The debate has been settled: digital signage works. When used to its full advantage, it can elevate any retailer’s bottom line. But equally indisputable is the fact that rolling out a digital signage solution can be costly, and implementing a program slowly--proving it can produce a positive ROI in a controlled setting--can often allow skeptics to be convinced that the effort is worth it.
That’s where a pilot program comes in. Done right, a digital signage pilot program:
Measures performance against specific outcomes
Validates key assumptions and concepts
Provides insights that can be used to optimize the pilot and other business systems
Prevents overinvestment in both technology and marketing strategy if the digital experience can’t be justified
Reveals the means and mechanisms by which individual tactics can be transformed into scaled deployments
This last point is critical. While pilot programs must achieve their objectives in the here and now, those responsible for planning and executing such programs must always be looking to the future.
Ultimately, each pilot program is defined by a unique lifecycle and set of interdependencies. Resources within each pilot program are also limited and must be apportioned with care. Your digital signage vendor, IT and marketing departments, customer experience experts (both in the back office and in the store), and—most importantly—customers all put your pilot program to use.
The patterns that emerge from pilot programs reveal efficiencies. Sometimes, they reveal the opposite: technical shortcomings, customer dissatisfaction, friction, and disengagement. But at the end of any successful program, retailers should have a better idea how they can scale this initiative across all of their locations.
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