If You Sell Digital Signage, What Business Are You Really In?

Published: November 8, 2016

For the second year in a row, the Digital Signage Federation started the second day of New York Digital Signage Week (NYDSW) with a breakfast and panel of experts.

The conversation, labeled Coffee and Controversy, featured Brian Meszaros of OpenEye Global, Jennifer Davis from Layard and Planar, Jeff Hastings of BrightSign, and Phil Langer from Show+Tell.

The talk was moderated by past DSF president, Ken Goldberg. Goldberg started with a simple enough question.

“How does digital signage market their industry?”

Meszaros began the conversation by saying DS purveyors need to understand what their clients want. Figuring that out will go a long way in helping decision makers to understand digital signage as an option.

RECAP: Inside New York Digital Signage Week 2016

Phil Langer added that he is not in the digital signage business. He is in whatever business his clients are in. For casino owners, he is in the gaming industry. For store owners, he is in the retail business. His business is to help those companies achieve their goals.

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That turned the conversation to the real issue at hand: what sort of business digital signage really is.

The True Business of Digital Signage

“We are in the business of attention”, added Jennifer Davis. “We are what makes content compelling.”

Jeff Hastings said BrightSign is in the “digital experience” business.

We are in the business of telling stories, added Meszaros, which most on the stage agreed with. If you’re interested in furthering your digital signage vertical, applying storytelling through digital experiences should be an avenue to research.

It also falls in line with InfoComm‘s push for going after the exceptional experiences in your installations. Very few clients care how many pixels or decibels there are, or even the resolution of a system. They care how it looks, the impact it has and how it solves a problem.

2 Big Question Marks in Digital Signage

The conversation then worked around to future trends: where the industry is going, how will it will grow and which issues are arising. The panelists understood there are some questions left unanswered within the digital signage industry.

For example, Monster Media holds a patent on producing social media content on digital displays. One big issue is: how will Monster Media reinforce its patent?

Another issue is finding the right client to buy into digital signage as a viable resource.

One suggestion was to discover the young CEO or forward-thinking chief executive who “gets” digital. It is this group of decision makers you need to connect with.

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