The Mindset Needed to Monetise Digital Signage Successfully

Warning: Installing digital signage can cause people to see dollar signs.

“We can fund all or most of this initiative by getting our suppliers and other brands to advertise on our network of screens”.

In the healthcare sector, it’s a common approach for pharmacy groups and health services such as optical, physio, dental and fertility clinics.

But, in our experience, there is one thing that ensures the long-term success of this approach.

A digital marketing mindset.

However, this is often at odds with a commercial mindset, which salivates at the thought of a cost-neutral technology initiative.

Ads! Revenue! Sell to the highest bidder!

To put it bluntly, this approach is old school. It’s approaching a digital product like it’s a print catalogue.

An even bigger and far greater problem – it doesn’t give customers what they want. Customers are everything and ignoring them rarely bodes well. Let’s take the pharmacy example.

The pharmacy’s goal is to fulfil prescriptions, consult to sell health product and service, and where feasible – sell cosmetic and lifestyle products. The challenge lies in getting the prescription customer to walk around the store and shop, instead of waiting like a statue as most do (not knowing how long the wait will be). This presents a huge opportunity for digital screens to communicate to a captive audience.

But after working SUPER hard to get customers in the door, why risk the relationship by blasting them with ads for whichever brand will cough up advertising dollars? Customers don’t like it, and suppliers are spending less on it.

This method of funding a digital initiative can be improved upon by letting digital do what it does best.


Let digital do its job

Digital signage network in a pharmacyLet’s say the customer comes in and is fulfilling a prescription for antibiotics for a throat infection. They put their prescription in, and stand in the wait area… Suddenly the screen changes to say “Probiotics can keep your body stable and healthy while antibiotics do what they need to do”.

The next customer chooses the branded medicine instead of the generic brand – the screen changes to go through the facts surrounding this (ie. they are the same).

Your marketing people know this will increase sales of product or change purchase behaviour to higher margin sales. We know it too, because we have proven sales uplifts of up to 30%. Even better, the process is repeatable, measurable and most important, valued by your customer.  Sure, sprinkle in the advertising of your brands and suppliers as the customer is there for a while and a variety in the content mix is good, but put your customer needs first rather than simply getting a cheque from a supplier. Ultimately, you want sales from customers to increase so that you can demand more from suppliers, and digital has the opportunity to achieve this, and with clever marketing initiatives, achieve it quickly.


An optimal content mix

The optimal content mix for these environments tends to be:

  • 50% tailored content promoting product relevant to the customer
  • 20% catalogue promotions
  • 15% supplier promotions
  • 15% entertainment content or content to engage customers.


You can get really clever and incorporate supplier advertising into the tailored content for a win-win situation. Digital marketers know this game well, and the results can be transformative!

This isn’t just pharmacy.  Tailored content is not just about selling, it is about relevant information at the relevant time. If I am in a dental clinic waiting for my appointment, walking me through how to brush my teeth correctly (and floss!) can actually save time in the appointment, allowing more appointments over the week, which translates quite directly to dollars. In an optical, fertility or skin clinic, you might promote your process or complementary services. This ‘softer’ marketing translates to increased satisfaction, more referrals, and operational efficiencies.


Make sure the model is sustainable

Ultimately, if your only driver for a digital signage network is supplier revenue, it’s not a sustainable model. Commercially-minded executives need to balance the temptation of immediate revenue with a well-thought out digital approach.

It’s time to let your digital marketers take the reins.

That’s because content is king, customers are everything, and neither support blanket advertising!


Post by Yazz Krishna

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