M-Cube Magazine

HOW TO START A DIGITAL SIGNAGE PROJECT

How does one start a digital signage project that lasts over time? How to safeguard investments and optimize resources? Here are 3 tips on how to design a successful digital signage system.

 

Choosing a good display is not enough to start a digital signage project. It is important to be very clear as to the goals to be reached, and make forward-looking choices. As with every technology, in fact, even digital signage requires a business plan! Here is a mini guide to help you set up a long lasting digital signage project.

1. Go for a professional solution

Have you decided to implement a digital signage system? The first thing to do is avoiding the temptation to go for the cheaper system on the market. As the experts have pointed out, this is not a good strategic approach. To get a good digital signage solution the cost is a relative variable. There are more important factors to consider. One must think from a different perspective. Technologies are constantly changing, but this is not the problem. What is needed is a strategy that can take care of every aspect of the system managementthe type of platform, the enabling resources, the contents, and naturally the support over time.
Digital signage is, in fact, a bridge between back-end and front-end, enabling information processes that go way beyond mere communication. Beside the aesthetic characteristics of design and screen resolution, a digital signage system must work well in terms of input and output, with internal processors able to support multimediality. That is why it is important to choose professional solutions. Displays can be switched on 24/7 in environments exposed to all kind of stresses, therefore they must be robust, the result of a specific design, able to handle every aspect of the type of interaction one wants to give to communication. Professional solutions allow for the tracking, measurement, and analysis of any type of feedback in order to develop ever more accurate communication strategies.

2. Be clear from the start on the use you will make of it

Digital signage has many applications. Let’s say that you want to adopt a display to welcome visitors at the entrance of your firm, in the reception area, in front of the lifts, or in the main corridors. In this case it is better to invest on the best displays available on the market, with 4K contents if you want them to last a long time. If however, you are a small retailer and want a display to advertise promotions and special offers all you need is a medium size LCD screen, with a Plug & Play multimedia reader. But if the project involves chain stores or a company with various branches worldwide then things become more complex. In this case one must consider a localization of contents orchestrated on various displays , in line with the organizational requirements. That is why it is necessary to go for advanced platforms, on site or in cloud, that allow for the setting up of the contents direction in a dynamic and diversified way on one or more screens, guaranteeing the scalability of the solution over time. Nowadays there are providers that can manage every phase of the project: from contents production to systems planning, from the management of the service provision to the services updates. The choice of a professional solution guarantees a professional service, not only pre-sale, but post-sale too: installation and upkeep will always be guaranteed by a qualified supplier with a good nationwide presence. In short, by buying a professional digital signage solution it is possible to save not just on the services, but also on the quality, with the guarantee that the system will be supported over time.

3. Define a good strategy in terms of contents

Do not forget that Content is King! Without good contents even the best display in the word would be useless. What makes the difference is the programming, which must be thought out in terms of the type of application, but also the type of production. In order to define a correct strategy it is important to ask the right questions:

  • Who will produce the contents?
  • How often will the contents need to be updated?
  • Which system of contents management will be used?
  • Which resources will manage and update the contents regularly?
  • How will the contents be presented to the public?
  • Will the chosen display be able to manage any type of content?
  • Will the chosen display be able to manage the interaction with the public?

By answering all these questions the digital signage strategy will be more effective, functional and strategic. It will be possible to know which, and how many, resources to allocate to manage the project, and to get a clear idea on how to manage and solve it over time. This will make the project work, even when more advanced solutions will become available.

Laura Zanotti, Journalist and Technical Writer

6 September 2018

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