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TOPIC: How much advertising do you do?

How much advertising do you do? 06 Dec 2005 07:15 #11408

  • Pieman
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I live in a rural area in Australia. My town has a population of 14,000 and we draw from the surrounding area, maybe another 8 to 10,000 if we're lucky. We currently advertise in one local paper twice a week and a second paper during school holidays in another town about 40 mins drive away. We deliver our ad to the local motels weekly and have the broshures outside the building and also on the front counter.
We occasionally put an ad on the TV and/or radio, but the Village complex an hour and a half often advertises on these and we do get spin off from that most of the time (its only bad when we don't have the same shows)

Can anyone suggest any other places for advertising that don't cost a fortune??
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Re: How much advertising do you do? 06 Dec 2005 12:47 #11409

  • rodeojack
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Sorry to have turned this post into a small magazine, but you've touched on subject we've put a lot into over the past 20 years...

In our case, the best cost/benefit ratio for our advertising has shifted from the newspaper and telephone to the internet.

Subscriptions are declining to our daily newspaper; a phenomenon that's not uncommon in this country. It's not a media that we can presently discontinue altogether, but we don't do anything but a small "directory" ad.. much like the chain houses here do. We do participate in co-op display advertising, when the studio agencies make buys in our area. It's relatively inexpensive and the studios do all the work.

Broadcast advertising is too expensive in our market. We're in the shadow of Seattle, and we'd be paying to put our ads in front of people who would rarely, if ever travel to where we are. Overall, I don't believe broadcast would work well except for areas where the local station is not overshadowed by a broadcaster in a larger town. One reason is the number of repeat ads you have to put in front of a person before they retain your information.

We are looking at doing some experimenting with local cable advertising. The cable systems are able to insert ads into the channels they carry, and the technical quality can be as good as commercial broadcast. It seems to me that the ability to focus the area where a cable ad runs might make the cost worthwhile, so we're going to give that a shot in our area next Spring.

We used to have a computer-based voice mail system, which was connected to 12 phone lines (for a 3-screen drive-in). Normal movie/theatre information was recorded on that system. At one point, the system also included a phone-based version of an email broadcast list. We were able to record one announcement, push a button and the system would call everyone on the list. The system was calling over 2,000 numbers when the service peaked.

As activity has migrated to the internet, we've reduced our phone line count (now down to two, with resultant cost savings), and discontinued the phone calling list. Intrusive telemarketing calls have been a problem in this country, eventually eroding the "positive PR" value of our service, even though all of our calls had been requested in the first place.

Today, we provide basic showtime information on the phone and encourage people to go to our web site, where they can peruse for theatre details at their leisure. A particular person will visit your information source for any number of reasons. They might want to know what you're playing. They might want to know what ticket prices are. They might be interested in who you are, how long you've been around and what makes you special. In a phone-based system, the information you provide is sent out in a single stream. The information a caller might want could be toward the end, making the balance between brevity and inclusiveness a constant struggle. With a well-designed web site, visitors can go right to the information that interests them. Subliminally, that seems much more positive to me.

We promote an email list that can be subscribed/unsubscribed by the user (low maintenance on our part). As with the former phone system, we make up a simple "starts Friday" announcement and the site sends it to everyone on the list. Aside from its other obvious benefits, it's a great pump-primer when we open for the season. The list has around 3,000 addresses on it at present.

Aside from the time we put into the web site, the monthly cost is only $18 plus annual domain registration fees.

We've had a web presence since 1996. Statistical activity on the site has increased each and every year since. Last August, the site set a record for daily visits (over 2,400). I have no idea what the formula would be, but imagine how many newspapers you'd have to put out to the public... or how many broadcast ads or flyers you'd have to pay for in order to reach 2,400 people who specifically wanted your information. In my mind, that makes the internet today's goldmine.

If you don't have an active site running, I'd sure start with that.

Also, look into what 3rd party sites might be available to you. There are several free movie information sites in this country, and getting our schedule on them is as simple as sending out a couple of emails. One of these companies sends the information they receive to two or three sites plus the Dish Network's interactive channel. We may show up on DirecTV because of this, but I don't subscribe to them so I don't know.


Jack
http://www.rodeodrivein.com

[This message has been edited by rodeojack (edited December 06, 2005).]
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Re: How much advertising do you do? 07 Dec 2005 07:00 #11410

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Thanks jack
That is a big help. We have a website but its currenly just showing whats on for the week. I must get onto the webmaster and build it up to a good standard!
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Re: How much advertising do you do? 07 Dec 2005 17:19 #11411

Why not install an LED sign in front of your building or off a main highway to advertise your theatre and your products and services?

Because our company manufactures indoor and outdoor LED signs, my reply will be biased. However, considering the positive ROI our customers have witnessed since they installed their signs, it's obviously one of the best forms for on-premise or remote advertising..pending your city/village will allow such a thing. And, considering you're able to change the message for free hourly/daily/weekly/monthly, you can provide day-part advertising based on your customer base.

Here's a great excerpt from one of our installer's project reports:

"I got to my hotel after training Al from State Line on the software and setting up some messages, when he called. I thought ‘oh no, what broke!?" Instead…

"Al used his laptop to program the sign from his house and was uploading some new messages when his laptop batteries died. He drove back to the gas station to get his power cord and charger. He had sent ‘CARS AND TRUCKS FOR SALE’ but wasn’t sure what might have transmitted to the the sign. He got to the station and while getting out of his car, someone asks to see the cars. Within 5 minutes of putting the message on the display, Al sold $5,000 worth of used cars…"

Is there any other form of advertising that can produce those kinds of results for the money?

Christopher

[This message has been edited by Christopher (edited December 07, 2005).]
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Re: How much advertising do you do? 08 Dec 2005 14:44 #11412

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