Direct vs. Indirect Signage- Which is Best?

What type of sign content is best for driving sales? Direct content entices customers with strong messages, calls to action, and targeted marketing. Many “direct” messages include sayings like “come in” or “buy today!” These signs are effective in areas where people are ready to make a purchase, and just need a little nudge in the right direction to make the final decision. It also appeals to impulse, and brings attention to the business through boldness. Sale signs offering “BOGO’s” (buy one, get one free deals) are definitely effective forms of direct advertising because they play on a customer’s desire to purchase that product, and to buy more while still saving money. With direct signage, using bright colors and a bold call to action is a must; for the best results, use the same sign facing two directions, which has been shown to increase profits by up to 8.9 percent. Indirect content informs consumers about the product or the company without using a strong call to action. Instead, the message is light and conversational, and often uses sensory words or facts about the product; some may play to people’s emotions by incorporating humor and puns. Another example of an indirect sales sign is one that lists only a menu or services offered by the business. Why is indirect marketing effective? Over the years, people have become conditioned to being marketed to. After being exposed to incredible numbers of direct marketing campaigns, people have begun to prefer companies that make them feel less pressured into buying. The final advantage of indirect signage that is worth mentioning is the fact that it gives companies the opportunity to personalize their message according to their brand, rather than sticking to overused sales phrases. Now that you know what each type of marketing can do, the big question is: which is better? Direct marketing is a great way to entice people to purchase a discounted item, tune in on a new product, or make an impulse purchase. Indirect marketing, on the other hand, promotes your product or business without appearing pushy. The truth is: Both are necessary, but indirect marketing is definitely they unsung hero in this case.   Although signs are generally notorious for sporting sales content that directly promotes a purchase, shifts in consumer behavior are suggesting that more consumers are starting to prefer content that is indirect and helpful, rather that direct and informational. Why? Indirect signage makes customers feel less pressured, it’s very informative, and it can promote brand loyalty and awareness by giving customers space to make a slower decision. For example, a sale sign may let a customer know that they need to buy now to save 50 percent off or get a free item, but information about the quality of the product can entice a customer to buy the item at full price. What type of sign content do you think works best for your business? Let us know in the comments below!