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Windshield Advertising, Effective Marketing or Nuisance?

windshield advertisingPosting advertising flyers on car windshields is probably the most controversial method of marketing you could possibly think of… perhaps we’ll explore that as a topic in the future.  In the meantime, let me ask if you recall the last time you had a marketing flyer posted on your car windshield?  Do you remember how it made you feel?  How about this, do you even remember what was being advertised?  I’m not sure that last question was really fair as we sometimes don’t remember what’s being advertised in more traditional mediums like radio, television, or newspapers.

Okay, let’s start with “how did you feel when you came back to your car to find a flyer, postcard, or business card wedged under your windshield?  Personally, I like to think I’m a fairly easy going feller and try not to sweat the small stuff.  Perhaps I’m biased considering I make a living in marketing and advertising.  However, in doing so, I still have to consider the audience that’s on the receiving end of the marketing message and the medium in which it’s delivered.  On the other hand, I’m an individual with my own independent opinions on what I approve and disapprove of in my life.  This happens to be one of those things that I don’t mind…. IF, my car isn’t totally covered in them, it can be done without “snapping” my windshield wipers, AND to promotional message is “family friendly”.  Again, that may be just me personally, but I prefer not to have the local strip club featuring their star dancer posted where one of my children can get at it.

Is Windshield Advertising Effective?

Not only have I wondered if marketing on car windshields was effective, but you might also ask, “Is posting ads in car windshields legal?”  Well, I’m certainly no attorney, and rest assured that I haven’t researched this topic state by state.  However, I do live in California and found this video answers both questions as to whether it is legal to put ads on your windshield, and if businesses feel it is a viable offline marketing strategy.

I think you might find the answers surprising, I did.  I also think that if you asked around to your friends and colleagues, you’ll also be surprised at their responses.  I’ve found that most of the people I’ve talked to personally have given me mostly negative responses and a few that I would consider “neutral.”  Here’s the funny thing though, although from the several people I’ve talked to, I haven’t heard anyone enthusiastically claim they love finding ads plastered on their windshields, I have received some responses that they’ve actually taken advantage of what was offered on the ad or patronized the business that was advertising.  Of course, on the other side of THAT coin, I’ve heard a few people that you could tell were enraged by just the idea of it and stated they would NEVER patronize a business that put advertising material on their windshield.

Speaking from personal experience, yes, I have used this method of marketing (don’t throw things at me, I did it responsibly).  Okay, I hear some of you asking, “How do you do this responsibly?”  Well, one of the reasons I don’t use this offline marketing strategy often is because it’s time consuming if you’re going to do it “responsibly.”  The first thing I consider is what is the cause of the worst reactions from the recipients of these ads?  Or, even what would irritate ME most about receiving one of these ads?  The most common answer to that is, placing the ad into the windshield wiper.  I give this consideration for a couple reasons.  One is that if you hire someone to do this for you to spare yourself some time, they might not be as careful and snap or slap the wiper blades down on the windshield.  This could cause damage to the blade and possibly even the windshield.  Secondly, just simply having a foreign object (paper, postcard, business card, etc.) slipped under the wiper blade can cause that blade to warp or otherwise become unaligned and as a result, become less effective.  I view the windshield wiper as safety equipment… people need to be able to see clearly when driving in the rain or snow.  I don’t like messing around with safety equipment.

Another consideration I bear in mind to keep my car marketing on the “responsible” side is the perception of “littering.”  Now, most people who get angry at this type of offline marketing strategy, consider the advertiser to be littering.  You may argue this, but it would seem to me that the person who actually tosses the ad to the ground is the actual person guilty of littering.  Again, your own morals and local laws should dictate who actually wins that argument.  As for me, I’d rather avoid the argument altogether and return to the targeted area either later in the day or the following day and pick up any pieces that may have “accidentally slipped out of someone’s hand.”

Alternative to Windshield Advertising

If you’re going to use this sort of offline marketing strategy, then again, I would recommend staying away from using the windshield wiper as a place to anchor down your marketing material.  Instead, I’ve used either the door handle or the door jam area at the very edges of the door.  I believe these are better placement areas for your ads for a couple reasons.  First, part of the reason that people who get annoyed at the windshield placement is that sometimes they don’t notice the ad on the windshield until they actually get into the car and sit down.  Then they have to open the door again, get out, and remove the ad.  This leads right into my next reason why the door handle or jam is a better placement area… there’s no way the driver is going to miss your ad prior to getting into the vehicle.  Not to mention that the chances of doing any kind of damage to the vehicle is reduced significantly.

I Don’t Care What You Say, Windshield Marketing Sucks!

Okay, I hear and understand the folks in this mindset also.  If you’re one of those folks who simply despises car marketing, then you’ll probably appreciate this video:

So, what are YOUR thoughts?  Have you used windshield advertising as an offline marketing strategy?  What were your results?  Would you patronize a company that uses this form of advertising?  Give us your feedback by leaving a comment below.

Car Wash Ads

car wash advertisingSo, I was at my local car wash the other day here in beautiful sunny San Diego and I was treating my car to a full service wash and wax with some extras… something I do maybe once a year. It was another typical sunny day and I sat outside on the benches watching the giant wash tunnel spit out one wet ride after another. Some were pulled forward to get hand dried and others, mine, pulled off to the side for the extras.

Now, I didn’t run a timer. But I figure a typical, no frills car wash and and hand dry probably runs about 15 minutes or so on a good day. My wash, and extras, ran longer than I really wanted it to at closer to an hour. What are most people going to do with that 15 minutes to an hour? Well, any number of things to pass the time on those benches. Eyes wander around looking at the cars to compare your own to, people watching, there’s a couple news racks with local readers and auto trader magazines… all, of course paid for by advertising.

But one thing that I noticed, that I haven’t seen before at other car washes was a standing, totem pole, sign board with multiple advertising 11″ X 17″ advertisement posters with business card or coupon dispensers at each ad (red arrows). This, I thought, was a perfect time and place for an effective offline marketing strategy. This sign board stand was professionally maintained, fairly attractive, and took up a very small footprint in regards to area consumed outside on the patio.

Just having the signs on this board would seem to be money well spent considering your captive audience. But having the business cards made available makes it that much more effective because the customer then can grab your card and take it with them when their car is finally finished being polished off. According to their website, they restock your cards on a bi-weekly basis.

I would consider Car Wash Ads a high visibility and effective offline marketing strategy.

Recommended Resource

Car Wash Ads

Offline Marketing VS Online Marketing

Offline Marketing VS Online Marketing

It wasn’t too long ago that offline marketing and online marketing were two totally separate and independent endeavors.  However, with more and more creative marketing and advertising strategies being dreamed up every day, by some very clever entrepreneurs, the two marketing strategies are often integrated to compound their power and effectiveness.  Although we will focus a lot of attention on offline marketing strategies and resources, we also want to help you understand and maintain the balance of the two and make sure you’re getting the most effective use of both.  So, your business marketing plan should not have to weigh offline marketing vs online marketing, but making it offline marketing WITH online marketing.

offline marketingOffline Marketing Strategies

Offline Marketing dot com will provide you with tools, resources, and references to give you some great ideas on how to market your business offline.  We will host articles written by professionals who are not simply overnight gurus, but real people who are actually using offline marketing techniques to make a very good living.  These experts will share their offline marketing ideas and strategies so that you can also succeed in marketing your business offline.

Online Marketing Strategies

Offline Marketing dot com will also provide you with the most effective online marketing strategies, tools, and resources to give you some ideas for your business marketing online.  The online marketing subject is quite vast with a variety of software, ebooks, SEO expert advice and tools, and online services with pricey subscriptions…  As such, we’ll do our best to provide you with only most reputable online marketing resources.

Offline Marketing Consultants

The Offline Marketing Consultant is a relatively new profession.  When the average small business owner or manager thinks of the phrase “offline marketing”, the first thoughts probably go to Yellow Pages ads, classifieds, radio advertising, or even television commercials.  As a business owner looking to hire a web designer, social network marketer, or mobile web marketer, we don’t think to type in “offline marketing” into a search engine.  However, Offline Marketing Consultants ARE those professionals that business owners and managers are seeking out.

The offline marketing consultant will generally work with small to medium sized local businesses in not only improving their presence online, but their primary objective will be to get customers in the door for the business.  A good offline consultant will possess the skills necessary to effectively analyze a website for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), know how to integrate social media such as Facebook and Twitter into a business marketing strategy, keep up to date on emerging trends like mobile marketing and QR codes, and consult with the local business owner on what they can do to bring in more customers.  Offline Marketing dot com will also strive to be a resource for both, the offline consultant as well as the local businesses that seek them out to hire them.

CafePress Promotional Products and Advertising

cafepress promotional items

CafePress is an online retailer of personalized and custom promotional items.  Anyone can log on to Cafe Press and choose from dozens of different products such as clothing (t-shirts, sweatshirts, tanks, hoodies, hats, pajamas etc…), tote bags, key chains, glasses, mugs, water bottles, stationery, just to name a few.

If you’re looking for a fantastic offline marketing strategy, get a really good graphic image of your company logo and start producing promotional items with your company logo or slogan on it.  Get a personalized water bottle with your company logo on it.  When you go out on your regular errands, make sure you’re wearing your company logo on your shirts, hats, or jacket.

Every company has stationery.  But why just stop at letterheads that you can simply print on your own home laser jet?  Wouldn’t it be fun to have a calendar on your wall with a bunch of photographs of company functions, parties, gatherings, inspirational quotes, or motivational images?  How about a customized calendar with your product images that you can give away as gifts to some of your clients or potential clients and customers?  You can even give these promotional items as gifts to your company employees, club membership, or organizational downline.

The best thing about using CafePress to produce your promotional items, is that there are NO minimum quantities required to run your job.  You can order one calendar (or any of their hundreds of products), or six dozen.  It doesn’t matter.

I almost forgot another great feature of CafePress… you can create your own online company store and make money on your customized promotional items!  Consider this, you have your own company and your own logo, and maybe even your own company slogan.  Now, you can go to CafePress and create a whole bunch of your own promotional items and put them together in a company store where ANYONE can purchase your customized merchandise.  CafePress shows you how much they will charge you to produce each item and ship it for you, and you decide how much you want to charge over and above that cost as your profit.  For example, if CafePress is going to charge you $16 to produce one of your company t-shirts and ship it to your customer, you can add that t-shirt to your company store and charge $19 and make a $3 profit.  Now, that may not sound like enough to retire on, but if you consider filling your store with a full inventory of merchandise and you’re going to profit from the sale of each and every item… NOW, you’re talking about extra income!

You might also consider using your CafePress store as a revenue source for a fund raiser for any charitable organization that you might be a part of or want to work with.

Recommended Resources

Cafe Press, or CafePress, creates custom merchandise for anyone for gifts or business promotion




Offline Marketing dot com relaunch

Welcome to Offline Marketing dot com!  For those of you who have been watching us for a while… yes, it’s been a while.  And I agree, it’s been too long since we’ve brought in the wrecking ball and bulldozers, and decided to rebuild from the ground up.  So, what you’re witnessing right now is the ground breaking of the new Offline Marketing site where we hope to be a comprehensive site for businesses to use as a resource for a wide variety of online AND offline marketing ideas, strategies, and resources.