Network operators and integrators often exhibit a “fire and forget” type attitude; once the players are in place, software systems working, screens are up and running, the project is considered done. Content is being served and managed to the screens using business rules, systems are stable and everything looks good. However, relying solely on technology to manage the “flow” of content can be dangerous. Operators and integrators run the risk of being lulled into a sense of complacency and may fail to see if the systems they built and the business rules being applied continue to align with and support the ever-evolving content being presented. Simultaneously, once initial editorial decisions are made around the content being presented, a “fire and forget” mentality is again often applied. If the content team is not benchmarking the impact of the materials being displayed on an on-going basis, they may alienate their audience and not be able to provide accurate metrics regarding the performance of the network. Unfortunately, most network operators don’t have a process in place to check to see if their networks are actually working effectively. Just as network operators must occasionally audit the technical systems and underlying business rules that control content, communications professionals need to use quantitative and qualitative audience analytics to understand how the content is being received. Based on this information, the communications team will review, fine tune and update content and then survey the audience again. This becomes an ongoing business process that continuously tweaks the network making it more and more responsive and relevant. Operators, integrators and the communications team all have a responsibility to ensure that their digital networks are meeting objectives. The only way to ensure this is through consistent audience feedback and then making the necessary editorial and technical adjustments. Vern Freedlander is a digital signage consultant who has worked with a wide variety of clients across multiple verticals over the past ten years. With a unique background in both digital signage and network television, Vern helps clients optimize content and technology to exceed their business and communications objectives. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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