• Company of the Day: Norton Outdoor

    Company: Norton Outdoor

    Market: Cincinnati, Ohio.

    Headquarters: 5280 Kennedy Avenue, Cincinnati, OH

    Phone: 513-631-4864

    Norton Outdoor is a private, family owned outdoor company which was started by Jerry Norton in 1949. The company is run by Jerry Norton’s sons. Tom Norton is CEO. Dan Norton is President. Jerry Norton’s grandson Mike is an EVP.

    Norton is a member of the Eight Sheet Outdoor Advertising Junior Billboard Association, The Outdoor Advertising Association of Ohio, Geopath and the OAAA. Tom Norton is a Vice Chair Membership for the OAAA and is a recipient of the Myles Standish Award, the highest individual honor bestowed by the OAAA. Mike Norton sits on the OAAA digital billboard committee, innovations committee and marketing committee.

    Norton made the news in October 2018 when it and Lamar successfully challenged a tax on billboard revenues and as an unconstitutional violation of freedom of speech.

    Insider talked with Mike Norton about the company.

    This past year has been a really eventful year for the company.


    Talk a little bit about your plant.

    We are a 3rd generation OOH company, providing over 1,000 traditional and 10 digital billboard displays in the Greater Cincinnati market. In addition to OOH displays, Norton facilitates multi-platform campaigns that can leverage OOH’s ability to ignite and amplify mobile and digital marketing efforts.

    What’s Cincinnati like as an outdoor market?

    Despite the fact that we are only about the 34th largest DMA in the country, we are home to several Fortune 500 companies, including Procter & Gamble and Kroger, making this market a very valuable one for many brands. Fortunately for those brands and marketers, Cincinnati is an outstanding OOH market. There are fantastic OOH displays in urban and suburban areas throughout the region. There are outstanding Rotary and Digital Bulletins in the marketplace. Norton Poster displays are all singe-face displays, and the average Norton Poster has an 18% Geopath OOH Ratings advantage over our competitor in the marketplace. Additionally, we are the only provider of Junior Poster displays in the region, which provide a platform for small businesses and an extremely efficient platform for larger ones.

    You’ve got 10 digital signs. Who’s signs do you use and what have you learned?

    Although there are several very good digital billboard providers, all but one of our digital displays are now provided by Watchfire Signs. We actually just replaced our first 4 digital billboards with Watchfire’s DMX displays, which are the most technologically advanced digital billboards in the market. We continue to grow and evolve the digital billboard offering. Advertisers are starting to use the dynamic capabilities in better ways, which allows them to provide messaging that is more contextually relevant, in terms of almost anything going on at the time (time, weather, news, trends, etc.). It’s an exciting medium, which still has untapped potential for advertisers.

    Are you using any of the automated out of home sales platforms?  What’s been your experience?


    Norton is highly involved with the OAAA. How did this come about?

    My dad has been heavily involved with the OAAA, serving on many committees over the past 3+ decades, including as Chairman. He encouraged me to do so from the beginning of my career, and I have been happy to follow suit. To have the ability to have a voice, especially as a smaller operator, is very valuable. More importantly, having the opportunity to help shape the industry and guide it’s path in the future is both humbling and exciting. We love this industry, and the decisions that we make, whether for our business or in our capacity as committee members, all have the industry’s well-being at their root. At the end of the day, we are all trying to do what my Grandpa told me was the key to his success, which was “Make people money, and you will make money.” We have a great medium to connect brands and consumers, and if we keep striving to leverage our ability to connect and engage, we will succeed.


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