We all learn from our own mistakes, but we should leap at the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others to save us the trouble of making them ourselves.
These 5 common OOH advertising mistakes should help focus your attention on crafting an effective and well considered campaign.
1. Not doing enough research
“Oh, no! Our products are not selling as quickly as we assumed they would; quick, let’s rush out an ad to raise awareness of our brand.” – most small businesses at some point in their history.
Take it from us, this is such a common motivation for clients to take-up advertising. Of course we don’t expect them to enrol in a marketing degree course before taking out ads, but at the same time we don’t want people to rush into a campaign without thinking it through.
Study your competitors’ marketing materials. Find out which ads are effective, and which are less so. We regularly post ad reviews that take a look at effective campaigns with a marketer’s eye and look under the hood of effective OOH marketing. Study these lessons in effective advertising and think about how this can be applied to your own campaigns.
There are other factors you should be aware of too, such as having a working knowledge of the UK Outdoor marketing campaign calendar (yes, there is one).
2. Trying to appeal to everyone
Because the OOH environment is inhabited by wide swathes of the population, brands are often tempted to create ads that mean all things to all people. Mistake. People are too diverse and have too wildly differing wants and needs to all be influenced by the same OOH ad.
When it comes to getting your brand and products in front of your audience, you need to pick your battles.
Maltesers recently launched a campaign aimed specifically at the blind community (it was in braille, so literally only the blind could read the messaging). Of course both the able bodied and disabled enjoy chocolate snacks, but the point was that Maletesers had identified a target audience that other brands often ignore… and they ran with it. Interestingly, this ad still had appeal beyond the blind community, generating a buzz around the campaign and resonating with all those who have links to the disabled community.
3. Lacklustre designs
No matter how good your product or service, in today’s crowded brand environment there is no such thing as a product that sells itself.
If you are selling a shiny, state of the art stereo, it’s tempting to think that slapping a picture of it on a billboard will instantly bring in the readies.
This is to fail to understand what drives brand engagement and consumer purchases. The most effective ads spark an emotional response in your audience, whether it’s creating a sense of fun or community, appealing to common social values, or resonating with people’s self-image.
4. Staying indoors
The fact that out-of-home advertising takes place outside of the home is often under considered.
Know the environment in which you will be advertising. Is it a well-populated mall near one of your stores, or a popular bus stop opposite your fast food outlet? If possible, do a recce of your proposed site. How crowded is the surrounding OOH market, are there lots of bus stops to place your ads on? This may help you better understand how to design and position your creatives.
5. Doing it all yourself
A CEO of a new start-up seems to think she has limitless time and energy to commit to promoting her brand. With so many design and ad tools within her reach, how hard can it be? Even if our hypothetical CEO had the time to spare, she’d almost certainly lack the skills to run a successful campaign from start to finish.
This is not to talk down the DIY attitude, far from it; it’s about understanding your limitations and freeing up your time to focus on your strategic and commercial priorities.
If you don’t have an in-house marketing team (a vanishing phenomena these days), there are plenty of agencies and skilled freelancers on hand. Bubble not only help you book OOH advertising via our easy to use, cost effective online platform, we can also create artwork for your campaign.
You should always seek out expert guidance where you can, especially if it’s free. That’s why we run the Bubble blog, to provide content that looks under the hood of effective OOH advertising and provides the insights that can help strengthen your campaigns.
If you found this post useful you may want to check out our guide on how to advertise outdoors.