Advertisers are the life’s blood of your billboard investment, yet too many sign owners take them for granted after the sale. In this Billboard Mastery podcast we’re going to review the methods smart sign owners use to make the advertise feel properly appreciated each and every day so they are more likely to renew when their lease comes up, and to feel they have a good value when they write that monthly check.
Episode 29: Reinforcement After The Sale Transcript
A happy advertiser is one who pays on time, a happy advertiser is someone who renews over and over again, a happy advertiser is someone who tells other businesses, yes, this sign works for me. I recommend that you get one too. But how do we make sure that an advertiser after you put them on your sign remains happy? This is Frank Rolfe, the Billboard Mastery podcast, we're going to be talking all about reinforcement after the sale, affirming to the advertiser that they made the right decision day in and day out. So how do you do that? How do you make an advertiser feel that they made a good choice? After reading the sign from you? Well, here are some thoughts. Number one, make sure that their phone rings, make sure that the customers come in. Because the happiest advertiser on a billboard is one where they get constant feedback from customers. that people are seeing the ad and they're coming in and buying their merchandise they're coming in and buying their services. How do you do that, make sure you only create and install great ads. Often the advertiser is looking to you as the professional help guide them and putting together the correct ad. Don't let them down. You see, sometimes the advertiser has no clue what they're doing. And you can sometimes get lazy and produce an ad that they will agree to. But that clearly should never be put up. What are those ads look like? You I know you've seen them? words that are too small, too many words. Terrible graphics, very poor color choice. All the things that you do when you drive by assignment, say, oh, gosh, that's a terrible looking Billboard. Sometimes if you get lazy, that's what you end up doing. The advertiser tells you Well, I want to put 75 words on the sign rather than fight them and say, No, no, that's too many. Let's see if we can narrow that down. And you say, Well, okay, if that's what you want. Then you go to the designer to have them put the ad together. And they say, Oh, this sign is terrible. This is a terrible ad. And you say, well, that's what the advertiser wanted. So well, what the heck. So what then happens? You put up the terrible ad. And of course, they get no feedback at all. No one comes by No one calls. However, they do get some feedback all their friends and neighbors say man, your billboards terrible. It's the worst looking billboard I ever saw. Who in the world have ever been dominant, put that up. Now you think you have a happy customer now? Customers not happy? What happens when the customer is not happy? They don't pay. They don't renew. They don't say good things not good. So rule number one is make sure that the ad that you install is great, that you truly believe that that ad will work for the advertiser. Number two, is not a bad idea to give the advertiser a little miniature sign, little miniature of their available on a little stand, you can find these online to buy. They come in a metal variety, plastic variety. I know you've seen them. You typically see them on the bookshelves or many advertisers go in any McDonald's franchisees office, there is that little mini billboard? Why do people do that? Well, because if you can get the advertiser to start feeling proud of that sign, at some point in the movie, they start thinking of that sign as being just an extension of their business. No one does that with magazine ads, newspaper ads, online ads, they come they go, no big deal. But for some reason, businesses can start to feel that that physical sign that's there day in day out, becomes an important part of their business of their psyche. When you have the little miniature side and they see it all the time, they start to think, Oh gosh, when it comes up for renewal, I don't want to lose that. If I lose that then hack might really damage my business. I better just keep it going. I was called at an advertiser. It was assigned to interstate 30 between Dallas and Fort Worth. And it was for Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. And the billboard read Carlsbad Caverns. You turn go back, I think it was for 600 miles. That made absolutely no sense. Why would anyone put a billboard up that says Carlsbad Caverns you turn go back, like 600 miles?
totally inappropriate. Why would you get assigned at least going in the same direction of your business? So I called Carlsbad Caverns To say, hey, you want to move that ad over to my billboard, I could do it cheaper than what you're paying. And I got ahold of the marketing department and I said, hey, I've got a sign across the street. And they said, No, no, no, you understand? The guy that owns Carlsbad Caverns. He thinks of that side as being just something that we can't ever touch. We got to keep it. So he'd become so accustomed to that sign being an extension of Carlsbad Caverns, that he didn't matter what you had to offer where your site was, gosh, darn it, he was going to renew that same sign, year after year after year. Why? because he'd always done it. And that's a great position to be in if you are the billboard company. Finally, if you want to have a happy advertiser who pays and does everything else, you've got to make sure that their lights work, you've got to make sure that the ad is intact. Because here's the problem. They don't see their billboard very frequently. Some of these advertisers unless they live in that direction, and pass by the sign, go into their business, going home each day. They're never going to drive by hardly ever. And when they do in that rare occurrence, when they one day say, hey, let's go drive by that Billboard. Or they say, oh, okay, let's go to the mall. And we just happens when you go to the mall to go by the Billboard. If they go by that billboard, and they're advertising vinyl has been ripped, or the lightbulb is out, then they're no longer going to be a happy customer. That is a very much number one way you can lose a customer after the sale is for them to start having suspicions that you're not maintaining the billboard, you see that the problem is they have to drive it all the time to check on it that infuriates them all that extra driving to go check on the sign, they think, man, you think for the man I'm paying, I get better service than that. And they no longer really trust the relationship. So how do you save that? Well, you need to periodically, probably at least once a month, go out and make sure those lights are turned on. Now there's two ways you can fail this number one if a light bulb goes out, the other is that the time clock itself goes out, and the lights don't come on at all. Or you you fail to reset them for daylight savings time. So you need to make sure that all those light bulbs are on and that your sign is on at night. As far as damage to the vinyl. If you see in the news on the weather map, an extreme storm is occurred near that sign even if it's the day after you drove it to check the lights and lights are working perfectly. You need to go out and check it to make sure it wasn't damaged in the storm. Now, that's a lot of driving you I say that's a big pain in the rear. So here's another idea for you find a business it's located near to the sign when that you can see the sign read out the window. Preferably might be a Burger King might be a gas station, get the phone number for that business. And after the storm, you can call immediately that Burger King and say can you look out the window and see if my billboard is still standing as a favor, they'll do that they won't even charge you for it. That way you can move quickly swiftly to check on every sign without having to physically jump in your car and go. The bottom line to at all is we've all got to keep advertisers happy. Nothing good comes from the billboard business when the advertiser does not feel they're getting their money's worth, or when they start to lose trust in your abilities as the sign company. Particularly if they start losing trust that the ad itself is even bringing in any customers or even paying for itself. If you want to reinforce after the sale, and perpetuate the happiness of the advertiser, it takes some strategy. It takes some effort, but it's all worth it. This is Frank Rolfe Billboard Mastery podcast. Hope you enjoyed this. Talk to you again soon.