Digital signage projects failing? You need an integrator!

A study conducted by Futuresource Consulting of 100 digital signage projects in Europe found that almost 10% of them failed while another 10% were only partially successful. So what does this say about digital signage, the product Mirada Media’s pushing? Should we give up and our clients stop their digital signage initiatives? The answer is a big, emphatic NO!

I can’t help but say “I told you so” in regards to the role of digital signage integrators when reading that Futuresource Consulting’s research found that poorly-implemented digital sigange initiatives were : 1) too complex, 2) didn’t have clear goals, and 3) didn’t know how content and the mix could achieve their goals.

The managers of failing digital signage initiatives were dealing with up to 8 individual parties to get their project off the ground and keep it running. After hearing that its easy to see why an integrator can simplify and straighten that mess by being the main party to deal with whether its for dealing with software support, hardware warranties or network management. In our French blog post on the three rules to a success digital signage deployment, we stress that a digital signage vendor should be a digital signage partner. Technologies and your communication goals may change but a partner will always remain to take care of your needs.

Digital signage can be a great communications tool as long as you know what you want to do with it and how you’re going to do it. The number one pitfall when starting a digital signage project is neglecting to set clear goals. Developing a detailed communication plan, goals and ROI will help keep you focused and allow you to evaluate your actions and results.

Closely related to your communication goal is the content. The phrase “content is king” became popular with the internet explosion and Google’s search engine dominance. When the content is relevant, well written and popular, your website shows up in the listings. The same is true with digital signage. What one must remember is that every medium has its method. Ads for print are different than those on billboards. One of the first rules of digital signage ads is the KISS approach: Keep it simple stupid. Keep your eye on the prize when designing content; focus on the message you want your audience to receive. Sure, you want your ads to look nice and take advantage of the benefits of digital, but your audience is usually fleeting so you have to strike a balance between getting your message across and shifting eyeballs towards the screen.

Digital Signage Updates for mid-June

We have a few interesting projects in the works that should be completed before the end of the summer. We’re helping a new “urban cafeteria” launch with a bang! We’re currently installing a fully digital menu board system for their early July opening in downtown Montreal. The system will feature three 46″ commercial-grade LCD’s to display menu items and promote sales, special items, and their branding. They are also planning to launch 3 other locations across Montreal so we could be seeing a lot more dynamic menu boards in this part of the world.

We’re also proud to announce our first digital signage project in a school! We’re going to be setting up a 5 screen infoboard system in western Quebec this summer.

On a similar note, we will soon be publishing a case on another information system we installed at a large sports center in northern Montreal. Although we never officially announced it, the system has been running since this winter but we should be publishing a release in the coming week.