Why Digital Signage SUCKS

digital signage sucks

THAT’S RIGHT, I SAID IT.  Digital Signage sucks in a lot of ways.  (Yup, it’s Digital Signage Expo week, and out of ALL the topics I have on my list, this is what I chose to debut my new blog column with.)

But I think I’m qualified to make that statement. I’ve been designing nothing but digital signage projects for nine years. That’s it. No telecom, videoconferencing, no security, no audio or any other Googly-iPad-app driven automation gadgets. Heck, I don’t even hang TVs.

So bring your juiceboxes, cheerios and tissues; follow me into this nest of safety where we can all group hug and sob into some ice cream like Oprah watching herself on Lifetime. I assure you there’s hope at the end.

 What SUCKS about digital signage?

  • IT’S HARD TO KEEP UP WITH. Keeping up with digital signage is like chasing Usain Bolt with a Big Wheel. You’re playing a game where the board changes, the pieces change, and the rules of the game change every month, i.e., whenever you try taking the Internet and moving it into the physical realm, it’s going to make waves.

  • IT’S HARD TO SELL, and it’s hard to price effectively. Communicating value and ROI can be very difficult sometimes. Plus, your price methods can make you very attractive to some verticals, but push you off a cliff with others!

  • IT’S HARD TO DESIGN FOR — Truly effective digital signage is a dynamic medium that requires rules and processes rooted in a marketing plan. From our perspective, it’s better that it’s managed by the customer themselves — but they need guidance to develop the plan… and maybe help with initial graphics.

  • IT CAN BE COMPLICATED TO PUT TOGETHER. The market seems to demand over-simplified, off-the-shelf purchases. Like you could just go to Target and buy a multi-tiered digital signage system with everything involved that fits your exact needs. (It’s in the gaming aisle.) WRONG. Yes, there’s going to be one-off displays that work for onesietwosie displays… but for almost every client who needs enterprise content management, it just ain’t gonna work right.

  • AND MORE STUFF… Like, “It’s hard to support,” and “it’s hard to educate clients about the capabilities of their displays,” and “it’s hard to maintain consistency over time.”

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Yup, I crowded the last bullet point because studies show that articles with more than 5 bullet points get 17% less views. Really? Nope, I just made that up.

But I want to let you all know THERE IS HOPE. So if you’re going to the Digital Signage Expo this week to find the right solution — don’t let me pull you away from this truly amazing revolution in communications.  Digital signage IS worth it, and it WILL continue to prove itself.  

I will provide the best answers I can for all of the pains I’ve listed above in future posts.  So do your bookmark thing, your RSS thing, or just copy the darn link to this blog. I don’t care where you came from, but if you’ve landed in digital signage, we could become good friends.  

BONUS: If you’d like to hear some inside info before my posts come out, I’ll be part of a national webinar with the Digital Signage Federation. It’s March 25th, 2015, called “How to Make Money Selling Digital Signage”  It’s free, here’s how to register: http://digitalsignagefederation.org/event-1880852

 For fun, tell me your reasons digital signage SUCKS in the comments below.