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Incorporating Digital Signage Into Existing Accounts

by Sam Taylor

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Digital signage is set to become a $15 billion market worldwide by 2011 with indoor venues and retail signage leading the application environments.

It’s a fact: integrators don’t have to find an entirely new customer base to sell digital signage solutions. Many studies have shown that it is much more expensive to find a new account than to sell to a customer with whom you already have a relationship. Truth is, the markets you’re already involved in, such as corporate, education, house of worship, and bar/ restaurant are all prime candidates for new digital signage solutions.

Some of the most popular applications for digital signage right now include retail, public communications, menuboards, way finding, and donor walls that attract and inspire generosity in markets such as education, house of worship, and medical centers.

How do you get started? Here are seven practical ways for you to scope out fresh digital signage opportunities.

1. Look At Your Customer Base: Start by selecting a market where you already have experience, good relationships, and previous installation success. The best digital signage integrators tend to have a narrow focus, which allows them to build rapport and expertise.

2. Get Educated And Involved: Become accredited by earning your Digital Signage Certified Expert (DSCE) designation. Join the Digital Signage Association (DSA) and Digital Signage Today.com. There are also many free webinars and other online trainings available on the topic.

3. Execute A Small Pilot: Try installing digital signage in your own office—many suppliers will provide demo product discounts for in-house use. Alternatively, you can work with an established client on a small project. From there, you can analyze the results and develop a “set play” for installations. Also, don’t forget to build in post-installation support and maintenance.

4. Develop Your Solution: Choose the package of flat panels, mounts, signal distribution and transmission, media players, and software/content that is most ideal for your client. Working with a distributor that has digital signage expertise will help you streamline these decisions and give you extra support in this area. Make sure that you can show an ROI or ROO in your proposals.

5. Help Customers Fund The Project: Educate them on their options, be it earning advertising revenue with NEC’s VUKUNET, leasing options, donors, or even government funding. Be up front about helping them find ways to offset the initial costs of their digital signage investment while providing long-term revenue streams.

6. Learn From Each Install: Find out what made the install successful for the customer. Did it improve customer satisfaction? What would you have done differently?

7. Market, Market, Market: Develop case studies with third-party comments about the benefits of the install. Also, invite other customers to an open house or online webinar to showcase the application. Don’t forget to use social media: create a viral video that can be posted on your website and YouTube, share pictures on your company Facebook page, and tease about the installs in your Twitter and LinkedIn posts. Spread the word.

Sam Taylor is EVP and COO for Almo Professional A/V.

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