Friday, February 12, 2010

How to survive the economic meltdown and come out a winner!

A crash course in smart ad dollar spending for local retailers.
By Andrew Miller, VP,

Like a crime victim who has been assaulted and battered, the advertiser is not sure if it’s safe to go back outside yet. They are convinced that the assailant is still out there. In this case the assailant is poorly performing media.

In today’s tough economy, it’s imperative for an advertiser to make intelligent decisions with their advertising budget. How to spend it? How to stretch it? How to get the biggest bang for the buck? The competition for consumer dollars is becoming increasingly cutthroat. The knives are really chopping when the pie shrinks to half its size. Now, more than ever it “pays to advertise” but many companies are obviously cutting back their ad budgets to save costs when in fact they should be thinking about pumping up the ad budget volume with a more effective plan.

This is where I come in… I’ve been in the outdoor media industry for decades. I’ve worked with some of the largest brands in retail, consumer goods and entertainment. I’ve been through the “boom and bust” …a few times. We all made it through then, and I know we can make it through now.

“Media Waste” is one of the biggest issues facing the smaller local retailer. Basically, they just can’t afford to have their hard earned dollars thrown away on ineffective media outlets.

Mobile Billboards have been around for more than twenty years as a recognized media category. Back in 2005, Media Life Magazine called it “the workhorse of the media industry.” I’ve always believed the “non-traditional” moniker we heard so often was slightly demeaning to the mobile billboard media segment. Mobile Billboards are justifiably one of the best venues for a local retailer, special event, or political campaign.

A traditional mobile billboard is a dedicated truck with an integral billboard component, typically a “skinny sign truck” as many call them. There are a variety of configurations from do-it-yourselfers made from an old truck and a few sheets of plywood to $100,000 dollar purpose-designed units with specialty features. For now, I’m going to speak in general terms about the media. They are trucks with “big signs” on them.

Many consumers have become immune to the numbing barrage of common advertising. I assert the fundamental value of mobile billboard advertising lies in the quality of exposures that they generate in comparison to other media. The large display of a mobile billboard means it can’t go unnoticed. You can’t click it off with a remote control. You can’t skip the page or tune to a different station. The frequency of exposure, time and place of message, etc. should be factored in also, as well as the measure of impact based on the creative. The targeting advantages of a mobile billboard is simply so profound that there is simply no other available substitute. Mobile billboards frequently provide directions to a place of business, and it’s well documented that most retail businesses draw 80% of their customers from a limited geographic area. It’s the only medium that is able to achieve complete saturation of a local market. Mobile billboards also lend a “personal touch” to a campaign. When a billboard truck arrives in your town, it seems like the advertiser is speaking more directly to the consumer.

Mobile Billboard exposures can serve multiple goals. They’re perfect for short term special event promotions or sales events. They’re indispensible for a political candidate running for local office. They also offer a very quick turnaround with short lead-time. And most importantly (for a local business) they can act as a hedge against the affront of national discount brands competing for market share.

Most advertisers need to take a closer look at how they are spending their ad dollars. It’s a fearful climate in the current economy. With Billboards 2Go, it’s safe to go back outside.

Monday, February 8, 2010

In today's tough economy when it comes to spending ad dollars it's imperative to get the "best bang for your buck". I will address this and many other important out-door advertising media issues over my next blog entries. ......................................................................................
For now, thanks for stopping in and I hope you'll come back soon. ...............................................................................