Operators ask me if they should list their billboard inventory as “Sold” or “Available” on their OOH website. Great question!
The last thing you want to do is give a potential advertiser a reason NOT to pick up the phone and call you. Put yourself in the shoes of the advertiser. They are looking through your inventory map on your website, and they find the one billboard location that checks all their boxes. Plus, the Billboard Video Proposal SignBird produced looks great! The billboard is at the major intersection, right-hand read, great visibility. The advertiser is excited thinking of all the customers this billboard will bring to their door, then suddenly, they scroll down the billboard info window and BOOM! The billboard they want is listed as “Sold”. They are crushed…and decide to swear off billboards forever…
Okay…it may not be that dramatic, but you get the point. We do not want to discourage advertisers from calling, right? Especially when our websites were designed for that purpose, to generate sales!
So, what is the alternative? List the board as “Available”?
List the board as “Available” on your website, and what happens? That penny-pinching advertiser believes they have all the leverage on you. You have a vacant billboard that is eating away at you, meanwhile the advertiser believes you will drop the price. Sound familiar? Regardless of whether you stand firm and keep rate integrity, having inventory listed as “Available” on your website, could still potentially hurt your brand and how advertisers feel about your product. “Well, if it’s listed as available on the website then it must not have worked for the last advertiser…”
You may think, “But John, listing my inventory as “Sold” or “Available” saves me and my sales team precious time. We have too much stuff going on to filter phone calls about billboards we have already sold with long term contracts. Having the status of our billboard listed on the website creates demand.” That is a valid point! There is only so much time in the day and having your inventory communicate its availability through your website, might be the reason why you invested in a website to begin with!
The opportunity to hear from someone looking to advertise on your billboard, available or not, is too profitable to pass up. You can learn about their business, make connections, ask questions, and solve problems. You could direct them to another billboard location that would better serve their needs, add them to your location waiting list, or just create a professional relationship.
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