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Mobile Marketing Tours: Single Vehicle vs. Multi-Vehicle

October 6, 2015 | B2B, B2C, Event Marketing, Experiential Marketing, Mobile Marketing

a commercial bus with sap logos and emoticons printed on it

As industry use of mobile marketing tours rises, brands are evolving how they use their vehicular experiences. Historically, a mobile tour meant sending a large truck and trailer out on a multi-month journey, crisscrossing the country, targeting, and activating, at large, high visibility events.

Many event departments, both B2B and B2C, are exploring alternative options to this traditional method of sending a single touring vehicle around the country and instead, are deploying multiple mobile vehicles simultaneously. Each strategy has advantages and disadvantages, dependent on what you are trying to accomplish.

However, there are a few things to consider before deciding on whether a single-vehicle or multi-vehicle tour is right for you:

Reach

Multiple vehicles can fan out across the country, spreading your message quickly and reaching consumers more efficiently. For a product launch, this can be the single most important factor dictating the rollout of your mobile marketing tour.

A single large vehicle rolling into town can create a bigger splash and has more potential to generate PR and media interest than a smaller unit. Both smaller multiple vehicle tours and single large vehicle tours can get lost at massive events where multiple activations are the norm. But it’s easier to take over a smaller event or create an original event around a larger single vehicle.

Penetration

A tour of multiple smaller vehicles has a smaller physical footprint, which allows activations in more local, targeted locations. They can be set up curbside at neighborhood festivals, a retail storefront, or for a B2B tour, in the parking lot of your customer, making it easy for the attendee to walk out their door and into your brand experience.

A single large vehicle tour can have access to a much larger audience, therefore having more opportunities to penetrate an audience but due to its size and scale, accurate targeting becomes more difficult.

Staffing

Sending one group of trained people on the road is less fraught with potential issues than sending multiple groups. However, multiple smaller units typically allow for simpler and quicker setup, which can potentially allow multiple stops in one day, or at the least, saving money and time.

While freelance brand ambassadors that are locally sourced provide an easy solution to varying staffing needs, keep in mind that for both small multi-vehicle tours and large single-vehicle tours, smaller locales have smaller populations of people who are right for the job.

Logistics & The Math

The logistics of a mobile marketing tour, which include; expense reporting and auditing, travel arrangements (hotels, airfares), event scheduling and coordination, can be daunting, and become even more so with multiple tours running simultaneously.

Inherently, the math should be simple; 1 tour for 6 months would cost the same as 3 tours for 2 months. Staff costs, over the road costs and expenses all basically equal out. However, the cost to procure, up-fit and build-out multiple touring vehicles may be higher than the cost for a single unit.

In addition, multiple vehicle tour logistics aren’t just mentally exhausting; they can exhaust your budget too! Various administrative functions of touring, such as DOT reporting, expense auditing, and collecting and collating lead data, are all higher for multiple-vehicle tours.

Ultimately, you have to balance the additional costs for a multi-vehicle marketing tour against the potential of faster reach and deeper penetration into the market.

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