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Billboard Rentals: The Issues With Targeting The Right Audience

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Advertising agencies often tout billboard rentals as an idea for local reach for brands. This claim is sits on the argument that billboards offer high visibility for ads. However, we will show in this article that it is not easy to target the right audience using this medium.

Is it possible for billboard rentals to achieve exact audience targeting?

Exact audience targeting is the bane of advertisers. It means the difference between active business and exiting the market. Over the years, advertising agencies have struggled to ensure that ad campaigns produce the highest conversion rates. Often, the more exact the audience targeting, the higher the conversion rates.
Nevertheless, it is not easy to pinpoint the specific consumer section that you would wish when using billboard rentals. For example, if an advertiser places a billboard at the side of a highway that passes 10,000 people in a week, at least 90% of the people will see the billboard. However, not all the eyeballs will be interested in the product or service that you are selling. Also, another huge percentage of the people might have glanced at the billboard, seen it, but could not understand the message because they did not want to lose focus of the road.
Further, there is a section of the population that views billboards as visual pollution. Cities like Sao Paulo in Brazil instituted bans against billboards on account of visual pollution. Even if the consumers would be interested in whatever you were offering, their loathing of billboards is sure to turn them off completely.

Price of Billboards

There are factors that influence the high costs. Besides the cost of installing a billboard, advertisers may end up paying maintenance costs. This may eventually push the trues cost of billboard rental to unsustainable levels.
Effective media should enable a clear way to track number of impressions.  Traditional OOH advertising as billboards display lack of targeting and tracking possibilities. The fact that many highway drivers cannot focus on the ad message generate a  low engagement with the target audience.  The costs of billboards depend on format, circulation, demographics, and impressions. Traditional billboards have high costs, low ROI cost varies $14,000-20,000/month in larger markets.  Some cities imposed a ban of billboards due to visual pollution. Unconventional agencies provide alternatives to the targeting issues with approaches as mobile billboards, digital OOH, ads on trucks and other ads in places people don’t expect to see as flags, backpacks, inflatable objects, gas pump and balloons.

Billboard ads target too broadly

According to figures by eMarketer, digital ad spending in the US will surpass traditional mediums like billboard rental by the end of 2019. Notably, an estimated 54.2% of the total US ad spending will go to digital platforms. Why is the trend going that way? First, digital platforms like Google and Facebook can easily categorize their users into specific demographics hence making it easy to target precise consumers. Secondly, advertisers can easily track the impact of ad campaigns via digital platforms.
On the other hand, billboard rentals targets its ads too broadly. In particular, there is no assurance that ads at the airport will reach people who are interested in premium ties. What if more than half of the travelers for the period of your ad are females? The thing is, the accuracy of billboards is minuscule compared to mediums like in-the-hand marketing. As such, one cannot rely on billboards to drive up product sales in a way an ad campaign on Facebook would.

Fortuitously, in-the-hand marketing offers the best alternative for advertisers that want accurate audience targeting. This marketing technique enables advertisers to deliver their ads straight into the view or palms of the target audience. For example, assume that you want to open a laundromat and you hope to serve a certain estate. What you will do is to get door hangers and print your message and logo on them. Then, deliver the door hangers to the target homesteads. Within a few hours, you will get calls demanding your services. Here, the secret is that in-the-hand marketing tactics are hard to ignore. Further, the conspicuousness of the ads make them more engaging.

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