Outdoor Advertising Media PlanningOutside Contributor
Some of the most effective advertising your landscape business engages in involves the outdoor advertising you accomplish with your truck fleet, yard signs and more.
Putting together your business plan and advertising budget, it can be helpful to have some data points to aid in making decisions about how much money you want to invest in out of home advertising expenditures.
Like any other investment, or expense, in your business, you will want to measure the effectiveness.
To determine how effective outdoor advertising can be, and how it may operate with other elements of your marketing and advertising budget, we set out to do a little bit of research to help get you some answers. Like any industry there are professional trade associations, where you can get some useful information. So yes, there really is an Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA).
With some digging, we found some great resources on the OAAA to take into consideration. In the information from the OAAA you will want to refer to the category of Out of Home (OOH) Advertising.
Out of home or outdoor advertising can be a very effective part of your advertising media mix. Media categories in the marketing mix might be broken down into the following categories:
- Out of Home Advertising
- Cable and TV
- Direct Mail
Depending on the size of your advertising budget, your media mix may be just one or two of these areas, and the Out of Home Advertising category is probably one of the most cost effective ways to advertise. As your business grows, you will want to find ways to combine these different medias to create a media mix that will help your business grow.
Whether your business is targeting other businesses, or consumers, both will benefit from out of home advertising, because you want your business to be noticed on the job site and on the road. While the Outdoor Advertising Association resource page did not necessarily break down the direct benefit of truck advertising and yard signs, you will notice that outdoor advertising is among the most cost effective advertising categories you can use in a marketing mix on a cost per thousand (CPM) basis.
As with any advertising and marketing campaign, when you combine them together you can expect greater results. For example, adding telemarketing to a direct mail campaign increases response rates. You can see on this chart, how out of home – outdoor – advertising improves your media mix for your advertising and marketing campaigns.
Trucks and job site signs are great advertising opportunities. Now, take into consideration how you can connect this type advertising to other parts of your media budget. Citing a study by Arbitron, the OAAA claims that outdoor advertising is more effective at stimulating subsequent online interaction than TV, Print, Radio and Newspapers/Magazines. Even if you only have a very simple website, this type of outdoor advertising can help you maximize some of the work you might put into improving the local SEO of your website and your Facebook page.
The Arbitron InCar Study provides a number of data points on the effectiveness of outdoor advertising, 38 percent of those surveyed noticed taxi-cab advertisements in the past seven days. 2 This might be the closest point of data that suggests how many people on the road might be viewing your advertising. Both the Aribtron study and the OAAA resources pages emphasize that your trucks on the road provide you a captive audience.
When designing your outdoor advertising take into consideration all of the other call to action elements you would want to include. For example, you will want to include your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), your phone number, email and more. But here is where you will probably need to do a good job selecting the right vendor to help you out, because your custom truck wrap, yard sign and more can become less effective if it doesn’t quickly convey the right message.
It would be very easy to clutter your message with too many different call to actions. Keep in mind how the world is changing fast in regards to how many American adults now use cell phones, when considering what call to action elements you are including. The PEW Research center shares a very in depth study of current smart phone usage in the US,1 which shows how dramatically smart phone usage has spread across the population. For example, PEW reports that “67% use their phone to share pictures, videos, or commentary about events happening in their community, with 35% doing so frequently.” 1
As you move forward with your advertising and marketing plans, keep in mind many of these additional benefits you may achieve with an effective out of home – outdoor – advertising programs.
- Build credibility – whether you have one truck or five trucks, effectively marketing your business using your trucks will give your business the look and feel of one of the larger companies in town, and or like one of leading franchise operations.
- You are marketing in your key target markets – Your vehicles are on the highways, job sites and neighborhoods where you want to expand your market share. Depending on the size of your market and the distant traveled you are putting your business in front of prospects you might not normally be able to reach.
- Getting yourself involved earlier in the customer’s decision making process – Many of your next customers are already gathering information about the products they want and the professional contractors they might choose. By combining your outdoor media with your social media, website and phone number you are increasing the amount of prospects in your sales pipeline.
Outdoor media advertising planning can also benefit by reviewing how other media elements such as Radio, TV and Print are being utilized.
1September 18th, 2015, US Smart Phone Use 2015, PEW Research Center.
2September 21st, 2015, The Arbitron National In-Car Study, 2009.