November 17, 2017
As a Co-Owner and Operator of a small-to-midsize-business focused ad agency, I get approached about billboard placement all the time and one big question is always “So, do you own the billboards?”
No. No we do not.
I’ve learned to answer this question with an explanation of our role in the process and what all we as an agency bring to the table for you, but we get this question so often that it bares a breakdown here in good old blog fashion…
No, we don’t own any of the billboards in Hampton Roads at all. We are a billboard broker. As an agency, we get outdoor advertising rates at about 15-20% less than what you as a business off the street would get working directly with the companies that own the billboards. This gap here is how we make our money.
But there’s more to it than just that… We work with ALL the billboard companies in the area, big, little, even ones owned by a stern little old lady. We pull inventory and best negotiated rates from all these places and put together options for you at no charge. We do all the work for you so you don’t have to call on 6-8 different companies just to get the same information. A proposal of avails is always available to you free of charge from us. It may take a day or two to put it all together, but we’re always in contact with our vendors in order to get the most up to date availability on all units.
The only thing we charge you for is the billboard lease and any production cost associated (if it’s a bulletin or poster, ~ digitals require no production).
In more cases than less we’ll even do the design work for you for free if you need your billboard designed. If you’re wanting to handle your design internally though, we’ll provide you with the specs your designer needs. We offer professional insight and feedback on your artwork if needed too! The most effective billboards have 8 or less words on them, and you guessed it.. we often are sent designs that contain about 29 words on them. It’s our duty at that point to offer some friendly suggestions if we think they’re needed simply because we not only know what works and what doesn’t outdoors, but we have a direct interest in setting you up for success. The more effective your outdoor campaign is, the more likely you’ll use our services again or recommend us. We’re happy when you’re happy.
And that my friends is how ad agency billboard brokering works and why it benefits businesses like yours to work with us rather than trying to go direct and get the same rate (or possibly more expensive!) along with the headache of dealing with 6-8 different pushy sales people. We do it all for you while saving you time and money.
Marc Bethel is Co-Owner of Commonwealth Creative Marketing, a full-service design and production firm located in Virginia Beach, VA. Read more posts by Marc at http://ccm-web.com/blog/.