Billboard Rentals: The Issues With Targeting The Right Audience
Coronavirus and the Outdoor Advertising Industry
As the economic impact of COVID-19 continues to unfold, brands and agencies need to keep a up to date with the changing consumer behaviors and ensure they are prepared for any outcomes and find new opportunities. Marketers will have to change their strategies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 is now a major focus since advertisers are researching better alternatives to keep their clients. Traditional out-of-home advertising methods such as billboards, bus stops, fliers, magazines, and transit posters will have a hard time finding their feet in the long run.
A survey conducted by the platform Numerator indicated many industries are shifting their messaging to in-home delivery. As example, restaurants are pivoting to food delivery message. The increased “work from home” periods will force the shift of advertising concepts. Numerator reported that Burger King and Little Caesars are even advertising new delivery options available in their stores.
Adzze has been adapting the advertising vehicles to a more sensitive message. The team has working on extending its capabilities to offer advertising vehicles that can reach the consumers at their safest place: at home. One of these concepts uses pizza boxes as advertising space. Think of this as small moving billboard that gets delivered at the consumer’s home. Studies demonstrated that this type of ads can evoke an 80% recall rate (8 out of 10 households individuals remember to see an ad on the pizza box) with an average ROI of 150%. This means, for every 1 dollar the advertiser invested in a pizza box advertising campaign, they received at least additional 2.5 dollars of sales. For more details see the article Estimating the ROI of Pizza Box Marketing.
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.
Billboards companies need to re-thing the strategy
Billboards will not be an attractive advertising method. Blank billboards and cancelled digital ads across the country and many parts of the globe is a strong pointer to how the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world today has impacted sign advertising. The devastating effects of the pandemic on human lives could almost be likened to how terribly it has also dealt with businesses around the world. Some out-of-home advertising firms have withdrawn their earnings projections for the year as a result of market uncertainties at the moment. A good number of businesses that will survive the pandemic will most likely have to struggle to find their footing again. Reports also say that digital ad giants, Facebook and Google have also had their shares of the downturn. Even Coca-Cola has soft-pedaled its marketing drives.
Most digital ads creation companies have put a temporary stop on ads creation. A reasonable overview of the current crisis wrought by the COVID-19 spread shows that making new ad videos may just end up as a waste of time and money for the ad shoot companies as well as it is for the owners of the business. In the coming weeks, ad buyers in the USA will tilt towards new advertising ideas the more. All methods of advertising that serve as workable alternatives to OOH advertising will shine as saviors. And they’ll shine the more if they provide equally satisfying results for the clients.
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.