Defining the Value of Digital Signage

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Digital signage as a business investment is all about achieving communications goals.

As this place-based medium has achieved critical mass, acceptance by audiences and increasingly delivered value in shopper, patron, traveler, staff and student communications, the importance of analytics has grown also.

Marketing and communications is undergoing a massive transition to analytics and the integration of analytics into communications operations and messaging. Consumer engagement is a “moneyball” world in which analytics drive investment decisions.

The new currency of the media, messaging and engagement world is “data,” which recognizes that information is powerful as the levels of abstraction grow from data to statistics to information to knowledge to wisdom.

Return on Investment (ROI) analysis provides quantified measures of value. The “return” element of ROI analysis always starts by clarifying the intended business, marketing or communications goals, then measuring the actual results or impact against these objectives.

Quantitative measures are a tangible gauge of impact and when used as a sampling, may be utilized to predict outcomes on a wider scale. Quantitative measures include for example, traffic, viewers or transaction volume including sales lift or the number of enquiries inquiries, applications or registrations. It could include traffic to website, devices detected, downloads, opt-in or other responses to an offer or requested action.

Often, the presence and appeal of displays are sufficient validation of the investment. Even without any quantified measures of impact the signage is judged subjectively as making a worthy cost/benefit contribution to communications goals and providing a good “Return on Objectives” (ROO). The determination that “it is good” is often based on the belief that the dynamic signage provides value through:

  • Improving the patron experience at the venue
  • Improving ambiance, appeal and attractiveness of the environment
  • The expression of the attributes of a brand
  • Bringing more life, energy and vitality to an environment
  • Modernizing a location
  • Adding visuals that complement or enhance a location’s activity

These measures are sometimes challenging to quantify, though the impression and opinion of targeted audiences can be achieved through interview or survey.

Awareness and actions from messages and attitudes resulting from the messaging can be measured in several ways including a review of outcome data (counting), Anonymous Viewer Analytics (AVA), intercept interview or questionnaire.

Metrics indicate outcomes and the possibility for future action while validating the value of the dynamic media messages in areas such as reducing waiting time, providing education, entertainment or useful information.

The advertising sales effort related to some displays depend heavily on metrics such as total available audience, number of viewers and “dwell time” in which viewers are watching the display messages. Providing data on the impact of the messaging adds high value to media buying (sales) efforts.

Rather than being linear with a definitive start and end, or circular with recurring action-test-refine steps, analytics approaches are best reflected as a growing upward spiral.

Core or primary objectives are set, the approach is tested and its impact assessed. Modifications are then made and re-tested. The confidence that comes with the achievement of primary goals allows businesses to better focus on reaching secondary goals. These broader goals are then tested and refined, as even more goals are added for achievement by the medium. As content and playloops are enhanced, the return on investment increases exponentially.

The capital and operating investment in Dynamic media must show Return on Objectives or measureable Return on Investment.

Nothing is more powerful than fact. ROI and ROO analysis offers input to decision-making and optimization of the digital signage investment.

To learn more about digital signage contact MCC today for a consult.

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