Should you spend up big on digital billboards?

Video Transcript

You may have noticed the explosion of digital billboards around town lately. A couple of big ones fixed permanently to some buildings, a couple of other mobile ones, that move around. They’re popping up everywhere. Good thing, bad thing? Let’s have a talk about that.

Hi, I’m Jason Foss. I was driving across town the other day and I saw the new curved billboard up over in the city and I noticed the price that they’d advertised on this new billboard here.

From $107 per day, and that got me thinking.

From $107 a day, I mean like that’s entry level, now I haven’t looked or gone any further, I don’t know whether that means reduced rotation, I don’t know whether it means that you have to sign a long-term contract, I don’t know what that means but from $107 a day I mean that’s your basic entry level starting point. So if we’re to round that off to that’s approaching $1000 a week.

$1000 a week for something that somebody may or may not notice, sure they’re in good positions but how much attention do you pay to them really?

Are they any better than running an ad in the newspaper that people may or may not notice depending on what they’re thinking about at the time?

Is it any better than display ads on websites when you read the news you see these banner ads and display ads around the place that let’s face it most of the time you don’t notice?

It seems like an awful lot of money for no direct outcome. Now if you’re Coca-Cola and you can afford to spend that kind of cash on branding and awareness, fantastic. There’s no doubt that the more times that people see your business name around the more familiar they become with it and over time they’re probably more inclined to do business with you when the time comes.

But branding and awareness campaigns like that are really expensive, like if you ask Coca-Cola or Harvey Norman how much they spend on those sorts of branding and awareness campaigns they don’t come cheap, you’ve really got to be everywhere all of the time for those sorts of things to work properly.

So if you’re going to spend close to $1000 a week on those sorts of billboard campaigns, how does that fit into your overall marketing strategy. Like what is that designed to do, at what point in time does that turn into cash in your cash register.

I wonder if sometimes these are more for vanity than anything else, you know if you’re driving along and you see your ad up there you go ‘Oh wow look it’s really big and my names up in lights.’ It’s possibly more about making you feel good about things than generating sales, revenue, income, whatever it is that you’re trying to do.

The other thing to consider is the proliferation of them. It seems that everywhere you drive these days there’s a digital billboard somewhere on the side of the road cycling through peoples logos. The more that we see, the less of an impact they’re going to have, you know has the novelty period worn out for them yet? Is the honeymoon period over, do they still have the impact that they once did or are people just starting to get used to them now.

If people are starting to get used to them then $1000 a week seems like an awful lot.

As I said if you’ve got that kind of money budgeted in for branding and awareness, because that leads to other things further down the sales funnel, that’s fantastic. But I think most of us probably don’t have those sorts of budgets so just be really careful before you start sticking your logo on a digital billboard at the side of the road thinking you’re doing marketing. You might just be doing that to make yourself feel better.

Every use case is different of course so if you have had a lot of success with these things leave some comments, I’d love to hear some stories.

I’m Jason Foss, thanks for watching.

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