The U.S. SBA (Small Business Administration) is a well-known and respected national organization that provides independent research and support services for small to medium sized organizations.
The following excerpts are from articles published by the SBA regarding on-premise signage, which incorporates LED Electronic Message Center signage.
Why a business would need an Electronic Message Center:
Motorists often spot electronic message centers quickly because the copy changes, the letters are illuminated, and the signs have traditionally been used as public service devices. Additionally, electronic message centers may have greater visibility from further distances, especially in poor lighting conditions, giving the motorist additional time to read the message displayed while safely maneuvering his or her vehicle.
Message Centers act as a consolidating type of advertising. In other words, they offer businesses a way of posting a variety of information in one place rather than relying on numerous signs and banners displayed in windows, for example. This can be a real advantage for a business located in a district with strict rules about temporary signs.
Most importantly, the electronic message center almost always increases a business's share of revenue. This is a result of the "branding" of the site through the use of specific logos, reinforcement of other advertising messages, allowing for public service notices, generating exact impulse stops, and helping to change customers' buying habits once they have stopped.
The Electronic Message Center is a Cost-Effective Advertising Medium:
Businesses often select their advertising medium, and messages, based upon the cost per thousand exposures of their message to the public. On this basis, no other form of advertising comes close to matching the efficiency and cost-effectiveness, dollar for dollar, of an electronic message display. Compare the figures below:
Best of all, with an electronic message center, a business does not have to worry about missing its target audience, becoming "yesterday's news," or facing expensive production costs for changing its message, as happens frequently with the other forms of advertising mentioned.
With an electronic variable message display:
Finally, many message center manufacturers provide leasing programs, which include service and maintenance, thereby providing another option for covering the cost of usage.
The Cost of an Electronic Message Center:
It is not uncommon for a business that is already using a variety of media advertising without an electronic message center to divert some of those advertising dollars to an investment in one of these displays, greatly increasing exposure, business volume and customer acquisition - all without spending any additional revenue.
Technological breakthroughs have reduced the costs of producing these communications devices and have considerably reduced the previous level of expense for operating message centers. New technology is available that allows message centers to:
Best of all, these new message centers can be purchased for much less than their predecessors. Even small and medium-sized companies are finding an investment in a changeable electronic sign is worthwhile. Technological advancements are occurring so rapidly that a greater variety of these signs is within financial reach, offering the small business a tremendous on-site advertising tool that ties the advertised product directly to the location where it can be purchased.
Features and Advantages of EMCs:
An Answer to the Challenge of Changing Demographics:
The public - your existing and potential customers - is on the move, both literally and figuratively, and sometimes catching their attention is like hitting a moving target. Consider that approximately 18.6% of Americans move every year. Whether they move a short or long distance, they usually change their basic trade area. Add to that the fact that 15-35% of the traffic on a given street is "just passing through" (vacation travelers and such), and you can see the great potential for single stops by those unfamiliar with the area.
An electronic or variable message center offers a unique way to capture the attention of these passers-by. An EMC allows you to communicate more effectively with the typical person passing by at a particular time day by changing the message and graphic of your sign to match the profile on the street.
The local airport in Monmouth, NJ offers a clever example of this flexibility. The airport used its display to advertise price specials at peak hours to those traveling by on the freeway on the way to and from work. During shopping hours or after-school traffic, the airport changed its display to offer community service messages.
This kind of flexibility increases the readership of a message unit, as it can correspond to the traffic profile by the day of the week, the time of day, or the season. With the right software, virtually any message can be created and displayed.
The demand by businesses for these electronic or variable message centers is increasing because these signs improve the economic viability of difficult commercial sites with limited space. Municipalities that wish to prevent urban sprawl or deterioration of urban land are passing enabling acts that require optimization of urban space, and thus are more willing to look at EMCs as a signage option for businesses.
Key Findings from a National In-Car Study:
15 hours a week in car means high outdoor advertising exposure.
Outdoor advertising can impact shopping that occurs on the way home from work.