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Digital Signage: Accurately measuring ROI

Photos courtesy NEC Display Solutions

By Richard Ventura
Before organizations dedicate funds to the design, rollout and maintenance of digital signage networks, it is very important for them to understand how to accurately measure their return on investment (ROI). This process will help them justify why they pay signage providers for the service, but will also help them maximize the impact of the medium by adjusting key variables, such as on-screen content and the physical locations of the screens, to achieve better ROI.

Building in metrics
Measuring ROI accurately can be complex, so it is the sign industry professional’s role to help clients by ‘building in’ appropriate metrics and systems from the very beginning of the process. This will require understanding how these clients define their essential targets, characterizing how the newly identified objectives will be quantified in terms of accomplishments.

Industry professionals are well-suited, after all, to demonstrate the personalized value of a digital signage network and to consider key fundamentals as they help their clients create and carry out a strategic plan.

ROO before ROI
Before a client starts thinking about how to calculate their ROI, however, it is important for them to first focus on their return on objectives (ROO), which can be an even more helpful measurement for digital signage deployments. To do so, clients will need to start by defining their key objectives in specific and measurable terms, along with their expected outcomes.

The reason this is an important step is digital signage has proven most valuable to those organizations where its placement, content and purpose have been carefully considered early on in the development process, particularly with regard to those the new network will affect. If a client seeks to install screens in a school, for example,
he/she should be sure to discuss the plan with faculty, students and the information technology (IT) team. They can provide helpful insight by discussing how best the new network might be accommodated, used and accepted.

A digital signage network’s key objectives can include a wide range of elements, which industry professionals need to understand as they pertain to each individual client. The needs of a clothing retailer seeking to sell more garments, for example, will be different from a school’s, with respect to choosing the right display hardware, content management system (CMS) platform and content strategy.

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