Measuring Your Digital Signage Network: Aligning Disparate Teams

Measuring Your Digital Signage Network: Aligning Disparate Teams

Managing your company’s digital signage network may primarily fall to one team, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the company shouldn’t be involved. Your network affects—and is affected by—many other teams, but how much do you actually involve them 

in the measurement and analysis of the system?

There are many reasons to involve disparate teams in measuring the effectiveness of your network, but perhaps the most compelling is that you’ll end up with more useful metrics and a healthy digital signage network—meaning your screens are operating more efficiently and showing regularly refreshed content, and that you’re able to resolve any issues that arise quickly.

Why to involve other teams

Your digital signage network is a strategic tool, and it is just as important to your customer experience as any inventory management tool, POS system, or CRM. Successfully leveraging this investment requires the same level of coordination as your other business operations. Yet it’s often regarded as a standalone, non-integrated system.

To get away from the idea of a “standalone” digital signage network, you can involve other teams and stakeholders in the company in planning and operation. This benefits you in several ways. Involving other teams helps them see the importance of the network to your organization, and it gives you perspectives beyond your own. Input from other teams also helps determine better ways to collect data from your network and attribute the results to your content. When you can measure and attribute those results, you can determine if your content strategy and digital signage network is working effectively, or if either needs to be adjusted to get better results.

Who should you include in the conversation? IT should be involved from the very planning stages of your digital signage project and throughout the life of the network. And since your digital signage network is a strategic business tool, senior management should be in on the discussion.

Your conversations should include other stakeholders as well, including marketing, digital marketing, store management, merchandising, and store operations. Remember, not only can these digital displays enhance the customer experience directly, they can be leveraged to help train staff who in turn can better engage with customers. Who you involve depends on your organization, how big it is, how specialized the groups are, and who manages the digital signage network.  By including more teams and inviting them to think creatively about how they could leverage the network to achieve their objectives you gain broader support for your initiative.

And of course, your digital signage partner should play an active, ongoing role in the optimization of the network. Hopefully, they’ve been there since the beginning, they know your goals and objectives, and they see the big picture.

When to involve other teams

The ultimate goal for your network is optimization and continuous improvement. You need to measure, analyze, plan, and execute consistently, and involving other teams will improve your success in all of these activities.

Ideally, this process should begin before implementing your network, and again when considering any changes to it. Consulting with other teams will help you avoid issues before they happen. For example, your network may not be able to display certain types of content. By talking to IT prior to developing new campaigns, the content team will know what they can and cannot produce, instead of developing content and finding out later that it isn’t usable.

One of the biggest challenges in network management is: How do you know if your signage is actually helping you meet your goals? To determine if viewers are taking action because of your content, you have to be able to measure and attribute results to your content. Without that data, you can’t tell how well your content is working, and if you make changes, you’ll have no definitive way to know whether or not the changes improved your results.

This is where talking with other teams can help—to find out how they are measuring results. They may already have a method for using certain data to measure customer engagement that you can incorporate in the network. Digital marketing teams, for example, have deep experience in capturing and analyzing customer data. They understand how people engage online and routinely use technologies available for tracking and data correlation. For instance, your digital marketing team probably uses custom URLs when they direct users to a website to download an app. The URL lets them attribute that download action to the content that prompted the customer action. You can do the same thing on an interactive sign to direct prospects to download an app or any other action. It’s simple to set up and is a good example of the techniques used in other applications that can be applied to a digital signage network.

And there are other techniques that may already be used by other teams. They may conduct surveys to measure the quality of the customer experience. Or they may use point-of-sale (POS) data to correlate sales of products with specific promotions. Both of these can be applied to your network to see how your screen content is impacting sales.

Other teams might also suggest techniques you haven’t even considered. For instance, IT may have Wi-Fi technology integrated into your network. With this, it’s possible to measure how many devices are in a particular area of a store and tell you how many people were in each location and for how long. Your digital signage partner may also have ideas, like using video analytics and other audience measurement technologies to determine the number of customers who stopped and viewed a screen.

Don’t try to do it alone

It’s critical to plan for the types of data you want to collect and how you're going to analyze that data. This should be done by consulting other teams before you even start designing and building out your digital signage network, then continuing the conversation as your network needs evolve.

However, even if that discussion didn’t happen up front, now is a good time to get the ball rolling. Start talking with other groups about how to measure the network and its effectiveness. The more of these conversations you have, the more second nature measuring your network will become. That way, with every new content campaign you design, you’ll think about how to measure and refine its effectiveness.

And aside from the teams within your organization, don’t forget to include your digital signage partner in these conversations. There’s always room for improvement, and your signage partner has the expertise to help you get the most out of your network. When you involve all these other teams for their input and assistance, you’ll end up with a healthier network that delivers a better ROI.