In one of our whitepapers- Digital Signage for Beginners- we describe the common traps people fall into when implementing digital signage for the first time. We thought it would be nice of us to share it on our blog, in the hope that it will help people avoid these common mistakes.
1) Not paying enough attention to the pre-selection phase. Obviously, going for the first vendor you come across is a risky move. Not preparing properly for your project will involve unnecessary pressure and might imply spending more than you would have done in normal circumstances (check out our bullet-point checklists to go through before going for digital signage).
2) Skipping the testing stage. Any respectable digital signage software provider will offer you the chance to explore the features and test the user-friendliness of their software before making a commitment. We, for example, allow you to set up a digitalsignage.NET account and use it for free until you’re ready to attach a player. Do take advantage of the chance to see how the product works at no costs for you. If you’re not given this option, disqualify the vendor.
3) Stale content. Digital information displays are all about timely communications and latest news. If you will display the same information week after week, you are wasting the resources invested in the system and are deterring your audience (be it students, customers, employees or any other) from considering it a viable source of information. Check our article on content errors that could slash your system’s ROI.
4) Using a solution that will ‘’lock you in’’. You should be able to switch between vendors if you decide to do so at a later date, easily and without having to replace everything you have in place (you may want to have a look at the Open Splash media player that can be driven by any digital signage software). The offer should be flexible enough to allow you to change a piece of the puzzle without affecting others. Verify this aspect before you make a commitment.
5) Forgetting about support. Free or for a fee, support must be available when needed. Make sure the vendor or the reseller are able to provide a prompt reply when problems occur and that the costs of the service are clear ( like Dynamax, most software vendors will usually offer free email support.)
6) Not requesting training when you feel you need it. In comparison with the costs of not using the system properly, the training-related expenses are actually an investment. Understanding how to use the software and what you can do with it allows you to maximize its utility and discover features you probably didn’t even know about, let alone making things easier for you on the long-term.
7) Choosing the wrong location for your screens. If they’re not visible, they’re useless. Spot the locations where your audience is to be found – like waiting rooms, lounges, elevators, or check out points and then install a screen (or several) there.
8) Not having clearly identified goals for your system. Arguably, before doing anything else you should determine what you want to achieve using digital signage. Is it more sales, informing and entertaining your hotel’s guests, generating extra- revenues through advertising, decreased perceived wait time for your customers or patients, inform staff quicker, better and at lower costs, strengthening your brand? You haven’t figured this out, then why would you make the effort of investing in the system?
9) Not measuring the system’s ROI and impact, after setting the goals. Besides informing, the displays are also about influencing its viewers’ behaviour (buy, attend, enquire etc.). Measuring the tangible effects of digital signage is not a straightforward exercise but it’s doable and you can start by monitoring the level of sales, enquiries, subscriptions-you name it- before and after installing digital signage.