Four sigmage solutions purpose-built for SMBs.
By Hank Hogan
November 21, 2012
When customers scan the menu boards at the counter of the Culver’s fast food restaurant in Palatine, Ill., they often only do so for a minute. That’s not much time to convey information about daily specials or the more than 50 items offered. For this task, traditional message boards are limited, static, and time-consuming to update.
The restaurant’s owners, therefore, turned to digital signage, contracting with local specialist Connect Pros Inc., of Hoffman Estates, Ill., to install dual 42-inch LED backlit modified TV models. On a portion of those displays runs a looping video, with featured items on the rest of the screen. The technology enables the restaurant to “share with our customers more products that we have everyday because those are the most important products for us,” says co-owner Zach Steffens.
This tale illustrates a few trends in digital signage. First, lower-cost, more user-friendly solutions are appearing, making it possible for SMBs to get on the signage bandwagon. And that gives channel pros an opportunity for more revenue streams from new or additional installations, content management, and other services.
To capture this business, IT pros need to think about hardware, software, and the maintenance of both, of course. That data will go into an ROI investment analysis that can be crucial in convincing clients to implement digital signage. For success, though, channel pros also need to consider where the display will be placed, how often content will be changed, and by what means. Further, they should contemplate who will create that content.
Answering those kinds of questions may demand some field work, such as studying how customers place an order at a fast food restaurant. It will also require an understanding of the organization putting up the sign. Here, IT providers have an advantage: As trusted advisers, they are already familiar with their clients’ businesses, and can offer advice on the solutions that best fit their needs.