Monday, April 23, 2007

CRN reviews the digital signage market... again

You can't blame the folks at CRN Magazine. Their audience is primarily hardcore IT guys, with maybe a hand full of AV solutions provider thrown in, and would be much more at home at the InfoComm trade show than at GlobalShop or NRF. Thus, when they review a new product or industry (like they did in this multi-part story on digital signage), it's always with an eye on how to have this kind of subscriber base can best take advantage of it.

With those things in mind, it's thus not too surprising that almost 60% of respondents to a survey put out by CRN felt that digital signage was still in the "innovator" or "early adopter" phases. The reason for this is one of the biggest myths in the digital signage industry today, namely that IT guys are well-suited to sell digital signage solutions. This is something that WireSpring encounters so frequently that I actually wrote a four-part article on the subject a few months back. Our observation over the years has been that while AV integrators and other IT-heavy shops are well suited to work on public service networks and can play a supporting role deploying some advertising-supported networks, but will have a very hard time working on private label merchandising and experience/branding networks. Because these are the ones that often get the most press and have the most sex appeal, it's not surprising that they have the most solution providers trying to get involved. Likewise, ad-driven networks have a certain gold rush feeling to them, but what many tech folks don't realize is that without an extremely capable ad sales team, these networks are going nowhere fast.

I feel like I'm constantly evangelizing this point (and I know it annoys some people), but we've lost count of how many startups and converted IT shops have either gone out of business, resized or dramatically changed directions after failing at one or more attempts at a digital signage network without understanding the facts.

Tags: digital signage

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree to your views to some extent, but I'm bit doubtful that how this figure(as shown in picture) can be co-relate with country like India?