THIS IS A PROMOTED POST FROM MVIX
In the past, clients would come to integrators knowing precisely what they wanted. They’d ask for specific monitor “A,” speaker “B” and microphone “C.” They knew what their creation was to be; they only needed an AV integrator for the hardware.
Today, things are changing. There are more mediums than ever for displaying creative content and creating an experience. Not only is it up to the AV integrator to set up the hardware, but he must also understand how it fits into the overall vision. Integrators who understand content creation give themselves an edge over competitors.
Content Is King
There’s more content in the world than ever before, not only in terms of quantity, but also in the types of content. Long gone are the days where it was as simple as audio and visual. Today’s consumers expect spectacles: interactive screens, 3D images, virtual reality, social media connectivity and the list goes on. The more that’s understand about what content is out there, the better a company can apply AV systems to suit their clients.
Increase Customer Satisfaction
Clients don’t want hardware; they want content. Understanding the difference is what sets apart good integrators from the bad. The hardware is only the first step towards providing an experience.
AV integrators are supposed to provide a solution. If a company is looking to dazzle clients at an upcoming trade show, the problem isn’t the lack of speakers and screens, but rather the lack of ability to provide a spectacle. By understanding the content they are hoping to create, an integrator might offer touchscreen monitors instead of the standard ones so that potential clients can interact with product catalogues. By first thinking about the overall experience desired by the client rather than focusing solely on hardware, AV sales and/or installation companies will be able to provide better suggestions and troubleshooting solutions.
If an AV integrator provides hardware without thinking about the content, customers might not have the correct tools to create the kind of content they envisioned.
Ensure Lasting Client Relationships
Most AV integrators consider the job done as soon as the hardware is set up and hope that the client calls them the next time. But what if there is no next time? After all, companies don’t want hardware — they want content.
To the client, the hardware is just the beginning. Now, it’s time to create content. If a client is having a problem with creating content or getting their content to work with the hardware, they’re going to call the person or company that helped them with the system initially: the AV integrator. When they have to tell the client that they can only provide installation services and not content assistance, the client might get discouraged and find another company that can help them across the board, never to call the original integrator again.
Creating a one-stop solution for everything AV, including installation, troubleshooting, and content creation, means that clients will keep coming back time and time again. Integrators that establish themselves as experts will be their clients’ go-to for all things AV.
Once the technical installation is complete, the client is ready to create their vision. Thirty-five percent of a digital signage project is content management. Integrators who walk away after installation deprive themselves of the additional profits, along with the lasting client relationship that would come out of providing content creation services.
Plus, once the first project is completed, the client might not need to purchase new hardware for the next show, but she certainly will need fresh content. Providing content creation services will not only increase revenue initially but also offer recurring revenue for as long as the client needs new content, which in today’s world, is all the time.
Solutions for Content Creation
The technical aspects of AV integration are just that: technical. Content creation requires creativity, so it’s unlikely that an AV integrator will be able to provide content creation services with their existing team. That means new hires, additional overhead, and more cost. There are three ways that successful AV integrators have adapted their team to focus on content. There is no one-size-fits-all. What works best for one business might not work for another.
- Contractors/Freelancers – for smaller companies, contractors and freelancers provide a flexible, low-overhead solution for your content creation needs. Hire them as needed, don’t pay for them when you don’t. Specific contractors can also be selected to fit a job’s unique requirements. Installing interactive digital signage? Find a freelancer that specializes in touchscreen applications. Unlike employees, freelancers do have a lower investment in your company and require some relationship building before you can trust them.
- Design Agency – of all the options available, design agencies provide the most expertise when it comes to content creation. They typically have vast industry experience and will have the time to focus on specific needs. They are also, however, expensive and sometimes difficult with which to communicate.
- In-house Art & Production Staff – the optimal solution is to hire a team that can work on all client projects from start to finish. They will completely understand the business, be entirely accountable, and best represent the company. Unfortunately, this is also the most expensive option, as it will likely require multiple hires.
If trends continue, as they are likely to do, content creation will become an even more significant part of the AV marketplace in years to come. AV integrators that are at least thinking about content creation, if not actively practice it, will be more prepared for the ever-changing marketing landscape in the future.
Mvix is here.