Five Questions to Ask Before Buying a Digital Billboard

Darrin Friskney, director of Watchfire Digital Outdoor, recently published a blog post on discussing five questions to ask your digital billboard manufacturer.

For the past few weeks, the post has been the most popular blog article on the site, which has a global audience of professionals from all sectors of the digital signage market.

Darrin's advice is fairly simple, and yet so often these common sense questions go unanswered. The fact is choosing the right manufacturer is probably the most important decision you'll make when you invest in digital billboards. Your return on investment is directly tied to the quality of the board you choose because up-time, ease of use, and advertiser satisfaction all flow straight to the bottom line.

Buy your digital billboard from a stable company with referenceable customers. Ask about company history, check references, and ask to see some of their boards in operation. Find out where their boards are manufactured and ask to tour their facility.

Consider how well the billboards are built. Engineering, construction and materials can have an impact on the quality and durability of the board. Look for billboards that are energy efficient, with cabinets that are constructed from extruded aluminum and modules that are coated in silicone gel to protect against moisture. Talk to customers who have had their billboards for more than a few years. Ask them about any issues or concerns they have, and if possible, visit their sites to see for yourself how the boards are performing.

Think about service after the sale. Ask about warranty and what types of service and support are available. Does the company stock its own parts and what is the standard delivery time? Do they track service calls to make troubleshooting easier and faster? You want to minimize down-time and associated lost revenue, so efficient service is a must.

Finally, learn about all aspects of operating the billboard. Is the software provided free of charge? Does it include an artwork library? How much and what kind of training is needed? To an advertiser, the appeal of digital billboards is often in the ability to quickly change ads or adjust schedules. Will the software provided with the board be an easy-to-use interface or a clumsy, cumbersome maze of frustration? Ask for a demo of the software and talk with other customers to find out about ease-of-use.

You'll notice one theme in Darrin's advice is to talk to digital billboard customers. As you look for guidance from your peers, you'll want to be sure to watch this customer testimonial video.  Watch it now to learn what Watchfire customers have to say about their experience with buying and using Watchfire Digital Outdoor billboards.

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