more information than your entire team needs to know, but you can share the biggest elements in layman’s terms when possible. Display project progress and key milestones. Show next steps and timeline tracking. It’s also interesting to see the number of tickets or bugs and the number being resolved. You can give your entire office the general idea of what’s happening with your latest website launch without bogging them down with technical details. 

6. Quality assurance

For companies that release products, understanding the QA lifecycle is essential. Improving QA measurements by only tiny increments can result in a big difference for large manufacturers. Seeing the various stages of development is interesting, and determining the quality of items going out the door should be important to everyone. Set up your data in a way that helps everyone understand where there can be improvements. 

7. Web analytics

If you’re primarily a web-based or ecommerce company, all roads lead back to website performance. It’s crucial that people across departments can understand how their work affects that performance. Set up a dashboard that provides that key information. Whether you have goals around visitors, sales, conversions, social sharing, engagement, etc. Configure the dashboard that answers the most questions for your team, and share the data in real-time. 

Example of a Project Management Dashboard

8. Growth tracking

For newer businesses or those with aggressive growth goals, it’s exciting for all staff to see the numbers. Set up a business analytics dashboard that pulls from multiple sources including CRM, financial software, operational spreadsheets, etc. The goal of this dashboard is to provide real insight based on how all the numbers work together. 

9. Profit and loss

Similar to a growth tracking dashboard, this tool provides high-level information on the financials of a firm. Providing a quick view of revenues, costs, and expenses during a given time, these records offer more insight into an organization’s ability (or inability) to generate profits. You could also include data like EBITDA, Profitability Ratios, or any other number of key statistics based on how deep you want to dive. This information tends to be most helpful for people in the financial or operational sector and is less likely to be actionable for individuals in other departments. 

10. HR/Employee information

If your company is in the midst of an employee satisfaction initiative, it might be worth boosting morale by sharing some employee statistics. You could include items like overall performance rating, average of overtime hours, recent turnover or new hires, etc. While most of this data will be interesting to only those in HR roles, in some cases it can make sense to share this dashboard more broadly. 

Final Project Management Dashboard Inferences

As a recent piece from Harvard Business Review points out, KPI’s don’t tell the whole story – that’s why they are called “indicators”. There is a whole host of background and information that needs to be properly communicated from the top-down. Your internal communications should help layer in the important context that surrounds what’s present on your dashboard. 

The bottom line is that engaged employees are better employees – more productive, more efficient, and more loyal. Sharing various dashboards across your office’s digital screens is just one way to help staff feel more plugged in and more connected. To learn more about tactics that encourage teams to collaborate and cooperate, follow our blog and check out some of the innovative ways business leaders are using digital signage to connect with employees. 

We’ll also be creating a follow up piece on specific project management tools. We will share our favorite platforms for collecting and configuring data into dashboards like these. Make sure to subscribe to our email to get access to that article!

Marketing and Corporate Communications | What’s the Difference?

For brands, connection is everything. Connection with customers. Connection with employees. And connection with stakeholders across the board. So, is there a difference between marketing and corporate communications? Competition is fierce out there.  Customers and employees are feeling disjointed. Furthermore, they are uncertain about how the ongoing pandemic (COVID-19) will affect their personal and work lives.

In fact, a recent report from Glint compared employee morale before the pandemic to now, and found the following: 

  • 31% of employees feel less connected to their leaders 
  • 37% of employees feel less connected to their teammates

And in the midst of being concerned about employee welfare, brands are incredibly busy trying to navigate the economy, stay engaged with customers, and operate as close to normal as they can. While selling their products and services, of course. So, what can brands do when faced with employee disengagement and a need to up their competitive stakes in the market?

Corporate building with individuals talking to each other

This is where understanding the difference between corporate communications and marketing becomes even more vital than ever before. Let’s take a look.

Corporate Communications and the Marketing Mix

Corporate communications and marketing communications are the (almost) identical twins of the communications world. In other words, at face value they look similar. However, they are in fact different, with their own actions and goals. 

Companies can often confuse the two, or not give enough weight to one. Resulting in, missed opportunities to connect with the target audience, employees or stakeholders. As Chron puts it, “Corporate messages are structured to convey the attitudes, beliefs and goals of an organization or company as an institution, while marketing messages are meant to inform the consuming public of a good or service.”

Let’s look in more detail…

What’s the point of corporate communications?

Corporate communications exist to present your brand to the world, telling them who you are, what you stand for and what you deliver on. And that world includes all stakeholders: customers, employees, investors and the media.

All strong corporate communications, spanning across external and internal audiences. The most essential point is that all communications need to be cohesive. Every communication from a company needs to make sense to its core personality and be linked to an overarching strategy. 

Consistency builds trust. And this goes for all stakeholders across the board. In fact, consistent presentation of a brand has been shown to increase revenue by 33%. 

5 reasons why corporate communications are a powerful force

1) 81% of consumers say they need to be able to trust the brand to buy from them. Cohesive communications are the secret to building long-lasting relationships.
2) 85% say they’re most motivated when management offers regular updates on company news.
3) According to Hubspot, companies with highly effective communication practices had 47% higher total returns to shareholders.
4) The same report also states that 79% of highly engaged employees have trust and confidence in their leaders.
5) 50% of employees say that a lack of transparency holds their company back.

Digital signage as a corporation communications tool

If you’re still confused about how corporate communications look in the real world, let’s take a peek at effective corporate communications in action. 

First up, we have digital signage as a corporate communications tool. Boosting the way information is displayed around the office can have a powerful impact on employee morale and on those all-important customers who happen to visit your building.  At the click of a button, companies can motivate employees by splashing some pride-inducing reviews and testimonials across screens that have optimal visibility.

Example of Corporate Communications in a Hallway

And if you can mix it up with important updates to company policy, the clarity of information can leave employees feeling included and sure about what to expect next. In short, they feel informed and part of the workplace community.

The possibilities of information sharing are endless. And employee motivation is at the center, with news, praise, sales dashboards, health and safety announcements to name just a few content options.

A customer complaint – in its very nature – can be tricky and demotivating for employees to handle.  Companies can turn a difficult experience into an ingeniously positive experience for its employees through corporate communications. But it begs the question…

Where does marketing fit into corporate communications? 

The definition of marketing, is ‘the activities of a company associated with buying, advertising, distributing, or selling a product or service.’ So, while corporate communications is the overarching presentation of a brand, marketing is the subdivision of selling and communicating a product or service directly to your customers. 

Having a congruent strategy leads to truly powerful marketing. For example your social and email nurturing should line up with to offline activities such as print ads and events. And getting through to customers right now is challenging. But, it doesn’t mean it impossible. 

Here’s what marketers are up against right now

Two woman shaking hands

We can see from these statistics that corporate communications have a strong impact on marketing efforts. And all actions that a company takes are going to sway public perception. And if your corporate communications and brand image aren’t in line, it’s going to make the marketing department’s job of selling products a whole lot tougher. 

Again, it all comes back down to trust levels. 

Final thoughts

The key difference between marketing and corporate communications is the target audience. Remember, corporate communications are targeted towards the stakeholders of an organization, such as media, investors, clients and employees. And consumers of products and services are the targets for marketing communications.

Every touchpoint is meaningful. Every communication should be in line with your brand. Additionally, building and maintaining trust comes down to interactions. Want to see even more corporate communications in action? 

If you would like to learn more about how digital signage can power up your corporate communications and marketing, get in touch on 866.310.4923

Creating a Digital Building Directory: Keys to Success

Wayfinding signs are a convenient way of providing information for visitors to find their way around. For example, around hospitals, retail stores, offices, government offices, malls, schools, and other commercial establishments. Traditionally, businesses used printed signs or engraved plaques that were challenging to update but digital directories have changed the game. Companies can now enjoy quicker customization by using digital directories and encourage more engagement with visitors.

What is a Digital Building Directory?

A digital directory is a tool that provides an audience with the information they need to reach their destination. So, if you want to enhance the experience of all visitors who visit your building, a digital building directory is a rewarding investment.

Digital Building Directory inside Union Station

Digital building directories are categorized under digital signage. Both of which use display screen to inform audiences and promote brand messages. A digital building directory features a display screen, content management software, and a media player. The building block of an effective directory is customized content that will delight your target audience.

Digital building directories have a modern aesthetic that is more appealing than traditional wayfinding signs. They are also easier to update and design, and you can customize the directory to match the interior of your office or building. There are many benefits to implementing digital building directories. You can use digital building directories to:

Help Staff and Visitors Navigate

If you have ever gotten lost in an office building or school, you understand the frustration that comes about when people are confused about directions. You can use digital directories to help students find their classrooms, clients find offices, patients find departments and labs, and employees locate conference rooms.

Manage Property

It costs about $400 to add a new tenant’s name to a traditional directory. So, you can avoid this cost by using a digital platform to manage your property. Property owners can improve the tenant experience by using digital directories to display maintenance schedules, reduce elevator perceived wait time, and advertise upcoming events.

Welcome Visitors

You can use digital signage to display a welcome message for all guests coming through your building. In other words, digital building directories can add a fresh look to lobbies and entrances and encourage clients to do business with you.

Using Digital Building Directories for Digital Marketing

Businesses can use digital building directories to create long-lasting brand recognition. Sprinkle your logo, branded graphics, and colors on the directory content to reinforce branding. The platform will provide an opportunity to display fresh and updated content to potential customers. Consequently, you should dispense relevant information that will engage your audience.

Digital Building Directory in a Lobby of a Building

A digital building directory can help you display the available amenities to potential tenants. For instance, if you have a pool or a gym, it can be displayed in the lobby directory. Considering that your lobby will make the first impression to visitors, you should use vibrant imagery to captivate a guest’s attention.

If you run a resort, hotel, or restaurant, you can use digital directories to promote events and display the available services. This helps visitors can get real-time offers and deals and any other information they need to have a productive adventure. You can also invest in interactive directories that allow customers to send directions to a mobile device. Thus making it easier to find their way around your premises.

Getting the Most out of Digital Building Directories

If you are tired of using signs with inset panels, you will love the stylish appeal of digital building directories. This program has all the benefits of automated management systems, in addition to providing an exciting platform to share information with staff and guests. While a digital building directory will transform how you inform and update visitors, you need to practice several best practices for it to be effective, including:

Add Interactivity

Interactive touch screen options will boost visitor engagement, as they enable visitors to connect with your brand. Interactive capability is especially suitable in building with a lot of visitor traffic, where you need to offer plenty of transit information.

Touch screen directory

Use a Variety of Displays

Digital building directories are not only suitable for entrances, as they can be installed at various points across a building. You can use wall displays and video walls to showcase exciting news and engage visitors and elevator displays to deliver critical information. You can also invest in indoor and outdoor kiosks in shopping centers, campuses and other establishments. This can assist in dispensing real-time information.

Include Multi-Language Support

Your digital building directory should offer support for all visitors to your premises. If you have added interactive features, ensure that there is a multi-language option for all guests to access relevant information. For instance, you can add a function where the person using the interface can chose between two language, i.e. Spanish or English.

Keep the Directory Clutter-Free

Visitors should be able to access the information they are interested in without distractions. Avoid overburdening your audience, rather use displays that are easy to read and straight to the point. Include fonts that are appealing to the eye, and use clean and vibrant images.

Digitize Your Building’s Information

A digital building directory will help your visitors navigate your premises to minimize confusion. You can use the directory for digital marketing by displaying real-time and relevant information that boosts engagement.

10 Features and Examples of Digital Signage 2021

To meet the communication goals of any organization, comprehensive research needs to be done to select a solution. The goal is to have the right mix of digital signage features. Examples of digital signage can help make sense of the features and what they can offer an organization.

Digital signage usage is growing. In other words, more and more industries are implementing the technology. Above all, there is still so much untapped potential. Combining some essential components with proven best practices and compulsory features will help maximize the chosen digital signage solution to effectively advertise, educate, inform, or entertain an audience in 2021.

Digital signage is no longer an option for any business that values communication, it’s now a critical requirement for effective advertisements.

Digital signage solutions require multiple modules. Content design and management, media player(s) and a myriad of different add-on components.

  • So how do operators drive the utmost effectiveness from their chosen digital signage solution?
  • What are some of the best practices – or must-haves – for an effective digital signage solution?

Let’s answer those questions by identifying and discussing ten of the digital signage features every solution must have along with examples of each.

10 Must-have Digital Signage Features with Examples

1. A Commercial-grade Display

Firstly, the actual display screen needs to be considered. Commercial-grade displays offer more durable hardware as compared to consumer-grade screens more common in homes. Also, commercial-grade screens offer more inputs for external device connection & interoperability. For instance, is it a touch screen or not?

Example of a Hallway with empty digital signage displays

The stronger housings, glass, & consoles also offer enhanced durability along with the heavy-duty hardware needed for screens that are operable 12-15 hours per day – and sometimes more. Therefore extended manufacturer’s warranties & extras such as A/C, reinforced bezels or switches, and commercial-grade glass all make must-haves for any heavy use digital signage solution. Another thing to consider when deciding on which digital screens to use is the orientation of the screens. Will it be portrait or landscape?

2. A Digital Signage Media Player

Secondly, the media player needs to be considered after the screen. A digital signage player also referred to as a “media player” is a small device that is used to broadcast content on any digital display system. This is an example of a digital signage player. 

Digital signage media playerAt the pace technology advances, operators must update their digital media players regularly to improve system performance, expand functionality and provide new tools to reach & interact with the chosen audience.

3. Easy to Use Software

Furthermore the ease of software use is important. This is easily the most important of all digital signage features. Since struggling with the software can be such a time consuming process. It should be easy to use and quick to implement.

Digital signage software is used to create, edit, and publish digital signage content that the audience is meant to see, take action with or interact with.

How Mvix Digital Signage Software Works

Content is an integral component of any digital signage solution. The content is the actual display that is supposed to keep the audience informed and engaged. Making this system easy to use by different levels of user roles will be integral to its successful management.

 4. Engaging Content

Determining what the primary aim of digital signage is key. Is it to advertise, educate, inform, or entertain? Once you have determined your aim for digital signage you can start working on engaging content. For example, this is content you might see in a corporate setting targeted towards employees:

Example of content on digital signage display

An effective digital signage system needs to first grab the attention of the audience. Then keep their attention long enough to consume the message and take the desired action. Content is King. It’s been said a million times, but as usual with clichés it is still mostly true for digital sign displays.

5. Dynamic Content Integrations

Dynamic content integrations make the digital signage solution effective in delivering relevant & engaging content in a timely, engaging, easily duplicable fashion. The integrations allow operators to update the on-screen content in real-time without user involvement. For example, in a retail store setting it’s important to update content with relevant discounts and coupons:

Example of retail content - discount storewide

The content is dynamically updated either from a web feed or by way of an API (automatic programming interface). Refreshing content is becoming more necessary. Dynamic content integration is an integral feature that provides increased flexibility for regular, refreshing content updates. Digital signage software allows the user to add things like social media accounts (i.e. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and widgets to their display. Another important question to consider regarding your digital content, is it interactive content or not?

6. Content Scheduling & Workflow Management

The last of the must-have digital signage features is easily accessible content scheduling & workflow management. The goal is to save time and work most efficiently.

The objective is to deliver the desired message to the correct audience at the best time. Options such as rule-based scheduling allow users to automatically deliver dynamic content. Operators can deliver content at different times and with different types of media. Templates can help simplify this process. Delivering the most effective message at the best time to the chosen audience could be the requirement. 

Content scheduling and workflow - landscape and portrait examples

Workflow management enables multiple users to easily update, schedule & edit content displayed. Seamless workflow management is essential to offering multiple users the control to deliver an organized yet dynamic digital signage solution. The ability to effectively schedule content by way of a regularly updated feed provides operators with the capability to dynamically manage messaging in conjunction with an uncomplicated workflow automation system.

7. Network Monitoring & Reporting

Monitoring the health of the digital signage network is essential to evaluate how the chosen media players, content management systems, & software are performing.

It also allows end-users to see what content, at which times, is performing best. This is essential to optimizing the messaging, refining the content schedule, and gauging the performance of network components.

Man doing network monitoring and reporting

For example, network reporting can be helpful. It can tell digital signage operators how many times a single media asset has been played over a specific time period. This is a very basic example of monitoring.

Network reporting can provide detailed information about content assets and playback and user management.

8. Interoperability

Interoperability is all about how the hardware and software interact. On the other hand if the hardware is not compatible with the software, there is no digital signage solution – only a problem. Anyone who has ever set up a home computer network understands the importance of having compatible components.

Sand with two rocks - Compatible

To ensure interoperability among hardware, software, and media players, operators must seek out the most universal platforms from which to broadcast their digital displays. For example, you would want to acquire a screen which has a wide range of compatibility across different media player options.

9. Multi-Screen Support

An effective digital signage system is not a one-size-fits-all solution. So, some solutions will include one screen where others include many.

Environments where digital signage is being fully utilized are showcasing numerous multi-screen video layouts. These include video walls, large format LCD television screens, and even movie screen type displays.

Example of a 9 screen videowall

One of the most important aspects of ensuring the digital signage platform maximizes multi-screen support is the combination of chosen hardware & software. Operating multiple display screens from one “hub” is important. These hubs or dashboards can enable different messages and content to be displayed at different times of the day, and even different physical locations.

Hardware compatibility is something to consider. It needs to be compatible with the software. The software helps to organize and display the content across multiple screens. Hardware refers to commercial grade screens or video displays.

10. Multi-user Access

User access control is another must have for any effective digital signage solution. This might not be a priority for most but can become a really big inconvenience.

Someone login in online

Individual roles and access to different portions of the digital signage network can be set up and monitored. This will enable individuals within the operator’s organization the ability to control the content from anywhere that is being published. Having access levels assigned to individuals or groups within the organization is essential, especially as the operator looks to scale their digital display network.

Scaling up requires more division of roles within the system. These multi-user roles provide limitations only software with multi-level user access provides. In conclusion these are the 10 features to consider when choosing a digital signage solution and examples of each feature.

 

A Comprehensive Guide to Digital Signage | Infographic

Digital signage is one of the most powerful tools available to organizations today. Whether you hope to attract more customers, better engage with current traffic, communicate within your company, or promote information, digital signage offers a solution. Many business leaders understand that they could benefit from digital signage but they aren’t sure where to start. Here, we’ll break down everything you need to know with a complete digital signage guide. 

What is Digital Signage?

Digital signage refers to the use of technologies such as projection, LED, or LCD screens to display content that might include video, streaming media, graphics, and general information. 

New York Digital Signage - Time Square

Every industry and companies of every size can benefit from a smart digital signage strategy. From restaurants to factories to office buildings and churches, digital signage is all around us and is a sector that continues to grow. In fact, the global digital signage market is expected to hit $29.8 billion by 2024. That might be because 80% of brands that use digital signage record a substantial increase in sales. You might hear a lot of terms that fall under the overarching umbrella of digital signage. From the technology platform to the individual displays, there are several components of digital signage. 

Why Choose Digital Signage?

There are several advantages to using digital signage, and most of them boil down to these larger benefits: 

  • The ability to sell more products or services by attracting and engaging customers
  • The ability to increase employee productivity and satisfaction through better communication and engagement

When properly implemented, a digital signage platform can help organizations achieve both of those goals. Modern digital signage is one of the most effective ways to communicate with people inside or outside of your company. For a comprehensive guide to the benefits of digital signage, check out our article on all the ways digital signage can help your business to thrive. Generally speaking, you can expect the following from digital signage: 

  • The ability to provide information in real time
  • Flexibility and versatility
  • Opportunities for customized content
  • Increased efficiency and cost reduction 
  • Resource savings
  • Enhanced employee engagement
  • Creation of brand loyalty
  • Marketing and sales effort support
  • Increased employee morale
  • Reduction in perceived wait time for customers
  • Environmentally-friendly way to share information

Types of Digital Signage

There are essentially hundreds of kinds of digital signage. If you’ve ever been in a shopping mall, airport, or gas station chances are you’ve seen a variety of digital signage in different sizes and configurations. One of the great things about digital signage is how versatile it is and that it can be implemented in many different ways that are unique to a business. Some of the most common types of digital signage are digital posters, free-standing digital advertising displays, ceiling-mounted digital signage, and outdoor digital signage. 

Digital Posters – A simple and easy-to-use option, this form of signage appears as a poster on an LCD or digital screen laid flat against a wall. The screen can be mounted portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal). They are simple to create and install which makes them a great option for brands just starting out with digital signage. 

Free-Standing Digital Advertising Display – A more substantial option, these displays are ideal for making a statement. They are great for interactive use such as kiosks that feature touch-screen compatibility. 

Digital Signage Kiosk Tamarack Centre

Ceiling-Mounted Digital Signage – These signs display information in a less obtrusive way. Though it might be less obvious, this sort of signage can display all types of information while being configured to work with more spaces. 

Outdoor Digital Signage – An increasingly popular option, these can replace traditional billboards for advertising and also work in versatile ways outside of individual businesses. It’s worth noting that displays need to be waterproof and contain adequate heating, cooling, and airflow systems. 

Outdoor Digital Signage Kings Dominion

How to Use Digital Signage

Intrigued? Digital signage can offer plenty of revenue-boosting benefits to your company, but it’s important to adopt a thoughtful and intentional strategy before getting started. Organizations who don’t take the time to properly implement a digital signage strategy may miss out on some of the ROI they were hoping to experience. Be sure to follow these steps to ensure you’re laying the proper foundation for a successful signage strategy. 

1. Identify Organizational Challenges

First, you need to understand the goals or challenges you’re attempting to address with digital signage. Naturally these will vary by industry and by business, but ask yourself (and your stakeholders) what hurdles you need to overcome and what objectives digital signage can help you achieve. 

Are you hoping to: 

  • Increase sales? 
  • Improve engagement?
  • Enhance productivity? 
  • Reduce wait times? 
  • Increase event attendance? 
  • Drive more traffic?  
  • Advertise more products? 
  • Better guide people within your building? 

There are so many things that digital signage can help with, but taking a one-size-fits-all approach will not enable you to reach your goals. For example, placing advertising signage outside your retail storefront will likely help drive traffic into your space – but it won’t provide any information to people who have already made it inside. Similarly, focusing on an employee strategy requires quite a different set of tools than a customer-focused one. Take the time to document and then review the specific challenges you’re trying to address. 

2. Identify a Digital Signage Champion

Any corporate initiative needs a white knight – a person who will take on the responsibility of managing said initiative, as well as advocating for the necessary budget and resources. Digital signage is no different. In order for your implementation to be successful, leadership needs to identify the person who will be “in charge”. This person will: 

  • Make sure the digital signage content is relevant and fresh 
  • Measure the impact of digital signage 
  • Manage the users of digital signage
  • Stay up to date with emerging trends 
  • Make sure the digital signage system is current
  • Answer questions from others in the organization about digital signage
  • Report on all things digital signage-related to management

3. Identify Project and Team Stakeholders

You’ve identified a champion, but that person can’t work in a silo. While they will ultimately be responsible for several key tasks associated with digital signage, they can’t do it alone. 

3 people working together to achieve a goal

Who is going to make decisions around all things digital signage? This will vary across organizations. Managers should talk to end-users to ensure they truly understand the needs of the organization. Final decisions could rest with one individual or with a team of individuals who contribute to discussions. 

4. Conduct a Site or Location Survey

Where will you place digital signage? This is one of the most important components of an implementation plan. Location matters almost as much as content – after all, if no one can see your signage, the information on it won’t matter much. 

The locations of signage should maximize ROI. Think about the challenges and goals you documented and then consider which locations align with those tactics. You also need to consider the size of any screens – where can they fit naturally? What will need to be reconfigured? Internet connection? Connectivity is also key: you need access to power as well as the internet. Poor connections or a slow signal can deter the signage working. 

5. Set Goals for the Implementation

These goals will be more specific than addressing the challenges we talked about earlier. Here, you will determine what exactly you want to do with digital signage, and the metrics to go along with those goals. 

For example, if one challenge is getting more traffic into your store and you have determined that outdoor digital signage can help with that, then a goal could be to “Increase foot traffic by 20% within the first month of signage implementation”. 

It’s important to get the metrics right, so that you can understand if your strategy is really working. Part of that goal-setting is also establishing a timeline. You may want to review SMART goal setting (and here is a great blog on the topic to help you out). 

6. Define Content Requirements

Content is king. Again, this will vary based on not only your industry and your business but on the goals you are trying to reach and the challenges you’re trying to address. One thing is certain across the board though: compelling content is critical if you want your digital signage to be successful. Considering your digital signage design is important.

Example of Emergency Content on Digital Display

What does your organization need to display? A school will display different information than a restaurant. What information does your audience want or need? Focus on these areas and understand the requirements before putting together a content guide or calendar as well as guidelines for your content. 

7. Define Network Requirements

You may need to loop in a co-worker in the IT department to help with this element. What does your digital signage require from your network? How big are your media files? Are you planning for a wired or wireless setup? Can all of the wires properly reach the display? How many displays or devices are you wanting to connect? If you’ll be going wireless, is there a good connection to the router? 

8. Define Budgets

Remember the digital signage champion we talked about earlier in this guide? They’ll need to put together a budget for digital signage including implementation and maintenance. A complete budget will include hardware elements, software, installation costs, and content creation expenses. 

It’s smart to have several recommendations at each stage. For example, creating content in-house will present a totally different cost structure than leveraging an experienced expert. Do you have the technical skills to install the components in house, or will you rely on a partner for that? How about training the staff who will use it? Think of the digital signage process from start to finish and put together a couple options for budget within each area. 

9. Choose your Software

Digital signage software is the central platform for creating, deploying and managing dynamic content on your digital signs. It’s essential to choose the right software that will meet your company’s unique needs. The content management system (CMS) you chose will effect every area of your digital signage display. It can affect the available layouts for your display, playback, which apps you have access to like social media apps and more. 

You may find software is included in the signage option you select. You can also add software from a third-party. Many people find cloud-based software easiest to use. You want to look for a software that is flexible enough to meet your needs but can also scale as your program grows. Cost is often a factor as well, and sometimes software is free if you invest in a digital signage solution. At Mvix, our software is hardware agnostic, easy to use, and supports over 150 content sources and data integrations. 

10. Decide on a Media Player

Media players are another critical component. Do your needs require displaying on 1 screen or 100? That will be important in choosing a solution. Options range from built-in media players to “sticks” or stand alone players. Sticks tend to be less expensive but also have less capabilities. Stand-alone players are larger and more expensive but also more powerful. 

11. Choose your Screens

At a basic level, the choice is between commercial and consumer grade screens. Commercial grade screens are highly recommended for businesses as they are built for durability and long term usage. For instance, a digital signage screen may need to stay on 24/7 where a consumer screen wouldn’t need to stay on this long. Commercial grade screens do require more investment up front but you can expect a better result over a longer period of time. 

Eastern Kentucky University Display

The size of the location where they’ll be used also matters, as bigger screens will need to be used when being viewed from farther away. Also, it’s worth noting that consumer screens are really built to be used for viewing TV, movies, and video games, whereas commercial displays can better adapt to all types of content and work better in brighter environments. 

12.Implementation and Rollout

It’s important to make sure you have a thoughtful plan in place for actually installing and implementing your digital signage. Who is responsible for rolling-out the new program and maintaining it once it’s installed? In many instances this person will be the champion we already talked about, but not always. 

A smart project plan will cover the following elements: 

  1. Procuring components
  2. Training the team
  3. Creating a content guide and schedule
  4. Rolling out a pilot program
  5. Reviewing and refining the project plan
  6. Rolling out the remainder of the project

13. Measure ROI and Adapt

ROI, or Return on Investment, represents the efficiency of an investment. The goals you determined earlier in the process should have specific metrics tied to them. Set up a regular review cycle for measuring this data and reporting on it. 

From there, you need to understand what’s working and what isn’t, and adjust your strategy. Perform different tests, and tweak tactics as you go based on the results you’re seeing. Continuous improvement is the name of the game.

Frequent Challenges in Digital Signage

Before you go all-in on a digital signage solution, it’s important to understand some of the challenges you may end up facing. The most substantial hurdle we hear about from clients is keeping content fresh and engaging. One of the most important advantages of digital signage is that it’s not static – it’s incredibly flexible and customizable. But companies that don’t take advantage of these features often find that signage isn’t performing how they’d hoped. To maintain digital signage’s effectiveness, it’s important to change content frequently. Many users report only changing content once per month, and that’s simply not enough for most industries. 

Schedule or plan content

We suggest creating a content guide and schedule in advance. How often you need to change content depends completely on your sector and your audience, but you need a plan in place no matter what. Consider who you’re talking to, what you’re sharing, sales and promotional offers, seasonality, etc. All of these factors can contribute to a documented schedule. It’s always a good idea to keep a stockpile of photos and media handy to use when you need a refresher or put them into a playlist. Remember, content doesn’t have to be new, it just has to feel new to the people who view it. 

Many companies struggle with creating a content calendar and keeping visuals fresh, even when they know how important it is to do so. In these cases, it can make sense to invest in a content design service such as our Content Refresh Service, which offers unlimited custom designs each month, guaranteed to keep your signage fresh and interesting. 

Digital Signage Guide Takeaways

Digital signage works. Savvy business owners are implementing it at a rapid pace, with 60% of enterprises without digital signage in their stores planning to invest in the technology within the next two years. 

That being said, digital signage is certainly not a set-it-and-forget-it program. Managers must create a structured, thoughtful plan to select and implement the hardware, software, installation, and content creation plan that’s right for their organization. Carefully following the steps laid out in this digital signage guide will help you to develop a program that is sure to generate ROI for years to come. If you’re not sure where to start, or you’re strapped for bandwidth or resources, partnering with a robust digital signage solution can make your life a lot easier. Just reach out to one of our experienced solutions consultants. 

Digital Signage Guide Infographic

We also created an infographic below you can use as a guide with the 13 steps of digital signage:

Guide to digital signage with 13 steps infographic