Chicago Digital Post & Signs Digital Signage Expo

Jumping Into Digital Signs – Ideas on Where to Begin

indexMost of us come in touch with digital signs on a regular basis these days and looking at them you might wonder at the size of the infrastructure underneath that makes it all tick. Whether it’s a huge outdoor digital screen or a menu board in a mall, these are some of the signage systems that we’re most familiar with. So it’s maybe not surprising that we associate digital sign networks with huge complexity and massive investment. However, if this thinking is putting you off using digital technology for your own circumstances then you might be relieved to know that your options for making your own network are very flexible and not as difficult to achieve as you might think.

What Is the ROI of a Digital Sign?

imagesIt depends. The digital sign is a creative tool capable of improving your marketing so before we can calculate a ROI number we need to know what you will do with it. Let me tell you a true story to illustrate my point. In 1980 I was VP General Manager for Moog Music and we were owned by the Norlin Corporation. We did endless mind numbing budgets by hand on thirteen column accounting pads which made me nuts.

In 1979 I saw an advertisement for VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet program. It cost $250 but you needed a computer to use it. Our company computer was a big dumb corporate monster in another city that only the accounting people could use. In 1980 I spent a whopping $2,500 for a Radio Shack TRS-80 Model III computer and another $250 for VisiCalc which was a princely sum for me at the time. It was expensive but it freed me from making budgets by hand. If I calculated the ROI in the computer purchase against the time I saved it might have been a poor investment.

Some years later I changed jobs and went to work for an electronic materials company. They had a large manufacturing plant with a three story roller coater machine that operated 24 hours/day; every day of the year except Christmas. It was five years old and the company had plenty of experience using and maintaining the machine. Business was good, we were selling everything we could make.

Using Outdoor Digital Signs

electronic-digital-signageOutdoor digital signs are everywhere, from giant digital billboards on the side of highways, to the advertisements and branding that have replaced the neon in places like Time Square and Piccadilly Circus. Many shop fronts are also using them, attracting customers with moving imagery and providing a more noticeable sign in the evening.

Outdoor digital signs have many advantages over static media, not just their eye-catching nature. Firstly, a digital screen can be updated remotely, without the need for manual replacement of new content. Secondly, content can be scheduled, taking advantage of certain customer demographics-such as restaurants changing their content during different meal times-and finally, outdoor digital signs, once installed, require no printing costs or time wasted waiting for new content to arrive in the post.

Using outdoor digital signs can be a challenge, however, with protection a critical aspect of a successful outdoor lcd screen campaign. They are nothing more than conventional flat panel TV screens such as LCD or plasmas. While these devices are designed to operate in normal indoor locations, a modern TV screen needs protecting if it is to operate as an outdoor lcd screen. Our articles on is at the digital view website if you want to find out more.