We’ll be honest. There are a lot of digital signage companies around. Choosing the right provider can be difficult if you’re new to the technology.
With this in mind, we wanted to write a checklist of factors to consider before you hand over your project to a signage company.
In no particular order, you might want to think about:
The Size of The Company
One of the first things you might want to consider when you’re dealing with a digital signage company is their size. There are a number of giants in the industry. This might appeal to a buyer who prefers dealing with household names. Large signage companies will have vast portfolios of work you can examine to give you confidence for your job. Alternatively, many people prefer the more personal service smaller companies are often able to provide. If you’re looking to achieve a bespoke project, a more hands-on service could be your best bet.
Where They Are Based
A similar factor to weigh up is where digital signage companies are based. Geography plays less of a factor when it comes to SaaS businesses but considerations like time-differences and installation management are worth bearing in mind. If you opt for a provider with offices outside of your country, you will want to check they have support lines open during your working hours. Likewise, if you’re looking for a company that will provide and install your hardware too, it’s important to ask about delivery charges and the logistics of installation.
Whether They Serve A Particular Sector
Often digital signage companies are specialised in a particular industry. For example, some focus on retail environments and work closely with advertising agencies. This is not to say they haven’t had projects in other sectors, but it’s worth identifying where the bulk of their work comes from and whether they seem a good match for you. You don’t want to be the first estate agent a company has worked with if their solution is designed for schools.
Their Pricing Transparency
If we had to highlight one factor to really scrutinise when choosing between digital signage companies it would be the transparency of their pricing. Digital signage companies can be notoriously bad for omitting prices on their websites; or drawing customers in with low ongoing charges but high upfront fees or hidden costs. When negotiating your project, make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for and what you’re getting. Software licenses you thought were lifetime can turn out to be annual and ‘welcome rates’ can go up after the first year.
Their Commitment to Support and Training
This one somewhat depends on the set up you have as a soon-to-be digital signage owner. If your business or institution has a tech-savvy IT specialist in-house, managing a solution might prove pretty straightforward with on-going support a low priority. On the other hand, perhaps you have a large marketing team who are talented with creating content, but less confident with the technical side of things. In this scenario, staff training on system management, with the safety net of a support line, could be invaluable.
A final factor to consider is the hardware element of your potential project. While some digital signage companies only provide software, most include hardware as part of their ‘solution’. This can either mean just media players or the displays too. As signage companies will often be partnered with hardware suppliers and are able to buy in bulk, it is often worth seeing how competitive their procurements prices are.
Ultimately, choosing between digital signage companies is about identifying your own priorities as a buyer. Is a tight budget the most important factor in your decision-making process? Or are you willing to pay that bit more – valuing the usability of a solution and the support offered by a signage provider?
Digital signage projects can be a significant investment. Thinking about the factors on our checklist will help you make an informed decision. We encourage you to scrutinise digital signage companies!
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