June 2020 (Vol. 60, Issue 2): GENDER AND DIVERSITY
Do Billboard Advertisements Drive Customer Retention? Expanding the “AIDA” Model to “AIDAR”
In an age of advertising clutter, information overload and active ad blocking by consumers, billboards are a distinctive medium. Yet, “many researchers neglect the wider capabilities of billboards,” which generally are deployed to generate awareness, according to authors John L. Fortenberry Jr. (Louisiana State University and Willis-Knighton Health System) and Peter J. McGoldrick (University of Manchester, U.K.). The problem, they claim, is in the models used to determine billboard effectiveness that measure initial attraction, such as “Attention-Interest-Desire-Action” which dates back to 1925. “These early models attracted criticisms, primarily for oversimplification and implied rigid sequencing, yet they remain influential,” the authors write. “Management discussion indicates that billboards also can fulfill roles in helping to retain patronage. This extends beyond the action stages of AIDA into assisting reinforcement,” as reflected in certain later models. The industry, the authors contend, would benefit from further study of the retention of existing customers, expanding the AIDA to AIDAR, with ‘R’ referring to customer retention.
In this two-part study, the authors analyzed consumer evaluations of billboard attributes. They found that beyond attracting customers, billboards “also affect existing customers and repatronage decisions.” What’s more, “marketing executives recognized billboards’ role in assisting reinforcement and customer retention.” Among the practical implications:
- Combined with billboards’ resilience against blocking, retention effectiveness “substantially broadens their potential, increasing utility to executives seeking to influence existing customers.”
- A regional billboard campaign “provides clear indications of billboard influence both on new and on existing customers.”
- Marketing executives should “reevaluate expectations and deployment of billboards, offering further strategic-marketing opportunities.”