Mobile Billboards and Customer Psychographics

By | October 2, 2012

Yesterday I drove by a billboard advertising banking services. It was for a local bank and the image — probably 40 feet high — was not money but a cellphone. “We offer mobile banking!”

I was reminded of a case study I wrote up recently in which Quad/Graphics worked with Lexus to create an ad using NFC technology in 500,000 copies of Wired.  So few NFC-enabled phones exist, and the cost of NFC ads still so significant, I wondered how a magazine ad have been worth the cost. Where was the pay-off?

The answer, according to Matthew Kammerait of Q/G, is the extremely highly qualified prospect base that resulted from this targeting. Only certain people who would scan the NFC tag, and knowing who those people were and where they lived was of enough value to Lexus to make the spend. Notes Kammerait:

There are two primary benefits to [targeting NFC adopters] this early. The first is access to the data it provides. Understanding who the early adopters really are and the geographies in which they live is very important to advertisers. The other benefit is gaining brand visibility and associating your brand with technology. Even if readers don’t interact with the NFC tag, they see you as a forward-thinking brand.

This is what flashed through my mind as I saw mobile banking used as the draw for the billboard. It tells me a lot about the type of customer the bank is looking to engage.  The bank could go after a broad audience, but instead, it chose to target higher income, more technology-savvy drivers, which I can only assume the bank knows through industry research will likely invest more money and use more of its financial services.

Using billboards to do demographic targeting — interesting.

It reminds me that we can and should be asking our customers more sophisticated questions than just “what are you selling?” and “what list are you using?” We need to get behind the marketing campaign and understand what it’s goals really are . . . and why.

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