“What emphasis do you feel is placed on content by screen suppliers, CMS vendors, end-users, consumers?”
How much emphasis do consumers place on content in digital signage? A lot – whether they know it or not. If the content is good, then it is doing what it is supposed to be doing, and it is getting noticed. Consumers might not even register the actual piece of content, but they are getting the message and information within it, and that is what counts to them.
End-users have evolved. They are getting much better at understanding the importance of quality, relevant content, and the dynamics of how that content should be disseminated and refreshed. A big challenge for end-users is developing a content strategy, and a content production plan to ensure the content is relevant, that it is getting in front of the audience it was intended to reach, and that the production of the content falls neatly into the production cycle of other marketing content. I have plenty of examples of content being an afterthought, with not enough time allotted to get the digital signage piece complete by the launch date for the rest of the campaign.
However, CMS vendors and screen suppliers are still not very interested in the content part of the digital signage equation. It’s surprising, since they were part of the industry that shouts “Content is King.” It was a nice sentiment, but I still found myself being brought into projects because the network was up and running and no thought had been given to creating the content – or no thought had been given to creating ongoing content.
It’s understandable, given content is not their business and quite frankly, developing content is a difficult task in the best of times. But I always thought screen suppliers and CMS vendors had a unique opportunity to be strategic – to ask the questions of the end-users, or to at least introduce them to a content expert at the early stages of a project so a proper content strategy and subsequent content development would be a seamless integration with all of the other project components.
To be fair, I think the landscape might finally be changing. I have had a couple of vendors introduce me to their clients to assist with the strategy and planning of the content, and I can honestly say the end results, and the positive impact on the project as a whole demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach.