Are Billboards the best use of your advertising dollars?

Most mornings I try and grab a cup of coffee at a local café. It’s not that their coffee is so tasty, but it’s a good excuse to drive around a bit. Lately I’ve been seeing a series of Billboards purchased by a local company. I’ll change the name of the business to Bob’s Roofing for the sake of anonymity.

Bob has purchased at least 3 billboards around the Tucson area. I’m reasonably sure he has more, but I’ve seen three billboards personally so I’ll stick with that number. They’re fine billboards; the color scheme is limited to just two colors, with a big logo and telephone number. In our market each of these billboards rents for about $3,000 per location, per month. I’m using nice round numbers for the sake of this article, but that’s what I used to pay for a billboard when I purchased traditional advertising many years ago.

So Bob is spending at least $9,000 on billboards. Let’s consider the effectiveness of the billboard in Bob’s situation. Salesmen like to remind media buyers of all the eyeballs or impressions a billboard will receive. For instance if you’re on a busy road you might easily have 10,000 people see your billboard in a single day. However, let’s consider the product Bob is selling. Generally speaking you need to be a home owner to consider a service like roofing. That eliminates roughly 40% of the entire traffic from even being able to purchase your service. So now we’re down to 6,000 people a day that can even use his service. Out of 6,000 home-owners, how many of those are thinking about their home repairs during their commute? Out of those folks thinking about home repair, how many need roofing? Out of the few people that need roofing, how many are going to remember Bob’s billboard when they get home after work?

You need to understand the purchasing cycle of the customer. Search advertising is so powerful because it specifically focuses on customers looking for your type of service or product. When someone is searching for ‘roofing’ they are presented with your advertisement. It then becomes a helpful ad, solving the customers’ problem. Your advertisement is perceived as a solution to their problem, rather than an intrusive piece of advertising.

Would search advertising be a better investment for you?