When taking capital investments, operational costs and social implications into consideration, finding one of the top digital signage companies is key. Without careful deliberation, the hardware and software purchased from a digital signage company can go from improving the customer experience and sales to being something nobody really knows how to use. This is especially true in instances when content doesn’t render properly, information has become stale, or the tech is down due to a perpetual glitch.
However, when done correctly, multinational companies can save as much as $500 million with digital signage. Implementing your first business signage system can be daunting, so to make sure you get things right, look for these four non-negotiables that will be ever-present in the top digital signage companies.
Modern and intuitive product
Remember, content is king in digital marketing. Digital signage will be a waste if the content management system (CMS) is not modern and intuitive enough to let you easily configure and organize your content and deploy it out to your audience. Having a CMS that enables regular content publishing, collaboration, live data, integrations and easy console access anytime, anywhere.
This means that the CMS must not be limited to a desktop application that can only be accessed in the office. It must have a cloud or a web-based counterpart that allows remote team members to schedule content or publish new content on the fly.
Aside from its technical capabilities, look for top digital signage companies that offer an intuitive CMS.This means that you shouldn’t need to have an elaborate one-week training armed with an encyclopedia-thick manual just to understand how it works.
The software is only as good as the hardware you choose. Take time to learn about the hardware brands and models used by top digital signage companies. This is especially important if the business signage will be placed outdoors – exposed to changes in humidity and temperature. The screens used must support true high-definition and synchronized playback. The demand for multi-display screen arrangements coupled with the capability to play pixel-perfect content over multiple displays is a standard that must be included in the business signage package.
Depending on your digital signage strategy, you may also want to opt for hardware that invites user engagement. Interactive touchscreens with gesture-tracking and SMS capability is a great way to encourage customers to interact with your business signage. This hardware is good for wayfinding, as it helps customers find a specific destination relative to their location; and has the capability to send the instructions via SMS, which is very useful for turn-by- turn instructions. Fourwinds Interactive (FWI) did this perfectly at Boston Logan International Airport, as well as countless other installations across multiple industries.
Internal development team
IT experts are well aware that a product being sold as a full turn-key solution with zero customizations are just marketing spiels designed to have customers purchase and worry about code changes later on. Remember, there is no solution made to specifically mirror the requirements and processes of an organization. Sooner or later, there are things that management may want to add that require advanced configuration, code changes or even custom development. Make sure to keep this in mind when finding a signage company. You’ll want to make sure the company you choose has a history of software development and improvement.
An in-house development team is more cost-efficient, effective and less risky than hiring a third-party vendor because top digital signage companies with dedicated resources for continual software improvement work to optimize their core product as market demands shift.
There are a lot of signage companies in the market today offering similar technology, features and pricing models. However, procurement best practices tell us that to narrow down the search for the most suitable provider, it is important to look at each company’s portfolio to see how many successful implementations were done in the same industry as your company. For instance, FWI has more than 6,000 clients and over 500,000 screens deployed in airports, banks, corporate campuses, sports stadiums, hospitals, hotels, casinos, universities, manufacturing facilities and retail stores.
Finding the right digital signage company, even if it’s your first time, is easy if you know specifically what to look for. Do your own research and start creating what Gartner calls a “vendor universe”–a landscape of solution providers that have the initial capabilities you want.
From there, narrow it down to providers with the highest number of successful implementations in your industry. Continue finding out if they have the features, technology and resources needed for successful implementation. From there, start reaching out to these providers to see how the CMS works and which features meet your needs.