Inbound Marketing Versus Outdoor Billboard

Sometimes it’s funny what is in favor one decade is out of favor in another decade. This seems to be true of outdoor advertising. With the fragmentation of media, and with the public now able to choose what media they will receive, and when, Outdoor seems to have found favor in the media mix.

One of the advantages of Inbound Marketing ( is that people can choose to participate in the marketer’s solicitation. This resonates with today’s consumer because she is busy and not as available for the interruption of traditional advertising mediums. This is where an advantage of outdoor comes into play. It is not associated with the typical interruption caused by radio, TV and cable.

So the medium of outdoor advertising ( lives on in 2012 and on into 2013. As soon as she gets in her car and drives past an outdoor billboard she is face to face with an advertising impression. In markets with high traffic volumes and long commutes, outdoor advertising can be very beneficial in conveying an advertising message.

Another advantage of outdoor advertising today is the advent of the LED screen ( It is been banned in some areas ( because lawmakers believe it is too distracting. This is probably good news for advertisers. Along with the LED screen, however, comes more fragmentation. Typically billboard owners want to rotate at least six different advertisers on each LED screen. This means a message only gets about eight seconds each rotation.

This would not be a big problem if the billboard owner cut its rate proportionately. However, this is generally not the case. An advertiser pays the same rate when their ad rotates compared with a static vinyl layout. So, an advertiser must weigh the benefits of the bright LED screen versus the fragmentation of their message among six or seven other advertisers on the same screen.

Where Inbound Marketing has a great advantage over outdoor advertising is its ability to provide much more information to the consumer which can be helpful in generating a quality sales lead. As advertising executives know all too well, more than five words on a billboard is risking the value of the total message. Thus, outdoor advertising can be more helpful to advertisers with established brands who merely need to keep their name in front of the public rather than an advertiser who is trying to establish a new brand, or advertise a product with which the prospect is not familiar. In addition advertisers using Inbound Marketing do not need to worry about competing advertisers in their message. Turn off microphone

The bottom line in our brief review of the merits of Inbound Marketing versus outdoor advertising is that outdoor advertising remains valuable for marketers who have an established brand and want to keep their brand name in front of the public. For marketers without an established brand a good way to get on the prospects consideration list is to start with inbound marketing.


The author, Bob Ottaway, is President and Founder of Ottaway Digital.  Established in 1999, it has been a pioneer in SEO, digital advertising & social media since 2006.  

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