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Avoid Digital Signage Without Purpose

Jul 12, 2008
It happens all too often: someone in your organization, browsing a trade magazine or industry portal sees an article on the growing trend of digital signage, or a case study on a competitor's installation of a digital signage network. The piece goes on and on about how digital signage enhances the effect of marketing messages, assists in guiding desired behavior from clients, and has the ability to target different demographics based on time and location. In fact, the piece makes it sound like a digital signage network is the only thing keeping your company away from the success it truly deserves.

All of the above is completely true, and digital signage provides organizations like universities, hotels and retail centers with direct marketing benefits. However, when considering investment in digital signage it is important to take a step back from all of the potential benefits and make sure you can answer one simple question: what exactly is your organization trying to accomplish by making use of digital signage? If you cannot clearly identify the purpose of a digital signage network, if you don't already have an idea of what content you would want to give to customers (or potential customers) if given the opportunity, then it will be impossible to achieve any level of success with the signage project.

Signage (whether digital or analog) has many uses outside of just delivering marketing messages: it can be used help consumers find their way, to give information on products and services offered, and even for video games and point of sale systems. If there is a primary need for this type of system in your organization then chances are you can safely begin to consider a digital signage system. However, if you are purely attracted to the added benefits of digital signage and are inventing primary needs that are not currently part of existing challenges, then chances are your digital signage project will not be a rewarding experience.

It is vitally important to the success of your signage project that you take the time at the outset to determine attainable goals which you want your signage system to fulfill. Getting input and signoff from key management in your organization will also help to create buy in, and to provide absolute direction on the project. Although digital signage companies are capable of great efficiency in the design, development and implementation processes, attempting to fulfill an unclear set of objectives which are constantly shifting will only create unnecessary expense and disappointment.

Although digital signage can fulfill very many marketing purposes in an efficient, attractive manner, it is very dangerous to get caught up in all of the benefits without being able to see the over-arching purposing of introducing this new marketing method to your company or organization. It always helpful to step back and reconsider the motives and goals behind your consideration of a digital signage implementation. Not only will this help to streamline the entire development and implementation process, it will also lead to more measurable results.
About the Author
Four Winds Interactive is a leading provider of digital signage networks and software.
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