Most likely, your first answer to this is no. And I’m not here to sell you bus bench advertising; however, it’s interesting to me that professionals – with the exception of perhaps residential real estate agents – immediately jettison certain marketing tactics, such as bus benches and billboards. In the not too distant past, it was search engine optimization and Twitter.
What I’d like you to consider is that every marketing tactic has its place depending on who you are targeting. Perhaps we equate bus benches with people who often ride buses, which, at least in greater Los Angeles, is from lower income strata; however, bus benches are really targeted to those driving cars, many of whom are in your target market. Bus benches can also be a cost-effective way to obtain both reach and frequency, two key goals that advertisers want. You can reach a lot of people and they will see the advertisement repeatedly.
Lawyers often deride billboard advertising but sit up and take notice when they see a law firm advertising on a billboard. It certainly breaks through the clutter. I’m sure billboard ads often more than pay for themselves.
When it comes to effective marketing, it’s about the marketing mix – the optimum mix of tactics that will generate the most qualified leads. There’s no formula for this, just educated guesses, measuring and modifying as you go along. For some professional service firms, bus benches and billboards might make sense, but for most, probably not. The important aspect is that you’ve evaluated the range of tactics and focused on those that make the most sense for your firm.