Signs of the Times - January 2013 - (Page 67)

The Value of Signs Converting Wyoming static billboards to electronic By Wade Swormstedt A Gillette,increased its sales by 30%,company, Target WY, outdoor advertising Signs, has attracted new categories of clients, and quickly produced measurable results for its clients after having converted six of its 70 billboards from static messages to electronic message centers in October. “These were the first digital billboards in the area,” Target Signs owner Ken Musser said. “We’re a large mining town, and a lot of people travel Highway 59, aka, the Coal Miner 500. Ten minutes after we switched the billboards on, the phones started ringing off the hook.” Musser placed higher-resolution True-16mm boards made by Watchfire Digital Outdoor (Danville, IL) near intersections with slower-moving traffic and True-19mm boards near highway traffic. They’re strategically placed along a 1½-mile stretch of the main commuter route through Gillette. “The digital billboards aren’t hurting my static display business at all. Demand has been so strong that we can choose our customers,” said Musser. “Digital ads have a way of building momentum because people see them more than once. Advertisers love them because they can deliver flexible, timely marketing messages.” The EMCs allow Target Signs to offer 12-week contracts, whereas, previously, “we were asking people to make year-long obligations on static boards. Now that seems so archaic,” said Musser. Specific clients, such as realtors and a tanning-salon service, tend to be more seasonal in their marketing, he added. Watchfire’s web-based Ignite® Online software facilitated designing ads and setting up campaigns from any location. The messages change every six seconds (without any legislative opposition), and each sign can store eight messages, so a complete rotation lasts 48 seconds. Similarly, with six EMC boards, Target has 48 slots available, and Musser said he sold 16 of them in the first month. Thus far, it’s been a win-win. Musser said all of the advertisers have been very pleased with the response; one retailer’s ads for phones led to significantly higher phone sales in a single day. As for Target, its investment in the EMC conversions was nearly at break-even in a month. Musser advises other operators who are considering a similar move: “Concentrate on your traffic counts. Make sure the size of the billboard is appropriate for the location. And remember, this can actually be fun – my customers are tickled about digital billboard ads.” ■ (Watchfire obtained the quotes for this column.) SIGNS OF THE TIMES / JANUARY 2013 / 67

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - January 2013

Signs of the Times - January 2013
ST Update
Technology Update
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Commercial
Lighting Techniques
The Moving Message
Technology Review
Technology Review
Design Matters
New Products
Scenes from the Global Village
Crane Truck Safety Advice
Supreme Wrap
The Value of Signs
Industry News
Advertising Index
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - January 2013