This past weekend I took a trip to Louisville with Rachel to experience some of the sights and sounds. On  the drive back I started noticing some things that made me start to contemplate different types of marketing.

When we passed cities on the freeway… there were plenty of billboards announcing everything from a hospital to your local fast food chain. Some of the billboards made complete sense and others did not. There are really two types of billboards that make sense to me in the marketing realm:

1. Local Services – This billboard is announcing either a gas station, hotel chain, and restaurant that is available for the local consumer to frequent while driving by the exit on the freeway.

2. Entertainment – You experience this type of billboard while driving past cities that have entertainment value like casino or museum of interest.

They made complete sense to me. If you have a billboard and your restaurant is off the exit… why not advertise that a driver could eat at your establishment. Same goes for entertainment… makes sense right? Maybe?

The billboards that make no sense  are the ones that are for brand value only. Why would you be spending that much money on something just for an intangible brand value?

Are you measuring anything from that billboard? Probably not. This is a huge problem… and it is time to change. NOW.

Let’s talk about the spend.

An average spend for a monthly billboard is said to be around $3000 – $5000 per month if you buying advertising on a major highway. Let’s look at Facebook advertising at that amount.

This is an example of a daily Facebook ad campaign:

For those of you not in the Facebook game. You can buy ads on Facebook that will direct market to any segment, age, demographic, or user information you can possibly think of… any user segment. If you want to market to divorced women within a ten mile radius of a certain zip code… you can do it. Did I mention you only pay-per-click?

There was an ad spend of $305.20 over the course of a week which garnered 785,000 impressions of unique niche individuals and 987 clicks.

When you are buying a billboard the salesmen usually tries to sell you on the amount of eyeballs that will be driving past your billboard. The amount of eyeballs? If you are not measuring the amount of eyeballs that actually result in some type of ACTION it is a terrible spend in the marketing world.

Let’s look at what a $3000 a month spend on Facebook would get you in clicks and impressions assuming you are spending $100 a day. $100 a day will gain (on average) 250,000 impressions if you are using Facebook ad campaign the right way.

250,000 impressions x 30 days = 7,500,000 impressions
394 clicks x 30 days = 11,820 clicks

Let me be clear… this is niche marketing. We are marketing a message to individuals based on their needs, wants, and desires not because they are driving a vehicle.

Even if your clientele is not using Facebook wouldn’t you think an integrated strategy with email and direct mail (that is measured) is a better spend than a billboard?

Integrated marketing is not about finding multiple channels to deliver one message but finding multiple aspirational, generational, transactional, and psychological aspects of each consumer AND THEN finding the tool that will best deliver that… unique message.

Or.. you can keep marketing to drivers.