Introduction to Digital Signage
By Alan C. Brawn CTS, ISF, ISF-C, DSCE, DSDE
As a writer and consultant for the digital signage industry, the most often asked question I get is how to get into the business. The answer is really quite simple and while there are no viable shortcuts, the Introduction to Digital Signage seminar at the upcoming DSE is a good way to see if digital signage is for you and frankly what you do not know and need to learn. A person has to learn what the business is really all about and understand the disparate parts that go into the creation of a digital signage system. They typically know a few of the key elements but not the whole picture. For example, they may understand displays and connectivity,but they fail to understand other elements like content, operations, or the business side of the digital signage network. Not understanding or worse yet missing one of what we call The 7 Key Elements in Digital Signage is to increase the risk of failure.
The 7 Key Elements:
In every digital signage system each and every element is there in one form or another and they all work together interacting with and affecting one another. These elements provide the umbrella under which each part of digital signage system is designed, deployed, operated, and managed.
With all of the elements there is much to learn and we provide an overview to begin the educational journey but be aware the trip is not a simple as it may seem on the surface. In terms of complexity consider this. While hardware may be pretty straight forward, understand that in the area of software there are over 350 software providers out there!Here is a hint, one size does not fit all and the biggest “gorilla” in the room might not be your best choice.Another example is content. Content is often said to be king but relevant content is elusive to say the least and you cannot simply repurpose television commercials for your digital signage network. While intimidating on the surface if The 7 Key Elements are broken down into segments it is all infinitely understandable.
The next stop on the journey of understanding is a look at applications. Conventional wisdom says that digital signage is all about retail advertising but upon closer inspection, retail makes up a only a third of the market and venues like corporations, education, healthcare, finance, and security make up the other two thirds. Retail is the most visible but by no means the largest. Each major application is examined and we emphasizethinking outside of the box in terms of each application. Once again conventional wisdom might dictate that a corporation simply uses digital signage in the reception area but in fact there are excellent applications in human resources, sales and marketing departments, finance, and even the factory floor and shipping and receiving. The key concept is to understand how digital signage can be use to solve a problem or improve an existing condition.
The seminar wraps up with a tutorial on understanding value in the eyes of the client and how return on investment and return on objectives is realized. The intent of an Introduction to Digital Signage is to launch the journey of discovery from a solid foundation. From this perspective all things are possible.