What is the most representative way to measure the impact of a digital signage deployment?”
This depends entirely on the application and audience the digital signage solution is meant to influence. For advertising, success is typically measured through sales lift, ad/product recall and brand awareness measurement tools. Many ads feature a specific call-to-action that can be directly tied to campaign-specific content. In retail environments, sales lift figures compared against past annual periods can strongly indicate the degree of success digital signage provides. If the solution is focused on solving broader retail needs such as consumer education, way-finding, public relations or ‘info-tainment’ (i.e.; waiting areas), the success criteria may be difficult to directly measure. In these cases, many retailers compare KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for typical retail operations indexes like Customer Satisfaction/Voice of the Customer, Customer Conversion, Dwell Time and Customer Engagement. Using these indexes and comparing results to previous annual periods can provide insight as to whether digital signage is paying off.
In general, it is best to define objectives and how they will quantify success for a digital signage investment in advance. This includes a well-articulated content strategy budget, which should factor in all potential stakeholders to understand their objectives and ultimately how they will define success.