Digital signage has become rapidly popular as more businesses are realizing how valuable the technology is. Compared to static paper advertisements, LED signs not only offers live audience interactions but also creates a strong platform for building your brand and also influencing the real-time behavior of customers.
A stimulating environment is created, engaging and impacting the customer behavior in both short and long term. However, investors should keep in mind that just spending money on digital signage is not sufficient for maximum ROI. Let’s take a look at some guidelines to measure the ROI for your digital signage investment.
Specify clear objectives
The goals of each and every organization are unique. Therefore, there are also unique requirements for what the firm expects in terms of ROI for an investment in new technology, products or processes. Throughout your organization, the objectives for digital signage may vary. For instance, some indoor LED signs are needed for informing employees while other signs are for customer assistance.
So the first thing an organization should do is define what they mean by ‘returns’ for the investment. Are you referring to increased sales? Increased efficiency as a result of the time saved by staff? Based on what returns you are expecting, you can decide what the signage system will be used for.
Return on Investment or Return on Objectives?
ROI has broad applicability, hence increasing its importance. In the most basic form, ROI is hard cash returned versus hard cash invested. I.e. the gains from an investment after deducting the initial investment cost.
There is a close relationship between ROI and ROO. Let us look at one example: digital signs being used for wayfinding will obviously not directly result in more revenue. But, these signs free up the staff who previously spent a lot of time providing directions to customers. Hence the staff can now perform alternative revenue-generating activities. Therefore, the wayfinding signage system indirectly results in increased revenue.
Another important factor to consider in ROI is timeframe. When it comes to technological investments, you need to provide a long-term point of view along with a total cost of ownership (TCO). In other words, a technology ROI should be perceived as a long term investment in terms of TCO.
Although the cost of a digital signage investment in the short term will probably be much more than printing posters or hiring additional staff, you need to consider the long term benefits and cost savings. Digital signage now gives you the ability to quickly update digital screen content with real-time information and also provides the option to update only one screen at a particular location for example, or the entire network as well. Imagine trying to do this with printed signs? Now the long term ROI and TCO will appear more appealing, thereby making the processes very much efficient.
Knowledge on what to measure
A subjective form of ROI which has significant importance is to record positive feedback from customers/visitors, before and after the LED signs are installed. By doing so, you can determine the impact of the investment and whether or not your objectives are being met. Apart from getting verbal feedback, simply observing your audience can answer questions such as: how long customers dwell around a sign? How many customers end up purchasing an item on sale that was advertised?
Consider some advanced measurement tools
If the simple measurement techniques are not satisfactory, there are some detailed measurements such as the integration of the Internet of Things with electronic sensors to measure foot traffic and responses of interactive touch screens.
Another detailed ROI measurement is to conduct surveys and interviews and record the responses. Some questions you can include are:
- Did you notice the digital sign?
- Was the digital sign helpful?
Careful management of measurements
While technology is making measurements more scientific, yet easier, businesses can track long and short term performances. It is indeed important to measure ROI; more so for companies who are starting out on a small scale and then going big with a massive LED signage network over time. if you calculate ROI on initial projects, you can find ways to do things in a better way later on.
Healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality and all sorts of other industries have resorted to digital signage as a solution to inform employees, communicate messages, enhance safety in the workplace and also engage customers. The best way to make the most of your digital signage investment is to calculate ROI and obtain a deeper understanding of how customers and employees behave. You can then fine-tune your signage strategy to optimize the benefits.