Hardware

The Unspoken Factors that Impact the Cost Of Digital Signage

June 25, 2022
4 minutes

When you get the invoice for your digital signage solution, you expect to see things like hardware, installation, software, provisioning, and maintenance fees. But knowing the true cost of your digital signage solution doesn't just depend on what you see on the initial invoice. 

In fact, the actual cost of your digital signage solution often goes beyond the initial main components. Things like reliability, scalability, capabilities, and expectations are also REAL factors that influence your overall cost.

And no one likes to mention them when you're shopping around and doing your research.

By understanding these factors, you can make more informed decisions about your signage needs and get the best value for your money. So, without further ado, let's get started!

TLDR Key Takeaways

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Digital signage solutions that aren't stable may cost you more money in troubleshooting and repairs in the long run.

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To avoid replacing your entire system sooner than you'd like, ensure your digital signage solution can grow with you.

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You won't get a robust solution with a multitude of capabilities for a discount price.

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Reliability

When investing in digital signs, reliability should be one of the most critical factors. But the truth of the matter is that sometimes this gets overlooked in favor of design or price. 

We want all the bells and whistles, but we don't want to pay full price—reliable products often come with higher upfront prices.

So what do many businesses do? They happily accept a deal that fits their budget, even if that means some quality will be sacrificed.

But what happens when those devices malfunction or break? Or when the software lags because it's three versions behind? Or when your devices don't have the capabilities to use your software's new features?

Let's face it, technology changes at a rapid pace. Once you purchase your digital signage hardware or software, it depreciates because new tech is already in development. 

It's just like purchasing a new car. The minute you drive it off the lot, you lose around 10% of its total value, and it continues to drop the longer you have it. Plus, if you are purchasing perpetual licenses, you are on the hook for any maintenance costs and repairs along the way.

It's the same for digital signage. Whether you have your digital signage solution for 10 days or 10 years and depending on the level of support that your vendor is providing, you may be responsible for resolving any issues that develop, and an unreliable solution means problems will inevitably arise—frequently.

This is a pretty big factor to include in your overall investment. In the long run, these hidden costs may result in a significant financial burden that isn't reflected in your initial purchase price.

Now we're not saying there aren't some very reliable budget-friendly options out there; we're merely pointing out that reliability is one of the first things on the chopping block.

Things You'll Want to Consider: 

  • Quality of the hardware 
  • Company's reputation (Are they reliable?)
  • How often does your software vendor update the software?

Scalability

When deciding what digital signage solution to use, it is easy to overlook scalability because you're looking for a solution at the moment. However, this slight oversight can impact the cost of your solution significantly.

Obviously, you know that you'll have to increase your budget to add more monitors and media players at different locations. And it's just so easy to tell yourself, "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it." 

But what happens when your software solution doesn't support multiple locations, multiple different types of hardware, or interactive displays? What about when your hardware lacks the capabilities to display your dynamic content?

Now, you're looking at upgrading or changing your software solution, replacing hardware, and incurring additional provisioning costs on top of adding new equipment —all of which extend far beyond that initial bill or estimated maintenance costs. 

Instead, you should first find out whether your system handles scaling and, if so, what additional costs you'll incur. The easiest way to mitigate this is to choose a cloud-based software solution flexible enough to scale up or down as needed, like Wallboard.

Things You'll Want to Consider: 

  • Can this solution support multiple devices (different media players, displays, etc.)?
  • How easy is it to add multiple locations?
  • Does the software have the capability to scale up?

Capabilities

Of all the hidden factors on this list, this is probably the one most talked about, and this is another area where sacrifices are made. Generally, the more capabilities your hardware or software has, the higher its price.

Businesses tend to evaluate their needs and make some hard decisions regarding capabilities. But like scaling, just because you won't need it now doesn't mean you won't need it down the road.

We're not suggesting you sign up for a fully-loaded solution just because you might need it in the future. Rather, we merely want you to consider if your investment is compatible with what is currently used or what will be needed in the near future.

The last thing you want to do is choose hardware that's not capable of displaying the content because it doesn't have the right features or choose a top-of-the-line software solution for your static content.

Things You'll Want to Consider: 

  • Is your software flexible enough to display different types of content, such as full-screen, multi-zone content or layered content?
  • Are there options to streamline and/or automate content creation?
  • What capabilities do you actually need your hardware to have to display your content, and how long will you have before you need an upgrade?

Expectations

Expectations are the final and probably most influential factor on our list. They can be tricky to manage since each business has a different need, and some struggle more than others with this factor.   If businesses have unrealistic expectations for their digital signs, they'll end up spending more than expected on something that doesn't live up to its promise.

Another area businesses struggle with expectations is content creation. They think they can quickly create their own content since they know their business inside and out. 

But creating DIY digital signage content actually ends up costing more than you think. We've covered this topic in more detail here if you're interested. 

The hardest part of managing expectations is marrying your business needs with your budget. Don't expect miracles from a basic content management system, and don't overspend on a solution just because it's "the best."

Set realistic goals and create an effective strategy for your digital signage that helps you attain a reliable system with the right capabilities to scale your business.

Things You'll Want to Consider: 

  • What is our goal for our digital signage?
  • Did we give enough time to judge the success of our solution?
  • Can we find a middle ground between what we need to succeed with digital signage and what we want it to accomplish?

A Reliable Software Solution That Has All the Capabilities You'll Need at Scale

Whether you're in the process of researching a digital signage solution or looking to replace an existing one, the first place you should start is with software—It's the heart of all your digital content.

No matter what type of hardware you have, your software can make or break the experience with its features and capabilities. At Wallboard, we know how important it is to have a reliable software solution that has the capabilities to take your digital signs into the future.

Our cloud-based platform features:

  • End-to-end solution: Our built-in content editor allows you to create, schedule, and push live any digital signage from a browser.
  • Customizable templates: You will be able to easily integrate your brand with minimal design effort through our extensive library of designs.
  • Powerful widgets: With our powerful, enhancing widgets, you can display dynamic data in real-time to supercharge your digital signage content. 
  • Scalable solutions: Our platform is the perfect solution for any size business. With our flexible scalability, you can expand or contract as needed without compromising on performance and quality of service!

We've created tailored solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes, helping them engage their audiences on a personal level. Schedule a demo to see what we can do for your business.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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