The Famous Chikin-Lovin’ Cowz
We’re Chick-Fil-A fans at our office. The great service, the clean stores, the nuggets, sandwiches, salads, frosted coffee, cookies; we like it all. We were intrigued to discover via Billboard Insider that the fast-food big-hitter began as a mall-based fast-food chain.
According to Billboard Insider, when the company started opening stand alone stores, they turned to outdoor advertising to maximize their limited advertising budget. They were among the first to capitalize on three-dimensional billboards.
The first ad campaigns featuring a rubber chicken didn’t take off.
Then one day, an art director saw workers pasting a new billboard ad. He wondered what would happen if they took a break midway through the job…leaving the ad unfinished. The idea kept running from there, with the workers becoming cows and the cows pleading with people to eat more chicken. Sound familiar?
The Chick-Fil-A cows have gone on to make a splash – from their debut at the Houston Astro’s stadium in 2006 to starring in their own calendars. If you’re lucky, you’ll see them mingling with guests at the store, posing for pictures and sitting down at the table with you.
In 2012, Chick-Fil-A became the #1 fast-food chain in terms of sales per store, reaching $3.1 million per location. The next year, they surpassed KFC in sales, despite having a smaller ad budget and closing on Sundays.
We really enjoyed reading this case study, and we take away these lessons:
Creative, well-designed billboard advertising can make a great impact
Compared to TV and radio, billboard advertising is an affordable option
If your first campaign doesn’t take off, don’t be discouraged! Try again until the great “big idea” really takes off
Let an advertising professional assist you with your campaign. You’re best at running your business. They’re best at advertising for you.
Oh, and make sure you go get some Chick-Fil-A if you were struck with a sudden craving after reading this article.
You can also read about the time we used animals for advertising as well.
Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Billboard Ad?
by Sindy Hankins
At Roland, we’re always looking for ways to serve our customers to the highest possible standards. In order to help your business grow even more, we will be implementing some new billboard ad guidelines. These will help your ads have the most impact and return.
The best part is, there is nothing you need to do on your end! Our designers will be making targeted suggestions and recommendations – all you have to do is approve the creative.
Did I mention that people are still looking at billboard ads? A recent report by Nielsen showed:
I believe these stats because my husband saw a billboard ad for a Pebble smartwatch, Googled it, and after doing some more research ended up buying one. Since then, he’s bought a second watch and I’m on the market for one as well. People are looking, and people are buying. Hooray!
Here are our “Best Ad” guidelines for your ads:
Use 7 words or less in your main headline – use large, bold type and an easy-to-read font
Choose a simple image that conveys your message clearly
Be careful with color combinations; contrasting colors win
Don’t overdo the contact info – just add what people need to find you on the internet
That’s it! How are your ads doing? You can download our “Best Ad” guidelines here.
If your phone isn’t ringing off the hook right away, don’t be discouraged. Billboards are a fantastic advertising tool but depending on your industry, it will take some time for your message to take root. It took my husband a year to really commit to the idea of purchasing his new favorite watch…BUT he’s now a loyal customer (he’s on his second watch), brand promoter, and I’m in the market for one as well.
You can use your billboard ads for branding, announcing products, services, events; and for drawing people in and redirecting them to more information – via a website or social media page – to learn more about you.
In the meantime, not sure where to start on creating an awesome billboard ad campaign? Let us help! You know your business best, but it’s our business to know how to advertise for you. See more tips here.
Want to optimize your ads? We’re happy to help, get in touch today…
New Product: Dynamic Animal Advertising
We’re excited to launch our newest product line – Dynamic Animal Advertising!
Working with local farmers and animal shelters, we’ve designed a program that utilizes animals with the right demeanor to help advertise local business.
“We put an animal through several personality tests to make sure they’ll succeed,” says Dave Roland. “We want to make sure they won’t rip the signs off, eat them, or otherwise vandalize the look. They also need to be friendly and have a natural advertising mindset.”
It’s green, it’s organic, and it’s a great way to catch a customer’s attention.
Here are some options –
Traditional, easy to read, larger print for easy viewing –
A more rustic, action-oriented look, great for events (particularly petting zoos) –
You might want to try something a little more exotic, but still familiar –
And of course, a classic crowd favorite for Dynamic Animal Advertising – perfect for community events and gatherings –
Contact us for pricing and availability – our prices include animal boarding, feed, clean-up, grooming, custom sign design, and a certified handler for certain events.
These spots are limited and will go quickly, get in touch soon.
Oh, one last thing: Happy April Fools!! 🙂
It’s Spring: Is Your Business Ready to Bloom?
It’s hard to believe, but we’re officially in the last month of the first quarter…and spring is right around the corner. Going into a new season and a new quarter, do you have a clear marketing and advertising plan? Do you have goals set on how you would like to grow or engage your customer base for the rest of the year?
Maybe you are at a great but scary place in business where you need to invest more resources to continue growing. Maybe you are happy with where you are and want to work on solidifying relationships with current customers. Either way, you must plan and act accordingly.
First, determine who your ideal customer is or who you’d like it to be. Once you know this key piece of information, it will be easier to tailor your products, services, and advertising efforts.
If you’re trying to create more visibility for your brand, advertising mediums like strategically designed and placed billboards and sponsored posts on social media are useful. Draw people in with great service and valuable introductory deals that will make them want to return. Provide useful content on your website that positions your company as an expert in your field. Attend local events and meetings and get involved with the community. Always make sure you have a clear brand identity with a logo, tagline, and consistent colors and appearance.
Creating additional value for existing customers is also important; retaining these folks is just as important (if not more important) than recruiting brand new buyers. Reward your best customers with special deals and communicate with them regularly. Understand and know what they like and listen to their frustrations so you can handle them accordingly. Make them feel included in your business, because after all – they are the ones that keep the business running.
These are some general starting points to think about. Remember,
- Who are you marketing to and what do they like/dislike?
- What are your marketing and advertising goals as we close out the first quarter of the year?
- What are some things you can do to build your brand and attract new customers?
- What are things you can do to take care of and retain your existing customers?
Best of luck to you as we “march” into spring and beyond. We always love to hear from you if you have questions or comments!
Who Should I Advertise To?
One of the challenges many small business owners face is creating fresh, effective advertising that is relevant to their company. One solution that can help navigate this difficulty is figuring out who your target market, or ideal customer is.
You may think, “I want to get my product or service to as many people as possible – my ideal customer is everyone.” However, chances are there is a certain segment or type of person that your product appeals to and is more likely to purchase. These are the individuals you want to focus more of your marketing efforts on.
Defining an ideal customer can be difficult, but once you get a feel for who they are, you can target your marketing and advertising efforts more effectively. Below, we’ll list a few ways you can start finding and catering to your ideal customer:
Think about your current customers.
Who are your long-standing customers who you have a great relationship with? Who are the types of people that seem to fit best with your company?Anything in common amongst the people you have coming in the door? Peruse your current customer list and think about characteristics they have in common.
Write down a list of common or desired traits as it pertains to your business.
What is the age range? Income level? Gender? What are their challenges and frustrations (this can be just as important as their likes)? Are they employed? Are they a business owner? What are specific personality traits they might have? What does their personal life look like? Depending on your business, ask the right questions you need to know and compile a list of what the answers would be for your ideal customer. If you have different types of customers that use your product, create this list for all of the different customer segments you would serve.
Understand how and where they spend time and make purchasing decisions.
Once you have a better understanding of who your ideal customer is, think about where they spend time and how they consume information and make purchasing decisions – both online and offline.
Collect data and gather information.
Writing down thoughts and observations can be useful, but nothing beats collecting data and gathering information from the source. Run reports on your current customer data to extract similarities and trends. Send out a survey or hold a focus group and analyze the results; provide an incentive for people to participate.
Create an ideal customer profile for your business. For instance, ours might look something like this:
Pete Pringle is 45. He is a successful small business owner who is still very involved in the daily operation of his business. He has had a digital billboard for the last three years and enjoys the comments he receives about it from his customers. However, between managing the different aspects of his business, being active at his church, and juggling a family with three children, he is not interested in coming up with creative new content for his billboards and often feels they are stale. He’s an active part of the community, participates in networking groups, and also spends time checking Facebook, opening emails that catch his eye, and perusing the local newspaper online.
As the business, we would likely reach this person by making in-person contact at a community or network event and also make good, informational online content available to him that catches his eye. It would be worth our time to advise on advertising campaigns and work with Pete and his staff regularly yet efficiently to keep content fresh and interesting for both him and his customers.
The challenge of developing your advertising campaign is very real. However, once you can get a handle on who it is you are or should be advertising to, it can steer your content and methods in a positive direction.
We’re available for questions anytime, just get in touch.
What Should I Put in My Valentine’s Ad?
Advertising for Valentine’s Day can be tough, especially if your business doesn’t traditionally provide services or products that are “romantic.” In addition, it’s easy to get lost in the swirl of hearts, flowers, and chocolate adorning advertisements everywhere.
However, don’t be discouraged! With a little creativity and planning, you can create Valentine’s Day content that will get noticed. Here are a few ideas to help you advertise for Valentine’s Day:
- No matter your industry, keep ad campaigns simple and easy to read and don’t use too many words or graphics. If you have specials, make sure they are listed front and center.
- Consider using social media to specifically target an audience you want to appeal to – narrow it down to your ideal customer.
- Collect stories, pictures, and video from your customers and give them a platform to share on; this builds community and opens up the door for more communication
- Be creative and connect ads to things going on in your business to draw foot traffic
- Don’t forget the single folks and others who aren’t into the traditional Valentine’s Day stuff – they are by and large forgotten and represent a significant market share
These ideas should get you started – if you are a Valentine’s Day veteran, what are some unique or tried-and-true ad campaigns you have used in the past?
Draw Real-Time Business with Your Digital Billboard
What if you were…
…a retailer that could advertise the need for an item based on the weather?
…a radio station that lets people driving by tune in to what’s playing now?
…a hospital that lets patients know they can see a doctor quickly?
…a mechanic that could let people know there isn’t much of a wait for an oil change?
…a business that wanted your social media efforts to go past personal screens onto a bigger screen?
a sports team or sports fan that wanted to let people know the score for a big game?
If any of the above looks or sounds intriguing, there’s good news. Thanks to the magic of the internet and forward-thinking product designers, companies like Watchfire Signs have programmed their digital billboards to support something called “dynamic content” – content that can change according to live feeds with customized information.
Instead of displaying the static image typical of outdoor advertising, technology now allows business owners to change up their advertising based on real-time conditions like the examples given above. You can communicate specific messages to your customers based on time, temperature, social media streams, countdowns for specific events, and more.
How could this change your advertising landscape? What can you dream up to tell your customers what you’re up to right now?
Take some time to ponder; we’re here to help you make it a reality.
Read more about digital billboards here.