Launching a new business? 5 tips and tactics for outdoor advertising

If you are launching a new business, mixing innovation and strategy is name of the game when marketing your brand. Let’s look at the ways outdoor advertising can give your startup the X-factor:

Think seriously about location

Location is essential to the effective marketing of your startup.

Broadly, there are two ways your new business will relate to location…

  1. You are a ‘real world’ business with a commercial address that customers visit, whether you’re a hipster record store, indy coffee shop, or DIY specialist.

In this situation you should think about targeting audiences in your area. If you’re a retail outlet like a coffee shop or record store you’ll want to target a radius of about a mile from your venue. This will represent your primary catchment area. Your outdoor ads should focus on the fact that there is an exciting/ useful new business near where your customers are. You could even design an ad that says something like, “introducing your friendly neighbourhood baristas/record store/ DIY specialists”. Try and create a sense of personal connection to your audience to hook them in as they walk by your ad.

  1. You are primarily an online company with no ‘real world’ presence

OK, so let’s say you’ve just launched a new dating app. There’s nowhere physical for your audience to go to discover your brand; instead your outdoor ads will be focussed on sending people to your website, app, etc.. Ask yourself, “where will my audience be when they discover my ad?” A lot of dating apps advertise on public transport sites. They know that people may be reflecting on their lives during down time when they’re travelling. They also know people are more likely to pay attention to their brand messaging in this context.

image showing outdoor advertising for eHarmony
Image: https://raeavramenko.com/degrees-of-compatability/

Bus stops offer considerable dwell time as people are stationary for relatively long periods in their busy out-of-home lives. This is particularly useful if you are a startup. You need to work harder to make personal connections to audiences because you are a new brand and they have nothing to go on but the attractiveness of your concept and the effectiveness of your ad execution.

Create a customer avatar

A customer avatar is a profile of your ideal customer.

What is their age and gender? Are they married with kids? Do they have lots of disposable income? Are they into ‘lifestyle design’ or are they trying to solve everyday pain points? What is their likely salary, what are their political and lifestyle views? Are they looking for down to earth services or luxury brands?

image showing customer avatar graphic
Image:markgrowth.com

Next, think about the kind of areas they live in, where they work and how they travel to work. Where do they go to relax? What leisure activities do they pursue? Where do they shop? Do they own a car and drive a lot, or do they use public transport to get around? Do they cycle?

The way in which your customer avatar traverses through the out-of-home environment should affect your outdoor advertising strategy.

This will influence whether you need to be advertising near retail parks, in busy town centres, at shopping malls or cinemas, or in post offices, at bus stops or at petrol stations.

Because the reality is that although outdoor is a mass-market medium, you want to be as granular as possible when planning your OOH advertising strategy. If your customer avatar is only one in 1000 or one in 10,000 you need to know this; it will impact how widely you need to advertise and in what volume.

Have a dedicated outdoor budget

All startups will have an advertising budget, but how many of them have a dedicated outdoor advertising budget?

The fact of the matter is new brands are not very good at using outdoor advertising. Pound for pound, it might seem more expensive than other forms of advertising like promoted tweets or Facebook ads, but you need to think in terms of the impact that outdoor ads have on audiences and the ROI you’re likely to generate from an effective ad.

There’s a strong argument to be made that outdoor and out-of-home advertising is a wholly separate sphere form other forms of marketing. Your marketing budget should reflect this. You can even use your outdoor marketing strategy as a way to convince investors that you are serious about marketing your startup in bold ways as these successful startups have done.

Define customer value

You can’t set your outdoor marketing budget until you have a strong understanding of the amount of value you will generate from each customer.

You’ll want to calculate factors such as…

  • The average value of each customer order
  • The amount of orders a customer is likely to make in the first year
  • The total lifetime value each customer will bring to your business

This not only helps you project your income over the tricky first few months and years of your business, but helps you understand how much money you will need to invest in outdoor advertising to bring in the amount of customers needed to keep your business afloat and make a profit.

At the end of the day, you should have a good idea of how many customers you need to support your business. For example, a coffee shop might have 100 customers per day, spending an average of £3 each. That would equate to around £300 revenue per day, or just over £100,000 per year assuming you’re open 360 days a year.

Once you know that you need a certain amount of customers you should plan your outdoor campaigns to reach that goal.

For example, a single bus stop ad might reach upwards of 35,000 people a day in a busy area. If 1% of those people visited your shop each week, you would generate 50 customers a day just from that one ad. It costs around £234 to display one bus stop ad for two weeks. That’s a cost of £16.71 per day. Your 50 customers per day that the ad brought in would generate around £150 for your business every day. So we can see that investing in a single outdoor ad can be very powerful in terms of return on investment.

Using outdoor advertising can be the boost that your startup needs and will single you out as a new brand that means business. Check out our panel map to plan your outdoor advertising campaign today.

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