Digital Signage Service Contracts: How to Earn Recurring Revenue

A digital signage job is just beginning when the installation is complete. Make sure you don’t leave money on the table.>

While many customers believe the bulk of the legwork in regards to digital signage is over when the content is running, the truth is that’s really just the beginning of the opportunity for commercial integrators.

Most companies looking to add digital signage, particularly via a 42- to 54-inch TV in their corporate headquarters, think it’s easy to find content, even easier to post it and there are no rules as long as it’s not offensive.

That’s simply not the case, and becoming an expert in managing this content can be a huge boon to your firm, said Jay Martin, director of U.S. sales at X2O Media, during our “Digital Signage: How To Structure Profitable Service Contracts” webcast.

“A lot of customers think of digital signage as a single application, but it’s more than that,” Martin said. “Screens are one very attractive avenue, but you can deliver content that’s adapted to many different types of screens, from Times Square in New York City to mobile devices.”

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Digital signage users have to consider several pieces, many of which can be guided by an integrator. That includes audience, communication objectives, the type and quality of content, presentation and user experience, usability, and integration factors.

With regard to presentation, some digital messages refresh after five or 10 seconds, a much shorter window than a 30-second TV commercial, for example. A higher-quality presentation platform will cost a client more, but will be shown in a more eye-catching way, Martin said.

Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of digital signage is the audio piece, he said. Integrators need to reinforce with clients the importance of actually having the message on the digital signage heard as well as seen.

Becoming One of Them

By explaining the myriad digital signage options to customers, an integrator “can become an ad hoc employee of that company, and that’s what leads to follow-up sales.”

When it comes to content for digital signage, the most important consideration for customers should be whether it’s reaching the right audience, said Vern Freedlander, vice president of production at X2O.

Integrators should attempt to include monthly content management fees into their digital signage service contracts, he said. The best way to prove you can provide the best content is to do a lot of research and legwork on providers as far as who offers what. It’s a daunting task, but crucial in securing a recurring revenue stream, Freedlander said.

“You don’t want to just ‘wallpaper’ content on your network if it doesn’t help to promote your brand,” he said. Finding out what content works and what content isn’t right for your clients requires outside research, another opportunity for CIs to up-sell beyond the installation and offer a service contract to their clients, he said. “If you’ve invested a lot of money into something, you want to know it works.”

Do Your Research

Integrators must also be prepared to sell themselves to several different types of client types, even within the same company. If the decision maker is the chief information officer, your pitch is likely to be different than if it’s up to the marketing director, Martin said, and “you have to gear your pitch to meet each of their needs.”

Because digital signage remains in a nebulous area where it’s unclear to some customers whether it’s an A/V or IT issue, integrators must be able to explain the benefits of it to both groups, Martin said. “Right now, it scares both sides,” he said.