Tracking Returns on Your Digital Signage Investments


Digital signage has revolutionized the advertising market over recent years and is constantly evolving with the introduction of more advanced technologies in software and hardware. It is not only more affordable these days but also much easier to implement and manage. Content can be amended easily and quickly, and businesses can respond to market changes in an instant. Although not every business uses digital signage to increase revenue, the majority are looking for some kind of return on their investment with this form of advertising.

Calculating ROI for Digital Signage

Return on Investment (ROI) is probably one of the most important calculations any business has to consider.  The ability to accurately measure ROI is vital when considering any kind of investment, whether it be a new product or concept, investment fund, or even an employee. When businesses are considering the use of digital signage, it is important that they are able to keep track of their ROI. In recent years, ROI in the use of digital signage has been heavily discussed and various conclusions have been reached as to the best methods to use when calculating it.

ROI in digital signage depends upon the kind of investment the participating business is making as well as its aims and goals. For example: is the aim to encourage impulse buying at the checkout or perhaps to promote a particular product? The whole aim of the digital signage campaign is the first thing to consider. The second consideration is the extent of TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) – the cost of implementing and maintaining the digital signage system. Businesses who purchase the system hardware and software and also pay for the cost of installation, maintenance, content management and publication will apply a fairly simple ROI calculation. They simply take the total costs and offset them against the profits from increased sales generated by the digital signs. Businesses who sell space within their digital signage systems to other advertisers (airports, shopping centers, etc.) will have a slightly different approach to calculating their ROI.  Although they will generate additional profit from the sale of advertising space, they also have to consider costs of attracting advertisers through media buying agencies as well as costs for the tracking tools required by their customers.

Naturally, advances in technology have made it slightly easier for businesses to calculate the ROI of their digital signage campaigns. Sophisticated applications allow data to be analyzed and compared. Likewise, up-to-date ROI measurement reports can now be obtained, allowing businesses to respond to market changes as they happen. Businesses can now access all kinds of statistics on their digital signage campaigns, including how many people came within a certain proximity to the screen. However, the debate continues regarding the most effective method to apply when calculating return on investment with digital signage.

Guides and Tools to Assist ROI Calculation

There are plenty of solutions on the market aimed at helping businesses to solve the problem of calculating their ROI on digital signage campaigns.   Cisco has published its very own online digital signage ROI calculator aimed at providing businesses with a simple way of measuring the approximate benefits of digital signage (see link below). The application is based on the hypothetical business case described in the RSR Research Report “The Business Case for Retail Media Networks, October 2007” and is intended as an educative tool.  Another useful guide is the Digital Signage ROI 2012 Edition from the Digital Signage Today website (see link below).  This 52 page report features 20 detailed business case studies from various retail segments using the latest revenue data from the US Census Bureau.

In Conclusion

Businesses using digital signage today have access to a number of helpful tools, guides and studies in order to assist them in assessing or calculating the ROI on their digital signage campaigns. With the latest technologies, it is easier than ever to track every aspect of digital signage use and effectiveness.  Combining the basics (objectives, goals, strategy and total cost of ownership) with up-to-date tracking data provides the best ROI measurement possible when using digital signage. Of course the search for solid ROI measuring methods will continue and the technology in digital signage will undoubtedly develop further, offering businesses even simpler methods to calculate their digital signage ROI in the future.

Click here to view the Cisco online digital signage ROI calculator.

Click here for the Digital Signage Today 2012 ROI report.


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Editorial Team is a leading industry news site for the point of sale and payments industry. We are also the go-to resource for small business owners that want expert tips and inspiration on how to run a successful business. Collectively, our team of experts has decades of POS, payments, and small business experience.