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It’s frustrating to begin any kind of digital solution installation only to have to start over due to miscommunication, the budget running dry or not having the capacity to handle the technology. Mike White, CTS, DSCE, enterprise account manager for Unified AV Systems, addressed the factors that go into a successful digital deployment in an education session, “Doing Dynamic Digital Signage Right the First Time,” at InfoComm 2016 in Las Vegas this month.

White covered the strategic questions that must be asked prior to a dynamic digital signage installation, the resources that must be in place, the realistic expectations of the customer and the metrics that are needed.

There are questions that should be answered before purchasing a first display screen or invest in a content management system. According to White those questions are:

  • Do I have the right people on the team?;
  • Have I covered all of the essentials?;
  • Are my expectations realistic?;
  • Do I have skin in the game or do I have someone on the team with skin in the game?;
  • What is my content strategy?;
  • Do I have a written content policy?;
  • What are some of the commonly overlooked questions?;
  • What is the impact of ambient light?;
  • Do the signs support ADA compliance?; and
  • Are the signs integrated with an emergency notification system?

Another question to ask is, what resources must be in place? White said there are domain policies that must be addressed such as network compliance and support. A content-creation team is valuable in supplying fresh, relevant and dwell-time sensitive content that supports the ROI or ROO. Installation and shipping logistics also need to be taken into account. Will those costs put you over budget?

Having reliable hardware is a key factor as well as having a warranty to cover that hardware should it malfunction. It’s critical that the integrator has a long-term service and support strategy. Powering that hardware is important. Do you have a clean and consistent power supply?

“To get results from a dynamic digital signage installation, someone must must really know how to use your CMS,” White said. “If you’re not paying attention to your content, no one else will. Your content should have the overarching goal of ‘Don’t make me think’ in order to be effective.”

Measuring that effectiveness provides insight into your customers. As White said, “What gets measured gets done.”

There is a proven process in place to ensure dynamic digital signage is done correctly the first time. According to White, this process includes:

  • an introduction and determination;
  • asking the right questions;
  • determining the definition and scope of the installation;
  • Looking at the presentation, the pilot program and the concept;
  • providing training and ongoing support; and
  • evaluating the installation to improve upon it, report results and expand the system.

White went on to describe the “digital signage ecosystem.” It comprises hardware, software, connectivity, content, operations, design and business. This ecosystem comprises:

  • Hardware — Displays, mounts, media players and infrastructure.
  • Software — Scheduling, media players, control and creation.
  • Connectivity — Wired, wireless, cellular and internet.
  • Content — Media players, advertising and marketing.
  • Operations — Installations, network, maintenance and service and support.
  • Design — Deployment, purpose and environment.
  • Business — ROI and ROO, partnering and revenue.

Dynamic digital signage can work for you. By following White’s advice, you can have a successful, entertaining and budget-friendly installation.

Travis Wagoner

Travis Wagoner is a previous editor of He spent nearly 18 years in education as an alumni relations and communications director, coordinating numerous annual events and writing, editing and producing a quarterly, 72-plus-page magazine. Travis also was a ghostwriter for an insurance firm, writing about the Affordable Care Act. He holds a BA degree in communications/public relations from Xavier University.

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