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Digital Signage: Success is a team effort

Content should be engaging for passersby, never boring.

4. Design the content.
It is important to keep digital signage’s content relevant to its particular context. Too often, not enough attention is given to keeping it fresh, up-to-date, appealing and engaging. To achieve these aims, someone—either internally or at a third-party service provider—needs to take on full responsibility for the content and its effects on its audience.

Indeed, the core of digital signage success is appealing content. Failure to provide it can derail an otherwise well-executed campaign, cause the audience to lose interest in stale messaging and even condemn the screen to being put out of mind altogether. With this mind, content must never be boring!

5. Design the system.
Regardless of specific technical abilities, strong experience in designing digital signage systems can make all the difference when the time comes to specify the right mix of components for the deployment. When consumer-grade screens are specified, for example, not only are they not engineered to support portrait-mode content, but they may also overheat and become unreliable, as they are not designed to endure the long hours of commercial operations.

6. Implement the system.
Another common mistake is neglecting to give enough thought to digital sign placement. The physical locations of deployed displays, players, cabling and other components are all key considerations.

While an experienced digital signage integrator can expedite this process, it is important to combine the existing abilities of a general contractor with the central purpose that is driving the use of the technology. Walls, studs, electrical connections and even plumbing may require modifications before screens can be deployed where they are needed. Skilled tradespeople can ‘get their hands dirty’ and address unplanned surprises to help keep the digital signage installation on track and on budget.

7. Repeat.
Once an organization has created, tested, deployed, measured and tweaked its digital signage system to its heart’s content, repeating the process will allow it to find areas for improvement. Specific successes and failures should be shared with key stakeholders, so the system can provide a catalyst for further change in communications.

An effective strategy
It is important to shake off the all-too-common mentality that a ‘slide show’ is good enough—that’s not an effective strategy for creating a ‘wow’ factor or an improved experience for the audience. Working as a team through each of the seven steps, without taking shortcuts that could derail the original vision, is the path to digital signage success.

David Little is a marketing consultant for Keywest Technology, which develops digital signage software and hardware. For more information, contact him via e-mail at

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