In many ways, self-service networks and the digital signage industry continue to grow. But for many of the smaller businesses who need to be more budget conscious, there is a key hindrance to the widespread adoption of digital technologies: workflow.
For the purpose of this blog, workflow is referring to how a business would get its content programmed and then distributed to it's own digital network for consumption by the target audience.
Who is going to be programming the content? Who is going to be pushing out the content to the right screens? Who is on site maintaining the hardware?
These are some of the main questions that come up when companies consider any kind of digital network, and often times it is the lack of answers to these questions that is the motivating factor for people holding off on adopting a digital format.
In order for the digital footprint to become the ubiquitous marketing format that I believe it can be, we as an industry need to help clients solve this problem.
I think a lot of businesses who are afraid to pull the trigger on digital formats are leery of the hidden costs involved in maintaining digital screens and their respective content. Many businesses already have a "web guy," a "marketing guy" and potentially a "mobile app" guy. The idea of having yet another “digital marketing” guy is just another expenditure on top of expensive hardware.
I have seen more than my fair share of non-functional or outdated digital signage content to realize that there is an understandable fear with potential clients who think digital signage is a waste of time and money.
I believe the industry as a whole needs to be completely transparent to potential customers in terms of the requirements of maintaining signage and content. A way to do so is for companies to provide more all-in-one solutions to clients who invest in any kind of digital network, whether it be interactive or non-interactive, so they can be confident in not encountering extra costs down the road.
While the cost will be higher to the client, I think they will respond more favorably to networks that are built, maintained and updated without the need for additional work or having to hire new people. I have already seen a number of companies (mine included) offer this type comprehensive solution to clients with great success. We would prefer to sell a digital network that has been planned and packaged for the long term, rather than just sell kiosks and screens without a plan for execution.
Since 2004, Ionescu has built a proprietary software/hardware package for state tourism and hotels. Ionescu believes successful kiosk networks are built upon ongoing collaboration between the client and provider to develop flexible systems that clients and users are happy with for years.