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Billboards – The Resurrection of the Mass Market

Billboards – The Resurrection of the Mass Market

Billboard Mass-Marketing Still Very Effective

In an ever increasingly specialized world, the opportunities to reach a large, diverse market have become more limited. Over the last decade, Americans have become used to being able to make very specific choices in their media. We’re used to being able to choose from a wide variety of TV shows, news programs and music. Our choices are progressively more “personalized” with opportunities to shape our experience based on our own schedules. Our choices have created a complex, fractured market.

Personalization Through Technology

Increases in technology have created a more tailored customer experience. Cable and satellite TV networks have spawned numerous topic-driven channels designed for small but active markets. News channels are geared to radically different political audiences. Radio, which was once a nearly universal media, has become segmented through an increased number of musical genres, additional satellite stations and websites like Pandora. Even online searches on Google are becoming progressively more targeted for individuals based on a user’s preferences and search history.

Individualized experience has become a core marketing value, and it is something that we as a nation have come to expect. Our focus has been narrowed. We do not simply want to know the price a certain insurance policy; we want to know the multiple different options and the one that is fit for my family and my environment.

Mass VS Micro Market

The upshot of specialization from the marketing perspective is that companies have more detailed data on their consumers than ever before, and it’s not difficult to isolate an unbelievably detailed profile of an ideal consumer. Consider Facebook ads which can be targeted by miniscule factors including favorite movies and bands.

The flipside is that reaching a truly diverse mass-market has become incredibly challenging. There are fewer and fewer mediums that unite the nation as a whole. Divisions have never been as prevalent in media as they are now. If your practice covers a wide-range of services or needs a high volume of clients, than your firm may be hard-pressed to find affordable opportunities to reach out to the wider population. Leaving you and your team scratching your heads and wondering, “How do we reach everyone in our area?”

Return to Billboard

In light of these marketing trends, there has been a renewed commitment to billboard advertising. Billboards are being considered the last vestige of true mass-marketing media in America. Large outdoor advertisements are seeing resurgence as marketers return to the mass-market model.

What Do We Still Have in Common?

billboard adCommute times and the number of drivers on the road continue to go up while other factors, like the readership in local newspapers, plummet. As a population we are united in our morning commutes and reverse commutes. Gridlock binds us together as one congealed blob of frustrated humanity. On public highways and urban toll ways we are all exposed to the same messaging through billboards.

It provides advertisers the now unique opportunity of sending everyone the same message at once. Even if in our cars there are dozens of different radio stations playing everything from mainstream FM stations to personalized Pandora playlists – the visual impact of a billboard remains consistent and powerful across every waiting vehicle.

Do You Need A Mass Market Approach?

Billboards are an essential advertising tool for practices that need a wider audience or that are looking to grow. Research billboards in your area to find out how many people will be looking at an outdoor advertisement at that location. Try to reach as many people as possible for as long as possible. Strangely enough, this is the one time where gridlock is actually something to look forward to.

More affordable than they have been in the past, a well-designed billboard can produce a large number of cases with a good Return On Investment (ROI.)

Make it Count

Don’t forget that a major factor in ROI is how well conceived a billboard is. Choices made in imagery, font, font size, message length and memorability can make or break a billboard ad campaign. While it may seem obvious, short messaging with easy-to-read large type fonts is a must for billboards and your branding.

Memorability is too often a concept advertisers approach from purely a visual perspective. They ask themselves, “What image will make this billboard pop? What can we do that is creative and looks unforgettable?” In their enthusiasm, law firm marketers fail to remember the importance of memorable contact information and messaging.

outdoor lawyer adA vanity number is one of the most effective ways to maximize the ROI of a billboard campaign. Couple with an eye-catching design with a number that makes an equally compelling impression. Numeric phone numbers are difficult to remember after a quick exposure. Drivers who pass a billboard at high speeds will not have much time to taken in the information. A vanity number creates a stronger foundation for branding and helps the potential client remember your firm.

Stay Personal Even With a Large Crowd

A big campaign that reaches a whole population does not have to be so generic that it is impersonal or dull. The key is to imbue mass market ads with a law firm’s strong commitment to their clients and their passion for justice.

Introduce the “iClient” Experience At the Right Stage

A time proven strategy for law firms is to use mass market advertising to cast a wider net for potential clients. After a new client hires a law firm, attorneys can use one-on-one relationships to develop a “customized” experience for the client. The individual doesn’t get lost in the mass market model; he or she still receives that level of service but at a different stage in the process. The end game is a law firm that has created an environment where they have a large, diverse group of clients while simultaneously having clients who feel they have a uniquely personal connection to the firm.

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