Future Source Consulting, a UK based company just released a white paper outlining five reasons why digital media networks fail. A recent post at Minicom outlines this wonderfully. Although software solutions have improved and hardware prices have continued to fall, we’re not out of the fray just yet. Network building still has a hefty price tag. And, the more hefty the network, the larger the cost of deployment. Intimate and detailed knowledge is extremely important for any network to succeed. If hardware and software hiccups were the sole issue, I’m sure network operators would be ecstatic.
Without further delay, the top reasons why networks fail:
1. A lack of clear ROI modelling
Often large upfront costs to implement and maintain a network make such a signage network very risky and sound ROI models critically important. There is a need to prove that screen networks lead to sales uplift, and simply measuring footfall and dwell time is not enough. Proof is needed that screen networks deliver measurable and lasting uplift.
2. The lack of advertising proof points
Whilst a number of companies are using technology to provide screen ‘footfall’ and ‘dwell time’ metrics, this has not provided a raft of proof points. Compared to TV, radio, posters and the internet, screen media networks still have a way to go in proving their value.
3. Too much network fragmentation and not enough scalability
With so many independent networks in operation it is very difficult to tempt advertising and media agencies to spend on digital signage. ‘Opportunity to see’ statistics are not at all persuasive and it is almost impossible to run a coherent campaign in multiple locations.
4. Project complexity
In some cases eight individual parties can be required to complete a project. This is simply too complex.
5. Little understanding of content requirements
Issues such as the expense of refreshing content, the mix of content and what the content (particularly advertising) is supposed to achieve are frequently overlooked. However, this is the most important aspect of a network to get right.
The article goes on to state that such failures often come with a network based on advertising. However, the author states, “Though other models are equally valid, and quite often the most interesting, it is the advertising model that will really drive the development of digital signage.”
Now we come full circle back to the “chicken or the egg scenario,” (in this case network or the advertisers scenario) an issue smaller networks are having as they move forward. Whatever the struggle, networks don’t fail, people fail based on lack of understanding when deploying networks. Studies like this help to alleviate the possible pain that can come from such a mistake.