Wednesday, July 09, 2008

10% of digital signage networks fail? How's about over 90%?

Haynes tipped me onto this whitepaper (here's an HTML link - thanks Google!) from Futuresource Consulting that suggests, among other things, that nearly 10% of the digital signage networks they studied failed. Specifically: "of almost 100 projects evaluated in depth by Futuresource during the research, 9 failed completely to meet any of the objectives set and 10 were deemed to be only partial successes. Add to that the fact that for a significant proportion it was too early to judge success, the risk of potential failure was high." They list reasons we've all heard before -- lack of clear ROI modelling, lack of advertising proof points, too much network fragmentation and not enough scalability, project complexity and little understanding of content requirements.

I've been doing a presentation on the show/conference circuit for about a year now called "the top 5 mistakes in digital signage and how to avoid them," and based on our larger (but probably less scientific) sample of over 600 networks, the failure rate is much, much higher than 10%. Especially if we're talking ad-supported networks, which seems to be the exclusive focus of the Futuresource research.

How high?

Well, I'll give you the most eye-popping stat: if your team/company doesn't have experience selling advertising, there's a 96% chance your network won't last 18 months.

It's one of those things I repeat in lots of blog articles and presentations, yet not a week goes by when we don't get a call from some startup that's going to take the world by storm (via ad-funded digital signs, of course), without ever having sold an ad, worked at an agency, knowing what a media buyer/planner is, etc.

I think I'll do a bigger study of the differences between our list and the Futuresource list on the WireSpring blog later this week. I'll link back here when I do.

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1 comment:

Nate Nead said...

Bill, Great post. This is certainly a topic that needs visiting more than once.