• Blip increases New South Sales By 3%.

    New South CEO Neil Bell

    By Neil Bell, New South Outdoor

    Over the past few years, I had been approached many times about adding my digital billboard units to one programmatic platform or another. While I was optimistic about additional income, I always had reservations. Would programmatic buying cannibalize my existing customer base? Would it give my advertisers the ability to buy shorter runs for less money? And there were the platform’s high commissions to consider. I dipped my toe in with a couple platforms, but never fully committed to a program.

    When I first heard about Blip  and the success Yesco experienced, I was hopeful, yet still skeptical. I called the folks at Yesco to confirm what I was hearing. After discussing with them and the folks at Blip, I took the plunge and decided to give it a try. Here are some of the results we have seen since signing up last August:

    • Since we used Watchfire LED’s and Ignite as our content management system., we had to migrate to their player. Blip was able to add software on top of Watchfire’s player without us having to buy or install any additional hardware.
    • Blip took our schedule and ad copy directly from Ignite and rescheduled it in their system for us. This only took a day or two.
    • After that, our open inventory was available for sale on Blip. Because we use their system, any empty slot is immediately made available for advertisers.
    • Advertisers pick which boards they want, what times and how much they are willing to pay each time the ad is displayed. Bidding starts at a penny and the highest bidder gets their ad displayed. All of this happens in real time.
    • We are notified when new ads have been added, and we are given the opportunity to approve or deny the copy before it
    • I have turned down a handful of ads that were poorly designed, blurry, too sexually suggestive or that were promoting marijuana-based products.
    • I have found that 95% of the advertisers are people I would have never thought to call on. Many of them include phone apps, credit repair websites, nationally-sold specialty products (i.e. ball caps for helmets), small churches, bodyguard services, books, indie films, high school radio stations, healthcare consulting, low-budget, new release albums, and webhosting.
    • We have not lost any of our existing advertisers to the system. In fact, we have turned a few that were using Blip into longer-term customers.
    • The software allows us to look at how much we have sold at any point in the month.
    • On the 15th of every month, Blip sends us our money via ACH.
    • We have seen an increase of about 3% of our total sales coming from Blip advertisers. I believe this would be quite a bit more if we were not sold out locally on three of our most popular signs. Each month seems to see some improvement.

    Overall, our experience with Blip has been a success. It is growth that we did very little to earn.

    Looking at the future, it is my opinion that Blip can hit a tipping point in the coming years if they can make a few things happen:

    1. Continue to onboard new advertisers. The more advertisers, the higher the bids for space will climb. This will most likely come from aggressive online promotion by Blip.
    2. Continue to onboard operators. The more markets with available inventory, the more regional and national buyers will be attracted.
    3. Integrate with some really good audience data sources. If a buyer knew the best boards as well as the best time of day needed to reach a specific target demographic, I think the sky would be the limit for our medium on this platform.

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