Digital Signage in a nut shell

Digital Signage, also known as Narrowcasting, is a multimedia system that can be placed on location at retail outlets worldwide. The messaging presented by the digital signage is customized and targeted towards that particular target market, and is usually altered based on environmental factors such as season, time of day or day of week, as well as for reasons that are unique to the outlets’ sales items and cycles; items that need a push or attention drawn to them, or items that are moving quickly and could use an upsell.

Digital signage is a great tool for retailers because it offers the benefit of instant modifications, customizations, and re-focusing of messages. This cutting edge technology is also very cost effective, considering the huge point of sale implications and potential that it offers. That elusive and murky point of sale stage in the consumer buying cycle is finally open to effective and consistent retailer messaging with properly implemented narrowcasting services.

Narrowcasting is quite easy to manoeuvre as well. At most, you can contact your digital casting provider and have them make virtually instantaneous alterations to your messaging.

Although Digital signage is now taking the retail world by storm, there are still a few organizations that are sitting on the fence when it comes to investing in this technology. Although the general benefits are clear, there is still the unknown. Is this technology difficult to utilize? Is it cumbersome and expensive to operate? And perhaps most importantly, how can I make digital signage work for me?

As we have already covered, narrowcasting is both cost effective and easy to utilize. The question remaining is “how can we make digital signage work for you?”

First, it is important to understand that digital signage does not provide the same experience as regular television viewing. This means that it will not be effective to take an existing 120, 60, or even 30 second spot and use it as-is for this medium, regardless of how tempting it is to attempt to get more use out of that previously made, and very expensive, creative. That is the bad news.

The good news is that, if you find the right digital signage provider, that agency will already have a media design team in place to work with you, or your ad agency, to create or even repurpose existing ad content. The team can take your above mentioned 30 second ad spot and easily and inexpensively customize it for your in-store digital signage. This expert advice, combined with your excellent grasp of your sales cycles and market, will help drive interest, brand awareness and sales.

To ensure that digital signage works for you, work with your provider to create specific and creative content that reflects your needs and your customers’ needs. As an example, a grocery store owner may want to quickly sell some overstocked children’s vitamins. Perhaps, however, this would not be the product to feature on a Saturday evening. The grocery store might receive much more favourable results from featuring discount DVD’s and a sale on potato chips.

As cutting edge as digital signage is, it has already proven itself as an effective marketing media that can work for virtually any retail outlet.

The Economics of FREE. Free Digital Signage.


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The cost of deploying a digital signage solution is one of the biggest obstacles that prevents companies from buying a network. Sellers often try to explain how the initial investment will be repaid over a given period of time by the resulting ROI. But, still managers and business owners balk. Their hesitation is sometimes due to not having a full understanding about where the costs originate. In any signage system, the investment will include the digital screens and other hardware, software, content generation, and installation.


Below, I’ll explain each of these areas in more detail. I’ll also describe a few of the ongoing costs that companies must plan for when they’re ready to invest. You’ll discover how much money is truly required to set up a signage network.


Hardware And Software


You’ll need screens, player software and hardware, content management software, and mounts for your screens. The final price you’ll end up paying will depend largely on the number of screens you want to use. A 40″ LCD model will cost approximately $1,200, depending on the brand and resolution. The player software will cost under $500 while the player hardware should be under $1,000.


Content management software can be priced within a wide range starting at a few hundred dollars and rising to thousands. The more robust and flexible it is, the more you can expect to pay. You’ll also need display mounts for each of your LCD screens. Sturdy ceiling mounts will likely costs over $200 each.


The Cost Of Content


Content is a wildcard. The price is based upon several factors, many of which you’ll control. Oddly, a lot of business owners and managers completely forget to add this cost into their projections. Or worse, they believe the content isn’t important and can be patched into their network (for example, from local TV stations). So, I’ll clarify this issue now. First, you’re going to need content for your signage and you’ll need to pay for it.


For example, static creatives works well and can be designed in a compelling manner. You’ll need to devote several hours for each screen you want to create. It can be done by someone on your staff or by outsourcing the job to a creative agency. One static screen created by an agency will probably cost nearly $1,000. And it’s important to note that static creatives are the least expensive content you can create. Animation and video production costs will climb quickly.


Installation And Support


Most digital signage companies charge in excess of $1,000 to install a small network. The price rises with the number of screens. Often, they’ll build this cost into the package deal, making the dollar figure hard to identify. So, ask them how much they’re charging.


You’ll also need technical support which is typically priced on multi-year contracts. A 3-year contract might cost $1,500 per screen, but you’ll have access to a trained staff who can provide help whenever you need it. If your company has a capable support desk, you may be able to add the signage network to their responsibilities. That said, you should have a resource available to provide higher levels of support when necessary.


Projecting The Price


I’ve explained the major costs involved with investing in and deploying a digital signage network. They are substantial, which causes many business owners, managers, and operators to postpone the purchase. However, keep in mind that prices continue to drop on the hardware and software (technical support costs seems to remain constant or rise over time). For example, prices charged in 2004 seem ridiculously high today. The important thing is to include every potential cost when considering the investment. That way, you’ll avoid unpleasant surprises down the road.


And the answer is


With MediaSignage the software solution is free. This removes a major pricey component from what makes Digital Signage so hard to adopt. Plus we give you free online daily support.


We believe Digital Signage is the way to go for a real ROI and if your investment includes free quality software such as our solution; you are ½ way through getting some real bang for your buck.

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