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When Mark Zuckerberg was developing Facebook, he knew it would resonate with people who wanted an alternative to MySpace. He knew that a great platform for social engagement would draw people to the site. And it did.

A few weeks ago, I did a review of the book "Content Rules" on my blog. I took a unique and fun approach that would drive a lot of traffic to my site. And it did.

If you build it, they will come.

This is true.

If you build it, and they don't come, then you're doing it wrong.

The theory doesn't work any other way. If they come, you will build it? Hardly. Nobody walks in to a venue and begs the proprietor to hang a TV.

Marketing and advertising, infer that if you build something, people will come to it. If you build a store, people will shop there, if you build an effective advertising campaign, people will notice. So if you build a great digital signage network, people will come and use it.

That's the goal. Digital signage and dynamic media get people to engage with you, or your brand, or your venue. No one installs a network because it's pretty. Venues exchange the cost of paper signs with the cost of digital signs hoping engagement and awareness increases. If the strategy is sound, the outcome is successful.

If you build it, they will come.

The trouble is the strategy. Screens are installed with the misconception that screens attract eyeballs. The content strategy is often secondary, halfhearted and perhaps superficial. A big, giant screen with bright pictures and easy-to-read words is better than paper signs, right? Wrong.

Audiences don't gravitate toward screens; they gravitate toward compelling experiences. Screens are a medium. Content is an experience. The strategy needs to focus on what resonates with people: The content.

If you have a sound strategy, and if you create compelling experiences that resonate with the audience, you will increase engagement with the objectives of your strategy.

If you build it, they will come.

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User Comments – Give us your opinion!
  • C S Gallagher
    Well Paul, we've all learned how good content can make a difference but all (and I mean all) of my studies I have conducted on premises have proven to me that people literally stare at screens no matter what is on them.

    Try it sometime as I have in the bars or restaurants alike. It is an interesting phenomena to observe: in these types of public places people cannot keep from staring at a TV. Those sitting alone are most prone to stare frequently and for longer periods of time no matter what is on the screen. Those in couples and groups exhibit the same behavior during a lull in whatever.

    It also came to me one day that what we consider "poor" content intentionally displayed actually fostered more customer activity talking to one another, the bar tender, and the owner who later literally announced to customers he was selling more alcohol when I was around. LOL
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Latest posts by Paul Flanigan
Paul Flanigan
Flanigan is the new executive director of the Digital Screenmedia Association. You can also find him writing regularly at his own blog,
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