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What is a Digital Signage Content Management System (CMS)?
Every system has its unsung heroes, and in digital signage, that would be Content Management.
Content Management is like your shoulder. You take it for granted because you use it for almost everything.
No one has to think about a great content management system because they make it easy for all the people involved to be productive. But EVERYONE hates a bad CMS.
This introductory guide will walk you through the basics of great CMS functionality. We’ll take a closer look at:
By the end of this article, you should be able to ask better questions of your prospective CMS provider and end up with a solution that fits your needs.
Digital signage systems are typically made of three major components:
The most basic way of understanding a digital signage CMS is as the software component of a digital signage system. CMS is not the files, or the hardware; it is everything else.
Part of that software dictates when, what content and how the content is displayed on the screen, but there are additional software functions, as well. These are content creation and hardware management.
Some CMS vendors (Scala) offer their software as bundled solutions, but many rely on additional software integrations. It’s important to understand the whole software system before you commit to any one part.
You want a CMS that enables you to achieve digital signage ROI (Return on Investment). There are a few basic features of digital signage that help to achieve that value, but one of the most important concepts is called real-time marketing.
Real-time marketing is about reacting to consumer trends and customer needs quickly. Taking the current context into consideration makes your communications more relevant to the viewer, helping to make your content feel more personalized and impactful.
Digital signage gives locations a near instant communications platform that they can use to get messages out quickly. But the CMS needs to drive that quick content creation and delivery, as well, in order to reach that digital signage ROI potential.
Before jumping into specific features, let’s take a moment to consider a few different business cases for CMS. We’ll start from the simplest, foundational CMS, to the more specialized usage scenarios.
No matter how large or sophisticated your digital signage network becomes, it will always require core CMS functionality. Even basic content management needs to make it easy for a location to publish content. A few core CMS feature sets make this much easier to manage, so that locations can deliver more effective content.
When networks reach 100 locations and up, they need more advanced organizational features. Brand standards need to be maintained across all locations, and there are more personnel involved in content creation and management.
Achieving digital signage ROI at this stage requires the CMS to support a higher level of complexity without increasing difficulty for users. Typically the CMS will require customization to integrate core functions within the natural workflow of the organization.
Large organizations want software that they can adapt and integrate into their current system and human resources. It should be easy for administrators to configure these features, but we typically recommend a technology partner with experience set up the right system.
Once a business masters a real-time marketing workflow, where new content is created in reaction to consumer trends, your business is ready to achieve even higher digital signage ROI with personalization.
The modern consumer rewards personalization with spend and loyalty. According to McKinsey, 76% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions. And 76% get frustrated when that does not happen.This trend indicates that personalization is not an option; it is only a matter of time and ownership.
Many industries still struggle to deliver personalization in physical locations because they have not yet set up the digital signage infrastructure and workflow to create and communicate content quickly and easily. Once this has been established, organizations begin to look for this next level naturally.
Delivering personalization in-store requires digital signage, powered by a sophisticated Content Management System.
A great digital signage CMS will make the process straightforward for anyone. That said, experience also matters a lot when configuring a workable system that will achieve the highest digital signage ROI.
With that in mind, it is recommended to partner with a digital signage CMS solution provider to set up the right foundation for success. It’s not just about the software but the people and services around that software.
Now that we’ve taken a deeper look into the features of a great digital signage CMS, let’s take a step back and really understand what the capability really means to your organization. Every industry, and in fact, every business has a unique reason for deploying a digital signage system. Here are a few common ideas:
Each of these is a great starting point for creating a content strategy that will deliver meaningful results to the organization. We recommend taking this a step further.
Digital signage allows you to deliver stunning content and engage your audience. But in order to have real impact, set specific targets that you can measure in some way. Any system needs a feedback loop in order to drive demonstrable results.
Scala Enterprise is a content delivery and management platform that creates powerful digital experiences, limited only by your creativity.
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