At its core, the idea of digital signage is pretty straightforward: collecting, organizing and displaying content in a way that captures and holds the attention of viewers for a wide range of commercial and educational purposes. However, executing this game plan is much easier said than done, and while technological advancement has streamlined many of these processes, digital signage still requires a level of expertise and problem-solving that not all organizations have at their disposal.

Such challenges may even create roadblocks that hold organizations back from realizing their visions.

To identify and overcome the biggest obstacles facing business leaders in their digital signage efforts, here is a list of the five most commonly cited, and some guidance to overcome them. With these sticking points in mind, decision-makers will finally be able to bring their most sophisticated signage strategies to life – and reap the many benefits that await.

“Few organizations actually follow through on key pre-deployment stages.”

1. Pre-deployment planning: Before a company ever mounts a digital display in its windows or on its walls, strategists must have a clear and concise idea of what its signage efforts will entail. While this may seem like an obvious step for any marketing, communications or advertising strategy, few organizations actually follow through on these predeployments stages. A blog article from the CommerceLab pointed out that only half of global firms engage in strategic coordination prior to deploying their displays, suggesting that there is opportunity to gain competitive advantage.

2. Advanced message targeting: Most companies can piece together a signage strategy that displays predetermined sets of content on a continuous loop, but things get a bit more challenging when organizations seek to target specific messages and media types at particular locations, certain audience demographics or for specific purposes.

Such localization and segmentation efforts were cited as an issue by more than half (55 percent) of organizations, according to CommerceLab, but with dedicated digital signage software on their side, organizations can break through these strategic plateaus.

Behind every wall of digital displays lies a complex network powered by software designed for content management and control. Behind every wall of digital displays lies a complex network powered by software designed for content management and control.Behind every wall of digital displays lies a complex network powered by software designed for content management and control. 

3. Aligning hardware and software: The most effective digital signage strategies harmonize the power of high-definition digital displays and strong software solutions to create compelling messaging and interactive experiences for viewers and end users. Ideally, an organization will team up with a vendor who has an arsenal of solutions that integrate hardware and software elements seamlessly, simplifying the implementation process and combating the challenges of content management down the line. Digital Signage Connection made a similar point in a recent article.

Every vendor wants their own hardware and software in place,” Renee Jordan, an executive vice president at Clear Channel Outdoor told the source. “This is challenging logistically and from a variety of resource perspective, which requires testing, setup and enablement that is far greater than more straightforward digital campaigns in order for the client experience to be smooth.”

4. Keeping content relevant: In the worlds of retail, hospitality and financial services, content can quickly become outdated if strategists aren’t able to quickly cycle new information through their digital displays. According to CommerceLab, 65 percent of banks update their digital signage content on a monthly basis, implying that data sets and visuals are prone to becoming stale, losing their impact and diminishing possible returns. As Digital Signage Connection pointed out, it’s important to keep a steady stream of fresh material flowing throughout the network at all times.

“The bottom line is that while you might not have any significant technical challenges to overcome when repurposing existing content, the editorial differences in such an environment should be addressed,” explained Loren Goldfarb, chief operating officer with Everwell and MediVista Media, according to Digital Signage Connection.

5. Ensuring control of networks: Although viewers may see a relatively simple display of information and visual flourish, organizations must exercise a certain level of control over their signage networks to squeeze the most possible value from their investments. Still, overcoming the limitations of standard Web-based media player applications is not so easy when a company is unfamiliar with alternative methods.

Utilizing the best digital signage software available helps to coordinate campaigns that truly resonate with target audiences, regardless of location or desired outcome.