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Is Your Digital Signage Messaging Working?

Dec 27, 2010 10:39 AM, By Vern Freedlander, X2O Media, Vice President, Production

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You finally have your digital signage network up and running, the signage content created and gathered, the digital signage brand built, and the technical issues are behind you, but how do you know if the audience is getting anything out of it? Most network operators rely on anecdotal feedback or their own subjective impressions. The problem is that while you may personally think the messaging is effective, your audience may not see it that way. While your gut instincts shouldn’t be completely discounted, a more objective research-based approach is important.

The key purpose of research is to answer two basic questions: Is your digital signage content reaching your intended audience, and is it resonating with them? This is accomplished through two forms of research: qualitative, which measures and identifies the people who view the messaging; and quantitative, which measures how the audience feels about the content they viewed. The answers are obtained through structured surveys of individual viewers and focus groups.

The very idea of conducting research often conjures up images of large market research firms charging a fortune, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In reality, research can be a more informal process. A set of clear, well-written questions directed at a good cross section of typical viewers will glean some good insights. Stick to fundamental questions such as: How often do you watch? Do you consider the information relevant? What is your favorite content on the network? To keep your network on track, research should be an ongoing process. It should be performed frequently, about once every six months, or when a new campaign is introduced. Remember, you want to identify the network’s strengths and weaknesses to target areas for improvement.

Vern Freedlander is vice president of production services for Montréal-based X2O Media, a full-service provider of technology, network management and content services for professional digital signage applications. With more than 20 years of broadcast television experience as a producer, director and executive, Freedlander oversees all of X2O Media’s content initiatives. He can be reached at

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