From networking to scheduling and ROI analysis, there are countless components to track when managing a modern digital signage campaign. What so many strategists tend to forget, however, is that the content driving these initiatives is ultimately the most important factor to success, as these messages, images and video displays are what influence viewers to take the next step in the purchase journey. To set themselves apart in an increasingly cluttered marketing mix, signage strategists need to emphasize content that offers nothing but value to the viewership.

Content with a purpose
Far too many digital signage deployments are launched without a clear marketing objective in mind, and this is evident in the majority of displays that feature aimless, repetitive images and messages. That's why forward-thinking brands are viewing digital signage content as they would any other element of their marketing strategy, mapping out purposeful, data-driven strategies that target specific audiences and goals. In other words, signage is no longer a pleasant visual complement to the in-store experience, but a powerful asset in a brand's marketing arsenal.

"Signage is now a powerful asset in a brand's marketing arsenal."

A recent article from Digital Signage Today explored how fast casual giant Wendy's is revamping its signage efforts in a large-scale restaurant engagement strategy, incorporating elements such as Wi-Fi, music and mobile apps to ensure that customers stick around. The source explained that with these tools, the brand hopes to drive sales of limited-time offers, increase visibility of premium menu items and reduce the perceived wait time for customers in line. Brand strategists are also emphasizing the importance of cycling fresh content to eliminate repetition for seated diners.

"Marketing can drive [customers] into the store, but to market to them within the four walls of this restaurant is the key," said Nick DeCarlo, director of restaurant solutions for The Wendy's Company, according to the news source. "All of this and more can be changed at a moment's notice to maintain interest."

Generating more value
While brands like Wendy's have a clear vision of driving results with digital signage content, other thought leaders in the marketing arena are taking a bigger-picture perspective on the value of these resources. As an article from Screen Media Magazine pointed out, many marketers are looking to harness deeper insights from their signage deployments, digging into analytics reports that compare the impact of certain content strategies against previous campaign efforts. The source highlighted this data-centric approach to content management that will soon be a universal standard. 

"The next wave of content and creative will see material that's generated and served based on real-time data, templates and algorithms," said Dave Haynes of Vertical Media, according to the source.

As digital signage technology advances alongside developments in marketing, brand leaders will have to find the perfect mix of messaging and content variety to capture and hold the attention of audiences. With a targeted strategy and plenty of analytics to support decision-making, a company can execute a winning strategy in-store and beyond.