If you are on the solutions side of the digital signage business, you have likely, at some point, had to open up and look over an RFP document from an end-user, quietly praying it won’t be too onerous and/or stupid.
A lot of digital signage RFPs still – in 2019 – lead with technology, going on and on and on about specs and requirements, and only making a passing reference to content. Which is nutty, because the screens have only nominal value and impact if the content on them isn’t timely, relevant and at least kinda sorta visually interesting.
Dan Baker handles the sales engineering for digital signage at AVI Systems, a big Minneapolis-area integrator. He’s seen those kinds of RFPs, and knows through experience there’s a better way.
He contacted me, offering to talk about his take, and his company’s take, on a methodical process that, at minimum, gets end-users thinking about objectives and the content needed to meet them. Some companies are mandated to do RFPs – it’s just how their procurement department rolls – but in a perfect world, end-users are usually better skipping RFPs and working with people who know digital signage.
The right advisors can help them get to the content and technology model that will actually deliver on objectives, and keep them from spending big on tech they need, while largely forgetting what will go on the screens.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.