Here’s why every Digital Out Of Home business needs a smart CMS

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By Remi Roques, GM Broadsign APAC

In Digital Out of Home advertising, the most important thing for media owners and publishers to get right is the content management system. 

A CMS is software that keeps track of all of the Digital screens on your network, and makes sure that the distribution of the advertising content is managed from one central access point.

The main job of a CMS is to display digital content on your network of screens, and also make sure that your network is running smoothly across all locations and devices. 

There are many different kinds of digital CMS software available, some unique to outdoor media and some that are more similar to the systems used in digital display advertising.

In China, the most common type of CMS is the traditional playlist version, which allows you to organise visual content to play across your digital screens in the form of playlist slots.

While it is simple and can be effective, there are many limitations to a playlist CMS, and forward-thinking businesses are starting to look for more powerful options.

Selecting the right CMS for your DOOH business

When exploring different types of DOOH CMS, start by asking the following questions: 

  • Is the platform internet-based, so that your team can access it from anywhere, at any time?
  • Does it provide automatic alerts, reports, and notifications?
  • And last, but definitely not least – does it improve the efficiency of how you are managing your inventory? Another way of framing this question could be, is it maximising your profits?

There is one type of CMS that answers “yes” to all of these questions, as well as many others you might not have even thought of asking: a rules-based CMS.

How a rules-based CMS works

A CMS works by creating multiple application layers. The first is the content layer, which manages the content with functions like editing, managing and storing content.

The second is the delivery layer, or the layout engine. This layer assembles the content into the design or layout you want it to be delivered in. 

A rules-based CMS adds one more layer to the normal function of a CMS by letting you write rules that dictate when and how the content is delivered. The content will only be displayed when the conditions meet those rules. A simple example of this would be that you can set a rule that an ad for ice cream will only play on your networks when the weather is hot.

Because a rules-based CMS offers media owners so much more control over the way content is deployed across your networks, it is far more efficient than a traditional playlist system. This explains why a rules-based CMS is so valuable to OOH companies looking to scale.

The benefits of a rules-based CMS 

Growing OOH businesses use CMS solutions like Broadsign Control because they allow very small teams of operators to easily manage networks of hundreds – sometimes thousands – of digital screens. This scalability lets media owners invest their time and resources into other areas of the business, even while they are still growing in size and their digital screen network expands. 

It’s important to start off knowing what types of media you want to be able to play across your network, as this will be dictated by the type of CMS you choose.

Some systems are pretty limited in the types of files they are able to support, whereas a system like Broadsign Control is able to accept almost any kind of video or image file you want to work with, and pretty much any resolution. 

Even better, a smart, rules-based CMS can enable customisation through web-based apps such as HTML, CSS, or Javascript. With HTML5 support, triggers and conditions, media owners and publishers can scale content to different screen sizes as needed, and are able to cater to an ever-growing list of creative executions to help brands, advertisers, and agencies deliver unforgettable campaigns.

You can read more about how HTML5 can up your Digital Out of Home game over on our blog. 

The leading CMS solutions in DOOH also support dynamic and interactive content. This is the kind of creative that really stands out and captures your audience’s attention. It can also generate a good amount of interest in the media and on social media! 

Larger brands and corporations are increasingly turning to creative DOOH executions as an impactful way of meeting their audience within contextually relevant environments, and achieving greater effectiveness.

On the publisher side, dynamic and interactive campaign executions carry a higher investment point from clients, so if you don’t pick a CMS that supports them you are missing out on a significant revenue opportunity for your business. 

For the tech-heads out there, you will be excited to know that a good digital outdoor CMS opens the door for companies to integrate their inventory management with CRM and GL systems, as well as connect with third party verification, audience measurement, sensors, and more.

A DOOH CMS also helps different types of campaigns in DOOH advertising, as it enables more flexible buying strategies in DOOH media due to the flexible scheduling capability. This means more chances to make clients happy, more often. 

Finally, in today’s world we can never be too careful with cyber security. This is as true to an advertisement as it is to any individual.

Using other tools with a rules-based CMS

A CMS is one of the foundational solutions in use through the DOOH industry. By choosing a CMS that is integrated fully within the larger ecosystem of digital outdoor technology, you are guaranteeing that your business will have access to the broadest range of functionality and the greatest scope for innovation. 

It also paves the way to adopt technology-led campaign management solutions, like Broadsign Direct, or programmatic supply-side Platforms like Broadsign Reach, which integrate directly with the CMS. All systems are related, and tapped into the same data, making it easier for everyone in all parts of the business to access the same information as needed.

Read more about how you can automate your out-of-home media network and maximize your revenue in real-time, and enquire today.

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