The global digital signage market is expected to reach $7 billion in 2013, and many experts are forecasting double-digit growth for the industry in the coming years. With so much opportunity on the horizon, now is the time to think about jumping in to the field by adding digital signage to your value-added reseller business.
As sales overall have stayed relatively slow following the recession, many traditional VARs have been left wondering how to differentiate themselves from the competition in a lucrative way. In digital signage, they’ll find an income stream that is about to truly hit its stride.
Why VARs Succeed with Digital Signage
Customers are drawn to VARs for digital signage project because it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of technical components – including digital displays, media players, software, mounts and more. Most customers want to partner with an integrator who can draw the best technology from various manufacturers, integrate each device and install the system for them.
While this technology seems unfamiliar and complicated for most consumers, IT VARs already have experience with most of the facets of digital signage, including hardware, computers, software and networks, and they’re familiar with the need for quality, ongoing service and support. That means you can take advantage of an entire new business segment, with only a minor investment in additional skills.
As a VAR, you won’t require much start-up time or financial investment to start your digital signage business. However, you will need some initial sales and technical training. Seek out a manufacturer or distributor that will provide training and guidance, or partner with a vendor that provides free or affordable demo software and equipment to get started.
Most VARs will require very little additional technology to break into digital signage. You’ll probably need some digital-signage specific hardware and software, and little else. Once you have the basics, be sure to update your marketing materials to highlight your digital signage services.
As you build your digital signage business, you’ll become increasingly familiar with common challenges, opportunities and customer needs. You might consider partnering with an installer for your first several projects to start things smoothly as you learn the ropes. Also, be sure to look into any required training and certifications for your area. Many industry organizations, such as InfoComm, provide digital signage certification trainings, which will help bolster your credentials. In addition, some manufacturers and distributors provide resources and training to help get you started. Currently, Ingram Micro is the only distributor authorized to offer digital signage certified expert training, which can continually strengthen your digital signage expertise.
Digital Signage is a Business Builder
Remember that in today’s market, digital signage isn’t just an additional technology added to your offering; it’s a business builder. When compared to traditional signage and communication, digital signage is a particularly powerful tool that can improve your customers’ retail and brand success. Best yet, the value of digital signage messaging doesn’t decline. Instead, it grows over time as the content is tuned to customer needs, creating loyal, lifelong customers for your business.
You Tell Us
As a VAR, what are your perceptions of the digital signage field? Do you feel that it would be an easy transition for you, or does the technology still seem new and unfamiliar?