Getting back to basics
These days, most of the startups and companies starting new networks that we come across have at least a basic understanding of the fundamentals. However, some still refuse to ditch their pie-in-the-sky projections even after a slap in the face with some data on why so many digital signage projects fail. Often the way we help them to see the challenge of scale, for example, is by using content (both its source and management) as a proxy. By getting the client to answer some very basic questions about their planned network rollout, we can approximate the amount of content (and thus the amount of labor) needed to fill their screens. For example:
Image credit: Quinn Dombrowski
- How many venues will the screens be placed in?
- How many unique channels of content will there be in each venue?
- How long is the average content loop?
- How many unique pieces of content will need to be created from scratch each month?
- How many unique pieces of content will be provided by third parties each month?
- About what portion (%) of a typical channel might be changed out each month?
These days, our "starter" content questionnaire consists of about 25 questions, and can be filled out in about 15 minutes. Needless to say, though, it spawns more questions and conversations that can take days to walk through. But for a prospective digital signage network company, time spent answering such questions (hopefully before their rollout begins, but frequently after, in response to some crisis) is time well spent.
More questions than answers (for now)
The boys over at The Preset Group have also been pondering the content question and looking for better ways to get networks up and running with great content. They've developed an online survey to sort out where the weak links are, and what might be done to strengthen them. It's short and easy, and the answers are entirely confidential. According to Preset partner Dave Haynes (whose honesty is the stuff of legend, mind you), it won’t take more than a few minutes to complete, and will hopefully generate a useful snapshot of the current state of content needs.
To thank respondents for their time, Preset will be handing out a summary of the findings, at no charge, to anybody who chooses to leave their email address. They promise not to spam you. And if they do, let me know about it and I'll bust some chops on your behalf. Promise.
So head on over and take the survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/content_provider_survey. And if you'd like more info on our content questionnaire, feel free to let me know via email or in a comment below.