19th of October 2009 0
“Sign Sign everywhere a sign” The song rings in my head as I write this article. Although the song is not and was not written in praise of signs there is no mistaking it.Signs are everywhere. From billboards to bumper stickers, signs have one very important function. They convey a message. Signs promote businesses, candidates, and events. They “welcome” you, or tell you to “Haul A$$” Love them or **** them signs are an effective form of communication.
One of the most important things signs do is to promote businesses. Road front on-premise signage is one of the absolute best values for marketing and advertising a business. Marketing company guru’s and media sales people are always hustling there wares. From yellow page ads to TV commercials everybody will tell you that there form of advertising is the best value. They throw out statistics, numbers, and informational material that talk about “Costs Per Cycle” or “Cost per impression.
Lets start with the second. “Cost Per Impression”. Cost per impressions or “CPI” is used in all forms of visual media. Newspapers, bill boards, internet ads, and the yellow pages are all measured in CPI. For example, A newspaper sales dept will tell you that if you pay $169 for an ad, and they print it in 10,000 newspapers that your CPI is $0.0169. WOW that’s a great deal! You mean for only $169.00 ten THOUSAND people will read my ad! How can I go wrong! Well it’s easy. I don’t have exact statistics but most people I know don’t read any of the ads in the paper. They check out the scores for last nights games, see who croaked, and who got busted over the weekend. Most of the flyers and ads end up as fish wrap, or on the bottom of a bird cage without ever being seen. Naturally folks who our planning to go shopping, or go on a trip will actually comb thought the paper looking for your ad.
Now all the visual medias described above are useful advertising tools, and when properly used are effective elements in a businesses marketing strategy. So lets get back to what this article is all about. SIGNS! Road front on-premise signs are without a doubt, one of the most cost effective advertising mediums available to businesses. Your sign can work 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. When you purchase a quality sign from a reputable sign shop your CPI is so low it can’t be calculated. Now don’t get me wrong, a good quality, well designed sign is not cheap. For a small business the cost of a good sign can be a major portion of there start up costs. But the long term benefits of the sign is undeniable. In fact, the U.S. Small Business Administration says signage is the least expensive, yet most effective form of advertising available to you. It can be responsible for half of your customers – that’s right 50%. And many loan companies think signage is so important that if they don’t see it included in the budget, they won’t issue a loan.
A signs effectiveness is undeniable. There are certain rules that have to be followed to get the most out of your sign. A quality, well constructed sign is the most important thing. It doe’s not matter if the sign has the best design and location available, if it’s not constructed and installed properly it will start to degrade and become unsightly before your business gets a good return on a very large investment. When starting a business the sign should be included in the business plan from the get go, not as an after thought. Most new businesses start to have budget shortfalls in the process of startup and start to look for ways to cut corners. The sign is not the place to start. A $1000 5×10 sign in a PVC frame will not be effective sitting in front of a restaurant in a $500,000 building! Remember “good signs don’t come cheap, and cheap signs don’t come good!”
Proper graphic design elements and model of sign are also important. While an engraved and painted stone sign would look equally well in front of a resturant or the entrance to a professional office complex. A 25 foot interior lit sign with a full color digital changeable copy measage board would look tacky in front of a lawyers office (Ambulance chasers don’t count!) They should be left to convienance stores and car lots.
If you are planning to start a small business consult with your business advisor, mentor, or small business development group about signage and how important it will be to your certain type of business. For more information contact a local reputable sign contractor.
In the eastern part of NC I recommend One Source Signs & Graphics