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5 Questions to Ask Before Investing in Digital Signage

by Esther Chew

5 Questions to Ask Before Investing in Digital Signage

by Esther Chew

So, you’re ready to invest in a digital signage solution. Now you are tasked with finding the right provider, and the right technology for your business needs. When it comes to digital signage, there are many factors that influence what solution you will choose and what provider you will trust to deliver it. Here we explore five key questions to ask when researching the right digital signage solution for your business.

What is my digital signage budget?

The bottom line for many businesses is cost. There are savings to be made in many areas of business, but your digital signage is not the area in which to cut costs. There are three main factors that affect the cost of a digital signage solution:

  • Hardware

Hardware refers to the physical component of your digital signage network: screens, video walls, tablets, and kiosks. Hardware also includes one of the most important elements of your digital signage, your media player. Quality hardware is essential for ideal content display, and you will find costs can vary widely. A standard HD tv screen may suffice for basic content, but if you need to display ultra high-definition 4K content, expect to invest more. Similarly, there are many types and levels of media players available and costs can vary widely.

  • Software

Software is what allows you to upload, manage, schedule, and deploy your content to your screens and other displays. There are almost an infinite number of digital signage software options, and they vary widely in quality, features, and price. One critical factor is to make sure your software is compatible with your media player. Aim to spend money on high-quality digital signage software that is easy to manage, fit for purpose, and has the features you need.

  • Installation Costs

Installation costs vary depending on whether you opt for on-site digital signage, where your digital signage hardware and software components are hosted by you, or cloud-based digital signage or managed services. On-site digital signage will generally incur installation costs to have the vendor install the hardware at your location and assist with setting up your digital signage network.

Do I need on-premise or cloud-based digital signage?

On-premise digital signage requires you to buy hardware that is hosted on-site, plus additional infrastructure and maintenance. So, this involves upfront and ongoing costs. On the one hand, this allows you complete control over your hardware, maintenance schedule, and so on. On the other, it adds additional overheads in terms of time, resources, and overall cost.

Cloud-based digital signage means the vendor hosts all hardware including content servers and bears the cost of maintenance, while you purchase licenses or subscriptions to use the digital signage software. Cloud-based solutions also allow for remote management of your digital signage, and can also allow for greater scalability when screens or users are added.

How large and complex is my digital signage network?

A small business with a limited number of screens and locations may find a lower budget or simple, cloud-based digital signage solution the best option as it easily covers their needs without costing a great deal. Businesses with multiple premises or who require many screens in a wide range of locations (for example, chain retailers, QSR chains and banks) will find they need an enterprise-level digital signage solution to meet their needs, and a provider who can deliver both quality, robust and durable hardware as well as the digital signage software with the features to easily manage it. Think carefully about what you need from your digital signage, and which solution and provider have the best experience to help you achieve it.

What kind and level of after-sales support will you receive?

Support can often be an afterthought, but you should consider carefully if the support to be provided is adequate for any potential issues and result in as little downtime as possible. Ensure you choose a provider who can offer a strong service level agreement that meets your needs.
Another important point to consider is access to software updates. Learn about the update cycle and confirm whether you are qualified to receive all important upcoming updates.

Is my digital signage scalable and expandable?

The solution that meets your needs now may not suffice if you experience rapid business growth, so invest now in a solution that can quickly scale and expand as your business grows. Your digital signage should also cater to growing or changing content needs and should be able to accommodate additional screens and varied content across locations. Thinking ahead now can save a lot of money in the long run and avoid having to completely start from scratch if your business needs change.

Trust Scala Digital Signage Solutions for Your Business

Scala offers fully-customised on-site and cloud-based digital signage for any business. Scala partners with brands across many industries to transform their customer experience with smart marketing technology and digital signage.
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About the Author:

Esther Chew is the Sr. Manager – Corp Comm & Marketing at Scala Asia-Pacific and is responsible for developing and implementing the internal and external communications strategy and programmes across Asia-Pacific. She drives the company’s corporate image and brand messaging through integrated and strategic communications leveraging various platforms such as executive communication, client communication, digital marketing, media relations and B2B events.

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