Physical Marketing: Lessons Learned from Big Business

In a digital world, physical marketing efforts are often neglected or even maligned. Every year articles declaring that television and print media are dead and a waste of your time and money appear. In those same years, big brands spend millions on 30 second Super Bowl ads and huge ad spends on signs and sponsorships at ballparks, posters, billboards, and digital signage everywhere from taxi cabs and busses to Times Square.

The thing is that it is hard for small business to afford to invest in this type of marketing, nor would you want to. However, there are some great physical marketing efforts you can make in your community that will pay off. Your ROI will be worthwhile even if you are not up in lights in front of millions of people.

Truth is, people still watch TV, read billboards, refer to digital signs, and even study posters put in the proper places. Physical marketing still works and is not going away anytime soon. Here are some marketing lessons we can learn from big business.

Brand Recognition Matters

To get a new customer, they need 7-9 touches or impressions with your brand. This can be anything from a flyer to seeing your sign to an ad in a newspaper or on a digital sign. Add in a coupon, a catchy motto, or something else memorable and the impression is even stronger.

To keep a customer, you have to keep reminding them that you exist and the benefit they got from your product or service. This is a part of advertising and marketing that big brands understand.

Of course, Pepsi and Apple can get away with just large ads with their logo and nothing else. They are household names and recognized right away. Until you have reached that status, your brand recognition ads will need a bit more: your business name, contact information, and what you do (or a photo of it) matter as well.

Customers need to be reminded of who you are and what you do, and that is what brand recognition is all about.

ROI is Measurable

Think about it for just a minute. If physical marketing was dead and ROI was just a guess, large brands would not engage in it. They got to be big brands by knowing what to do and when the best time to advertise was. For instance, McDonald’s knows that advertising $1 any size coffee works well in the morning and when the weather is cold. The $1 any size fountain drink campaign works better in the summer and the afternoon.

They can judge this by variations in sales related to the time and to what is displayed prominently on their menu boards, which are essentially digital signs used for advertising and to convey information.

Coupon URL’s, coupon codes, and other such devices work for big brands as well. Think of Starbucks and their platform, Happy Hour ads, and coupon codes for reduced price and free drinks. The code the customer uses tells the company a lot about where they heard about the promotion.

You can do the same thing. Time your ads properly. Use coupon codes, unique phone numbers, and other methods to determine where the customer heard about you and your business. You can measure ROI on physical ads in a similar way to the way you use analytics on your website if you create them correctly.

Your Logo and Colors Matter

How you represent your brand matters. Your logo, the colors you use, and even the fonts you use in your ads tell your prospects and customers something about you right away. Don’t think just because you are putting together a small digital ad campaign that the content and the design matter any less than a large ad campaign.

Any ad you produce is a representation of your brand and who you are. The psychology of color matters and your logo and design can either gain attention or divert it. That attention can be negative or positive.

Think of iconic logos like Nike or Mercedes. These are ones you recognize right away, and they tell you something about the brand. Your logo and the colors you use can do the same for you and make your ads something customers recognize right away.

Your Message Gets Heard

Advertisements get talked about, pointed at, and messages on them get heard. How many brands have made marketing mistakes only to find them go viral? Your message gets heard, and so you need to make sure you are sending the right one.

The important lesson here is, though, that big brands know their message matters, and for the most part carefully craft their ads and marketing to offer a consistent message. It matters just as much when it comes to physical marketing as digital, and sometimes even more.

Physical Marketing, whether big business or small matters and will for a long time. Brand recognition matters, ROI is measurable, and your message will get heard. Have questions about digital signage and physical marketing or just need to set up your next campaign? Contact us here at info@signspan.comwith any questions or needs you might have.

Troy Lambert
Troy Lambert
Troy is a content strategist, freelance writer, and consultant from Boise, Idaho. He lives there with his wife, son, and two very talented dogs. In his spare time, he is a cyclist, skier, motorcyclist, and all around outdoorsman.

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