Welcome to Creating Margin


Digital Signage benefits everyone

As my wife and I sat in Freddy’s (burger joint) eating our frozen custard, I analyzed the digital menu boards above the ordering counter. They were perfect. All of the menu items were easy to read and other areas rotated frequently, showing more desserts or sides. Even bigger snapshots of ice cream sandwiches swapped with juicy burgers in the middle of the screen. All I knew was that Freddy’s had just saved themselves buckets of money by introducing digital signage. Even customers who walked up to the counter were mesmerized by the moving pictures.

I asked myself, “Is there any industry that wouldn’t benefit from digital signage?” It’s so useful, and the statistics prove that implementing digital signage makes a difference all of the time. The more my husband and I talked about it, the more the answer became prevalent. We came to this conclusion:

Any industry has a product or service, informs people, or entertains, will benefit from digital signage.

If you think about it, that pretty much encompasses the entire business world. Non-profits fit within this realm, scientific research facilities, and even historical venues. Digital signage is a powerful technology, and one of the most flexible of its kind. Digital signage benefits are endless. Here are a few thoughts on why I think digital signage is for every industry.

Digital Signage can be a video wall or an interactive display.

1. Digital Signage effectively informs

When static signage is replaced with digital signage, the amount of information that’s presented can easily be multiplied by double or triple. Whether the content is a map, an events list, or some facts about an exhibit, tact is always important. The saying, “knowledge is power” comes into mind when giving customers something to look at. If customers aren’t targeted, college students benefit from digital signage constantly with updates on class schedules, and upcoming deadline alerts.

A beautiful Video Wall at Uniqlo.

2. Sales go up with digital signage

In fact, about 25% of sales make up the revenue for the retail industry, according to Mood Visuals. It can even make up to 30% more in sales than retailers without digital signage, according to Sarah Landrum. Still not convinced? Take Adidas for example. They raised their sales by 40%, just by partnering with Intel to include a 3D interactive footwear wall. With that said, the trend is said to continue growing and expanding.

A stunning video wall showcasing their shoes much better than a

3. Easy, flexible, and money-saving

Digital signage itself sounds daunting. It’s really only a screen and a media player. This does depend a little on your setup, but for starters, let’s begin there. It’s flexible because it can play video, lots of images, have RSS feeds, and even support HTML5 content. You can turn it into a kiosk if you want! That opens up incredible opportunities for any business or organization. Money is pocketed through increased sales (above), not needing to pay for new static signage, and even replacing a job function within an organization.

I finished my Dirt N’ Worms custard (because I’m a kid at heart), and thought a little more. Sure, digital signage has been around for more than twenty years. On top of that, technology is everywhere we look. Seeing digital signage is becoming such a normal (and even expected) phenomenon, that it will continue to become deeply embedded into our society. If you’re in the business sector and haven’t considered digital signage yet, I personally dare you to consider the possibilities.

What is the difference between a Digital Signage assessment and an audit?

Creating Margin provides Digital Signage Needs Assessment and Audit Services. No, this isn’t a post about the IRS. The word “audit” may drive fear into our heart, the last thing anyone wants to see in their mailbox is the foreboding letter AUDIT!

Luckily, our audits are much more positive and helpful!

So What’s The Difference?

Digital Signage Needs Assessments and Audits are two vital parts of the services that Creating Margin provides to our customers. In this article, we will discuss the similarities and differences between the two engagements. After reading this article you’ll be able to anticipate which one fits your company, and some of the ways that Creating Margin excels at each task.

Needs Assessment

Needs Assessments are typically a presales task. Most times, we are just getting to know a customer and are learning more about their environment. We also evaluate their anticipated use of a particular technology and any acute pain points that we may be able to solve with the customization of that technology. During a Needs Assessment, Creating Margin excels at providing input from an unbiased perspective. Our approach helps end-users feel more comfortable moving forward with a particular technology during the consultation.

For certain projects, a Needs Assessment may call for a Statement of Work (SOW) to be drafted. This clearly aligns the vision for the project and the specific services to be provided. Included in the SOW may be an estimated cost for services. Read more about our approach to implementing software and creating content.


Digital Signage Audits are conducted after implementing the software solution, and often times after it has been installed for several years. We find that after years of running digital signage networks, companies can benefit from an audit of how the solution is working.

Creating Margin takes a thorough approach to these audits, with a 30-Point checklist ensuring that all aspects of the wiring, hardware, software, network, and content are all working and professional in appearance. Creating Margin is also different in that we can provide services after completion of the audit to rectify any issues that have been noted during the process.

We have discussed where Needs Assessments and Audits are useful to Digital Signage end users. Creating Margin provides unique value for both types of engagements due to our focus on content and our technical knowledge and experience in the industry. Do you see a fit for these services for your organization? Contact us now!

How can Creating Margin help you with your Content Creation?

Content creation is a critical component of the implementation and maintenance of any digital signage network. As that first sentence suggests, it’s not a one-time requirement at kick-off, but an ongoing responsibility in order to ensure that a company’s investment in digital signage pays off.

At Creating Margin we regularly work with companies on all points of the spectrum – networks that are floundering and need a ground-up content creation project, all the way to networks that are in good shape, in need of some tweaking of the content update process. Many healthy digital signage networks can still benefit from a Digital Signage Audit, which Creating Margin can perform in addition (and often prior) to our content creation services. Learn more about our Digital Signage Audit services here.

Let’s consider our approach to content creation for a network that needs a restart. Creating Margin always begins with a needs assessment to be as specific as possible about where a network is succeeding and where it’s failing. While each project is different, a Needs Assessment is normally accomplished through a series of conversations to define a strategic vision for the digital signage investment.

The next step is to plan phased updates according to reasonable delivery times and budgetary constraints. For example, does the client require 6 or 10 content updates each month, and can they afford them? In our experience, digital signage projects are iterative and take time, and customers prefer payments based on delivery, so planning phases of the project are natural.

Now resources can be assigned and the work of creating content commences. During the creative kickoff call, we discover the customer’s brand identity and their creative vision; if these factors are still foggy, we make sure to document this clearly and lend our experience to sharpen the vision. From here we create User Interface (UI) wireframes to plan the method of interactivity, the layers of interactivity, and to facilitate a discussion of the User Experience (UX). Digital signage is influenced by web and mobile UI/UX design, and the CM team often draws from our experience in those projects.

As the engagement evolves from wireframes to creative design, to mockups and then development, we engage the customer team early and often. We have seen that delays can occur when decision-makers are late in getting involved, because new input may alter the creative direction. As a result, we encourage all decision-makers to be involved as early as possible in the engagement.

Hand Drawn Wireframe

The development of the working applications can begin once sign off on the design is received. Having agreed on the placement of buttons, the look, and feel of the template, we can break down the pieces and build in transitions, triggers, timings, and more. This is where our experience shines again, as we specialize in digital signage.

For example, have you considered that the majority of users of digital signage are right-handed? Statistics show that 90 percent of the greater population is right-handed, so we factor that into our work with digital signage. Not a problem that you’d normally think about with mobile or web applications, but on large format screens for digital signage, where you place interactive buttons and triggered content can have a huge impact on usability.

Or have you considered ADA accessibility of your digital signage for those in wheelchairs, or with color blindness? We understand these concerns and always factor them into our design concepts and working applications. You’d be surprised how many end-users we speak with who have visual content and even hardware not created to accessibility standards. Failing to meet accessibility standards can expose companies to legal liability and we encourage all of our customers to take these standards seriously.

After completing the working build of an application, we give end users an opportunity to observe, interact with, and otherwise test (QA) the solution. We ask for the end user team to write a list of changes they’d like to see, along with any bugs they have found (unlikely, as we have QA’d the solution ourselves before passing it along). This process may repeat one more time before we implement the software and content solution along with any hardware that may be involved. As discussed, we partner with A/V Integrator partners nationwide. While this may be our first time to mention them in this article, we involve our integrator partners as often as possible during projects to prepare them for what to expect on-site and to be very familiar with the hardware solution that we’ll jointly put into place.

Project completion allows Creating Margin to transition our involvement to ongoing Managed Services, where we provide a bucket of hours on a monthly basis to help in a variety of ways. Continued training at the customer’s pace, help riding out staff turnover, tier 1 and 2 support, and support for content updates are a few of the benefits included in Creating Margin’s Managed Services. Read and learn more about our Managed Services.

In this extensive article, we have walked you through the steps that we take to ensure a satisfactory experience for each and every one of our customers. “It sounds pretty standard” you might say. What really differentiates our services? It is our depth of experience in this industry, our focus on digital signage, and our ability to communicate throughout the process in order to mitigate problems that can all too easily arise in these types of projects.