“There appears to be an industry consensus on the need for industry standards and measurement. How should the industry go about developing and implementing these?”
Industry standards could encompass both professional conduct expectations and advocacy on behalf of the digital signage industry. As new opportunities are presented, whether it is new hardware or a technological advance that changes the way content is developed and managed, it’s up to the industry to help all involved take advantage of these possibilities. In large part, the responsibility falls on trade associations and other organizations that support the industry. The Digital Signage Federation (DSF) developed national standards for digital signage education to support and promote college students coming into the industry. There’s no reason that the same sort of effort couldn’t be applied to broader industry standards.
In terms of measurement, that’s a tougher nut to crack. With some media, it’s more apparent: How many subscribers? How many viewers or listeners? How many shares or likes? Digital signage measurement is also about engagement, but the technology fills so many different roles, there’s no one measurement that applies across all deployments. If the network’s business goal is sales lift, the impact on revenue can be measured when content promoting specific products runs. If it’s an interactive screen designed to help customers find an item in the store, there are multiple things that could be measured. For example: customer engagements with the interactive screen; customer satisfaction with the information supplied; and reduced workload or redirected focus for sales associates.
My point is that there is not a standard measurement for digital signage networks akin to a Nielsen rating for broadcast media or a J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating for new cars. One of the most important things we can do as an industry is to continue encouraging newcomers to the technology to develop a solid business case with a built-in measurement system from the first day of discussion and planning for a network deployment. Additional resources to support this – and some standardized approaches – would also serve the industry well.