The Digital Signage Insider

The Top 10 Digital Signage Insider Articles of 2009

Published on: 0000-00-00

Unless a Hollywood-style disaster manages to destroy the Earth in the next few days, Friday will mark the start of a new year. While it might not be as climactic as Y2K (remember partying like it was 1999... when it actually was 1999?), for many people the year 2010 will bring change and mark important events. Here at WireSpring, we'll soon be celebrating our 10 year anniversary. Despite making me feel uncomfortably old, this milestone gives me a great sense of satisfaction. The market has changed dramatically since we set out in early 2000, and somehow along the way we've managed to roll with those changes -- and occasionally even use them to our advantage. In fact, this blog started WAY back in 2004, and ended up being an early and accidental "innovation" that has helped us grow personal and professional relationships for years. After thinking about that some more, I decided to take a look through our web server's logs to see what people have been reading, and which of our articles have been the most popular this past year. (These are the articles that got the most page views during 2009, regardless of which year they were originally published.) I've listed the top posts below, and I think you'll agree that while the list is a bit peculiar, it underscores just how broad and diverse our industry -- and the companies and disciplines that feed into it -- really is.

Let's start the countdown...


Image credit: Sally Mahoney
#10: Is Wal-Mart's in-store TV network really more effective than TV?

Let's face it: love 'em or hate 'em, Walmart's actions frequently define and dominate whatever industry they're playing with at the time, and that's certainly true within the digital signage community. Between giving PRN their big break, forming the Saatchi & Saatchi X agency to manage in-store marketing activities, and launching the new Smart Network this year, Walmart has given us great examples of what to do and what not to do over the years. So it's no surprise that people want to find out whether they know what they're talking about.

#9: Budgeting for a Digital Sign or Electronic Sign Network

Budgeting articles made a strong showing in this list, as you'll soon see. And why not? With so many people citing cost as a major factor in considering whether to implement a digital signage network, there's still a strong need in the industry for reliable pricing data. This article is the grandaddy of them all, hailing from way back in September of 2004, and pushed us to establish the annual pricing guide as a tradition here at WireSpring.

#8: Making great digital signage content: A quick reference guide

Our series on content creation best practices continues to draw plenty of visitors from around the world -- despite the fact that several companies have copied our content wholesale and are passing it out as part of their presentation materials (without attribution, the jerks). This handy reference guide gets updated every time we add a new article to the series.

#7: Focus on shopper marketing to improve store experience & ROI

Shopper marketing has been a buzzword for a few years, although it means different things to different people. For some, it's a full-cycle marketing program encompassing in-store marketing, in-home branding, trade promotion and more. For others, shopper marketing exists only within the store. With so much confusion surrounding the term, people are scouring the web -- including itty-bitty digital signage blogs like this one -- for any information they can find on the subject.

#6: Using in store advertising to win the First Moment of Truth (FMOT)

The "First Moment of Truth" is another buzzword that people in the marketing world have really been pursuing for a couple of years now, and is again something unfamiliar enough to force them to research on the web. And as we've learned, digital signage can certainly affect the first moment of truth, making it last longer and feel stronger.

#5: Five visual merchandising tips for your in store network

Retail digital signage installations often take the form of a bunch of screens tacked onto existing retail fixtures wherever the host venue will allow -- and not necessarily where they'll work best. More progressive venues know that merging digital signage best practices with tried-and-true visual merchandising techniques will help them derive greater value from their networks.

#4: An Updated Budget for Digital Signage Hardware and Software

Yup, another budgeting article -- this time, from 2008. Like all of our annual pricing studies, this one has a link to our master pricing article so that readers can see how things have changed over the years.

#3: 15 Digital Signage Blog, News, Magazine and Forum Sites You Should Be Reading

Once upon a time, ours was one of about three or four blogs dedicated to digital signage and/or interactive kiosks. Today there are literally HUNDREDS of sites, magazines, blogs and social media feeds devoted to these topics. Some are really good. Some are... not. This article lists a few of the high-quality sites that I use to keep up with the latest news and trends.

#2: Digital Signage Cost Estimates and Price Guidelines

ANOTHER pricing article elbows its way up to #2 on our top 10 list, further highlighting the industry's desire for dependable pricing information. This page is actually our master pricing article, which contains links to every pricing analysis that we've done over the years. That's cool for a couple of reasons: first, readers can easily peruse each article to get a feel for overall historical pricing trends. And second, since we cover different elements in each year's article (like content costs, staffing costs, and other non-capex things like that), it gives people an easy way to go through all of those estimates from one place. Plus, it has a pretty interesting comment thread.

And our #1 article is...

#1: Electronic Billboard Pros, Cons and Safety Information

Despite the fact that we derive practically no revenue from electronic billboard software, we have a couple of blog articles devoted to the cause, and they seem to attract a lot of visitors. Electronic billboards are big, and apparently make a big impact on people. That's probably why this article has been viewed over 10,000 times this year, has nearly 70 comments, and gets more every month.

Wishing you a great 2010

Congratulations! If you've made it all the way through this article, you probably have some free time at work today, so enjoy it! If you're reading this from your ski chalet whilst on vacation... what on earth are you doing? Turn off the laptop and get outside! And of course, we here at WireSpring wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

Finally, I'd like to extend a big thank you to everyone who took the time to read our articles and contribute to the conversation during this past year. We look forward to bringing you an ample supply of thought-provoking, fun and useful articles in 2010.


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