Do Billboard Advertisements Drive Customer Retention?

Russ Curry, Ministry of New Media

The June 2020 Journal of Advertising Research (Vol. 60, Issue 2) features an article ‘Do Billboard Advertisements Drive Customer Retention?’

The excerpt says that in an age of advertising clutter, information overload and active ad blocking by consumers, billboards are a distinctive medium. Yet, “many researchers neglect the wider capabilities of billboards,” which generally are deployed to generate awareness, according to authors John L. Fortenberry Jr. (Louisiana State University and Willis-Knighton Health System) and Peter J. McGoldrick (University of Manchester, U.K.).

The problem, they claim, is in the models used to determine billboard effectiveness that measure initial attraction, such as ‘Attention-Interest-Desire-Action’ which dates back to 1925. “These early models attracted criticisms, primarily for oversimplification and implied rigid sequencing, yet they remain influential,” the authors write. “Management discussion indicates that billboards also can fulfill roles in helping to retain patronage. This extends beyond the action stages of AIDA into assisting reinforcement,” as reflected in certain later models. The industry, the authors contend, would benefit from further study of the retention of existing customers, expanding the AIDA to AIDAR, with ‘R’ referring to customer retention.

In this two-part study, the authors analysed consumer evaluations of billboard attributes. They found that beyond attracting customers, billboards “also affect existing customers and repatronage decisions.” What’s more, “marketing executives recognized billboards’ role in assisting reinforcement and customer retention”.

More information can be found from the ARF here.

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