In what ways have you been able to exploit your existing digital signage network beyond the original business objectives to provide greater benefit than originally promised?
Working for a financial services company means you are often faced with having to balance innovation against risk when it comes to pushing boundaries. Words like ‘exploit’ usually cause heart palpitations whether talking about digital signage, or any member-facing channel. Sometimes we have to temper our thinking to ensure we are meeting our fiduciary, regulatory and compliance requirements. Stepping outside of the originally intended business objectives can be a larger hill than we are willing to climb at times. At the same time, there is always an appetite to try and improve on our thinking and our use of and delivery through our digital channels, especially as they are constantly evolving at an ever-increasing rate. Staying static in our thinking would be as bad as keeping up static or outdated content. Much like our network is in constant need of new content to ‘fuel the fires’ as it were, we can’t keep thinking about these communications delivery systems as being ‘one size’ either. We have to evolve our thinking about how we use our existing digital signage network, but we still need to be aware of what our limitations are and where the boundaries are.
Our first attempt at evolving our thinking came when we moved into our new head office building. Suddenly, we had the opportunity to create a showcase. We set up screens in strategic places in the building that just included internal messages – not really all that innovative, but it was a big leap for us and certainly was never part of the original business goals and objectives. Next, we set up some screens in our Member Contact Center in the same head office building. After that, we could post call queue information, campaign information and other information relevant to our member contact center staff through our digital signage network. Again, not really innovative but something we had never thought of in our original plan. Both of these ended up bringing some quick benefits from having our support staff and executives exposed to our digital signage network. Having it appear in the head office building meant it wasn’t just something that existed in our branch network. Suddenly, they could see for themselves how the technology could be used to deliver content, communications and relevant information to viewers. This was great for promoting the network and making it a larger focus for our partners in Operations. Not to mention the fact that it started to create new use cases inside and outside our branches that have led to new planning around how digital signage can be used in the future.
We have had other examples of using the digital signage network for purposes beyond the original business objectives, but not all of them have been as successful. As an example, we decided to use the network to deliver our Board of Directors election information to our members. In our branches, we have some locations that have digital signage set up in our waiting areas, and most of those have sound capabilities as well. So, in conversations about how to improve member interest in our Board of Directors elections last year, we hit on this idea of creating a video of the different candidates providing their statements that would be delivered in branch through these waiting area locations. The idea was to generate more interest and to provide an innovative way for the candidates to get their message across.
The concept was good, the candidates were taped and then the footage was edited into a very usable content piece. Unfortunately, the piece ended up a MUCH longer clip than we had originally anticipated, and we hadn’t left enough time to revise it into smaller clips. The result — a massive file that ran for eight to 10 minutes.
The size required a bulk upload to players overnight to avoid affecting available bandwidth in branches. After successful system-wide delivery, feedback from the branches began immediately about the playback, the length of the overall piece, the repetitiveness in the schedule and a number of other things we had never really planned out or realized would be an issue.
The good news is that the candidates were happy with it, the committee responsible for the elections were happy and members did comment on how great it was to see and hear from the candidates. So there was a benefit, but by stepping outside of the original business objectives of our digital signage network and evolving its use, we did manage to make a lot of headaches for ourselves in this instance.