Digital signage is not a new concept. The potential value has been understood for some time, but figuring out how best to make it work is still an elusive question for those evaluating the market. Over the past few months, this process has been further muddied by the entry of many new companies in the space. Go to any tradeshow, query any search engine, and the results are staggering. Everyone these days is in the digital signage business. From display manufacturers and kiosk companies to content creators and multi-vendor consortiums, everyone is trying to get into the game. How does a retailer make sense of all this?
To begin, one has to understand that the value proposition for digital signage centers around the network. Networks are capital investments. Investments should yield benefits and provide future options for monetization. Does a digital signage network make sense for you? If so, how do you determine which vendor(s) can make it happen?
Like any technology acquisition, the first step is to adequately define the project and set your expectations. Free yourself from the shackles of thinking in terms of fixed content, DVDs and video tapes. Think about POP replacement, enhancing the customer experience, generating a new source of revenue through advertising, and reshaping corporate communications and training. Engage the imaginations of Marketing, Merchandising, Store Ops and Human Resources. When you have defined your requirements and metrics for success, it’s time to examine the alternatives.