• Ike Wingate on what makes a good site and why less can be more when it comes to digital billboards.

    Today’s podcast guest, Ike Wingate, founder of Wingate Media Group, represents the best of the new breed of young independent out of home operators.  Today Ike talks about what makes a good billboard site, why less can be more when it comes to digital billboards and keeping work in perspective.

    Ike Wingate, Wingate Media

    What makes you think “that’s a good site.”

    I look for places that otherwise couldn’t be used for anything else.  A little strip of grass between two pieces of property…Before I do that I make sure I understand the local regulations.  What I can and cannot do…I made the mistake early on of calling the local planning office and asking some advice on some things.  They never want to help you with that kind of stuff and will give you bad information on purpose…You look at visual clutter.  See what’s around.  You look at traffic speed.  I’m OK with big billboards but you don’t always have to put a tall billboard there.  And so if I can build a great billboard without having to go 50’ in the air and it’s right in the windshield of the viewer I’m going to do that.  9 times out of 10 in the places we’ve done that we’ve been able to charge very close to the rate we would be able to charge if it was twice as big…The return I get on smaller signs is fantastic.

    Ike, you’ve got some smaller sized  digital billboards as well as some large 14 by 48 billboards.  How did you decide which size to install and what’s been your experience with the smaller digital billboards.

    A lot of it comes down to the local regulations.  Sometimes I come across regulations that say OK if you’re gonna build over this size you’re going to have to be 50 feet off the right of way…We’ve experimented from the small digital size in a case where I can get right up next to the road as long as I’m under a certain square footage…I’ve got great friends in the business that might say that’s crazy…especially some of my friends that sell structures for a living.  I understand their point of view.  But the numbers would disagree with that.  In some cases you can build a great sign and still be under 100 square feet and be close to the road…We used Lightking in this particular case because of the way they light up.  They don’t do a triangulated pattern.  They do them in a straight line.  So it made them better quality, better resolution than a 16 millimeter that was separated…I actually saw some other signs by the same manufacturer in person before we decided to buy…It’s going to pay for itself in the first 12 months…Sometimes in business the obvious things aren’t obvious.  It comes down to can you get someone on there and keep them on there.  If you’re having to churn people constantly that takes time.  What value does your time have?  If I can build a smaller sign and get 80% of the revenue but always have it full…that’s delivering the other 20% of value back to me in time.

    You’ve written in Billboard Insider about work/life balance.  How do you manage it?

    When my wife and I made our decision to go out on our own and do this full time the one thing I wanted to make sure of is that the business didn’t run me.  That I ran the business.  We’ve put a lot of processes in place. a lot of automation to be able to step away from the business when we need to.  To be able to address the business remotely, through Google Drive, through Apparatix…One of our four values for our company is God, family, work, in that order.  So we try to live it out…Nobody on their deathbed says I wish I would’ve worked more.

    Tomorrow Insider will carry Ike’s thoughts on the God is Dead Billboard controversy and when to run and when to decline to run a billboard ad.


    Paid Advertisement



    Print Friendly, PDF & Email