The first time I heard the preceding question, it was in reference to sales. It was another way of saying, “make sure you get some small sales to keep the wolf away from the door, before you go after the large sales.” The idea works, especially for local networks. It’s much easier to sell the local grocer than it may be to sell Coke or Nike.
Local, small networks are great. Don’t get me wrong, national networks are great as well. They allow for a broad reach and general case study reports for larger demographics. Local networks often take more TLC. They spend a bit more time making sure they’ve got the proper digital signage metrics, that the advertisers are happy, and that their network is functioning at capacity. This is the case because they have much more control of the process from start to finish. How many have seen a poorly installed screen at some national food chain (I’m won’t mention network names or names of the particular food chain). Such an example is oftentimes the direct result of massive installs with little micromanagement. This type of model is not incorrect, but merely a different approach for network outlay.
In relation to advertising vs. network it’s always the question of the chicken vs. the egg. Will the advertisers come once I have the network in place? Don’t count on it. When it comes to outlaying several thousand clams per location for hardware and software, you had better have a modus operandi for covering costs. And, if you don’t have the advertisers already convinced, it’s going to be a sore hurt when the payments come due.
If it’s a pie-in-the-sky network you’re looking at establishing, it may be wise (unless you’ve $5 million in start-up capital), to hold off on a huge deployment until you have some way of covering costs.
Now, it’s back to the original question: elephants or rabbits? You may be tempted to take what you can get. This is not always wise in advertising sales-or any sales for that matter. You must find your sweet spot and target it. Don’t take a shotgun out and go out looking for rabbits in Africa (but secretly in your mind, you want an elephant). It’s not going to happen that way.
When making the advertising sales there are two things to consider. Who am I targeting? And, who responds best to my solicitation? The answer to the first question may change based on the answer to question two. Either way, honing in a target niche and milking every last drop out of that niche is the area you want to be-at least initially. Once you’ve had your experience shooting some rabbits, it may be time to go after a bear or an elephant. In my experience, when you’ve proved yourself as an accomplished rabbit hunter, the elephants knock on your door.
For more information on digital signage networks, please visit our posts outlining the following: