9 Steps to Budgeting for Digital Signage 

Author TouchSource

As technology continues to transform the way we interact with the world, building digital signage has become an increasingly popular tool for building managers to enhance tenant experiences and streamline communication.  

However, budgeting for digital signage can be a complex process that requires careful planning and consideration.  

In this article, we will explore the key steps and challenges that building managers need to address when budgeting for digital signage, helping them make informed decisions to leverage this powerful technology effectively. 

1. Define Your Property Objectives and Priorities  

The first crucial step in budgeting for building digital signage is to clearly define your objectives and priorities.  

Ask yourself what you hope to achieve with your digital signage: Is it to improve tenant communication, boost engagement, or increase revenue through advertising opportunities?  

Understanding your goals will help you allocate the budget more effectively and choose the right digital signage hardware and software solution to meet your needs. 


2. Research Building Digital Signage Solutions 

Before making any budgetary decisions, conduct thorough research on various digital signage solutions available in the market.  

  • Compare hardware, software features, content management systems, and pricing models.  
  • Consider factors like scalability, ease of use, and compatibility with your existing building systems and infrastructure.

This research will help you make an informed decision and choose the best-fit solution for your building.


3. Assess Initial Investment Costs 

Building digital signage requires an initial investment that includes hardware, software, content creation, and installation expenses. In short, it’s everything you’re paying for upfront.  

While this upfront cost may seem daunting, remember that it forms the foundation of your digital signage system. Allocate a portion of your budget to these essential components and ensure you have a clear understanding of what is included in the proposed package. Also, you’ll want to assess the Total Cost of Ownership to look beyond the initial costs.


4. Content Creation and Management 

Compelling and dynamic content is the lifeblood of building digital signage. You want to make sure your displays are always fresh and engaging.

Some vendors charge extra for ongoing content creation, management and design updates (Luckily TouchSource isn’t one of them!) 

Will you or team members be responsible for making directory updates? What is your plan for design, or any content needs as your business scales? Will you feel comfortable footing the bill every time you want a change? 

Customers working with TouchSource receive a hands-on, supported experience with our Customer Success Team. Any revisions are easily handled by our team of experts, so our customers don’t need to fret about design change issues or content development. 


5. Factor in Maintenance and Support 

As with any technology, building digital signage requires regular maintenance and technical support. And if you have multiple units, in different places, from many different vendors, things could get…well… complicated.  

You want to minimize the hours and money spent on maintenance and support needs. For this reason, you’ll want to compare the cost benefits of having a turnkey digital signage solution with a dedicated support team, versus a DIY solution that may cause more trouble than it’s worth. 

Helpful Tips:  

  • Budget for potential repairs, software updates, and technical assistance to ensure your digital signage system remains operational and glitch-free.  
  • Explore service contracts and warranties provided by vendors to make sure you fully understand what is covered and what additional costs may arise. 


6. Measure Return on Investment (ROI) 

At first thought might be mind-boggling to try to quantify the exact ROI of building digital signage. But you should have some clear idea of how to measure the impact digital displays will have on your building’s objectives.  

We recently partnered with Intel and Propmodo for a fact-filled research report, “Building a Business Case for Digital Signage.The report dives deeper into the benefits, ROI and statistics surrounding using digital displays for office buildings. It provides valuable insights and facts to help build a compelling business case for incorporating digital signage in your property. 

You can use this research report to help justify your digital signage investment and refine your strategy over time. Specific to your property you can assess tenant engagement, feedback, and any potential revenue generated through advertising or increased foot traffic to come up with an estimated ROI. 


7. Plan for Training and Staff Knowledge 

Whatever building digital signage vendor you choose, you’ll want to make sure your staff knows how to manage the digital signage system. Will you need to invest in training sessions for your staff?  

Of course, a well-trained team will be more efficient in content creation, scheduling, and addressing technical issues. Alternatively, consider hiring staff with prior experience in digital signage management to streamline operations. 

But what’s even better is when you have a solution so easy, no training is needed. Who needs more operating procedures and training manuals, anyway? 

When you buy digital directories, digital art walls, interactive kiosks or other electronic displays from TouchSource, you can rest assured your user experience will be simple. In fact, our software is so easy to use that hardly any training is required. Our customer portal lets you login and make any building directory updates in a few clicks. (Great, right?) 

But don’t take our word for it: See what some of our 11,000+ customers have to say about the TouchSource experience.


8. Ensure Security, Compliance and Maximum Uptime 

Do you need to budget for security? Whether your digital display will be indoors or outdoors, you’ll want to know it’s safe from any potential vandalism or security threats. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Learn if there will be incremental costs to secure your hardware and software in a way that makes sense for your business.
  • Additionally, ensure compliance with any local regulations or building-specific guidelines related to digital signage usage. 

Moreover, have you considered what it might cost to ensure your display is functioning properly all the time? Ask prospective vendors if they offer uptime monitoring and if that’s already included in your quote.  


9. Future-Proof Your Digital Signage Investment 

Technology evolves rapidly, so it’s vital to future-proof your digital signage investment. In other words, it’s the best scenario to purchase a solution for the long haul – and from a vendor that isn’t going anywhere.  

Choose solutions that offer scalability options with the ability to adapt to new technologies and trends. When your property changes or there are economic twists and turns, doing so will ensure you’re ready for whatever is coming.

For example:  

  • A recent CBRE report revealed that in major U.S. metros, many tenants are in the market currently looking for space to rent. Did you know you can use your digital directory sign to advertise and market available leasing space? (Note: TouchSource lets you do just this. Ask us about our software features to help you with leasing!) 
  • If your property or campus expands, our digital wayfinding solutions and digital maps will grow with you, so your visitors will never be confused about where to go. 
  • Our meeting room digital signs will help you make the most out of your flexible spaces, showing what meetings are happening and when. We also offer small footprint signage, like our digital poster stand, to complement and add on to your existing solutions. All solutions are 100% scalable and can be updated using the same single cloud portal.

In summary, keep an eye on emerging innovations that could complement or enhance your digital signage strategy in the long run. 



Budgeting for digital signage solutions is a multi-faceted process that demands careful consideration of objectives, costs, content management, and security. But you know what’s included in the Total Cost of Ownership, you can make the most informed decisions to implement and manage your digital signage successfully.

Want a crash course on budgeting for digital signage? CEO Ajay Kapoor and Susan Brubaker breakdown the Total Cost of Ownership of digital signage, how to avoid hidden costs and how to plan for all of your space requirements in this On-Demand Webinar.

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