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Billboards vs. Grocery Cart Advertising: What's More Effective For Your Local Business?

11/21/17 9:00 AM

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Do you remember the last time you saw a billboard? Perhaps you recall the time of day or even the location of the advertisement. But chances are, you aren’t able to recite the message, content, or brand that was being advertised. If you’re speeding by a billboard on the freeway at 60 miles per hour, it’s only natural to miss the value of the service. What’s more, daily media and ad exposure is at an all-time high. Some sources show that the average adult is exposed to 362 ads per day.

While digital billboards and other technology have revitalized an otherwise outdated medium, oversaturation and overexposure still impact the lasting success of billboards. Consumers continue to tune out non-interactive signage—and they seek an additional level of engagement. Because most of them carry smartphones and expect information on demand, they’re used to getting information quickly and with limited resistance.

Reaching the modern consumer takes more than creating a compelling ad and slapping it on a billboard. Instead, it’s about repetition and targeting.

That’s where grocery cart advertising steps in.

Billboard vs. Grocery Cart Advertising: The Differences

The True Cost of Billboards

A single billboard is not cheap. It’s not very effective, either. While billboards are a mass market medium, they require support and money. To be successful, businesses need more than one to be successful. A blog post published on The Balance discusses gross ratings points (GRP) relative to billboard advertising. GRP ranks campaigns on a 100-point scale, based on factors such as traffic, visibility, location, and size.

For example, a score of 50 indicates that at least 50 percent of the population in an area is exposed to a campaign at least once a day. The number of billboards that businesses invest in impacts their GRP. However, obtaining a 100 percent showing comes at a cost. As the article claims, businesses can expect to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a high-ranking GRP. And in major metropolitan areas, the price increases even more.

For small business owners with limited marketing budgets, this is a problem.

The Benefits of Grocery Cart Ads

Grocery cart advertising enables small business owners to reap the benefits of large-scale, million-dollar campaigns—at the fraction of the price. So, what exactly is grocery cart advertising? The proven technique enables businesses to advertise on shopping carts in grocery stores across the country. Unlike costly, oft-ignored billboard campaigns, cart advertising is simple for small business owners to implement:

  1. Partner with a company that specializes in shopping cart advertising.
  2. Determine how long you want your ad to run.
  3. Decide what content and information to include on the ad.
  4. Choose how many stores and carts you want to place the ad on.

Not only do cart advertisements demand the attention of shoppers, they can be targeted around demographic and geographic preferences. Business owners can tailor messaging around age, gender, average household income, and other factors to ensure that ads are reaching a relevant audience. This increases brand awareness, recognition, and reach.

Customized, Targeted, and Affordable

Think of grocery cart ads as miniature billboards. Like traditional billboards, grocery cart advertising can be colorful and custom-designed to showcase your business. One of the main differences between billboards versus grocery cart advertising, however, is that consumers actually notice the latter.

Ultimately, these ads are several feet from customers during their entire purchasing experience. Whereas consumers may only drive past a billboard once, small business owners can rest assured that consumers are seeing the same grocery cart ad repeatedly. Because the average shopper spends 43 minutes in the grocery store per trip and visits local stores an average of 1.7 times per week, these ads are in front of the average consumer more than 80 times per year.

Advertising on grocery store carts enables companies to produce beautiful, full-color ads that make an impression on a targeted audience. For brands looking to increase long-term brand awareness and recognition, the benefits of grocery cart advertising are for you.

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Anna Ruby

Written by Anna Ruby

Marketing Analyst. Theatre nerd. Dog-lover. Obstacle course-racer. Small business owner.