Should a Digital Signage CMS Drive Your Strategy—Or the Other Way Around?
Your organization has decided to grow or upgrade its digital signage network. As part of that effort, you’ve been tasked with evaluating digital signage content management systems (CMS). That means researching the best available CMS, gathering recommendations, reading customer reviews and success stories before deciding on a solution.
It also means you need to know what you want your digital signage program to accomplish, because if you don’t know anything more than you want to implement or improve digital signage then you don’t know enough to make the right decision on a digital signage CMS.
Before deciding how you’ll spend your digital signage CMS budget, you should first take a look at what you need it to do for you.
Content strategy should drive your choice of digital signage CMS
Indulge us in a travel analogy. In any road trip, you have to have three things: A destination, a map to get there, and a vehicle to travel in.
In our scenario, your marketing goals are your destination. They’re things you want digital signage to achieve for you. Your content strategy is your road map. It’s the way you are going to use content to achieve those goals. And your digital signage CMS is the vehicle you’ll use to get you there. The route you want to take to achieve your goals will determine the kind of vehicle you need. Do you need a four-wheel drive, or will something that’s nice and reliable but otherwise indistinctive be enough to get you where you want to go?
A retailer with a single store and a handful of digital screens can manage their content with a basic CMS, while still elevating the in-store customer experience. A regional or national chain with dozens or hundreds of locations, however, needs a more comprehensive strategy. They need to cater to more audiences, need more targeted marketing campaigns, need to promote the brand story, and build engaging experiences across a wide market. This all requires dynamic, targeted content that responds to changes in traffic, demographics, time of day, insights from data analytics and more—capabilities a “basic” CMS software simply can’t deliver.
Here are a few of the many questions that should figure into your digital signage content strategy—and thus help determine which CMS is best able to enable that strategy.
What is/ are the objectives for your digital signage network? Brand building? Sales lift? Education? Inspiring employees or customer? Something else entirely?
Who is in your audience?
What do you want that audience to do or feel as a result of experiencing your signage?
What problems can you solve for the audience? How will you use this platform to enhance their experience?
Will you monetize all/ part of the network? Is that monetization for profit or to simply help defray expenses?
Will you measure success? If so, how?
Who will be responsible for creating and updating content?
Will you want to provide local users with the ability to augment corporate content? Once you answer these questions you can select a CMS that enables you to meet those requirements and accomplish the goals of that strategy.
Once you answer these questions you can select a CMS that enables you to meet those requirements and accomplish the goals of that strategy.
A wisely chosen CMS should enable your digital signage strategy, not drive it
Change is inevitable. Sometimes you need to shift your digital signage content strategy due to growth, changing requirements, or technological advancement. Perhaps you want to incorporate the latest interactive digital screens in new store locations or add signage and content to improve employee communications or training. Changing or adjusting your strategy shouldn’t mean you have to change out your digital signage CMS each time.
Yes, you should definitely have a basic content strategy defined before you select your CMS. At the same time, you want to select a CMS that won’t limit how your strategy can change and expand in the future. Otherwise, your CMS will drive your strategy, instead of the other way around.
Is your CMS platform holding back the full potential of your digital signage strategy? If it isn’t flexible enough to adapt to new device technologies and new content formats, not to mention your growth and changing requirements, your digital signage CMS may end up determining the shape of your strategy, instead of enabling it. Visit our ReflectView product page to see how the capabilities of our ReflectView platform can enable even the most complex content strategy with ease.