Using live TV as part of your digital signage content is likely showing competitors’ advertising to your waiting customers.
In my top ten list of business phrases that make me cringe, I think that “Art of the Possible” is probably right near the top. This can often manifest in conversations with customers that are approaching a digital signage project for the first time, and it almost always makes everyone excited; everyone except the implementation and, eventually, the team left to figure out content. In my experience “Art of the Possible” usually means that there isn’t a content plan yet, and that blank canvas can be very intimidating. Once existing print content, and easy-to-convert internal and external messaging is exhausted, then there can be a challenge keeping the content fresh, engaging and informative.
One common solution is to switch out the signage messaging for some local TV content. In my home town of Toronto, the most common channel used would be CP24, which boasts a CNN-like screen layout, showing local news, weather, traffic, and other short duration information that looks close enough to digital signage for many managers. In fact, I have even had customers that insisted that TV had to be a part of their signage content from day one.
So, here is the problem with that:
Do you really want your service patrons in your car dealership to see that the automotive manufacturer across the road has a new 5 year unlimited parts and service warranty on new cars?
Or, how would your riders react to a car sharing promotion that they saw on your display while waiting for the next bus?
Or lastly, do you really want the investors waiting in your office lobby to see breaking news about your company stock price on the business news before you see them in?
Including live TV as part of your content strategy may make sense for some installations, but it is critical to understand how your content is being presented to your target audience, and whether this is the message you want to promote. If not, you may be just be handing money over to your competition.