As digital signage installations sweep the country, these high-impact displays are popping up in nearly every type of facility. From restaurants and hotels to event venues, hospitals, and even churches, digital signage seems to be everywhere. And as its popularity grows, each year more “do-it-yourself” (DIY) options hit the market, enticing customers to save money by sidestepping the value-added reseller (VAR) altogether.
If you’re encountering potential customers that are considering DIY technology, it’s important that they understand what it can and can’t do. Here are four key limitations to explain in the face of DIY competition:
1. Narrow technology options
While the overall digital signage industry is growing and diversifying at a rapid pace, the technology options available in DIY are fairly limited. This means that a DIY customer might have to settle for hardware or software that doesn’t quite fit their needs—which, in the end, could be a waste of time and money.
By working with a VAR, customers open themselves up to a much broader technology offering and can find the exact devices that will help them meet their specific goals. It’s important that clients that are considering the DIY route understand that your digital signage systems are manufactured by industry leaders and have been proven in the real world. Most DIY offerings are still relatively new to real-world environments and may have kinks and shortcomings that aren’t immediately noticeable.
2. Lack of professional guidance
Without a VAR, DIY customers are left to design a system, select products, and complete the installation themselves. However, a well-established VAR has worked with digital signage in a wide range of settings and configurations. That VAR’s professional guidance can help customers avoid costly mistakes and keep the project on schedule.
As any VAR knows, even some of the most basic digital signage installations can easily be complicated by factors such as legacy technology, challenging building materials, or unique lighting conditions. In these cases—and particularly in larger, more complex installations—professional guidance is not a luxury; it’s a must-have. A VAR will help ensure that the design and installation go smoothly, the best technology is available, and no time or money is wasted throughout the process.
3. No customer service or technical support
DIY customers are on their own when it comes to day-to-day operation of the digital signage system. If a component fails or a device isn’t working as it should, they may have to spend additional money in order to get help—even if the system is still under a manufacturer’s warranty. This could also mean costly downtime for their digital signage network.
4. No clear plan for scalability
A digital signage installation is usually not a one-time event; the system needs attention to ensure that it is still meeting the customer’s goals in a cost-effective way. As the digital signage market grows and evolves, the majority of customers will need to expand or update their own network over time. That’s why having a path forward is so important.
Digital signage customers should work with a VAR in order to ensure that their technology investment is worthwhile both now and into the future. As these systems become increasingly high-tech, scalability is vital so that your clients know they can continue to leverage their technology for years to come, even as their needs evolve. DIY systems simply don’t offer that kind of big-picture planning.
Have you encountered many DIY digital signage projects that are in need of help? Do these installations seem to be growing in popularity in your own market?