The Best Time To Reach Local Customers Isn’t At The Movies

The Best Time To Reach Local Customers Isn’t At The Movies

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Local Movie Theater Advertising Sucks

The best time to reach locals isn’t when they are about to watch a movie, or while driving, or watching TV.

No, the best time to reach local customers is when they are searching for your business.

A really bad use of a local ad budget

So I went to see a movie the other night at this fancy new theater that just opened up nearby.

My wife and I got there early, so we had to sit through some less-than-entertaining local advertisements.

(This particular night was a double-fail because the screen was blank, so they only had the audio going. Wonder if they credited the advertisers with a make-good?)

I began wondering about why a local advertiser would pay for such ineffective advertising. How much money was that really costing them? What was the return on their investment? (ROI)

Then a local dentist ad came over the speakers and I almost felt like it was a good ad. Well, almost.

The “almost good” local movie theater ad

The ad did spark awareness that a dentists office was only two blocks away from the theater. I live a few miles away, so this wasn’t breaking news for me. However, that area does have some new residential construction and plenty of office space, so it was good for awareness at least.

I suppose if that’s all the dental office wanted, then mission accomplished – on a very small scale at least.

The dentist would have had much better return on their local ad investment if they had used their budget on Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC/SEM (Pay-per-click/Search Engine Marketing).

Local Customers: Get them while they’re hot

Sure, some of the movie-goers might remember the name, or the website, or the phone number of the dental practice. Even fewer will remember that info months later when they are actually in the market for a dentist.

Because that’s the way it works – most people don’t walk around constantly in the market for a dentist. As a local dental practice, you want to get in front of them when they are actually looking for someone to take care of their teeth, not when they are just waiting for your commercial to end so the movie can start.

So, dentists, lawyers, plumbers, and all other manner of business owners that get put into this situation by pushy media sales reps…

Just hang up the phone. Then give us a call.

The real cost of movie theater ads

Cinema advertising reps usually sell based on very nebulous facts like “cinema goers are more educated” or “have higher incomes!” They also speak about the so-called affordability of this type of advertising. Their rate cards make it sound so inexpensive – until you break out a calculator.

Cinema ad spots can cost anywhere from $25 to $50 per screen per week. For a local advertiser, a 12 screen theater would cost from $300 to $600 USD per week, or $1200 to $1500 a month, plus production fees, which can be in the thousands of dollars. There’s usually a minimum number of months commitment involved as well.

Movie theaters are not a good use of a local ad budget, period.

Our local SEO packages are less than half of that cost, and that’s for a very customized service.

Maybe it’s not about SEO for your particular business. There are still a dozen better ways to spend your monthly ad budget than in a movie theater full of distracted patrons.

Social media campaigns, online and mobile display advertising, pay-per-click ads, video and other digital media channels will all yield better results than whatever your local media sales reps are peddling (I’m looking at you, TV, radio, newspapers, and especially yellow books!)

If you’ve ever considered spending your ad budgets with any of these guys, do yourself a favor and drop us a line first. We’ll focus first and foremost on measurable results and the return of your hard-earned investment.

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