Most contractors have a marketing gold mine that they squander away. The gold mine is their service trucks. At Comfortech, Steve Miles and I gave a joint presentation on the power of mobile billboard advertising. This is a summary.

The Dollar Value of Your Truck
Most contractors do not know the marketing value of their trucks. We call a truck a mobile billboard. How much is a billboard worth? Billboard advertising varies based on drive by traffic, metropolitan area, and other factors. A large billboard can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $30,000 per month. Taking the small end of the range, this would suggest that the advertising impact of your truck is at least $1,500 X 2 sides X 12 months, or $36,000.

Sound high? It’s not. If anything, it’s low. Here are a few published prices for mobile billboards (trucks or trailers)…

• Trailer - $1,200 printing plus $6,800 rental per month
• Trailer - $995 printing plus $995 rental per week ($4,279 per month)
• Truck - $1,200 printing plus $500 - $800 rental per day ($15,000 - $24,000 per month)
• Truck - $1,100 printing plus $1,000 rental per day ($30,000 per month).

The average value is $15,000 per month. That gives you an advertising impact of $180,000 per year per truck. Does this seem high? Maybe it is, but it does show that your truck’s advertising impact is significant and worth investment and study.

The Advertising Effectiveness of Truck Marketing
According to Wheels America Advertising…

• An American Trucking Association study found that ads on trucks were noticed by 98% of people in cars.
• Perception Research found that vehicle advertising is 2.5 times more effective than fixed billboard advertising.
• RYP & Becker Group claim vehicle marketing results in a 97% message recall, compared to a 19% retention for stationary signs per Capitol Communications Group. According to the mobile billboard company, Ad Hitch…
• A study by Product Acceptance and Research, Inc. found vehicle billboards was twice as effective as stationary billboards in driving sales and boasted an 80% recall of specific ads. A study by the Transportation Advertising Council found 97% recall rates.
• Arbitron reports that Americans spend an average of 15 hours per week in cars.
• The European Outdoor Advertising Association found that truck marketing boosted name recognition 15 times more than any other form of advertising.
• The Outdoor Advertising Association of America calculates that each truck can generate 30,000 to 70,000 impressions per day!

Cost wise, vehicle marketing is far more affordable than other forms of advertising. Average costs reported by Bulldog Billboards and Jet Mobile Media, the cost per thousand impressions is…
• $2.05 for mobile billboards
• $4.17 for stationary billboards
• $6.12 for drive time radio
• $18.40 for television.

Almost solely on the basis of their trucks, DHL attained top-of-mind brand awareness numbers that are double the brand awareness of any manufacturer in the HVAC industry. Your trucks can be powerful marketing tools. A ten truck contractor with a good truck ID program can easily have greater top-of-mind awareness for his company brand in his market than any of the brands he sells.

Sadly, most contractors squander their mobile opportunity. In the next CB Hotmail, I’ll cover good design practices as well as practices to avoid.

The Service Roundtable is issuing rebate checks this week. For the year, we paid out more than $2 million dollars to contractors for buying parts, products, and services from our Roundtable Rewards partners rather than someone else. Are you getting cash back on your purchases? In not, join the Service Roundtable and enroll in the free Roundtable Rewards program. Call 877.262.3341 for more information.