A trio of well-known and experienced veterans of the digital signage industry have formed a new consultancy, The Preset Group aimed at helping established companies, media start-ups and investment groups plan and launch successful digital media networks.
The three principal partners – Paul Flanigan, Dave Haynes and Pat Hellberg – together offer decades of diverse, directly relevant experience and insight to clients who are trying to put together and execute plans in what is of course, a fast emerging, rapidly evolving industry.
Preset is we are told, also bolstered by a global roster of specialists in specific knowledge areas, such as retail strategy and anthropology, audience measurement, IT network design, and business best practices.
“The technical term “preset” really speaks to what we’re doing with our clients,” says Flanigan, a respected industry writer and speaker whose background includes running the vast Best Buy in-store digital media network. “Presets are used to ensure something works well right out of the box. We’re helping companies do the analysis, strategy and planning they need – establishing those presets – so their screen networks work on all levels, right from the start.”
“We’re being very straight and blunt with our clients,” says Haynes, whose background includes launching and operating ad-based networks and developing business for some of the industry’s largest software companies. “We don’t blow smoke. We won’t shake pom-poms. We tell people their ideas are sound, or what they need to do to make them sound. None of us are afraid to tell clients, ‘Don’t do it. You’re not ready.’”
The third partner, Hellberg, created and ran Nike’s in-store digital screen network and the creative team behind it, before leaving to start his own consultancy. “Digital signage can offer tremendous benefits to businesses, but there are big challenges in putting together a puzzle that has so many pieces,” says Hellberg. “A lot of mistakes have been made and budgets all but wasted, because the people making the decisions didn’t really know what they were doing and didn’t really have anyone to ask. That’s where we come in.”
The Preset Group’s goal is to partner with each client, educate them on what will work, help them find the right solution, manage the process, and show them how to succeed. The group will take a necessarily neutral position on things such as technology and services options, intending instead to find the best fits for clients.
Preset will initially have offices in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Portland, Oregon and Toronto, as well as associates in several other locations.