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You just got done with a major digital signage installation. You finally got the media player up and running and you finished designing all your content. You set it up, and wait for customers to notice, only for most of them to ignore it.

You might go back to the drawing board and ask, “Should I have selected a brighter display with better resolution?” That is certainly an option, but it doesn’t get to the heart of why customers sometimes don’t care about your digital signage. It all comes down to relevancy and noise.


Every advertiser knows that their ads need to be relevant, but it can be difficult to translate that onto a piece of paper, or in our case, a digital display. It is also difficult to determine what is truly relevant for an audience at a particular time.

For example, let’s say you decide to integrate a meme into your display to draw in millennials, only to realize that the meme had already died down in usage by the time you put it up. Or your marketing team misuses the meme, which leads to ridicule on social media.

To really determine what is relevant for your audience, you need to go over all your research on your target market again, and you need to determine how that should translate onto a display. Information that might look good on a static board, for example, might look terrible on a display.

One easy way to tell if a display’s content is relevant is to ask two simple questions. “How will this attract customers?” and “Is what I’m asking them to do reasonable?”

Both questions are simple, but are also complex, because what attracts customers can vary based on time, place and demographics.

With the second question, you need to look at if what you are offering is worth the call to action. Let’s say you want customers to download a loyalty app, for example. Many customers are hesitant to download an app, because their phones are already clogged. So you need to offer something of equal value to their time, such as a major discount.


Another key reason why customers ignore your digital signage is due to noise. By noise, I mean the noise of their phones, the noise of other people, and the noise of other content in the store.

Your digital signage needs to rise above the noise to grab a customer’s attention. In order to do that, you need to ask a few questions:

  • Is your digital signage in a visible place in the store?
  • Is it surrounded by other materials? (products, static signs)
  • How far away can you see the content?
  • How large is the display?
  • Do users remember the display?
  • Does it integrate with mobile in any way?
  • How bright is the display?
  • Does it use any attention grabbing tech, like 4K or 3-D or AR?

One final issue to consider is whether your display itself is “noisy.” It may deliver relevant content, but does it do so in a way that is intrusive, irritating or creepy? Does it blare loud music at people passing by? Does it constantly push sales messages? Do you have the same message plastered all over the entire store with other displays?

In a world filled with digital messaging, you need to answer questions such as these, otherwise, your display will be forgotten just like spam email.

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