Insight & Article

How do I use campaigns to control what signs are shown where and when?

How do I use campaigns to control what signs are shown where and when?

What are Zones?

Within SignStix Director, the digital content that you have created (such as signage and video playlists) is managed using a 'zone' system.

By using zones, you can assign digital content to specific screens within that zone. This means that you can instruct all of the devices in one zone to play the same content, whilst all of the devices in another zone play something different.  

You can easily assign content to your chosen zone by creating a 'campaign'. 

What are Campaigns?

A campaign refers to the digital content you have selected to be deployed to a specific zone. 

By default, within SignStix Director there is a single campaign ready and waiting for you, called 'My Campaign'. Many SignStix users find this to be sufficient, however you can easily create multiple campaigns if your digital signage estate is of considerable size. 

Using multiple campaigns to manage larger estates offers considerable flexibility. This is because they can be used to schedule different content assignments to start at particular points in time. For example, to celebrate the start of a new season, a clothing retailer can instruct SignStix to automatically switch to a pre-planned summer campaign across their entire digital signage estate, that will begin on May 1st. 

This can be done via the 'campaign schedule' tool, which is essentially a list of campaigns, sorted by the date/time that you want them to 'go live.'

The sections below describe how to manage and deploy your campaigns:

Preparing Content Assignments in a Campaign

This section describes how to create and build a campaign by assigning content to zones.

  1. Log into SignStix Director.
  2. In the main menu on the left, click on ‘Deployment’.
  3. This will open the ‘Campaigns’ page beneath it.
  4. At the top of the Campaigns page, select the campaign of interest.
  5. You will see a list of sites in the main section of the Campaigns page.
  6. Click on a site to reveal the zones that it contains.
  7. Click on a zone to open the content panel for that zone - Initially the ‘Signage’ and ‘Default Playlist’ columns will show ‘No signage’ and ‘No default playlist’ respectively - The following steps will populate those columns.
  8. At the bottom left of the page, you will see a list of signage resources (i.e. signs, sequences and schedules).  Click on one of those signage resources to assign it to the zone.
  9. The ‘Signage’ column for your chosen zone should now show the resource you selected.
  10. If you wish to assign a video playlist as well, click the ‘Playlists’ button in the left-most panel, then click on the preferred playlist
  11. Repeat this process for each zone until all the zones have signage assigned.

Creating New Campaigns

A new, empty campaign can be added by pressing the ‘Add’ button on the Campaigns page. 

However, it is generally easier to create a new campaign by duplicating an existing campaign and altering its assignments where required, rather than starting from scratch with an empty campaign.  A duplicate campaign can be created as follows:

  1. Log into SignStix Director.
  2. In the main menu on the left, click ‘Deployment’.
  3. This will open the ‘Campaigns’ page beneath it.
  4. At the top of the Campaigns page, select the campaign that you wish to duplicate.
  5. Press the ‘Duplicate’ button.
  6. Enter a name for the new campaign in the resulting dialog.
  7. Click ‘OK’.

Modify Campaign Settings

Campaign settings, such as its name and the description of what it is, can be edited as follows:

  • Log into SignStix Director.
  • In the main menu on the left, click ‘Deployment’.
  • This will open the ‘Campaigns’ page beneath it.
  • In the drop-down menu, select the campaign that you would like to edit.
  • Click the ‘Edit Campaign Details’ button on the right-hand side.

Deployment and the Campaign Schedule

Once you have prepared your content assignments, you need to ‘deploy’ that content to the signage devices so they can start playing it.

To do this, press ‘Deploy Content’ near the top right of the SignStix Director screen.  As the resulting window indicates, it is the campaign schedule which gets deployed to the devices.  Consequently there are three important points to consider:

  1. Single Campaign Case: If you are only using the single default campaign (‘My Campaign’), that campaign will already be present in the campaign schedule.  So just proceed by pressing the ‘Deploy Content’ button at the bottom-right.
  2. Multiple Campaigns Case: If you have multiple campaigns, you need to decide when you want them to be triggered, and then set the campaign schedule accordingly (see below) . If you haven’t done this already, press ‘Edit Campaign Schedule’ to jump to the Campaign Schedule page.
  3. Missing Content Assignments: There may be some zones which do not have a content assignment in every campaign.  Devices in such a zone will take their content from the most recent campaign in the schedule which does have a content assignment for that zone.  If there is no such campaign then the devices will show the message ‘No Campaign’.
To avoid any doubt about what will be played, it is advisable to ensure that all campaigns include content assignments for all zones.

Editing the Campaign Schedule

By default, the initial campaign (‘My Campaign’) is already present in the schedule.  Further campaigns can be added to the schedule as follows:

  1. Log into SignStix Director.
  2. In the main menu on the left, click ‘Deployment’.
  3. Click on the ‘Campaign Schedule’ item beneath it.
  4. Your campaigns will be listed in the bottom-left panel.
  5. Click on a campaign to add it to the schedule.  A new row will appear with an editor for the date and time when you would like this campaign to start.
  6. Click ‘Save’ when you have set the date and time, or click ‘cancel’ to abort.
Remember that you must now ‘Deploy Content’ (see above) before your campaign schedule will take effect with the signage devices.

For more help:

Get to grips with SignStix campaigns with our new Video Tutorial.