Should I Spend Money on Outdoor Advertising?

Who doesn’t want to see their name in lights? There is nothing like an alluring marquee to catch our attention—and our imagination. The same can be said for the value of a well-placed, well-executed outdoor ad. Should your business invest in this highly effective form of advertising?

It all starts with the type of company. If you are a business-to-business seller of items that enhance another company’s product, then a billboard campaign is not as targeted or cost-efficient as other media. However, if you are a business-to-consumer organization with broad-market appeal, an outdoor campaign could make sense.

You want to be where customers are—which is increasingly in their cars on the way to work or leisure activities. On average, 70% of consumers’ time is spent outside the home.* We are a nation constantly on the move, and it makes sense to position a product or service where people will see it most.

The strategic and timely appearance of an outdoor influencer can be powerful. For example, the positioning of a heating and cooling company’s reminder to schedule an inspection prior to seasonal changes yields significant inquiries and increases sales. Other campaigns raise awareness for a cause or promote an event in a way that cannot be turned off or clicked away to go to another site.

Historically, outdoor advertising is one of the lowest-priced media. With an average cost per thousand of $5.22, this venue out-performs other forms of traditional media by a substantial margin.**

Lest you think that out-of-home advertising is only billboards and hasn’t changed for decades, consider the impact that digital signage, kiosk messaging, transit, mobile truck, and even building illumination has on tens of thousands of people every day. Often, the most unusual marketing tool cuts through the clutter of ads we see each day. Outdoor advertising is one of the best at making this happen.

That’s all for now—I just saw the mobile barbecue truck drive by, and boy am I hungry!

* Sources: Universal McCann, 2010 Total Media Spending; TVB, Nielsen Media Research Survey 2008, % Hours/Week

**Source: OAAA, 2011