The Digital Signage Insider

Which Big Digital Signage Questions Still Need Answers?

Published on: 2011-08-18

In an annoying twist of irony, I got a mild case of writer's block after re-reading our recent post about The Last 200 Digital Signage Insider Articles. While that little introspective article did a good job of illustrating how I've been spending my blogging time over the past few years, it also made me think about what we should be studying and researching going forward. We've been beating the subject of making effective content to death, and the various business angles and industry news topics that we write about tend to be as much about speculation as actual fact-based analysis. So while I'm putting together my list of hot topics to focus on, I thought I'd throw the question out to the community to see if there's a consensus on what still needs to be researched and/or argued over.

Which of the big-picture questions about digital signage/DOOH still need to be answered?

Image credit: [F]oxymoron on Flickr
To tap the wisdom of the crowd (yikes), I posted that question to my Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Quora accounts this week. So far, I've only gotten one response (I know, I know, people are busy!), but it was a good one. Here's what Stephen Gladden at Horizon Display replied with:
#1 - What is a digital signage network?
#2 - What is the value :)
#3 - Who are the customers in "digital signage?" The network operators?
#4 - Rhetorical: shouldn't we be speaking with brands/businesses that utilize DS, and stop trying to find ways to "make a market" for operators?"
These are all interesting questions, though numbers three and four are more introspective -- in other words, I'd love to answer them for the benefit of my own company or our industry, but I doubt they'd come up in a big customer pitch. Looking at the other two questions, though, there are a lot of articles on the web and elsewhere that try to answer them already. For example, the question of "what is the value" has been studied extensively on this blog: Heck, we even did a series on ways of calculating digital signage ROI a few years ago (which probably needs a bit of updating): There's obviously a lot of information out there. But as an industry, we're definitely not making a concerted effort to separate the wheat from the chaff, nor are we attempting to put forward any kind of "standard" position on things like value, measurement or ROI.

What about business models, product selection and price analysis?

Again, there's no shortage of "information" out there on these topics -- just look at this blog, for example. You want business model information? We've written not just about the basics, but even about business model myths, silly digital signage gimmicks, and even a sales paradox or two. Price analysis? Just refer to any of our annual pricing studies or the surveys that give rise to them. And as for product selection, I truly believe that there is an infinite amount of "information" on the Internet about digital signage software options, kiosk hardware, services and the like.

My point with all this: whether you hear it from me or any of the 10,000 other sources out there, many of the simple questions have already been answered. The quality and veracity of those answers -- as well as your ability to pick them out amidst all the noise of the Internet -- is a separate issue. So where does the real work still need to be done? What questions do you hate hearing from your customers and prospects? What questions do you have trouble answering? Worse, what questions do you feel you have to evade? Those are the things I'm most interested in exploring. So I'll pose the question one more time:

Which questions about digital signage/DOOH would you like to see answered? Leave a comment and let us know. For email and RSS subscribers, click the link below to access the comment form.


0 # David Drain 2011-08-19 17:08
Hi Bill, When I read "But as an industry, we're definitely not making a concerted effort to separate the wheat from the chaff, nor are we attempting to put forward any kind of 'standard' position on things like value, measurement or ROI," I felt the need to point out that DSA has recently released a Digital Signage ROI Calculator to its members, so we have certainly done some work to set a standard on that front. Read more here: And what about DPAA's Audience Metrics Guidelines? That seems to be a good start on tackling the measurement issue. Keep up the good posts. Best regards, -David
-1 # Bill Gerba 2011-08-19 18:44
Hi David, Yes, I'm excited about the ROI calculator, and definitely look forward to when it will be available to the masses as a webapp. The DSA has done a good job of trying to own the ROI issue, and I hope it turns out well. As for audience metrics guidelines, who *doesn't* have them at this point? And besides that, who (amongst advertisers) pays any attention to them?
-1 # emmahunt 2012-01-30 14:54
re 'Which of the big-picture questions about digital signage/DOOH still need to be answered?' just wondering whether any more responses came through? Is it worth resurrecting the question on twitter?
-1 # Bill Gerba 2012-01-30 16:08
Sadly, we never did get a critical mass of big digital signage questions that need to be answered. I can't imagine that's because there aren't any. I agree, maybe it's time to try and resurrect it...
-1 # Bob Josward 2013-08-16 08:36
This is a very interesting post. I'm wondering if you did pursue resurrecting the [[|digital signage]] in twitter?

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