The film industry has the Oscars. TV has the Emmys. How does the digital signage industry reward great examples of content?”
At this time, I would say the DSE APEX Awards are probably the best-known awards for content in the digital signage industry. There are other marketing awards (DIGI Awards, POPAI, Digital Signage Awards and other marketing organizations) that have expanded a few categories here and there to include digital signage and by extension, content.
For the most part, however, I still don’t think content is taken as seriously as it needs to be by clients or the industry as a whole. We have been developing digital signage content and content strategy for over a decade, and we still encounter new content clients that have purchased and/or installed a network with little to any consideration for what the content will be, or what it might require in terms of technology or assets on an ongoing basis. Content should drive it all.
In similar fashion, a lot of the awards handed out across the industry and the marketing world are deployment-focused. Prominence is given to hardware and software, perhaps the design of the whole deployment, but there is limited focus on content alone.
Perhaps it is difficult to quantify. It begs the question, “what makes great content?” Is it the application of best practices in design and animation? Proper development of messaging? Thorough strategy that links directly to achieving the business objectives? Unique experiences? Customer or audience education? 50 other considerations?
I’m sure my content advisory board colleagues would agree that it’s all of the above and then some. Establishing these criteria in order to properly recognize greatness in content is an evolutionary process. It has definitely improved, but we have a ways to go before we have a recognition program for content alone.