Digital Signage Free Report

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Digital Signage Free Report

  1. 1. Digital Signage: Avoid the Pitfalls. Top Ten Tips to SuccessBring your environment to life. www.saturnvisual.com
  2. 2. Digital Signage:Avoid the Pitfalls. Top Ten Tips to SuccessDigital signage is changing the way we real-time, eye-catching and interactive So is it for you? If you are reading thisbring our environments to life. It’s more content. That’s why digital signage is eGuide, then perhaps your business orthan a poster, more than a sign, more than already a commonplace sight in shops, organisation is considering exploring thisan intranet. It doesn’t work like TV banks, airports and bus stations, cinemas new frontier for the first time. Or you maybroadcasting, or like a PC network. and doctors’ waiting rooms, schools already be a digital signage convert and and hospitals, corporate offices and call looking for ways to further enhance yourDigital signage offers a fresh, engaging centres. Even in times of recession, digital communications or brand.and dynamic means of communicating. It signage has continued to grow when otherrequires us to think differently about how traditional media channels have struggled. Embarking on a digital signage projectwe talk to our customers, employees or can be daunting. There are a multitudepublics. New skills and techniques are As the cost of technology has come down, of systems, software and technologiesbeing developed all the time as the so digital signage has become accessible available and many potential stumblingtechnology improves. to a much wider user-base. Flat screen blocks along the road to success. This technology and improved network integra- eGuide is designed to help you avoid theThese days we’re used to seeing screens tion have enabled digital signage to be pitfalls and consider the ingredients for aeverywhere we go. But far from Big both simple in application, and sophisti- successful deployment.Brother watching us, modern screen-savvy cated in use.audiences are watching out for ever moreNo1. measure success. A clear, well-thought out proposal will also be an essential tool demographic. In a cinema for example, there is a different footfall during theSo You Think in getting buy-in and funds from senior management. All too often, digital signage daytime, than in the evenings or in school holiday periods. The content can beYou Need Digital installations can fall at the first hurdle. By having ill-defined or “me-too” objectives, tailored accordingly. Understand what the technology can do,Signage? hapless project teams end up back in the boardroom having steered blindly towards and then know from the outset what a system that does not meet their real success will look like.Isn’t it often the case when a new requirements.technology explodes onto the scene, thatthe unwary can trip up; perhaps caughtup in the excitement of the hi-tech bubble, Digital signage offers unique potential for dynamic and customised information. No 2:focusing more on the shiny newtechnology than the delivery? For you, it could offer the opportunity for better customer service and to provide Should theSomeone in your organisation may have greater product information to your cus- tomers. It could be a means to inform and Buck Stop withdecided that digital signage is the new“sliced bread”, the next best thing ever to motivate employees or simply to create a certain atmosphere which supports your Marketing …be introduced into your communicationsmix. But is it right for you? The starting brand identity. Whether you want to sell popcorn or evacuate a building, there are Or IT?point has to be exactly what does your some key features to bear in mind in the A digital signage installation has been calledorganisation want to accomplish with planning stages. a ‘technology ecosystem’ of different mediadigital signage? and disciplines. To achieve success requires Uniquely, digital signage communicationIt’s an old saying, but failing to plan is coordination and knowledge sharing with can adapt instantly to time, place and au-planning to fail. Start by clearly defining many parts of the organisation. There’s dience. Content can be tailored to a spe-the purpose of your digital signage the hardware and software; the project cific location e.g. near a featured in-storenetwork and make sure all your internal management; the networking and promotion. It can be updated in real-timestakeholders share the same views. Taking connectivity. Then there’s the design and - delivering airport timetables for instancetime to agree on expectations for the authoring and finally ongoing content and feeding in current events such asproject is essential. Digital Signage may management and system maintenance. weather or traffic conditions. Finally, itnot be the solution. is highly specific to the audience. It allows Even the most skilled IT manager mightYou will then need to set clear objectives relevant ‘narrowcasting’ i.e. delivering struggle to appreciate the fulland define how you are going to targeted messages to a specific known communications capabilities of digitalAvoid the Pitfalls. Top Ten Tips to Success 1Bring your environment to life. www.saturnvisual.com
  3. 3. signage. On the other hand, a marketingmanager may fall short of understanding No 4: No 5:the technology requirements. Of course,there’s no right or wrong answer to which Know your Content is stilldepartment should take control. Place – or Places! King: Long LiveIn any organisation, undertaking adigital signage project for the first time, Digital signage is about location, location, location. Think carefully about the number the King!it’s essential to establish a capablemulti-disciplinary team incorporating all the of signs and where they are strategically A day does not pass when the wordsrelevant stakeholders. Senior management positioned. How many signs would be too “content is king” are spoken or writtenneed to ensure that adequate resources many for your organisation? How many down somewhere with reference to digitalare allocated to any project to enable too few? signage. The truth is that success reallya successful outcome and that all stake- does lie in the application and the skilful Every digital sign needs to be placed delivery of your message. A digital signageholders are kept informed of progress. where it is most available to the target network has the ability to run video,For some, the solution lies in appointing audience. It sounds obvious, but the more graphics, text and animation. Multiplea supplier that can provide end-to-end you know about the footfall of your visual elements are put together to aproject coordination. Digital signage audience, the more you can place the defined playout schedule.specialists have amassed the broad skills signs carefully. Research has shown thatin everything from hardware to content signs too close to entrances can be less Digital signage can make a big impact; butdesign and can offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ effective. As a rule of thumb, the closer it is also subject to the filtering, avoidingapproach that can circumvent potential to eye level a digital sign is, the better, and ignoring that people use to tune outinternal difficulties. although there can be exceptions to this, of media. Failing to consider the screen in the case of cinema foyers or call cen- content adequately, can result in a lossAn external specialist can also open up tres, for example. of “stickablility”. Stickability is thenew options for you in terms of the compulsion for the viewer to not onlyapplications for the project you may not Increasingly, the location of digital signage notice the message, but to actuallyhave considered. is being considered right from the design digest and process the information. of a building. Digital signage is becoming part of the architecture of stores, foyers So there’s a real art involved in creatingNo 3: and cinemas, where static and dynamic media are planned together as part of a the right kind of text, images and video. Content needs to be kept simple. PeopleWho’s in Charge? physical infrastructure. may need to get the message in a glance. Screens should be kept with a minimum Digital signage experts are starting to of images: - no more than three elementsWho should you ask to take the lead in appreciate the impact that it has on the on screen at the same time.a new digital signage project? Certainly, total environment of a building. The wayhaving one point of contact to drive the you want your environment to look and Consider carefully when to incorporateproject forward is essential. You should feel drives the technology, placing, mes- big moving images, or complex graphics.insist on this from your supplier, too. saging and graphics on your digital sign. They can catch the attention, but detract The creative solution could be different from the viewers’ ability to understandWhat skills set should your project manager for two places within the same department the message on screen. Digital signagehave? They must understand the full scope store, for example. Whether you are a has the option to include sound, but thisof what is required from them and in major organisation or a modest SME, must be thought about carefully, especiallyturn they should be provided with all the consider carefully how your digital signage in an environment where there isresources necessary from the rest of the network will affect the atmosphere and background noise.organisation. ambience of the space around it. So a simple message is important. ButConsider also, who will manage the system aim for too low impact and you’ll end uponce it is up and running. This may not be with nothing more than moving wallpaperthe same individual. – and very expensive wallpaper at that. Well executed, digital signage delivers compelling and interactive communications in a two-way experience with the viewer. The content may need to vary across the installation. A 65-inch screen in landscape for example, may need a different treatment to a 32-inch screen inAvoid the Pitfalls. Top Ten Tips to Success 2Bring your environment to life. www.saturnvisual.com
  4. 4. portrait. The more screens you have in any staffing. For example in a hotel, the It takes time to be properly trained ininstallation, the greater the challenge. system could be integrated with the using a digital signage network. Of course, management software tor tracking there is the option to learn ‘on the job’.Finally, you will need to consider who is reservations, meeting room bookings etc, But it would be ill-judged for anresponsible for designing the content. saving the need for re-entering data. organisation to invest heavily in theFor larger organisations, it may be a installation of hardware and initialcase of recruiting a full-time specialist Above all, when specifying and selecting graphic content, then fail to allocateor appointing an advertising agency. For your system, be sure that your system sufficient funds to the ongoing trainingSMEs, the choice is more limited and it supplier incorporates a content creation of personnel. After all, what was the in-may be a case of working with an software package which is easy to use vestment for, if it is not sufficientlyindividual to develop their skills and and manage. supported in the post-installation period?knowledge in the role. Failing to learn how to update the No 7: content of your new system could proveNo 6: embarrassing, and make it difficult to Watch out for justify the initial outlay in the system toWho Updates the senior management. Worse still, it could Hidden Costs negate your objectives and do a poor jobContent? It’s vital to consider all the hidden costs of communicating with your audience. Make sure you allocate a training budgetDigital signage has an insatiable appetite associated with a digital signage from the outset of project planning.for content. To attract attention it needs installation. All too often, organisations fail Identify and recruit carefully those whoto be constantly changing and updating. to identify from the outset the associated are going to be trained in the system,Yes, you can use RSS feeds and news wire costs and to incorporate them in the and what level of skill they require. Ifservices to refresh information, but you budget. The result can be a shiny new appropriate, work with your systemwill still need to update your own system, without the resources to maintain supplier to tailor a training programmeorganisation’s content on a regular basis. it adequately, or an embarrassing to meet your needs. justification to be made to the financeFrom the outset, from the moment you manager. It’s vital to identify the total coststart planning and budgeting for your of ownership of a chosen solution, anddigital signage network, you need toconsider who will update the content once avoid the temptation to underestimate – or No 9: even ignore – ongoing costs. Pre-launchthe system is fully up and running. Thatmeans identifying the necessary “buy-in” is a must. What’s your Returnstaffing costs, too. It’s no small task,and it requires someone with the Just as importantly, is the need for a fully-scoped and well-communicated on Investment?necessary skills and access to information installation project involving all stakehold- As the digital signage market hasin your organisation. ers, with an integral monitoring and review developed, so users have become more process. A project that is not carefully discerning and more conscious of theYou may be fortunate enough to be able planned out, could run into difficulties Return on Investment (ROI) offered byto assign a full-time qualified, competent and incur extra unforeseen expenses. their digital signage network. But toperson to manage the task of creating measure ROI can be a challenge.content. It’s tempting to rely on a number Ensure your solution provider identifies allof people to ‘chip in’ with their own the costs associated with content creation, As digital signage is moving from acontributions, but without someone in component replacement and hardware nice-to-have, towards a need-to-havecharge, the text, graphics and video on refresh right from the start. business tool, so has the requirementdisplay will soon grow stale and lose focus. for a strong financial case to be put for funding the system. It won’t be enoughChoosing the right design of system and asuitable content management solution are No 8: to tell the board about the benefits of this exciting technology. You are also goingalso important. Using design templates,for example, can be one way of minimising Train the Team to have to set measurable targets – and deliver against them. That means showingthe amount of work involved when content how the system is paying back, be that in Any budget for a successful digital signageis to be updated allowing someone to increased sales, or by saving on costs that network should include an ongoingpopulate the system with new information would have been incurred elsewhere, for allocation for training. Creating contenton a regular basis. example eliminating print costs for for a digital signage network, scheduling it and making changes to playback along internal posters.Choosing software that allows datafrom other systems to be imported the way will require a large degree of skill, There’s plenty of documented researchautomatically can also save time and interest and commitment from your team.Avoid the Pitfalls. Top Ten Tips to Success 3Bring your environment to life. www.saturnvisual.com
  5. 5. to show how digital signage has boostedsales, increased customer enquiries, No 10: you’re confident of the answer, you will be able to set objectives and identifyincreased awareness or reduced perceivedwaiting time. But how will you measure it Ensuring a measurable success criteria from the outset. You will also be able toin your organisation? Successful demonstrate a return on your organisation’s investment and haveThe good news is that there are tools andtechniques available for reporting success. Installation a process in place which will help you to evaluate and improve your systemSome measurements simply record the for the future.output – the ‘impressions’ made on screen, Because it relies on such a mix ofsome identify the success of a system in disciplines: hardware, software, True success will depend upon thereaching its audience, and more networking, design, authoring and so on, location and the quality of the content ofsophisticated calculations can express the installing digital signage can prove to be your digital signage system. Think longnumber of people ‘reached’ compared to a messy process. That’s why it’s important and hard about how you are going tothe total audience. Perhaps your to select a systems integrator with the ensure you keep it well populated withorganisation may not need this level of skill and experience to serve as a quality information moving forward.sophistication. At the very least, it will general contractor.need to have a system which logs what Make sure you cost your project carefully It’s not just IT vendors, software to include any ongoing expenditure forhas been played and when. developers and graphic designers who content creation and maintenance of theThe trick is to establish from the outset all have an input into the project outcome. system hardware and software. Selectwhat the Key Performance Indicators It’s likely you’ll have carpenters, a multi-disciplinary team to input intoare against your measureable ROI. electricians, plumbers and even heating the project from the start with a capableUnderstanding your success criteria will and ventilating contractors who might project manager at the helm. Then, makeprovide you with an accountable need to make changes to the building sure those people tasked with updatingframework. Ensure that your chosen infrastructure during the installation. the system moving forward are properlysupplier is well versed in harnessing trained. It’s important that your systems integratorproven strategies and methodologies for can co-ordinate all those resources and Finally, select your system suppliermeasuring the success of your system. manage them successfully. Entrusting the carefully, to ensure they can provide a overall management of the contract to comprehensive support from systemFinally, make sure you have an effective your supplier, could well save significant planning, right through to content creationreview process. If you are measuring time, expense and worry. and ongoing support. If you follow theseROI and you have information abouthow your system, or parts of your guidelines, then you can make the best of In Conclusion… this new, exciting technology and perhapssystem are performing, make sure youhave the processes in place to make avoid the pitfalls. Every successful digital signage projectimprovements easily. should start with the question, why? If Good luck!Head Office Address About SaturnSaturn Communications Group Ltd Saturn is a global provider of integrated digital messaging solutions for corporate,Wigan Investment Centre healthcare, hospitality, retail and cinema environments. Its technology has been installedWaterside Drive in over 20 countries and is currently powering 30,000 display screens worldwide.Wigan WN3 5BA Saturn’s award-winning digital signage software solutions, including its flagshipT 01942 824 224 Connectvision and Cinema Solutions brands are used by numerous blue-chips companiesF 01942 820 932 as well as major public sector organisations.E info@saturnvisual.com Saturn’s reputation is built on a commitment to delivering end-to-end digital signage solutions using the highest quality products and services. Saturn combines impartial sourcing of hardware and networking with specialist software and expert content development to deliver integrated digital messaging solutions. Saturn can provide a range of complementary services: Project Management, Software Development, Data Integration, Hardware Specification, Media Co-ordination, Content Creation, System Installation, Support & Maintenance and Helpdesk. Saturn’s reputation for innovation, quality and project delivery has truly earned the company the title The Digital Signage Experts. For more information contact 01942 824 22Company Number 03600388 Registered in EnglandAvoid the Pitfalls. Top Ten Tips to Success 4Bring your environment to life. www.saturnvisual.com

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