It’s a tough title, I know.

But it’s an important one. And it’s important because many businesses will attempt to make the move to digital without fully understanding what they need to do to really make it work.

Many years ago, we had a neighbor who used to throw some seeds in the center of a grassy circle in his front yard and call it a garden. Sometimes flowers would grow, sometimes they would not.

To be fair, more weeds and grass would grow in the center of that unkempt area than anything else.

He called it a garden. I called it uncertainty.

You may have a few seeds, like a high definition screen and recycled content that plays over and over again. You may have those seeds in the middle of your store for all to see.

But if you aren’t experiencing a conversion or shift in your ROI, you have the same thing my neighbor had.


There are many reasons why a digital signage campaign will fail. We’re going to share some of those reasons with you and give you some pointers on how to turn things around so your business blooms.

Sound good? Great. Let’s dig in.

 1. Your Content Is Outdated

This is a really common mistake businesses make when they launch a digital signage campaign. The content they start with is relevant, but if it isn’t changed to meet the needs of the consumer or your latest trends and sales, the campaign will fall flat.

It’s not unusual to see an outdated poster or sign in a store after a sale ends. I see it all the time. But if you have a digital sign, this shouldn’t happen.

One of the primary benefits of digital displays is to give the user the ability to update content regularly.

If you have weekly specials that change, then your campaign needs to reflect those specials. Weekly. With a strong digital campaign and reliable software, this is absolutely possible.


Your homework.

What do your customers need? What do they want? More than that, what sales or promotions are coming up? What about your competitors? What are they doing that you need to consider so you can top them?

Once you’ve determined that, find a cloud-based software that is user-friendly and allows you to update regularly.

Finally, use images and video that are relevant and new. Don’t use images from the 80’s (I’ve seen this) unless your campaign is focusing on the 80’s.

Follow the vibe of your customer. They should be your primary focus in all of this.

2. Your Content Is Boring

If you’re using a dry, drab, dreary PowerPoint presentation and calling it content, we need to sit down and have a chat.

You’ve just spend thousands of dollars on a killer media player and one of the best commercial screens out there, and you’re launching content that is static and unattractive.

That hurts.

If you’re wondering why you’re not seeing an ROI, this is why.

If you’re too busy to invest time and energy in creating powerful content, you’ll never see a shift in your ROI.

If part of your content talks about how wonderful and awesome your business is, get rid of it. While it’s fantastic to be Number One in this and the Top Engager in that, no one cares.

What they really care about is what YOU can do for THEM. Your content needs to reflect this.

Video is king. It keeps passerbys engaged. We don’t want to look at images and read text to understand something. We want moving images that are fun and colorful. People have very short attention spans these days, so the quicker you grab someone’s attention, the better your chance will be at engaging them.


Consider video. Engaging video. It should be relevant and fresh. Funny is good. Emotional is good. Anything that speaks to the needs of someone is always good. This entire process is always about them, never about you.

Consider content that allows the consumer to interact. Social media feeds that show the users Tweets or comments are great. People love to see their own comments on the big screen.

Implement a call to action, something that gives the customer a reason to act.

Want a good example of this? Take a look at Coca-Cola. They do this all the time.

In their “What’s in a Name” campaign, the call to action was customers entering their name via their cell phone to learn what their name meant. The results were displayed on a ginormous screen in Times Square for all to see. Those that played along could tweet or share the results on social media. There were thousands that played along and spread the word on their social media accounts.

That’s one big, effective call to action, dontcha think?

3. You’re Not Thinking Like Your Customer

We think we know what our customers want and need, and so we create
content accordingly. The problem is, we never really ask them what they want.

Remember, it’s not about you. It’s about them.

If you’re making assumptions and creating content based on what you think your customer wants, you might want to pull back and reconsider your approach.

Your content needs to match the needs and wants of those that love you and buy from you. It also needs to match their behaviors and personality.

You don’t want to launch a digital video campaign to corporate-bound millennials that talks about retirement and nursing homes. You’ll never hold their attention.


Survey your customers. Ask them what they want. Ask them why they want it. Ask them what they would be willing to do to get it.

When given the opportunity, your customer will tell you exactly what they want because you’ve given them a level of power.

People love to talk.

They love to tell you want they want.

Let them.

Pay attention to your sales, too. With the right digital signage software, your sales can be tracked. Trends can be tracked. This alone will tell you what your customer wants. Keep showing up with those wants.

 4. You’re Killing Them With Content

I know, I know, we’ve been busy telling you to focus on powerful content to win your customers over. And you should, but if you kill them with too much text, zillions of images, and audio that’s louder than a jetliner, we need to sit down and have that chat again.

The acronym K.I.S.S (keep it super simple) can be your best friend when creating content.

A simple, uncluttered screen can be very powerful.

A simple, uncluttered, poignant message is also very powerful.

Keep your messaging positive, too. Try not to overwhelm them with negative images or words. While this is sometimes necessary for some campaigns, many sales experts believe that the majority of viewers prefer positive marketing over negative.


Research marketing campaigns from similar companies and look at what’s working. There are plenty of studies and white papers available online that offer statistics and numbers on digital signage marketing that can help you.

Use a CMS software that allows you to manage your content, too. Some offer templates to help you “control” what you put where. This can help you avoid an uncluttered, unmanaged look.

Finally, give your content a K.I.S.S. The simpler, the better.

5. Your Hardware and Software are Antiquated

Before high-quality commercial grade screens and top-notch media players were born, the deployment of digital signage was accomplished with a TV and VCR.

The hardware and software available today are what truly define digital signage. With so many options, it’s not difficult to find the perfect tools to fit your needs.

Consumer grade screens and low-end media players (aka DVD and VCR) just don’t cut it, and fail rapidly because they’re not designed to be used commercially.

Consumers today want high-quality engagement. They want to touch and interact with screens and kiosks. They want to be in control of their purchase.


Reach out to various companies that offer these amenities. Ask questions. No question is a bad one. Ask questions until you fully understand the answer.

Share with these companies what it is you want to accomplish. Understanding the basics of digital signage is a really important first step after you decide to go digital. The right company will offer you solutions in hardware and software that are spot on.


I don’t have to tell you that the digital signage industry is booming, but I will. By 2020, it is expected to grow by 8.94 percent annually.

Translated, that means the global digital signage market is expected to reach $23.76 billion by 2020. It was valued at $14.63 billion in 2014.

So what does that mean for you?

It means if you want to be part of a trend that is blowing consumers away, you’ve got to take the time to understand what it takes to create a digital signage campaign that won’t fail.

Some do fail. It’s inevitable. And while the reasons each fail are different, there are three key things that are constant:
1) Marketers were unclear on who their audience was.
2) Their content didn’t match the needs and wants of their audience.
3) Their content was either dull or overwhelming.

As they say in TV land, Now You Know.

Now go and create something spectacular. Create something that will bloom.

And enjoy the creative process along the way.

Which of these examples are you guilty of? What can you do differently to turn your digital marketing campaign around?