In the world of digital signage, every organization has its own idea of success when it comes to the initial deployment stage. Some brands want to make an immediate impact on buyers with aggressive promotions, while others aim to complement the in-store atmosphere using high-definition video and audio combinations. In other words, primary signage objectives are as diverse as the brands that leverage them.

Still, there are a number of goals that exist independently of these distinct brand strategies and will apply to nearly every organization with a signage program. These overarching objectives are generally tied to factors such as software functionality, media player compatibility and scheduling features. To ensure that these core needs are met, signage users can follow this deployment guide and start on the right foot. 

Launching a signage program may require a bit more upfront planning that a brand expects. Launching a signage program may require a bit more upfront planning that a brand expects.

Identifying the purpose of a program
Long before a brand invests in digital signage software, displays and content development tools, leaders need to clarify their exact intentions for the signage program. Determining these objectives up front will not only put marketing teams and executives on the same page for strategic direction, but it will also ensure that the organization makes smart investments in tools that will bring them closer to their goals.

The nature of this initial conversation will be influenced by the industry in which the brand competes, as signage systems serve different functions across sectors. Restaurants and retailers may focus on promotional messages, while universities will want to display information about community events or details about the academic calendar. While an organization may need to delay its deployment date to draw up this strategy, taking the time to piece together a game plan will certainly pay off. 

Consultation and vendor selection
Even with a clear vision in mind, brands should not hesitate to get a second opinion about the validity of their plan, as well as an idea of what it will take to actually follow through on the project. Brands should partner with a consulting team to determine the best digital signage software for their needs, as well as what hardware they'll need to purchase for displaying content.

"Signage vendors will be heavily involved in the launch."

Then, the team will move on to vendor selection. Leaders should view this process differently from other provisioning responsibilities, as a signage provider will be heavily involved in the deployment stage and throughout the lifecycle of the program. For this reason, a chosen service provider should be cooperative and highly flexible, ready to help the brand meet their objectives and be available for troubleshooting. 

"Picking your vendor is a lot about culture and usability," stated audiovisual consultant Jonathan Brawn, according to Digital Signage Connection. "Does the way they do business feel good? Does it fit with your plans? Oftentimes, many products are very similar, and it comes down to preference in the way a product feels to use, and the person or people you are dealing with."

Staying on top of signage innovation
Although these steps will help a brand master the signage deployment stage, project leaders must realize that their work is never done in this competitive sphere. There are countless ways in which signage is progressing, from touchscreen technology to self-service kiosks and even mobile connectivity that delivers personalized recommendations. 

That's why project coordinators need to be conscious of these trends and ensure that their third-party signage partners are prepared to jump on the latest developments without hesitation. The more quickly and confidently a brand adapts, the more likely it will enjoy the benefits of differentiation and the competitive advantages therein.