Many screen providers and digital signage networkers will tell you at great length the benefits of using digital out of home media (Dooh). And, after hearing the benefits you may be forgiven in thinking that this new technology has become the Holy Grail of advertising. However, as a new media there is still a lot of uncertainties with digital out of home and several drawbacks too.
Using digital screens for advertising and information is certainly a useful medium and brings many benefits including:
• Good at attracting customer’s attention and influencing their purchasing decision
• It eliminates the cost of creating and distributing print campaigns.
• It is instant and offers the ability to change promotions in real time
• Can be used as a revenue stream by selling advertising space
• Is new and therefore different enough to warrant attention especially outdoor digital signage
But there are drawbacks with using digital screens for advertising too and making sure you are aware of them can help manage expectations and calculate the future return on investment (ROI).
Return on investment can be hard to calculate. There is a high initial spend in installing digital screens and the ROI can become complex when you try and calculate sale’s increases with incidents such as screen damage and repair. However, the vulnerability of digital signage screens can be protected with an LCD enclosure preventing the need for additional repair costs.
Still new and improving – and as such there is always going to be a better, cheaper and more effective solution around the corner. Prices for the technology are still falling too which may be leading to many potential installers playing the waiting game until the price and technology is just right.
May require multiple partners – With hardware such as LCD enclosures, screens, media players, content and networking involved in many campaigns there may be four or five different companies involved in a single project.
Lack of understanding – there are many common mistakes made because of a lack of understanding. Poor content, the wrong location and the wrong screen are particularly common especially with outdoor digital signage where demands can differ.
Environment – While digital screens require power and therefore can’t claim to be green, there is high energy use in the printing, erecting and replacement of traditional print media.
Lack of a clear purpose behind many campaigns – many people embark on digital signage without a clear purpose in mind which can effect the effectiveness of the system.