By Andrea Waldin, Vice President, Marketing, Scala, Inc.
The digital signage industry is in desperate need of industry analyst coverage and the sooner we get that coverage the better off the entire industry will be. There are a few firms out there that cover parts of the industry like Frost & Sullivan, iSuppli, ABI, RSR, etc., but where are IDC, Gartner, and Forrester? Scala has spoken with these top tier analyst firms and they are tracking the market, but not yet convinced that they should cover it. While the coverage we're getting is great – none of it is comprehensive; it either excludes certain applications of digital signage (like corporate communications) or only focuses on revenue generating signage networks (like ad-based networks).
I'm convinced that good analyst coverage will help promote digital signage as a whole and make more people aware of the benefits of digital sigange. Why am I so convinced? Digital signage is new to most companies. They don't see how much more beneficial it is to leverage DS than traditional media in so many areas of a business – and they aren't likely to belive me when I say it. If I tell a potential customer that they could see a 20%-50% increase in the sale of products featured in a DS network – it's perceived as sales spin, but if Forrester says it – customers would know how true it is.
There are lots of rumors about how great digital signage is, but we really need some objective, third party, quantifiable proof points to help grow the industry.