Monday, January 09, 2006

Those wonderful, flashy LED billboards

A former boss once advised me — "Never try to solve a simple problem with a complicated solution." In that spirit I offer the following observations concerning landscape and lawn care advertising.

Most landscape and lawn service company owners know that getting new customers is a numbers game. Assuming the services they offer are comparable to the market, their prices are in line, etc., the amount of new business they acquire from year to year will depend on the number of qualified contacts they make and pursue. For lawn care in particular the time-tested way to attact new leads is through direct mail pieces, telephone solicitations and door hangers. Put out X number of messages and get Y number of responses and a somewhat predictable number of new customers. Simple, right?

But, some of us prefer the more creative (i.e. more complicated) solution to the advertising challenge, If you have an adventuresome side, consider flashing your message on one of the the new electronic billboards. These electronic marvels come in two flavors — roadside and mobile.

I saw my first LED roadside billboard a couple of weeks ago on Woodville Road in Toledo, Ohio. It's colorful, high-definition and eye-catching. It has the ability to change messages instantaneously, from what I understand, so it can fit the message to the season or time of day even.

But hey, that ain't nothing, as they say.

Some LED billboards installed along busy highways in the San Francisco Bay area can actually profile commuters. They pick up which radio stations people are listening to and then tailor an eyecatching message on the billboards to that particular demographic slice of America. Say, most of the commuters are listening to ESPN for the weekend's football happenings, then the billboards might flash advertising for a popular beer.

Another advertising option are traveling EDS billboards. These box trucks have LED messages on three sides of the box. Apparently, you buy advertising space on the truck and the driver then cruises busy highways with the bright LED message alerting everybody on that particular highway of your service. Or, the truck parked at a busy intersection or location and everybody that passes there gets a load of your message.

Sure, direct mail and door hangers work . . . but why rely upon the tried and true (even it is a bit worn about the edges) when you can strike off boldly in another direction? — Ron Hall

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