Digital Signage Suppliers: Separating the Good From the Great
Effectively leveraging digital signage can set your business apart from the competition and provide a myriad of competitive advantages. However, getting started with digital signage can be a challenge for businesses that lack existing know-how, strategies, and relationships. Although it can be intimidating, investing in digital signage is well worth it to position your business for both short and long-term success. So, how do you get started with digital signage? The first and most critical step is choosing the right digital signage supplier and solutions. Knowing how to properly evaluate digital signage suppliers and separate the good ones from the great ones pays massive dividends when it is time to choose your partner. With this in mind, let’s dive into how to go about choosing between digital signage suppliers.
Consider Your Needs
Before you start researching specific digital signage suppliers, it is critical to take a step back and evaluate what your needs are. What is the goal of your signage initiative? Are you looking to drive more sales in-store, or are you looking to drive a better customer experience and improve your brand’s positioning? How about both? Before selecting a digital signage partner, keep in mind what your ultimate goal is. Partner with a provider that can help you measure against and ultimately deliver on that goal, whatever it may be. Misalignment between your goals and your supplier’s capabilities can lead to a disjointed signage effort.
For example, if your business needs help with everything from installation to strategy and content creation, don’t partner with a supplier that merely sells you technology and leaves you to figure out the rest. If your business is new to digital signage and does not already have a robust infrastructure in place to create content or drive strategic installation, partner with a provider that can help you plug those gaps and get the most out of your signage initiative.
Another aspect to consider is scale. Are you looking to install new signage in a few stores, or are you planning to start your project on a larger scale? Ensure you look into providers who are capable of handling the scale that your business needs, both now and in the future. Your provider should be able to support your changing needs. Partnering with a provider that is unable to effectively scale its operations alongside your business can lead to bottlenecks and inefficiencies, and may necessitate switching providers.
Lastly, consider your budget. Make sure you have an understanding of what your business is willing to spend on its signage initiative and then evaluate providers within your price range. You will find there are plenty of providers that are not at the top of the market price-wise that deliver excellent services.
Choosing Between Digital Signage Suppliers
Now that you’ve taken a look at your needs and goals and established what is mission-critical for your signage initiative, it’s time to dive into what you should look for when evaluating digital signage suppliers.
Reliability: Investing in digital signage is only worthwhile if your signage is extraordinarily high-quality and is actually displaying properly. Before partnering with any digital signage supplier, you need to be certain of their commitment to delivering reliable uptime.
Best-In-Class Support: It is inevitable; at some point in your digital signage journey, you will be in need of assistance. It’s critical that your business gets the support it needs in a timely manner. Many providers can take days or even weeks to respond to support tickets. When you submit a support inquiry, your business needs help now, not days or weeks from now. Although you may consider customer support secondary to factors such as cost and experience/expertise, we assure you that support is just as important. There is no worse situation to find yourself in than with malfunctioning signage and no help in sight. Do the due diligence necessary to verify your provider’s commitment to high-quality support. – ask for references!!!
At DEEL Media, we are truly invested in your success, and our industry-leading response times serve as our proof. If you would like to learn more about our support process and how we work with your business, click here.
Scalability: We touched on this a bit earlier. Your signage provider must be able to grow alongside your business. Your business’s goal is likely to grow. If your digital signage provider is not able to support your growth, you will either have to change providers or risk being riddled with inefficiencies and bottlenecks. Be certain that your provider has the ability to scale up alongside you to support your changing needs.
Seamless Content Management: Your digital signage initiative should be fueled by a powerful CMS (content management system) that makes managing the content at one location as easy as managing it at five hundred locations. Ideally, your CMS will be produced by the same organization providing you with hardware and installation (more on this later). Without an intuitive CMS serving as the motor behind your signage initiatives, your business will struggle to optimize its signage and accomplish its goals. Do not settle for less when it comes to your CMS and its capabilities.
Ensure the CMS your business decides on is comprehensive, easy to use, and allows for intuitive management across many locations. Look for useful features like screen synchronization, dynamic text, multiple template options, and one-to-many changes. They can make your life much easier.
Staying on the technical side, verify that the CMS you select works in tandem with the goals your business is trying to accomplish. For example, if your goal is to maximize in-store sales, are you able to manage individual stores with unique menu mixes based on location? Do you have access to day-part customization that helps you put your best foot forward in terms of displays, and tailors the customer experience? Your CMS should enable you to flexibly merchandise at the store level without excessive human overhead, making accomplishing your goals that much easier.
Comprehensive Analytics and Reporting: Make sure your CMS/digital signage supplier has solutions in place to capture comprehensive analytics that help your business make data-driven decisions. Without access to quality data and analytics, how can you expect to get the most out of your signage? You should be able to monitor which creatives are driving more sales, which creatives are engaged with the most, and more. Accurate, real-time insights into audience engagement, content performance, and display effectiveness help your business determine what signage is most effective, enabling you to learn more, faster, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
End-to-End Coverage: Unless your business has a wealth of experience with digital signage already, it is likely going to need support in areas beyond hardware. Say you are just getting started with digital signage and do not have a pre-existing process for content creation, or any understanding of installation best practices. In this case, your business should look to partner with a supplier that offers more than just technology.
You should strive to work with a single organization that offers comprehensive digital signage coverage. Partnering with different organizations for the unique aspects of your signage like hardware, software, and content creation is more costly and creates potential risk in terms of faulty integrations and process inefficiencies. Partnering with a single end-to-end provider guarantees that your digital signage initiative is as efficient and streamlined as possible.
Additionally, having only one point of contact for your entire project streamlines troubleshooting and communication.
Expertise and Demonstrated Excellence: Of course, it is critical to partner with an organization with a proven track record of success and a nuanced understanding of your industry. Look for an impressive list of clients, case studies, and a wealth of experience in your specific industry before partnering with a digital signage supplier. There is no such thing as doing too much research. Take the time to evaluate your options.
It is also important to check that your partner is fluent in all things construction etiquette and installation. If the installation process is mishandled, your business can accidentally cause tons of headaches for your customers.
Industry-Specific Solutions: Look for any industry-specific solutions that could be impactful for your business. For example, if you are in the C-Store business, in-store/at-the-pump audio systems that can stream live music and radio stations can greatly improve the customer experience. Keep your eyes peeled for any unique, industry-specific offerings that the provider has rolled out previously.
Cost-Transparency: Confirm that the provider you are considering partnering with is transparent in regard to pricing including hardware, software, and any ongoing fees. Few things are more frustrating than hidden costs that pop up when you are not expecting them. Ensure you can have an honest conversation with your potential supplier about expected costs.
Innovation and Future-Proofing: Great providers stay updated with emerging technologies and trends, ensuring their solutions remain relevant and cutting-edge. Look for a partner that has an eye towards the future. Specifically, look for features like cloud hosting, APIs for the development of custom apps, and robust integration with your systems, and mobile devices.
We hope this guide has helped you better understand what factors you need to consider when evaluating digital signage suppliers. Let’s recap what we’ve discussed.
Before getting started on your digital signage journey, it is important to take a step back and consider your goals and specific needs when it comes to your signage. These factors will play a massive role in what you value in your signage, and what your ideal supplier looks like. Once you have established your goals and what you are looking for, it is time to get started looking at suppliers.
We covered several important aspects of signage providers that you need to consider. Here is a brief synopsis of what you should look for in your digital signage partner:
End-to-End Coverage: A provider that can help you with everything in the world of digital signage, from content to installation simplifies your project while reducing costs.
Industry Experience: Make sure that your potential provider has a wealth of expertise driving success in your specific industry and has an impressive portfolio of satisfied clients to back it up.
Seamless Content Management & Analytics: Your provider should have a robust CMS solution that enables simple content management across locations, with access to accurate, real-time data and analytics.
Outstanding Customer Support: At some juncture, your business will need help with its signage. Be certain that the help you need is available whenever necessary.
When it comes to your digital signage, don’t settle for less. Excellent digital signage is a tremendous way to set your business apart from its competitors, but far too many organizations fall short of their aspirations and end up with a sub-standard solution that leaves them wanting more.
If your business is starting the process of evaluating digital signage suppliers, we’d love to speak with you. At DEEL Media, we have been helping businesses get the most out of their digital signage for over ten years, and we are truly committed to your success. Schedule a time to meet with our team to learn more about our approach to digital signage and how we can help your business.
What is Digital Signage, And How is it Different From Regular Signage?
What is Digital Signage, And How is it Different From Regular Signage?
In technical terms, digital signage refers to the use of digital displays or screens to present information, advertisements, or other forms of content. It involves the use of technologies such as LCD, LED, or projection screens to display multimedia content, including images, videos, text, and interactive elements. Simply put, it is a more engaging way to display messages than traditional signage.
You can find digital signage everywhere, from retail stores, to airports, to hotels, to restaurants, to schools. It serves as a dynamic and flexible communication tool that allows businesses and organizations to deliver targeted messages to their audience.
The first key difference between digital signage and run-of-the-mill signage is the ability to display crystal-clear, dynamic content. This can completely transform the experience of a shopper, visitor, or whoever is viewing your signage. The bright display is hard to ignore, especially when it is in video format. Digital signage is simply more effective at attracting attention than conventional signage. Think about your personal experiences. Which menu board do you think commands more attention, a chalkboard with the day’s specials, or a visual display with bright colors and real, moving imagery showcasing one of the day’s specials?
Beyond higher engagement, another major difference between digital signage and traditional signage is the flexibility provided by digital signage. Rather than taking down your signage every time you want to communicate a new message or make an edit, digital signage enables you to store all of your content in one centralized location, and make changes to display with the push of a button. This makes life considerably easier for any organization that runs promotions or is frequently making tweaks to its offerings.