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Ask Abby, Marketing Maven

Do Billboard Ads Work?



Dear Abby,


I recently read how an advisor gained a lot of traction by putting up a billboard sign in his local community.  What are your thoughts around doing this and other advertising tactics?



Joe, Philadelphia


Dear Joe,

Advertising is really a great medium when you are looking to gain brand awareness.  Depending on what your goals are with advertising, the results can be either very disappointing or very successful.  What do I mean by that?  Well, if you are looking to increase your brand awareness in the local community and don’t really care about tracking the return on your investment, then placing an ad on a local billboard at the train station or town center might not be a bad idea.  Just keep in mind that it is not likely anyone will chose an advisor to manage their financial future based solely on an ad they saw on a billboard.


Certain types of advertising are more easily trackable. For instance, if you can run a banner ad on the local town website, or other local business journals or community websites, then you can at least track who visits your own website by monitoring your website analytics.  If you run a print ad in a local newspaper, there may not be a way to track your results unless you specifically ask people how they heard about you and they claim it was the advertisement.


Overall, I think advertising is a good tactic to try if your client base is all local to your geographic region and you have a solid client base that also acts as a referral source for you.  I would not, however, rely on a billboard ad to drive all of your new business.


Hope this helps,


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