3 min read
On an average, a commuter views over a hundred hoardings everyday, but can recall only three of them. Until a few years ago, the time-tested billboard advertising was extremely popular and used to be an obvious go-to medium of promotion. Even in today’s digital era, the hoardings and billboards remain the most preferred choice for companies with deeper pockets. However, access to these hoardings is proving to be increasingly difficult everyday. While hoardings are the only reasonable choice when it comes to outdoor advertising, these are not suitable for just every company and business. There are three key reasons why businesses might not want to invest in hoarding and billboard advertising today.
Not every hoarding is equally effective. The reach and impact of one depends on multiple factors such as the location, visibility, density of populace in that area, the print quality on the billboard, diversity and behavioral patterns of the target audience, brand relevance, and so on. Moreover, the captivity duration plays a vital role in the efficacy of this medium. A billboard on a traffic-heavy junction will have a far longer duration when compared to the one on a fast moving highway.
The most important factor, however, is undoubtedly the positioning. Only about a tenth of the hoardings are in prime locations and demand reasonable attention. If you are unable to find a hoarding with such an ideal positioning, you can barely get any returns on your investment.
The steep prices of billboards are quite apparent, especially in the urban segments of a country. The hoardings and billboards in the prime localities are unreasonably expensive, making it impractical for small and medium businesses. Additionally, these prices soar up on a seasonal fashion. For example, during Christmas eve and New Year rush hours, the billboards in certain western countries would surge upto a12x premium of the actual price.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Say if a company is ready to shell out such exorbitant amount of money for a billboard in the prime locality, they still can’t be assured of securing that billboard space. More often than not, such prime spaces are reserved for elite clientele or the ones who are willing to pay for multiple hoardings across the city. Even worse, companies at times might need to be influential enough to lobby the hoarding syndicate to obtain a slot at desired localities.
The hoardings are often associated with a waiting time, which spans for even several months. In today’s agile world, planning a marketing campaign multiple months and quarters in advance is sub-optimal to the rapidly changing market conditions.
With the advancements in digitization, its only a matter of time before the outdoor ad industry is disrupted. It will be interesting to see how the advent of technology will shape up and tackle the pain points of this age-old industry.