The Digital Signage Insider

Looking Back: The Last 200 Digital Signage Insider Articles

Published on: 0000-00-00

For the second year in a row, the summer season has turned out to be surprisingly busy. So much so that it's been over a month since I've had time to post a new blog article. So to get back into the swing of things, I looked over a whole bunch of articles we wrote recently to see if any topics jumped out as needing more attention. After reviewing the last 200 Digital Signage Insider articles, though, it was surprising to see what we actually spend time writing about here -- and also what we don't. I can't say that our focus on this blog precisely mirrors the challenges and focus areas of our industry as a whole. But since the things I tend to write about are usually brought to my attention in the course of day-to-day business, it's probably safe to say that these topics are on the minds of the customers, business partners, and media contacts that many of us interact with on a regular basis.

Which topics have we been covering?

I reviewed the last 200 articles and placed each of them into one of ten categories:
  • Analysis: Articles that offer practical or actionable insights into areas not captured in other categories.

  • Business: Articles focused on the business of digital signage. Often these articles are chock full of math.

  • Content: Articles focusing on best practices for making digital signage content, or content analysis.

  • DOOH: Articles focusing specifically on digital out-of-home advertising networks.

  • Industry news: Articles about various news items and industry gossip.

  • Marketing: Another catch-all category to cover general marketing, shopper marketing, advertising and retail media posts.

  • Metrics: Articles on metrics and measurement.

  • Research: Articles about original research that we've conducted.

  • Sales: Articles focusing on sales challenges and strategies.

  • Tech: We're a technology company, so it would only make sense that we'd have a few articles that talk about the tech that goes into digital signage systems.
While most of the articles did tend to fall neatly into just one of the ten categories above, there were more than a few that could easily have belonged in several. In these cases, I simply put them into the "best" category so that each article is counted only once.

Which categories received the most attention?

As it turns out, we spend a lot of time thinking about the secrets to great digital signage content, followed closely by business topics, marketing and advertising, and in-depth analysis of critical industry issues -- all things that we don't derive any revenue from, ironically. By contrast, despite having spent the last decade building a tech company, I've given technology (e.g. the importance of harnessing your platform to its full potential) very little focus on the blog. Similarly, DOOH networks catch a lot of industry attention, but there are only a few that I've looked at in-depth, and even fewer I've been interested in writing about.

What does this tell us?

First off, content is still a big challenge for a lot of networks -- perhaps the biggest challenge -- and that is definitely reflected in the number of articles we've written about content. I didn't go too crazy with keeping track of cross-categorizations of the articles above, but I think a good third of the "research" articles were also focused on content, so the amount of time and resources devoted to trying to improve the digital signage content situation is actually even larger than the pie chart makes it out to be.

If the biggest batch of questions we field has to do with content, the next biggest is certainly business related. People want to talk sales and VAR strategies, vendor management and supply chain optimization, and of course, pricing, so we've spent time writing about all of those things. In fact, our annual pricing analysis tends to give rise to several other articles each year, as the price survey frequently exposes unexpected trends.

Those two piles of issues are the biggest, and I feel like it kind of tapers off after that. That fits well with our "analysis" category being the next biggest, since that pile included articles as varied as "Digital signage advertising tips from TiVo" and "Visualizing How to Add Value to the Digital Signage Ecosystem". Advertising, marketing and metrics make up the start of the "long tail" of our real-world questions, and I write about things like DOOH networks and industry news and gossip for my own education and entertainment as much as anything else (so they may or may not have anything to do with real-world questions and concerns).

This analysis has made me realize just how little the questions have changed over the years. Despite advances in technology and an increased awareness of digital screens, networks owners still have basic questions about how to make content that performs well, where they should put their screens, and how they can best monetize them. Maybe that will never change, as new people enter the industry all the time. In which case, perhaps I should just start recycling articles... :)

Would you like to see more articles where we revisit older topics and update them with the latest and greatest info? Or, do you prefer brand-new topics that we've never covered before? Leave a comment and let us know.


+1 # Abe 2011-08-07 00:34
They are all great articles, Not trying to make you write another article about content, so with a focus on the technology, would you entertain the question on where the industry is at with gesture recognition, touchless interactivity. More and more I am seeing software companies coming out that proffer greater returns with this technology. Are consumers really getting into this and are the economics there for narrowcast models? Are your clients asking for this? It's an interesting conversation to have if you haven't already, I think anyways. Again, I speak for everyone I'm sure, reading your articles is a must for anyone in the space, thank you so much. Abe
+1 # Bill Gerba 2011-08-11 01:22
Great suggestion, Abe. In fact, I think I'll write up something about that next. And thanks for the words of encouragement :)
0 # Luke 2011-08-11 01:32
How about more articles A/V?
0 # Raphael L. 2011-09-09 07:39
First of all, thanks during all these years for all your articles and sharing your expertise/experience. What about digital signage/mobility convergence? from the technical/software solution and usage/benefit points of view. Regards, Raphael

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