As a solution provider in an increasingly crowded pro AV market, you’ve undoubtedly sensed an intensifying of competition among your peers as the digital signage market continues to expand—a recent Google search for “pro AV solution providers” turned up about 381,000 results.
As an AV professional, you’re expected to wear many hats and have a broad-ranging knowledge of vertical markets and the technologies they rely on.
So what’s the best way to differentiate yourself among the field of players in the pro AV digital signage market? Here are six tips to help you rise to the top:
1. Be a Team Player
This goes without saying in any industry. Team players are typically perceived as being selfless, goal-oriented workers able to see the big picture.
In the digital signage market, it’s even more important to be a team player because of the collaborative nature of the industry.
An interactive digital signage installation in a high-profile location can involve hundreds of personnel from architects and facility engineers to pro AV project managers and IT professionals.
2. Be a Turnkey Solution Provider
If customers can one-stop-shop for a pro AV solution provider, they’ll usually opt for that rather than trying to organize a digital signage project piecemeal.
More and more digital signage companies are turning to this business model by providing turnkey services like:
- Equipment sourcing and installation
- ROI analytics
3. Stay Current with the Latest Technology
At first glance, this section may seem like a no-brainer, because the core business for solution providers is pro AV technology. The point here is to not stress the obvious; rather, solution providers should be well-versed as to the specifications of AV hardware.
For example, it’s well-known that OLED displays were a big hit at this year’s InfoComm and CES shows. But the reason they made such a big splash is how well they render true blacks and vivid colors without a backlight and that they can be manufactured on lightweight, flexible plastic substrates—traits that lend themselves to newer, creative applications.
4. Take Advantage of Networking
One way to stay at the front of the herd is to maximize your networking strategies and promote your brand. Some of the ways to accomplish this goal are:
- Maximize your social media footprint.
- Attend relevant trade shows.
- Join pro AV groups on LinkedIn.
- Establish yourself as a subject-matter expert.
5. Stay Flexible
One thing that’s a given about the pro AV industry is that a digital signage installation or deployment will rarely go without a hitch when all the components are switched on.
It’s more likely that fine adjustments will have to be made after the installation is up and running, which means that your customers may need service outside standard business hours.
Remaining flexible while troubleshooting system problems will get your customers up and running and put them at ease.
6. Put Customers First
It’s generally a good business trait to adopt “customer-first” policies no matter what industry you’re in, but a surprising number of businesses only pay lip service to that strategy.
One need only read reviews on the Web to gauge customer opinions about their experiences with a business. A poor first-time experience is likely to be remembered and will make repeat business difficult or unlikely in the long run.
Solution providers face many hurdles in the race to differentiate themselves in the pro AV digital signage market, but making use of strategic tools like networking, product education and adopting customer-friendly policies will win out in the end.