Offline marketing is psychological advertising that works. There are whole institutes and modules for degree courses that tackle the issue of outdoor marketing. Many of us think that we walk around or drive around towns and cities without really noticing the banners, posters or billboards… but we do. And the next time you need your car servicing, you might recall the local garage offering a great deal. Some experts say that there are rules that need to be followed when it comes to outdoor marketing methods and equipment.
You have to remember that as people walk, wait for the bus or drive by- they only have milliseconds to take in your message. The idea is that your outdoor banners or posters will be there for some time though, so hopefully your message, logo, colours, brand etc. will become more obvious each time they pass by.
Images should do two thing- attract attention, and be relevant. Don’t try and sell cars by sticking a huge picture of a dog on a billboard. This wastes many opportunities for business because at first glance nobody will know what your advert is about. And when people look closer, they’ll just get confused.
You could have spent thousands of pounds and countless hours poring over the proofs that your design agency sent you regarding your brand. However, it seems that some companies then instantly forget that this brand exists and use a whole raft of bright, neon colours that have no bearing whatsoever on their brand. Offline marketing is just as much about the consistency of your brand image, as the advert is in the local paper.
Some outdoor marketing experts suggest that one point of contact only should be included on outdoor posters, banners and the like. Too many contact details can look confusing and give the impression of clutter. With the existence of social media this can make contacting your company easier, so maybe you could squeeze in your website and one social media platform…
Clipart is great. But it has had its day. Loading banners and posters for any outdoor marketing campaign littered with starbursts and other ageing graphics is a sure fire way of bringing the reputation of your brand to rock bottom. It looks cheap and do-it-yourself. Design has moved on and your customers know this; just look at your competitors.
Just like graphics, there are do’s and don’ts when it comes to typefaces as well. For example, Times New Roman, Arial etc. are typefaces that come with the ‘system’. Using these lacks imagination and vision. However, not all businesses have the budget to engage a design company to create a typeface just for them, but there are hundreds, if not thousands of typefaces out there all waiting to be used on your outdoor marketing campaign. Don’t settle for ‘standard’.
Marketing buffs say that the consumer should be told what to do before they buy a product or service. On websites, adverts and the like, this may be true. Some marketing experts suggest that on some outdoor marketing posters, banners etc., this may not be necessary. It depends on what you are offering and how you are doing it. If you are offering a ‘50% off deal for a limited time only’ deal, then you may need to include an instruction that tells the consumer what to do (is it online only? Or do they need to call in your shop etc.?) In other cases, if you are just making people aware you exist and how great you are, you may not need to but, remember, your campaign needs to evoke an emotional response e.g. “MOT – only £40” – ‘that’s good, mine is due next month’… bingo!
You need to make sure that any outdoor marketing campaign is written in the right tone for your TARGET audience. Keep your focus; don’t assume that because your poster is outdoors that it needs to appeal to everyone.
Stand on your own two feet! Don’t be tempted to pinch things from national campaigns or jump on a bandwagon as it can have a habit of backfiring. You are building YOUR brand, not theirs.
Rules are meant to be broken and re-written; if Times New Roman says everything about your font, use it. If your dog is important within your business, use their mug shot on your outdoor poster. Sometimes you might need to use more than 7 words- and you can do so, but make sure your message is highlighted and getting across.
James Birch is the sales and marketing manager at Colour Graphics. He is an expert in quality printed marketing materials
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