There are hundreds, if not thousands, of digital signage companies in the world today. The electronic sign market is poised for explosive growth and lots of people are trying to gain a foothold. There are many signage software companies who have already come and gone; it is an uphill battle in these turbulent times. Obviously some will do well, while others may not. It is important that you offer your customers the stability of a digital signage vendor that will be around for years to come. Here are four things to consider when looking to partner with a digital signage provider.
Business Marketing Flexibility: If you are new to digital signage or are migrating into a new business marketing industry, having a provider that can offer the complete solution with pre- and post-sales support, hardware, software, training, service and installation helps you get started with virtually no knowledge.
Many electronic signage companies force your customers to use a specific digital media player appliance and sometimes even a display screen. It is best if the digital media player appliances are available if you choose to use them, but that you maintain the flexibility to use the customer’s existing equipment or equipment that you normally source.
Complete Electronic Sign Support: It is important that your provider supports you with digital signage training, renewal reminders and end user support.
The best provider will provide you with digital signage information for each business marketing industry you pursue. They will also be available to shadow your sales calls either in person or via webinar/telephone. Most importantly, they value the importance of your role as a reseller and continue to provide you with a residual revenue stream while the account is active.
They offer the option of providing first level end user support and training if that is your preference. Renewal reminders for your customer's electronic signs should be sent to you and the customer so that you are both in the know. When you renew your customer’s signage, you should continue to receive your reseller discount.
Content Flexibility: The digital signage provider should offer you and your customers flexibility in business marketing content, scheduling and worldwide location management.
It is best if the content is available via the Internet and can be updated any time, from anywhere by authorized users.
Your electronic sign provider should offer tools and features to make the signage content diverse and entertaining without requiring a lot of work by the customer. For example, StrandVision includes holiday and event pages, an RSS feed reader, weather information, and more than 30 categories of licensed content with every subscription. We also offer digital signage content for banking videos, digital paintings, background music and other content for a small fee.
Scheduling of electronic signage content should allow for various times and days. Emergency overrides are also an important option for most customers.
As your customer needs grow, the solution should offer an easy-to-use system to share content among all locations or allow content to be individually addressed to a group of screens. Managing thousands of screens should be almost as easy as managing one screen. The system should also provide an easy way for you to manage your customer’s content if you decide to add that service to your business model.
Stability: Look for companies that have been around for more than five years. In the ten years we have done digital signage, we have seen other providers go through the rough times and not do well. Those that have survived have put processes in place to manage growth and support you and your customers very well. After all, you are selecting a partner that will bring you a significant new revenue stream for years to come.
Mike Strand is founder and CEO of StrandVision LLC, an Internet-based subscription digital signage service that is distributed through resellers. Previously, Mike founded StrandWare, a leading bar code software and AIDC company. Prospective resellers may contact Mike at mjstrand@StrandVision.com.