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Date: 3/17/2015
More News Stories
How Effective is Your Sign?: Applying the Theory

Identify the Problem

 In the last blog post, we mentioned that to properly testyour signage it is best to focus on a specific problem that you are hoping tosolve. For the purpose of this article, let’s say that the problem that you aretrying to solve is that your business is a theatre and you are seeing moreindividual ticket sales rather than the more predictable subscriptions to theentire theatre season.

 Notice that the problem identified is not general, but isinstead very specific. Instead of trying to just increase sales, it targets aspecific kind of sale, or a specific product.

 It can also help to try to understand why customers displaya certain behavior, ensuring you can build a solution that corrects thatbehavior. In our example, patrons might only be buying single tickets becausethey are unaware of the benefits subscribing has. Alternatively, they might beunwilling to pay the larger, upfront subscription fee, and would rather seeperformances as they come up, but for a larger overall cost over a longerperiod of time.

Target a Solution

 Having a specific problem to solve can help you measure theresults of your marketing through your sign by having the signage give a callto action that will result in a specific behavior that can be measured. Havinga targeted solution for your specific problem will make it easier to measurethe effectiveness of your sign on the problem you identified. For example,having a general sign advertising your theatre might increase awareness andthus overall sales, but will likely not result in a specific increase insubscription rate.

 In this case, urging potential patrons to subscribe is aspecific call to action, and the number of subscriptions is a clearlymeasurable metric. Your solution to the subscription problem will include asign that urges customers to subscribe to your theatre season, and might evenlist some of the benefits of subscription over single ticket sales (such assavings, better seat selection, etc).

 Another targeted solution for our example that addresses oneof the above problems would be a flexible subscription package that allowspatrons to pick a smaller number of plays. This will lower the upfront cost ofsubscribing, while securing the monetary benefit of more a more predictablenumber of customers.

 Whichever solution you choose to target your problem, youwill want to identify a period of time before implementing your signagecampaign, the original rate of subscription (R1).

 Once you have accounted for any confounding variables, youcan compare R1 with your rate of subscription after implementing your signage(R2). To determine how effective your sign is, you will use this equation toidentify the increase in subscriptions (I)


For an example, let’s say R1=300, R2=425.


 Your increase in subscriptions was 125. It looks like yoursignage was effective in eliciting the desired customer behavior ofsubscribing!

 If you have decided to spring for digital signage, testingcan be done even more effectively. Because digital signage allows you to updateyour design and copy, you can test a few different signs without the additionalcost of purchasing a whole new sign.

If you test a number of different signs, you will stillalways compare the resulting number of subscriptions to R1, the period beforeadvertising any of your targeted solutions. Then you can compare the differentvalues for I collected from the different signs to determine which is mosteffective.