Why Content Plays Second Fiddle On So Many Digital Sign Networks, And What To Do About It

When is the last time you were stopped dead in your tracks by the sleek industrial design of a big flat panel display – its thin bezel, its brightness and contrast ratios, or the way it was fixed on a wall?

When was the last time you stood transfixed at how content management software handled video playback without dropping a frame, and showed a clock, the weather and even a news ticker at the same time!!!

Never, right?

In digital signage, displays and software are just enabling technologies. But they are enabling very little if what’s on the screen is not making people look, and keep looking.

Content is the most important part of any digital signage installation, yet so often it is the last thing end-users think about when they’re planning and launching their networks.

So why is that? Here’s a few thoughts: Continue reading

Digital Signage Is All About Video, So Where Are The Videos

Looking at how marketing is handled across the digital signage landscape – with the service providers, vendors and even the network operators – can’t help but form an odd thought: where’s the video?

The digital signage sector exists for video, but the great majority of the marketing and promotion of products is still done with very traditional written sales sheets, graphics and still photos. It’s actually rare to come across a company that effectively uses video to promote and explain what it has to offer.

Logic might suggest that producing videos takes finding a crew and providing plenty of time to shoot and edit something. That might lead people to think video production is just too expensive.

Yes, a full-blown, well shot, well lit and professionally edited three to four minute piece can cost a bundle. But that’s not what’s needed in most cases. Continue reading

Selling Digital Signage Effectively In The Channel

Selling digital signage technology looks relatively easy in principle, but proves much harder in practice for a lot of companies that add these products and services to their portfolios.

It’s a display mounted on a wall, driven by a PC, it’s reasonably assumed, so what could be hard about that?

The problem for companies that re-sell digital signage technology is that it is not just technology. It’s not just gear that does something. AV and systems integrators find new elements entering into the discussion – big questions about why and how. The real issue is what’s on the screen, why and how it gets refreshed.

A sales person who is very good at identifying the best, most cost-efficient technologies to make something happen for a client, or make something a client already has that much better, has probably never had a sales discussion about programming objectives, dwell times or the merits of embedded PC vs versus standalone systems.

It’s just different. And it’s why some resellers in the downstream sales channel struggle to be successful selling digital signage technologies. They can get the meetings and show the product because there is real interest in the marketplace, but closing that business is hard.

The biggest thing to remember and embrace is that this is not a pure technology sell. It cannot be treated as a SKU in a system like rack enclosures and mounting brackets. There’s too much involved.

Instead, this is a solutions-selling exercise. The person meeting with customers needs to pry out of their clients what they are trying to accomplish with digital signage, and then help them develop a plan that will deliver on those aspirations.

We break it down to three key questions: Continue reading