How do you measure sign effectiveness?

While there has never been an argument that commercial signage is extremely important for businesses, measuring its effectiveness, until recently, has been difficult. To justify the cost of signage, businesses should focus on four goals: to determine reach to make sure the signage is being seen by the intended audience; to find whether the message stays with the audience after they see it; to know how often the signage is seen; and to estimate and compare the sign’s cost per exposure to other forms of marketing.

One challenge to determining the return on investment (ROI) on signage is that not all signage delivers results according to the same timetable. Traditional, static signage often relies on repeated viewings to imprint a message while digital signage, with the ability to present real-time information looks to deliver more immediate increases in brand awareness, foot traffic, and sales. The most traditional methods of understanding the influence of signage on customers include listening to what they have to say to identify problems, observing whether the signs are making customers act as intended, measuring increases in revenue after sign deployment, analyzing impact on the reduction of other expenses like insurance or reported accidents, and A/B testing of design, text, or messaging elements.

Innovations in variable data printing and A/R integrated interactive print have expanded the ability to track traditional print through QR codes and vanity URLs embedded with urchin tracking modules) (UTMs) through smartphones. Two additional and important metrics that are now accessible through digital signage include dwell time, which is a record of the amount of time someone engages with digital content, and session count that treats each visit as a separate measure to assess number of interactions over a selected time period.