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Feb. 20, 2020

OOH Insider - Episode 013 - Can you generate leads from billboards for $1 a day?

OOH Insider - Episode 013 - Can you generate leads from billboards for $1 a day?

The value of a business' database may very well be the entire value of a company.

"That's ludicrous!" you may say.

"Is it?" may say I.

If every piece of your business was suddenly gone and you needed to restart, what would you need first?

A computer? 

A truck?

How would you pay for it?

Your money was a piece of your business so consider that gone too.

Well, I know where I'd start.

I'd start right where I left off, with people who have already spent money with me and with people like them who have said they are interested and are in my database.

The point is, you could lose EVERYTHING ELSE but your database would put you back in business that afternoon.

Your favorite pen cup can't do that, just saying.

So, imagine how valuable it would be to generate leads on demand for just $1 a day...


Now press play and find out how I did it for one of the most RESTRICTED INDUSTRIES!

Connect with me on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/troweactual/

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Welcome to the out of home insider show where we're bringing you tips, tricks, and insider insights on how not only make your advertising more effective, but more efficient at the same time, using the power of out of home. I'm your host, Tim Rowe. And today is a really exciting episode for me because I wanted to know, can you generate leads?

That's right. First. Data opt-ins hand-raisers, whatever the hell you want to call them, can you generate leads for just $1 a day on a digital billboard strategy, a direct response type of campaign with a completely fictitious brand. So there was no brand equity to go on. This was not an established, uh, play in the market on something that had already been out.

Could we take a completely raw brand that didn't exist, drive traffic to a website and get people to willingly forfeit or exchange their information for a bribe. And that bribe would be a pretty cool little prize pack for the cigar smokers out there. And I'm going to share my screen here in a second, but this was entirely done using the backend of blip.

And the reason that I wanted to use blip to do this was because of. We'd been hearing from local advertisers. Oh, well it's less expensive. Oh, well it's easier. And while I have to admit that some of those. Definitely appear to be true from just the bird's-eye view. It wasn't as easy as you might think.

And there was definitely some places along the way that I thought it could be better. And ultimately we're going to discuss what the benefits are, how to most effectively use it and whether or not you should ever go direct again with an outdoor company wink, wink, the answer's going to be yes, obviously I have a bias there, but I want to explain why before we get to the why.

Could we answer the question of, can you generate leads with $1 a day on billboards? Well, the answer to that, like I said, that answers. Yes. But what does that look like in total scope and total dollars spent, what was the cost per lead to do that? And where the heck were we? Where are these billboards? I'm going to share my screen here.

So in case you're listening to this on the audio version, I would say, go back, check out the YouTube, or just connect with me on LinkedIn, because what I am doing with this, uh, with this little case study here is I've turned it into a bit of like a carousel type flipbook. It's a few pages long, and you're going to be able to get all that information again.

I'm Tim Rowe. If you go on LinkedIn type in Tim Rowe, probably go see a guy wearing a. Oh, H hat that's me just connect with me or stock me out a little bit, and you'll be able to find this pretty quickly and easily, but we want to answer that question. Can you generate leads with billboards? That guy right there, that little gorilla smoking a cigar, he would be our hero throughout the story.

He is the logo for our meetup company. So here's what we know. We know the first party data is one becoming more expensive to acquire. Two is becoming more valuable to have. And three that third-party data and pixels and there's all sorts of stuff going on in the world of online advertising. We know that those things are changing.

Our database continues to increase in value every single day. That is the treasure chest from Fortnite. If you're wondering ad blocker usage continues to go up, especially with millennials and younger. So the audiences that you're probably trying to reach. Online media, digital advertising, Facebook, Instagram ads, pre-roll display those types of things.

We know that ad blocker usage is over 50%, 50% for millennials and below. I had a, uh, an opportunity to guest lecture at a digital analytics class. These are college kids who are studying digital advertising. They are paying $30,000 a year to go to school, to study. Digital marketing. And I posed the question.

I said, how many of you guys are using ad blockers and half the hands in the room when. These are students of digital advertising. We're paying money to go to school, to learn this stuff, and they're actively blocking your ads. They don't want to be advertised to, um, in, during their online and their digital experience that right there, that's Warren buffet.

The. Right. The Omaha, Oracle, the king of finding undervalued opportunities. And that's because out of home right now is wildly undervalued. I know the other day, Shopify, I believe the CEO had even said that the return on investment for online advertising continues to go down. It continues to be more expensive.

The data's more expensive. There's more people using ad blockers, which means the supply of potential people to advertise to is down. The demand is up. Obviously that drives up cost continues to make out of home. The most under-priced play in media. So could we generate leads using billboards? I don't know.

Could we do it with $1 a day using blip and that design that you see there it's enter to win. Winfrey cigars.com pretty simple, right? It's a memorable URL. It tells you what you're going to get on the other end of that. Hey, if you want to win free cigars, you should go to Winfrey cigars.com, where we were giving away a traveler pack with a travel humidor, five cigars, a cutter, and a torch about $75 worth of.

Premium value there. So we thought that that was a pretty good, a pretty good vibe of saying we, I, it was really just me and the blind dog over here. Yankees dropping toys at my feet. Yeah, go get that. So could you do it for a dollar a day using blip? Well, yeah, I told you that you could, and I'm going to zoom in on this map here, because I think it's really important.

All those little red dots, all of those little red dots that you see across the country. They're one up in Washington, North Dakota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio. I feel like I was singing that song. Oh, uh, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee. This was a true national campaign. But was it more of like a carpet bomb approach?

Uh, or was it laser targeted? Well, one of the things that I ran into early on was that my creative kept getting denied. And I tend to think that the reason for that was because it had the Winfrey cigars on it. So it kept getting denied. When I was picking specific locations, I just got frustrated. I said, Just give me everything in blip.

I think it's hooked up to about 1100 billboards across the country. Um, I said just submit it to everyone and whoever the hell approves it, I'm going to run it. And I had initially done that shotgun approach with $1 a day and I checked in after a day or two and it wasn't running. There was no impressions delivering.

So I increased my budget to $2 a day and then it started to deliver. Now the thing that's interesting about. Is if you see in the top right corner here, it says average daily spend a dollar and 21 cents. So at $1 didn't do anything. I increased it to two. And we ended up at a dollar and 21 cents. So it was a little bit of trial and error.

And that would probably be my first criticism of blip. There was nothing that alerted me and said, Hey, your budget's too low. Now you probably think Tim was a dollar a day, duh. But if you're a business owner and you're just starting to dabble in this, it can be a frustrating experience. $5 and maybe you're expecting a really get going.

Cause it gives you that sort of little chart. And when you punch in how much you're willing to spend in terms of daily investment, it gives you an idea of how many flips or how many blips you're going to get, how many digital commercials you're going to receive. And so it sets a little bit of an expectation and then see it not deliver was admittedly a little bit from.

But what I will say is this. If you see that impressions per dollar, right there, 185, and I don't know where the heck my calculator is. So I'm going to use the old handy-dandy cell phone. This is this for every math teacher that told me, Tim, you're not always going to have a calculator. And, um, you were wrong.

So a thousand divided by 180 5. So it's a, I don't know if he can see, maybe if I can figure out how to get that that's $5 and 40 cents. That's a $5 and 40 cents CPM, which on the surface you could be thinking to yourself. Damn, that's a pretty good value. But what I will say is that while it was a pretty good value in terms of an overall, you know, CPM, there was no targeting to this campaign.

I wasn't able to use geo path. If I was a business owner to understand, Hey, these particular locations are best to reach my target audience. So while you may end up paying a little bit more, if you went direct and worked with a partner who has access to geo path, wouldn't you rather pay a little bit more to get your message or your advertising in front of the right person so that your cost per acquisition actually went down.

That's something to consider if you're considering. For a potential digital billboard campaign. It's a good tool. It offers good value, but it may not be the best use of your funds. So on average, I saw about 10 flips or 10 blips, 10 commercials across 186 boards. And if you, if you've been doing any, any sort of, uh, digital billboard advertising, you know, that frequency matters, but.

The point of this was to tell whether or not we could drive direct response because traditionally direct response has done very well on broadcast. Uh, broadcast radio. It does very well on broadcast television because the idea of that style of direct response is I'm just going to spread this out everywhere.

And someone that sees it is going to act on that offer right away, and I'm going to get the conversion, the sale, the lead, whatever. So that's what I. Let me be everywhere that I possibly can. There's some settings within blip where you could day part look for, um, you know, maximum audience or evening drive.

And actually the majority of my impressions ended up being served between about five and 7:00 PM. So while I didn't optimize it for a PM drive type schedule, I left it wide open the campaign really optimized around PM drive, which I thought was pretty desirable. For what I was getting again on average, across 186 billboards across 15 days, uh, 15, 16 days.

About 10 flips, which is insignificant. Nobody's really remembering that. So from a brand equity standpoint, probably not the play here again, we're doing this for a dollar and 21 cents a day. We weren't going to change the world. Total impressions, 35 63. I'm just going to touch on really quick. We got our first lead at 987 impressions, which was about what I thought it would be.

I thought it would be about a thousand impressions. To get the first lead. So when I got the first one at 9 87, I thought, oh, this is great. We'll probably end up with two or three, but sadly, we only ended up with that original one. So at the end of the day, the campaign costs us $19 and 80 cents to run. We generated one lead for pretty hard to, uh, acquire new customer industry, which is.

So we know that cigars get a lot of, they get looped into the whole tobacco and the e-cigarette and they ended up getting lumped in with all that stuff from a regulation standpoint. So they're not able to advertise in a lot of places that you are, you are, I may take forever. So, you know, publications that they've traditionally advertised in or cutting them out magazines and things like that online advertising is very tough for them.

Um, obviously they can't run on television, so they really depend on an organic following and driving traffic to the website. Outdoor obviously is a great driver of traffic to a website. We'll talk about that sort of in the next thing here, but that's why I chose this category specifically is because it is so hard.

And from my experience in conversations that I've had. People inside of the tobacco space that cost for acquisition for a cigar customer is about $50. Now there's something that I haven't figured into this cost per lead here. And I'll talk about it in a minute, why I haven't included it, but if the average cost for, to acquire new customers around 50 bucks, we got a lead generated to here for $19 and 80 cents.

We're probably right in that same range, but this is definitely a. Stainable in my opinion, and a more scalable model, especially when you work with a partner who has a digital network, that you can use geo path, that you can index locations to find the ones that give you the best opportunity to influence the audience you're looking to reach.

So for a $19 and 80 cents, we generate a lead. We covered the whole nation. The lead was generated out of Charlotte, North Carolina, where if you can see that big red circle right there, just zoomed in on that's Charlotte. We were right outside the area. Um, and that's where the lead came from. That sounds.

Yeah. Anything. Yeah. Maybe we should have just focused it in Charlotte and maybe we do that next time. So what the heck would I change? I would probably change the creative because I didn't think about this at the time because I'm looking at a computer screen, but a lot of times digital billboards, when mods go out a little, you know, the little screens, um, get faded or replaced that white background really becomes exposed.

And you start to see maybe a, you know, some of that fatigue. And, uh, and those replaced mods on the board. So I'm pretty sure that my creative probably didn't end up looking. With a white background. So I would definitely consider changing that, but I think it was pretty clear. Like here's the call to action.

Go to this site somehow when that dropped off, if you look at it the screen, I don't know where the hell it went, but it went somewhere. It's not there, but changed the background. Uh, I would definitely do that. I would definitely consider targeting. One particular location. Like we said, the lead came from Charlotte.

Um, maybe, maybe putting all of that money into one area, getting frequency up, could impact lead volume. It's something that I'm going to test them and find out. Yeah. Setting up a proper landing page. I'm going to scroll back real second. So you could see dollar a day, right? Blip. Here it is billboard. And the landing page was just really simple.

It was, Hey, here's the stuff that you're getting. Enter your email. We did make it really easy so that you didn't get. Put in your name, telephone number, email address, all that crap. And you can just type in your email. And if you were signed into your Facebook, if you guys have ever seen that, like Facebook login feature, basically it did that.

So it really made it pretty easy, but I don't know how many people went to the website. There could have been more traffic. It could have been that we got a bunch of traffic to the website and people are like, what the hell is this? It's sort of sketchy, never heard of this company before. And this looks a little bit.

So I think that could have impacted it and definitely a proper landing page. Next time, setting up Google analytics. So we can look at more of the traffic where it's coming from. That's something that I do a lot when I'm monitoring an outdoor campaign is a look at Google analytics, Lytics. It drives to the search.

What does it all mean? So in conclusion it works, it works. It works. We're going to continue to test. I don't know why the hell I keep saying we, because again, it's the dog and I, yeah, if you want to say. No nothing. All right, we'll try this again. Uh, so it works and that's awesome. We'll uh, we'll, we'll figure it out more, but right through big, but on there, what are we gonna do?

Go direct. We'll go blip. What I would tell you, and again, a disclaimer to you upfront, I've got a bias here. I've got a dog in the fight. I would absolutely advise on going direct because for the price you're really right in there from a CPM standpoint, $5 and 40 cents. You know, I see campaigns ranging from, you know, between $6 and $10 CPM depending.

But you get access to potentially having entire digital network over a footprint. So if you're a regional chain, if you are a regional company, if you are a national company, if you're a startup and you're looking to test a market, you need a network. And the only way to really that I've seen to. Working with a network is to work directly with an out-of-home company.

The reason being is not all of the inventory that is on blip is all of the inventory that is available. So a lot of times I'm blip. It's the remnant space on lower demand units or inventory. Not saying that it's not great inventory because a lot of it is. I gotta be honest, but you are getting in where there are gaps.

So you are not building a consistent, it's not part of a media strategy. It is definitely a, Hey, I've got some extra money. I'm going to throw it on here. It's easy. But what I would tell you is this is that for the same exact money, you can get a lot more. By picking up the phone, sending me a message saying, Hey Sam, I've got an extra 10 grand burning a hole in my pocket this month I was going to do Glip.

Show me what this geo path is all about. Show me how to index, uh, you know, for my specific audience, it's got to get the blips, um, backend open here. So I thought I'd just click into it and show you guys what it looks like. I think that the do a pretty good job of it. It just quantifies what you get in, right.

Rather than having an impression conversation, we're seeing monthly, daily, hourly blips. And you can see here that the majority of mine ran between five and seven, but really, maybe five and eight o'clock. You can see the time period. It ran nothing that we didn't talk about, but it's just a good way of displaying it, smart play by blip to, uh, to make it more tangible.

So you can look at it and say, this is what I'm getting for my investment. This is pretty neat. You can sort. And, uh, and then you can look at what location this is, you know, how many commercials you've played on their forklifts on this one, estimated number of impressions, you know, the amount spent, but that was the experience.

And, uh, yeah, if you've got any questions, just send me a message. Uh, hit me up in the DMS. I don't know, leave a comment below. It was an interesting experiment to try. It's definitely something that I'm going to continue to tweak and play with. Um, but what I will tell you is that the advantages of going direct, you get access to real market intelligence.

You get boots on the ground. People who are out there every single day, knowing what the ebbs and flows of the market are. You can't get that on blip. That's not a knock against flip. It serves a purpose. It helps a lot of businesses. That real market intelligence. That's how you gain a competitive edge over your competitor.

By working directly with an out-of-home company, especially one like Adams, where we have award-winning Korean. Staff all across the country. You get access to that as an advertiser for free oh, free award-winning creative, full foray. And that's pretty awesome. And it matters. And it matters, especially when you're doing outdoor, because outdoors meant to entertain.

But that entertainment is meant to start a conversation and it's meant to drive search, and it's meant to get people to interact with your brand. If the creative isn't on point, it will affect your campaign. And it might leave a bit of a bad taste in your mouth about out-of-home, how it works, whether or not it can be part of your medium.

Going direct. It's going to be about the same investment. You're going to get the real market intelligence. You're going to be able to take advantage of unique features like dynamic content. If you are a brand that has great social engagement, or just looking to step yours up a little bit, you can do things like tweet to a billboard.

You can do dynamic. Um, you can do dynamic countdowns to your new product release. Maybe you're a brewery and you do a bottle of. Um, every other month, and you want to hype that up in the market, you could do a dynamic countdown, you could do a weather, you can do forecast three days. If you're a re you know, a kayaking camping company, you could sponsor a three-day weather thing.

And now you're creating that association. There's just so many more things that you can do with dynamic digital. And again, it's the same price. So if you're looking at, from an investment standpoint, if you're looking at really including outdoors, part of your media mix, Definitely suggest that you do go direct because you're going to get all of those unique advantages.

Like I said, the market Intel dynamic, digital award-winning creative, and you're spending about the same fricking money. So pick up the phone, hit up your out-of-home operator and, uh, and tell him that T Rowe you, if they ask who the hell is T row, send them back to this video. If this has been helpful, please share it with somebody else who could benefit from the information.

I appreciate you guys sticking around. This has been a lot of fun. Could you generate leads for a dollar a day on a national Goodwill campaign? Yes, you can. But should you have maybe, maybe, um, maybe not, maybe not with, with the service that, uh, that, that gun just doesn't give you all the advantages of working with somebody who's in the market and we can help you do exactly the same thing for the same investment without further ado, I'm gonna let you go.

Um, T row, this is the at-home insider show. Hopefully we've brought you tips, tricks and insider insights today that will help you make your advertising not only more effective, but more efficient stay tuned. The next three episodes are action packed. Next week I'll be in New York. 25th. And the next day we are going to sit down with bud torque of Mazama media to talk all about social and outdoor.

The week after that, we got Eddie, Carolyn from soft signed 3d or brethren to the north who are doing really awesome stuff with inexpensive 3d billboards. That can be used year after year after year, the week after that we've got Stevan Cleveland from today. If you guys remember this Shizam app where you were sitting in the bar and you heard a song, you're like, oh, what's that song?

Basically the same thing for billboards. We got JPG from JPG media in Hawaii. Coming up after that, it's actually back, stay tuned, share this with somebody and make sure you subscribe. If you're on YouTube, hit that subscribe, hit the little bell thing there, like comment, share, do all that stuff. I love you guys.