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Learn Marketing in the Truck Stop John

Interstate travel by car continues to evolve as the major truck stops have morphed into multi use convenience stops.

Pull you car in to one of these Interstate Stores and you find a multitude of gas pumps for cars, completely separate from the 4 acres of parking for the big rigs.

Inside, you might find a franchised fast food outlet (McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King, Popeye etc) Some have more than one. Plus cooler after cooler of soft drinks and exotic elixirs. Plus, the isles and isles of packaged food.

If you wander into the chrome and mud flap section you will see every kind of CB radio and antenna on the market as well as truck TVs, DVD layers and hundreds of movies. Some have truck taillights and wiring harness as well as load restraining sticks and tarps.

But for the ultimate educational experience for the small business owner, make a fact-finding trip to the toilet!

Most big league truck stops use every opportunity to sell you something. Even in the john. There are ads in the stalls, ads over the urinals, ads near the sink. All suggesting additional purchase before you leave the giant store.

Let’s boil that down to small business advertising applications. Most advertising is passive. You drive by a billboard, turn the pages in the paper, listen to the radio as you do something else. But in the john, how can you not read what is plastered there? You are pretty much stuck there, for a while anyway, inches away from the ad. Forced attention, A foolproof advertising method. The "read-through" rate has to be near 100% every time.

This is not to suggest small businesses put large signs in the wc and encourage customers to visit and ponder. But if your store toilet does get some traffic, consider your own silent billboards in there.

Take a cue from the truck stops, make and use signs promoting specials and spur of the moment purchases and pout 'em everywhere.

Just like Internet pages have links to other areas of interest, your signs can suggest other areas of the store with different products and specials.

Ads in the john are just the tip of the iceberg for the astute small business owner. Use every available resource to educate your potential customer as to what you do and what you can do for them. Sell the benefits everywhere, even in the john. - by BIG Mike
Great post BigMike! Talk about a captive audience.

Here is a post about other indoor advertising opportunities - http://www.salespractice.com/forums/p-1829.html - by AZBroker
That's an interesting post. I have seen ads in the local bar's restroom.

Other than that, I don't recall seeing any ads in washrooms except for a large corporate hotel which had the front page of a newspaper above their urinals. - by Ricardo
I see quite a few advertisements on the inside of the stall doors, especially in restaurants and theaters. I notice them but don't usually bother to read them. Of course we all see ads of another nature which are composed of a name and phone number. ;wi - by ozzie
I found this news item this morning. I am sure this technology will convert it for commercial advertising soon.

"New Mexico has ordered 500 talking urinal cakes that will deliver a recorded anti-DWI message to bar and restaurant patrons who make one last pit stop before getting behind the wheel.

The top of the devices feature the state DWI slogan -- "You drink, you drive, you lose." The cakes have enough battery power to last about three months.

The New Mexico Transportation Department plans a pilot program to distribute them free to bars and restaurants in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Farmington, Gallup and Las Cruces.

Each little talking cake cost the state $21. Bars and restaurants will have to pay for future orders if the idea catches on."

I can imagine the guy that has had one too many looking back and forth and then figuring out the big white mint is the one talking to him. He might go on the wagon. - by BIG Mike
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