Are billboards still effective in driving customers?

by Rully
38 replies
In today's digital age, it feels like billboards might have slipped under the radar a bit.
But I'm wondering if they are still good at grabing attention and delivering results. I have a few billboards in the area where I live, and I'm tempted to give them a try

Have any of you or your businesses given billboards a shot as part of your marketing strategy? If yes, how did it go?
#billboards #customers #driving #effective
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  • Profile picture of the author Monetize
    Originally Posted by Rully View Post

    In today's digital age, it feels like billboards might have slipped under the radar a bit.
    But I'm wondering if they are still good at grabing attention and delivering results. I have a few billboards in the area where I live, and I'm tempted to give them a try

    Have any of you or your businesses given billboards a shot as part of your marketing strategy? If yes, how did it go?

    I have not used roadside billboards to advertise anything
    but I looked into this type of advertising years ago. The
    way it works is, you call the billboard company and they
    send you a rate sheet that tells you how many views a
    certain location receives and how much it costs. Prices
    vary depending on size, location, and duration.
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by Rully View Post

    In today's digital age, it feels like billboards might have slipped under the radar a bit.
    But I'm wondering if they are still good at grabing attention and delivering results. I have a few billboards in the area where I live, and I'm tempted to give them a try

    Have any of you or your businesses given billboards a shot as part of your marketing strategy? If yes, how did it go?
    Start with identifying the owners of the billboards, there are only a handful of companies left. Find out how they measure effectiveness, many use the amount of traffic per day as a metric. Then you need to figure out how much of this traffic is targeted to your offer.

    So, it starts with what you want to put on one and why? There is brand awareness, like most Realtors and Insurance people use them for...and there is DATED, or events, this weekend we have a Kayak festival downtown, so the billboard which featured that was up for the last month.

    Of course, there are federal, state, and local restrictions too, like no tobacco for example, which is ironic, tobacco was the mainstay of billboards for decades.

    Best advice is to drive around, get the names of the companies you are thinking about using, go to their websites, read the fine print...and ignore their marketing propaganda.

    See, one of the problems with the number of cars going by, is, depending on location, you get the same 10,000 cars a day, people going back and forth to work types...good for institutional ads, like insurance, real estate...not so good for other types.

    Before getting into more detail, what will you offer, and why would you consider using one? They can be an effective marketing method and cost efficient, or they can eat your lunch and give you zero results...depending on what you expect it to do.

    Get the metrics, and then compare them to other data re the marketing of your offer.

    GordonJ
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    • Profile picture of the author 7amoudymh
      Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

      Start with identifying the owners of the billboards, there are only a handful of companies left.

      Blindspot is a company that has access to almost all the digital billboards in the US. You don't need to search more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Originally Posted by Rully View Post

    In today's digital age, it feels like billboards might have slipped under the radar a bit.
    But I'm wondering if they are still good at grabing attention and delivering results. I have a few billboards in the area where I live, and I'm tempted to give them a try

    Have any of you or your businesses given billboards a shot as part of your marketing strategy? If yes, how did it go?
    Good reply from Monetize.

    Billboards are untargeted advertising except for one thing: location.
    So the primary question is: Does your target customer drive by?

    Second question: Does the offer match a billboard format? For example, fast food is a good match. The buy is an impulse one, and you can be sure some of the humans driving by will have the urge to eat.

    If the sale is a more complex one, then you are hoping to get lucky. The timing has to be right. The relevance of the offer has to be already there in the viewer's mind. Then, "Oh! I didn't know I could get that! I should!" is triggered by the billboard.

    Is the call to action simple? Drive to the restaurant and place your order, in a way nearly all Western nation inhabitants know how? Or is it complex, like having to call up a control equipment firm to talk about specifying a device to manage heating and cooling in the home?

    This is where I would start.
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Billboards are a waste of advertising spend and are only around to give the business owner pride in seeing their name in 'lights'
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by Rully View Post

    In today's digital age, it feels like billboards might have slipped under the radar a bit.
    But I'm wondering if they are still good at grabing attention and delivering results. I have a few billboards in the area where I live, and I'm tempted to give them a try

    Have any of you or your businesses given billboards a shot as part of your marketing strategy? If yes, how did it go?
    Were billboards ever effective?

    Here is when a billboard ad makes sense...

    You have a retail location that is directly next to the billboard. And it's used as an extended sign.
    Here are the limitations of billboards;

    1) Your viewers are driving a car past the billboard. Even if they see the billboard, it better not have more than a few words on it. You have maybe a second of viewing time, if that.

    2) People aren't driving down the road with a pen and paper, ready to write down phone numbers, addresses, or even business names...as they are driving past your sign.

    3) It's hard enough to get people to even see your ad, when you put it n a newspaper or magazine....let's see....how can we make it near impossible for someone to actually read your ads? Aha! Let's put them behind the wheel of a car...in motion.

    4) Also, lets make it impossible to see the ad at all if it's dark out...or it's raining, or even snowing.

    In my entire life of studying advertising, talking to advertisers, and marketing....I have known a billboard to actually pay off once. It was an insurance agent who had his photo on the billboard, with his name, and the word "Life insurance" under it.

    I once asked him if the billboard actually ever brought him a buyer.

    He said "No. What it does is make it easier to recognize my name when I call."

    My suggestion, go to any successful business and ask the owner about advertising on billboards. If they have ever done it, they will tell you how well it worked.

    And last but not least...if billboard advertising worked at all, you would see businesses put their ads on every billboard in town. If it works, do more of it.



    Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

    Billboards are a waste of advertising spend and are only around to give the business owner pride in seeing their name in 'lights'
    THAT is the answer.
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    • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
      You all make a lot of sense.

      I live across the street from 3 billboards, and I have spoken with advertisers on these for over a decade...as well as the companies themselves and the fellows hanging the wallpaper, as one told me that is what he did.

      These are on the main street of town, and get a lot of local traffic.

      But the most successful billboard in my town, and if anyone wants to see it, google maps 655 Portage Trail Cuyahoga Falls, OH, and then drop the little man on the KELLY insurance agency dot and you'll see the billboard.

      The advantage of this one, over all the others in town, is it is in a parking lot of a Discount Drug Mart (area pharmacy/everything store) and one of the most popular Mexican restaurants in town.

      So, not only do those driving by, although only in one direction, see it, so does everyone who comes to the store or restaurant and for more than a split second. The pic I see today is from Dec. 2022, and has Kreigers market on the left and Get Fit Nat on right.

      Most days, and maybe later I'll go snap a photo of what is on all five of them, we see a lot of Realtors and Insurance guys, and I'm going to give an educated guess (because I asked) and most of the time that is CO-OP corporate advertising, with the big guy picking up most of the tab. Insurance especially has more money to spend on this type of co-op than any other industry. But big Realtor has some pretty deep pockets too.

      In talking to those folks, many of whom I know, their agency probably would not be on the billboard without some corporate money involved. Once in awhile, one realtor will put her face up for a month, usually Spring as part of her campaigns, but she is been at it for decades and grew up in a successful brokerage her father owned. She is paying to be TOP OF MIND when it is time to sell your house, and she has tons of trophies and stacks of cash to prove it works for her.

      Now the Kreiger store is very old, well known, but on one side of town, from this billboard, it is only 5 mins away...but in talking to them as to why they did this, it was because of the "fresh market" approaches of the Discount Drug Mart and down the street Giant Eagle. Because Kreiger is local, mom and pop, although a pretty good size one, unless you go that way often, it isn't top of mind, so they used this as a reminder they were still there.

      They have a very loyal following, and it is the local GO TO place for farm to table fresh fruits, veggies and Ohio made things like jams and jellies.

      Anyhow, like any advertising...doesn't it go to the INTENT? The OP asked the question in a very general way, so without knowing what he really has in mind, we offer our best guesses.

      But to say billboard advertising doesn't work at all, it begs the question as to why they still exist? Some businesses have been using them for years and maybe some of that has to do with co-op funds available, but some of it doesn't.

      Which is why I suggested he drive around town, and a parking lot billboard, especially in a high traffic high turnover rate (like grocery stores, pharmacies, fast food) might be a good option for a test...now of course, there is a skill and talent as to what to put on it...but I'm not ready to summarily dismiss the use of a billboard without knowing what the intent of the message is.

      GordonJ




      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      Were billboards ever effective?

      Here is when a billboard ad makes sense...

      You have a retail location that is directly next to he billboard. And it's used as an extended sign.
      Here are the limitations of billboards;

      1) Your viewers are driving a car past the billboard. Even if they see the billboard, it better not gave more than a few words on it. You have maybe a second of viewing time, if that.

      2) People aren't driving down the road with a pen and paper, ready to write down phone numbers, addresses, or even business names...as they are driving past your sign.

      3) It's hard enough to get people to even see your ad, when you put it n a newspaper or magazine....let's see....how can we make it near impossible to for someone to actually read your ads? Aha! Let's put them behind the wheel of a car...in motion.

      4) Also, lets make it impossible to see the ad at all if it's dark out...or it's raining, or even snowing.

      In my entire life of studying advertising, talking to advertisers, and marketing....I have known a billboard to actually pay off once. It was an insurance agent who had his photo on the billboard, with his name, and the word "Life insurance" under it.

      I once asked him if the billboard actually ever brought him a buyer.

      He said "No. What it does is make it easier to recognize my name when I call."

      My suggestion, go to any successful business and ask the owner about advertising on billboards. If they have ever done it, they will tell you how well it worked.

      And last but not least...if billboard advertising worked at all, you would see businesses put their ads on every billboard in town. If it works, do more of it.





      THAT is the answer.
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      Good reply from Monetize.

      Billboards are untargeted advertising except for one thing: location.
      So the primary question is: Does your target customer drive by?

      Second question: Does the offer match a billboard format? For example, fast food is a good match. The buy is an impulse one, and you can be sure some of the humans driving by will have the urge to eat.

      If the sale is a more complex one, then you are hoping to get lucky. The timing has to be right. The relevance of the offer has to be already there in the viewer's mind. Then, "Oh! I didn't know I could get that! I should!" is triggered by the billboard.

      Is the call to action simple? Drive to the restaurant and place your order, in a way nearly all Western nation inhabitants know how? Or is it complex, like having to call up a control equipment firm to talk about specifying a device to manage heating and cooling in the home?

      This is where I would start.
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    @ Gordon -

    You make some interesting points...

    however, if I were to advise anyone on how to best spend their advertising dollars I would suggest direct response advertising.

    A billboard is putting a lot of faith in the consumer to remember to call a number when they get home...or even remember the billboard a couple of hours later.

    Now, if the billboard is simply a branding experience, where the manufacturer of a product is trying to build awareness, that's a different story...but for most (if not all) on this forum a waste of advertising spend.

    Virtually every billboard I see is either for Insurance or Real Estate Agents...PSAs or something like that.

    Based on all the available advertising and considering a high traffic billboard is anywhere around $3000 monthly (when I checked some years ago) I'm of the belief there are much better ways to make your ad spend deliver much better results.

    Every penny of ad spend in my opinion should be optimized for the best possible results.

    Now that we're talking about billboards in this post I actually tried to remember what the billboards were advertising at the busiest intersection around me...

    I can't even recall...then again maybe I'm getting old and forgetful.
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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

      Now, if the billboard is simply a branding experience, where the manufacturer of a product is trying to build awareness, that's a different story...but for most (if not all) on this forum a waste of advertising spend.
      I think this is true. Billboards can be useful for reinforcing brand awareness. Regular commuters might pass the same board several times a week and this cumulative exposure has to have some kind of effect.

      We should also remember that cars often contain more people than just the driver. Passengers, especially kids in the back, can be prime targets for billboard ads.

      Then there's the location. In busy streets of large cities, the traffic often crawls along so slowly that drivers are able to learn the billboard copy by heart. And at popular urban intersections, pedestrians become part of the mix.

      However, it's probably a medium best suited to larger corporations or brands that can use it to supplement a campaign.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

      Now that we're talking about billboards in this post I actually tried to remember what the billboards were advertising at the busiest intersection around me...

      I can't even recall...then again maybe I'm getting old and forgetful.
      The BEST billboards tend to be advertising for the billboard company itself. "Use Your Outside Voice" is a good example
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  • Profile picture of the author Monetize
    No offense to anyone but I cannot believe that you professional
    business people don't think this is a good method of advertising,
    and think that billboards do not work.

    Whenever I have been on the highway somewhere and the
    billboard says:

    "BEST BBQ ON EARTH 5 MILES AHEAD"

    That is where I'm going for breakfast, lunch, brunch, or dinner,
    if it is open at the time.

    Billboards and other road signs also direct drivers to hotels,
    gas stations, stores, and various attractions.

    Doctors, lawyers, as well as other professions mentioned
    above also use billboard advertising.

    So I know that billboards work.

    Maybe you have become so used to seeing them that you do
    not realize that they have an impact on your decision-making.

    You guys are WRONG.
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    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by Monetize View Post

      No offense to anyone but I cannot believe that you professional
      business people don't think this is a good method of advertising,
      and think that billboards do not work.

      Whenever I have been on the highway somewhere and the
      billboard says:

      "BEST BBQ ON EARTH 5 MILES AHEAD"

      That is where I'm going for breakfast, lunch, brunch, or dinner,
      if it is open at the time.

      Billboards and other road signs also direct drivers to hotels,
      gas stations, stores, and various attractions.

      Doctors, lawyers, as well as other professions mentioned
      above also use billboard advertising.

      So I know that billboards work.

      Maybe you have become so used to seeing them that you do
      not realize that they have an impact on your decision-making.

      You guys are WRONG.
      What were your results when you rented a billboard?

      Edit: The reason I ask this is because we spent almost 24K in the first quarter on advertising.

      Because a couple of people stop by a Diner to get BBQ or something doesn't mean it's effective advertising...

      so, I'm wondering if you have any direct experience with billboards since I know you're into marketing?
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

        Because a couple of people stop by a Diner to get BBQ or something doesn't mean it's effective advertising...
        In the case of a BBQ joint with a sign on a highway... I aint going to know its there unless the sign is there - take away the sign, and I bet the BBQ joint goes out of business.

        Claude stated a good case for this type of advertising is Restaurants... or the impulse type stop - see it, drive to it - and oh yes absolutely this is probably best case scenario.

        We then have the mentioned ( Claude again ) Name and face recognition - and I ( minus the face part ) can very much attest to this working - BRAND is a thing.

        Which leads me to the use that works best for me. I work with ( contract with ) Satellite Service providers. I specifically use bill boards for Satellite Internet services... and here is why...

        I have a monthly CO-OP Advertising budget... the bill boards are very much Service Provider Branded ( Hughesnet and ViaSat ) MY company branding is on the signage as well. I WANT the customer to go to the service providers website and either A) look up a local installer, or B) sign up directly with the service provider - Because I am the regions install contractor for both services, Meaning I am getting paid no matter how the customer goes.

        Because of referral programs in place with both of these, and the fact I very much pinpoint my advertising efforts any out layer direct contact from a client which usually starts with "I got your number from the company website" is a good indication that the billboards have done their jobs.

        The billboards I rent are cheap, because they are out in the middle of no where generally (reaching my target audience )

        They ( billboards ) without question work for me in this case scenario.
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        • Profile picture of the author max5ty
          Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

          In the case of a BBQ joint with a sign on a highway... I aint going to know its there unless the sign is there - take away the sign, and I bet the BBQ joint goes out of business.

          Claude stated a good case for this type of advertising is Restaurants... or the impulse type stop - see it, drive to it - and oh yes absolutely this is probably best case scenario.

          We then have the mentioned ( Claude again ) Name and face recognition - and I ( minus the face part ) can very much attest to this working - BRAND is a thing.

          Which leads me to the use that works best for me. I work with ( contract with ) Satellite Service providers. I specifically use bill boards for Satellite Internet services... and here is why...

          I have a monthly CO-OP Advertising budget... the bill boards are very much Service Provider Branded ( Hughesnet and ViaSat ) MY company branding is on the signage as well. I WANT the customer to go to the service providers website and either A) look up a local installer, or B) sign up directly with the service provider - Because I am the regions install contractor for both services, Meaning I am getting paid no matter how the customer goes.

          Because of referral programs in place with both of these, and the fact I very much pinpoint my advertising efforts any out layer direct contact from a client which usually starts with "I got your number from the company website" is a good indication that the billboards have done their jobs.

          The billboards I rent are cheap, because they are out in the middle of no where generally (reaching my target audience )

          They ( billboards ) without question work for me in this case scenario.
          The question isn't if a billboard will get you a customer or 2...

          the question is...is it worth the money you spend to advertise.

          I say no...there are better options.
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          • Profile picture of the author savidge4
            Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

            The question isn't if a billboard will get you a customer or 2...

            the question is...is it worth the money you spend to advertise.

            I say no...there are better options.
            But how exactly are you advertising a BBQ joint with a customer that lives 3 hours away? YOUR NOT.

            You are going to tell me you have never been on a road trip and saw a sign for "Largest Spool of Yarn" or "Dinasaur Land" or "Best BBQ" and not followed the sign?

            Ever done the Route 66 drive?

            I am agreeing with Monetize here... your wrong... and aside from my example... road side wonders and local restaurants targeting out of town out of reach clientele... its absolutely worth the expense.

            Back to my specific example... I personally dont "pay for it" ( its CO-OP spend ), I just do the art work and print it out ( I can do it for less than what they charge for this - its a me thing ) - so "WE" as in both of these companies and I have done some testing and we are talking 2 months with and 2 months without type testing... I can tell you specifically even in my case scenario it is a night and day difference - as in a no brainer investment
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            • Profile picture of the author max5ty
              Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

              But how exactly are you advertising a BBQ joint with a customer that lives 3 hours away? YOUR NOT.

              You are going to tell me you have never been on a road trip and saw a sign for "Largest Spool of Yarn" or "Dinasaur Land" or "Best BBQ" and not followed the sign?

              Ever done the Route 66 drive?

              I am agreeing with Monetize here... your wrong... and aside from my example... road side wonders and local restaurants targeting out of town out of reach clientele... its absolutely worth the expense.

              Back to my specific example... I personally dont "pay for it" ( its CO-OP spend ), I just do the art work and print it out ( I can do it for less than what they charge for this - its a me thing ) - so "WE" as in both of these companies and I have done some testing and we are talking 2 months with and 2 months without type testing... I can tell you specifically even in my case scenario it is a night and day difference - as in a no brainer investment
              Would like to see your ad spend on billboards and the investment that you recouped.

              I'm saying it's a waste of money unless you can prove me wrong -

              and I spend thousands on advertising...
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              • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
                Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

                I'm saying it's a waste of money unless you can prove me wrong -
                .
                If anybody drove down I-95 back when they were building it. Or drove on routes 17 & 301 would pass multiple signs for one of the South's biggest tourist traps in South Carolina. The place sold Fireworks when they were banned in most other states. The place is called South of the Border. The majority of them started with Pedro Says - a cute saying. Example - Chilly Today Hot Tamale then it says in the bottom 175 miles to the South of the border. We even convinced my parents to stop there to buy Sparklers and other Snakes ( smoky fireworks). That was an example of someone getting their money's worth. I'm not trying to prove you want but that was a popular method to draw in customers years back IMHO. Now you are probably right. - https://www.sobpedro.com/our-history
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                • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                  Originally Posted by DWolfe View Post

                  If anybody drove down I-95 back when they were building it. Or drove on routes 17 & 301 would pass multiple signs for one of the South's biggest tourist traps in South Carolina. The place sold Fireworks when they were banned in most other states. The place is called South of the Border. The majority of them started with Pedro Says - a cute saying. Example - Chilly Today Hot Tamale then it says in the bottom 175 miles to the South of the border. We even convinced my parents to stop there to buy Sparklers and other Snakes ( smoky fireworks). That was an example of someone getting their money's worth. I'm not trying to prove you want but that was a popular method to draw in customers years back IMHO. Now you are probably right. - https://www.sobpedro.com/our-history
                  I notice a theme here.

                  The billboard signs that are actually bringing in buyers (or the ones we at least think are doing that) are essentially road signs to a destination.

                  To me, they are like the signs that say "Hospital, next right". A definite destination (or a definite number of miles) to a destination.

                  The ones that are a waste of money are the ones that advertise something (or a location) that isn't on the route you are taking. Like "Best hospital in the state".

                  Imagine writing a great ad. And you then show it to someone, and yank it away after 5 seconds. And they can't look at it again for days. To me, that's what billboard ads are like.

                  When I see billboard ads that have a slogan, an address, a website URL, and the name of the business......I know three things,

                  The person making money is the ad rep.
                  The advertiser isn't testing the ad results.
                  Nobody, with the exception of hitch hikers, is reading the whole ad.

                  By the way, when I have asked advertisers that used billboards why they chose billboards, they usually said either "We needed to do something" or "We wanted to get the name out".
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                • Profile picture of the author max5ty
                  Originally Posted by DWolfe View Post

                  If anybody drove down I-95 back when they were building it. Or drove on routes 17 & 301 would pass multiple signs for one of the South's biggest tourist traps in South Carolina. The place sold Fireworks when they were banned in most other states. The place is called South of the Border. The majority of them started with Pedro Says - a cute saying. Example - Chilly Today Hot Tamale then it says in the bottom 175 miles to the South of the border. We even convinced my parents to stop there to buy Sparklers and other Snakes ( smoky fireworks). That was an example of someone getting their money's worth. I'm not trying to prove you want but that was a popular method to draw in customers years back IMHO. Now you are probably right. - https://www.sobpedro.com/our-history
                  It's been an interesting discussion...

                  There are a couple of things I was going to mention in an earlier post but didn't...

                  if I drive north on I-75 into Michigan there is a huge billboard for a popular gas station/convenience store type place. If I drive south, there is a huge billboard for a fireworks place. There is also a huge billboard outside of town for a Farm Market.

                  But here's the thing...

                  these billboards are not rented from a billboard advertising company. The company advertising actually owns the billboard. The sponsor of the sign never changes.

                  And that is the case with a lot of the billboards you see along the highways. I would guess the company pays the farmer or landowner so much a month to have their billboard on the property. Since the company isn't paying monthly to have a billboard company maintain the sign, I doubt if it matters as much what their return on profit is.

                  My take from the OPs question was he was asking if it was a good idea to RENT a billboard.

                  I say no. There are better ways to spend your advertising dollars.

                  Just my thoughts and opinion.
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              • Profile picture of the author savidge4
                Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

                Would like to see your ad spend on billboards and the investment that you recouped.

                I'm saying it's a waste of money unless you can prove me wrong -

                and I spend thousands on advertising...
                There are 5 sign locations that work the absolute best for me. And you have to keep in mind that these Billboards are very geographical in relation to who needs this type of service... these are not in town, not on a free way.. one of them is literally on the side of a section of road that is a single lane road with pull over spots - but has traffic in the 300 per day range.

                The spots cost me roughly $200 a month for each on average - its CHEAP... 1 Install per sign pays for the sign per month ( the amount that is paid by the service provider to me to install the unit - so possible ROI is pretty high. I get $2 per month residual per sale of service I make.

                In these 5 billboard locations without the signage in place it is pretty common for us to make 10 or so sales per week with outgoing efforts. The moment the signs are in place that number doubles, and the additional about 10 sales are inbound in nature. It is a very clear cut line.

                I can say that the signs produce an addition 10 sales per week - 40 per month, they cost $1000 a month and the install rate is roughly $400 per install... for the sake of discussion lets split the $400 - $200 for the installer, and $200 back to the company - so we are looking at $1000 in and $8000 out... an ROI of 800%

                There are without question, case scenarios that Billboards work... like Claude has said - pointing to a specific location that is forward of the Billboard - BBQ 5 Milies Ahead I can only imagine nationally, what Cracker Barrels Billboard budget is.

                This for of advertising is obviously not for anything and everything... My personal Satellite example I will go out on a limb and say it is probably an out layer of what would work - but again it has to do with location - and the structure of how they get to me - they sign up with me or the Service provider I win - either way.

                If I were an attorney or did insurance sales I would probably use billboards to develop name and face recognition over time - BRANDING... may not be 100% trackable... but you will hear from time to time that it works.

                But If I am selling...some affiliate offer or the like - not a chance - I dont advertise my SEO, or Web, or CRO on billboards - I do however run a few a year for BRAND only - now that I mention it, I have 1 in Pittsburgh right now and have had inbound communication i can only assume from the sign.

                Lets talk about targeting 20 somethings... Using newspaper ads - now THAT would be down right stupid
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            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
              Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

              But how exactly are you advertising a BBQ joint with a customer that lives 3 hours away? YOUR NOT.

              You are going to tell me you have never been on a road trip and saw a sign for "Largest Spool of Yarn" or "Dinasaur Land" or "Best BBQ" and not followed the sign?

              I'm glad you brought that up, because that's a very specific use of billboards. They are acting like signs.

              But the vast majority of billboards are the ones we see on the highway, or beside a busy country road....advertising a business that has nothing to do with the location of the sign.

              And the reason we see those signs is because the ad buyer has no idea how to track ad results.

              If billboards worked for general advertising, why don't we see direct marketers use them? Because direct marketers track results.
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              • Profile picture of the author savidge4
                Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                I'm glad you brought that up, because that's a very specific use of billboards. They are acting like signs.

                But the vast majority of billboards are the ones we see on the highway, or beside a busy country road....advertising a business that has nothing to do with the location of the sign.

                And the reason we see those signs is because the ad buyer has no idea how to track ad results.

                If billboards worked for general advertising, why don't we see direct marketers use them? Because direct marketers track results.
                With that said... we can then look at "Location Location Location" Billboards, Yard Signs, signs in general... pieces of paper stapled to telephone poles only worked based on "location"

                No sense posting about a lost cat the next town over... probably no advantage to posting a sign about "we buy homes for cash" in the most expensive neighborhood in your community.

                We are all "marketers" here we understand the most basic of principles in "advertising" We are not going to be buying booth space at a "Green" Convention, and our product is cement building construction... Location

                The question has already been asked... how many people have a pencil and paper handy while they are driving a car? the best I have seen ( outside of an inner city environment ) is billboards with QR codes - mmm not so good.

                So driving along what is what you see? Accident attorneys? In my neck of the woods you see attorneys that deal with vehicle damage from big truck debris... some amount of Pharma... beverages... PSA's drinking and driving, drugs.. got a gambling problem? Vehicle ads, or maybe more car dealer ads - you are after all driving.. Speaking of driving.. might be a my location thing but CDL courses is a thing. Military signs/

                As i list these as Claude notes... none of these are direct marketing efforts - because the DIRECT, in the direct marketing is missing, there is a delay in the CTA, and we all know that any delay in a CTA means the percentage of action is less and less as time moves forward.

                "High speed Internet can be found here - ViaSat" out route 26 25 miles from town, is kinda effective... stick that same sign in say the heart of NYC... ehhh not so much.

                Understanding who your target is, where they hang out, ALL about location

                Tomato Tomato a sign or a billboard.. same thing
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Monetize View Post

      No offense to anyone but I cannot believe that you professional
      business people don't think this is a good method of advertising,
      and think that billboards do not work.

      Whenever I have been on the highway somewhere and the
      billboard says:

      "BEST BBQ ON EARTH 5 MILES AHEAD"

      That is where I'm going for breakfast, lunch, brunch, or dinner,
      if it is open at the time.

      Billboards and other road signs also direct drivers to hotels,
      gas stations, stores, and various attractions.

      Doctors, lawyers, as well as other professions mentioned
      above also use billboard advertising.

      So I know that billboards work.

      Maybe you have become so used to seeing them that you do
      not realize that they have an impact on your decision-making.

      You guys are WRONG.
      You said "So I know that billboards work.". But that's not true. You know that billboards are used. You know that people buy billboard ads. That's what you know, based on what you just said. And you suspect (probably correctly) that the barbeque billboard actually generates traffic and business. But that's not the majority of billboard ads.

      But I like your example;

      "BEST BBQ ON EARTH 5 MILES AHEAD" is an example where I can see the billboard actually bringing in customers. People are already going in the right direction....some of them will be hungry. This is an example of a billboard being used as an extended sign.

      The billboards that really don't generate customers are the vast majority that we see. The ones with a clever slogan, and illustration, a phone number and an address. WAY too much information for a passing vehicle.

      I have to say, I have talked to hundreds of retailers who have used billboard ads...and also dozens more in other industries. I have never seen one generate a profit, over the cost of the ad.

      But there are other reasons to put out ads, rather than to generate customers. The real estate an insurance people are using the ads that will be approved for co-op. The company is paying for the ads, more than the actual professional.

      And.....I hate to say this....but real estate and insurance people never study advertising at all. They don't test ads (or even know that testing exists). They go by feeling. And it feels good to have your name and photo up on a billboard. If they buy ads, it's from the first ad rep that calls on them with a good story. They aren't buying based on experience. Ask an insurance agent who advertises on a billboard how many of his new clients come from seeing his billboard.

      I used to speak to groups of insurance salespeople at their conventions. I've yet to meet one that knew anything about advertising. Strangely, I've also never met an advertising salesperson (of any kind) that knew anything about advertising...I mean anything at all. Nor did they want to know anything about it.


      This reminds me of advertising in movie theaters.

      A friend of mine (who owned a store like mine) told me that he was going to be the 'exclusive vacuum cleaner retailer of advertise on the local theater screens". He was very excited.

      But he was my friend, so I asked him several questions;

      1)Do you ever take a pen and paper with you into the theater to write down the advertiser information?

      2) Are you located next to the theater?

      3) Are you even open when the theater goers come out of the theater?

      4) Do you, or does anyone, talk about the ads they saw before the movie...when they come out of the theater?


      It was going to cost him $2,000 to create the ad, and $1,200 a month to post the ad.....to perhaps a few dozen (mostly teenagers) in the dark...in an audience.

      If billboard ads were profitable, you would see advertisers on several billboards in each town....and they would never come down.

      But your example of the barbeque place ad may actually generate a profit for the business. See? Now we can all be friends.
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      • Profile picture of the author Monetize
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        You said "So I know that billboards work.". But that's not true. You know that billboards are used. You know that people buy billboard ads. That's what you know, based on what you just said. And you suspect (probably correctly) that the barbeque billboard actually generates traffic and business. But that's not the majority of billboard ads.

        I know that, that billboard worked. On. Me.

        That's what I know.

        I also know that I don't like people telling me what I know.

        Because you have no way of knowing what I know, what I think or how I feel.

        But, we can still be friends. Because I have love for you

        Even when you are

        WRONG.

        If billboards didn't work, people wouldn't keep renting them.

        Another thing I know is that none of you billboard Einsteins had anything
        to add for a whole day, until after I responded to this thread.

        Why is that?
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        • Profile picture of the author max5ty
          Originally Posted by Monetize View Post

          I know that, that billboard worked. On. Me.

          That's what I know.

          I also know that I don't like people telling me what I know.

          Because you have no way of knowing what I know, what I think or how I feel.

          But, we can still be friends. Because I have love for you

          Even when you are

          WRONG.

          If billboards didn't work, people wouldn't keep renting them.

          Another thing I know is that none of you billboard Einsteins had anything
          to add for a whole day, until after I responded to this thread.

          Why is that?
          It's hard to argue with someone that is basing their argument on emotions.

          If you have any statistics to add it would be good.
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          • Profile picture of the author Monetize
            Originally Posted by Monetize View Post

            I have not used roadside billboards to advertise anything
            but I looked into this type of advertising years ago. The
            way it works is, you call the billboard company and they
            send you a rate sheet that tells you how many views a
            certain location receives and how much it costs. Prices
            vary depending on size, location, and duration.
            Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

            It's hard to argue with someone that is basing their argument on emotions.

            If you have any statistics to add it would be good.

            Cn u rd?

            I am not even making any argument.

            Common sense would tell you that if billboards did not
            work, that whole industry wouldn't exist and companies
            like Clear Channel wouldn't be in business.

            Why are you asking me for statistics?

            Go ask Google, ChatGPT or Gemini.
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by Monetize View Post

          I know that, that billboard worked. On. Me.

          That's what I know.
          Yes. That is a true statement.


          Originally Posted by Monetize View Post

          If billboards didn't work, people wouldn't keep renting them.
          No. If the advertisers tracked their ad results (almost nobody outside direst marketers do that), they wouldn't keep renting them. They keep renting the ad space because they don't track ad results. They don't even know that it's possible to track ad results....or even why you would want to do that.

          And, to be fair, This thread has shown me a few examples of these ads delivering.

          "World's biggest ball of string. 5 miles" is a good example. A few words, an impulse buy.

          But the vast vast majority of these advertisers will lose money on billboards.


          And whatever the OP is selling, this isn't the way.


          Oh, brand building. Not selling, but getting people familiar with the brand name....billboards can do that too.

          But on a list of 50 ways to advertise effectively, billboards are going to be off that list in all but a few cases.

          Originally Posted by Monetize View Post


          Billboards and other road signs also direct drivers to hotels,
          gas stations, stores, and various attractions.
          .
          Another example of billboards being used as signs, and they work. Sorry I missed that before.
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          • Profile picture of the author Monetize
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post


            No. If the advertisers tracked their ad results (almost nobody outside direst marketers do that), they wouldn't keep renting them.

            And, to be fair, This thread has shown me a few examples of these ads delivering.

            "World's biggest ball of string. 5 miles" is a good example. A few words, an impulse buy.

            But the vast vast majority of these advertisers will lose money on billboards.


            And whatever the OP is selling, this isn't the way.

            I think that advertisers lose money on a lot of methods.

            I also think that in this thread there may be some overlap
            between the purpose of advertising and lead generation,
            which, as you know, are two related but different things.

            Many businesses do try to track their ads effectiveness,
            that is why they frequently ask how you heard about or
            who referred you to them on printed (for example at the
            doctor's office) and online forms.
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  • Profile picture of the author 7amoudymh
    As per the answer of any other question I think that billboards are a good investment if you get the best location near your shop / office and only if you get a low-averege price quote, I do pay attention to bilboards when I'm in a vehicle only, but when I'm walking my eyes are definietly not attracted to any of them billboards
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    • Profile picture of the author Abdullahcpa
      I think it depends from people to people, me personally I don't really look at billboards with all your hype, personally I despise the way they are and could ruin many more scenaries when driving, so I say no, it's time to move on from giant billboards
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      • Profile picture of the author 7amoudymh
        Originally Posted by Abdullahcpa View Post

        I think it depends from people to people, me personally I don't really look at billboards with all your hype, personally I despise the way they are and could ruin many more scenaries when driving, so I say no, it's time to move on from giant billboards
        Well it definietly depends on the person especially if it has a big ego who wants to see him/herself on the big billboards and call it an achivement
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  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    I can pretty well guarantee that billboards won't be effective for OP.

    Why?

    Because if OP had done a marketing plan, identifying their prospects and where their prospects hang out, they would've answered their own question.

    As for things working because they've been used for years... I wrote an Ad a while back. When we tested my version against the Ad the business had been running for years, theirs got no response. They didn't know if it had ever been effective, because they didn't test. They didn't know how...
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    • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

      I can pretty well guarantee that billboards won't be effective for OP. Why? Because if OP had done a marketing plan, identifying their prospects and where their prospects hang out, they would've answered their own question.

      As for things working because they've been used for years... I wrote an Ad a while back. When we tested my version against the Ad the business had been running for years, theirs got no response. They didn't know if it had ever been effective, because they didn't test. They didn't know how...
      ^^^^Dan Kennedy, and Jay Abraham (and their students and Proteges) got rich, or at least made tons of moolah, by knowing what and how to test, and identifying prospects and using a THOUGHT OUT, researched marketing PLAN.

      Abraham wrote books on extracting profits from businesses being run by people who DIDN'T KNOW some basic, rudimentary marketing. Some in this thread could easily convert their marketing knowledge into a cash cow by HELPING these poor fools out...and it is an evergreen endless Parade of Ignorance starting new businesses without any idea of what they are doing. There you go.

      I think many of us can see the future failure of fellow Warriors by the questions they ask, and so many reveal how unprepared they are to be in business. Just my opinion.

      Thanks animal44, your hammer hit this thread nail on its head.

      GordonJ
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  • 2 kindsa bill:

    1) QUACK QUACK QUACK

    So you might wanna divert out here from your long term goal (eg TV kudos from wrestlin' Satan to death wearin' only ONE SHOE) to head CLOSE sumplace for immediate succor.

    2) SPESHLIST BEAK

    You gaht ishoos. You gaht famly. You gaht monay. You gaht health. You gaht life. All cyclic CONUNDRUM CONUNDRUM CONUNDRUM asya DRIVE an' DRIVE an' DRIVE.

    You lookin' for QUACK QUACK QUACK ... but you cain't find nuthin' noplace.

    3 years latah, you cool you purchased Product X or Service Y because you "heard they were kinda good."

    Flipside:

    To what extent can you say FOR SURE you have never been influenced TO ACT (even if it was simply to say GET LAAAAHST) by words and images strategically placed as part of your most significant journeys?

    Trip to the store may take 5 mins, but ovah the course of a lifetime that's plenty loyalty hours.

    So we gaht 2 questions:

    1) Why you see billboards evryplace if'n they don't do no good?

    2) Which ones work, an' which ones don't?

    Persnlly, I would wish to gaze upon a panorama less crammed with appeals to the haplessly moronic (from the kneejerk impulsive to the lifelong deloosional), but I guess that is parta the business of bein' a pernickety bitch.

    Which I love actschwlly manifestin' daily jus' so.

    & for Moi, there is a particulah BILL OF SERVICE.

    Of which I am not bored.

    Drive-by apathy demands ansas!

    * Views my own. Bcs why would they naht be -- less'n I CRAYZEE I been PUZZEST by sum DOOBIOUS EGYPTIAN SPIRIT CAT made me SEEM LIKE AN IDJIT?
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    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by Princess Balestra View Post

      2 kindsa bill:

      1) QUACK QUACK QUACK

      So you might wanna divert out here from your long term goal (eg TV kudos from wrestlin' Satan to death wearin' only ONE SHOE) to head CLOSE sumplace for immediate succor.

      2) SPESHLIST BEAK

      You gaht ishoos. You gaht famly. You gaht monay. You gaht health. You gaht life. All cyclic CONUNDRUM CONUNDRUM CONUNDRUM asya DRIVE an' DRIVE an' DRIVE.

      You lookin' for QUACK QUACK QUACK ... but you cain't find nuthin' noplace.

      3 years latah, you cool you purchased Product X or Service Y because you "heard they were kinda good."

      Flipside:

      To what extent can you say FOR SURE you have never been influenced TO ACT (even if it was simply to say GET LAAAAHST) by words and images strategically placed as part of your most significant journeys?

      Trip to the store may take 5 mins, but ovah the course of a lifetime that's plenty loyalty hours.

      So we gaht 2 questions:

      1) Why you see billboards evryplace if'n they don't do no good?

      2) Which ones work, an' which ones don't?

      Persnlly, I would wish to gaze upon a panorama less crammed with appeals to the haplessly moronic (from the kneejerk impulsive to the lifelong deloosional), but I guess that is parta the business of bein' a pernickety bitch.

      Which I love actschwlly manifestin' daily jus' so.

      & for Moi, there is a particulah BILL OF SERVICE.

      Of which I am not bored.

      Drive-by apathy demands ansas!

      * Views my own. Bcs why would they naht be -- less'n I CRAYZEE I been PUZZEST by sum DOOBIOUS EGYPTIAN SPIRIT CAT made me SEEM LIKE AN IDJIT?
      If they could figure out a way to beam that digital billboard ad right to the onscreen display in my SUV I might call Mary at State Farm for a fantastic quote
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  • Profile picture of the author Jamell
    If you could find away to integrate your bill board advertisement with social media it can work .

    You just have to be a bit creative and think outside of the box .
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  • Profile picture of the author liza9
    Billboards can still be effective in today's digital age, especially if strategically placed in high-traffic areas where they have the potential to grab the attention of your target audience
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  • Profile picture of the author deltahost
    There is no point in placing advertising billboards where there is no intense traffic, because the action is "indiscriminate"; also information about a product or service should be of interest to a wide range of people in traffic and not be of precise specialization
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