What is the most representative way to measure the impact of a digital signage deployment?”
The most representative way to measure the impact of a digital signage deployment is primarily dependent on the purpose of the deployment. For example, an advertising-based platform would be best judged by comparing the results to sales targets established consistent with the intended Return on Investment (“ROI”). This straightforward method shows the impact from the paid advertiser’s perspective.
If the deployment is effectively reaching the right demographic, then sales should reflect this fact and ROI targets should be met. More difficult is a deployment with a different objective than financial in mind.
For example, a signage deployment intending to provide information can be a challenge to measure. Indirect measures of impact are typically the only measures available. Regularly scheduled customer surveys or tracking customer complaints (either by type or overall count) are good sources of information that can provide a before/after picture of a particular digital signage deployment.
If your deployment has the impact desired you should see changes. If the impact is positive, customer service scores should go up while complaints go down. If these scores don’t change, or get worse, it might be time to look beyond the signage deployment as the cause of the poor numbers. In the event these types of information are not available, then the only option may be to seek anecdotal feedback from those who may be in a position to see the intended audience interact with the sign. This can vary widely by the deployment location, but if there is a positive impact someone should be in a position to relay to you the effect.
Determining the most representative way to measure the impact of a digital signage deployment will depend on the purpose of your deployment then identifying those metrics based on that intended purpose.