Founded in January 2018 by Calvin McNeely and Zach Yelle, Runningboards Marketing came out of the duo’s desire to fill a void in the flourishing digital mobile billboards market. McNeely, RBM’s Owner and President, knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring the first digital display vehicle franchise to market.
Originally birthed while developing a Watertown, New York restaurant’s marketing campaign, the RBM concept was designed as a tool to overcome the common obstacles in traditional out- of-home advertising, including low visibility and a lack of customizability.
After some initial success, McNeely and Yelle realized the model could easily be duplicated and started the process to make RBM a franchise opportunity. Now, Runningboards Marketing is ready to award franchises based around their innovative and exciting offering all across the country.
The Runningboards Marketing team developed its Digital Advertising Vehicle in April 2018, resulting in DAV® (pronounced “Dave”), a truck built on the chassis of a Ford Transit with three independent high-resolution LED screens.
The brand spent a month creating interest, awareness and support in the local Watertown community before opening for business in May with one full-time driver, as well as several part-time drivers and support staff. Business growth led to a need for technological upgrades, equipping DAV with higher quality display graphics, and an integrated software solution. RBM’s subscription advertising has proven to be a successful recurring revenue opportunity and the event advertising allows client messages from political campaigns to embarrassing Sweet Sixteenth birthday wishes.
As of 2019, Runningboards Marketing consists of five trucks operating throughout New York State. With two corporate-owned franchises but no current franchisees, the RBM team is eager to find the ideal franchise partners.
“Runningboards Marketing is a first of its kind in the franchise industry,” said McNeely. “Our franchisees will be building a community-based business in which they sell subscription-based advertising for businesses wanting to advertise in their territory. We make sure to pre-build units in order to provide franchisees with a turnkey model that can be up and running within a few weeks.”
RBM is targeting hard-working self-starters from a marketing, sales or advertising background as potential franchise operators, executive owners or semi-absentee candidates. The RBM model is perfect for entrepreneurs looking to break-away from traditional, service-based businesses, as the mobile system does not require a real estate lease or build-out agreement and is simple and easy to implement.
Franchisees don’t have to be tech-whizzes to operate DAV, although a technologically-forward mindset is helpful. “Our proprietary ‘RBM Velocity’ technology allows franchisees to auto-manage the entire RBM business,” said McNeely. “Through our integration with Salesforce, digital ads are pushed to DAV and the subscription model schedule is maintained, allowing franchisees to easily track what's been displayed and when.”
Runningboards Marketing’s support starts with a three-day training at the corporate headquarters in Watertown, New York. The executive team teaches franchisees everything they need to know before getting involved, including how to troubleshoot and repair DAV. This is followed by a minimum of two days training on-site in the franchisees territory.
According to McNeely, franchisees will be given plenty of spare parts, helpful plug-and-play devices and tutorials on optimal DAV graphics. “We will make sure our franchisee knows how to spot the difference between good graphics and bad graphics,” said McNeely. “For example, we provide answers to questions like, ‘Is this advertisement too wordy?’ or ‘Are the dimensions of the ad optimized for the LED screens?’”
The company’s cutting-edge cloud-based technology allows the Runningboards Marketing team to communicate with each vehicle remotely, building a schedule that automatically rotates between advertisers. With Runningboards’ software, franchisees will be able to easily adapt their message as DAV’s target, location and time changes.
According to Operations Manager Chris Mooney, Runningboards Marketing offers packages that award advertisers based on the number of hours purchased. The digital mobile billboard concept is prepared to sell at least 10 franchises this year.
“We offer a unique concept and the right candidate will see it as an exciting opportunity,” said McNeely. “Runningboards Marketing gives someone the chance to own a business that is fun and interactive while also allowing them to be a part of the community in a way that other businesses do not.”
RBM received the Watertown Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Emerging Business of the Year Award in February of 2019. McNeely told Watertown Daily Times that Runningboard Marketing’s goal “is to be the fastest-growing franchise in America within the next three years.” With its niche franchising opportunity, advanced technology and dedicated support team, the digital mobile advertising franchise is well on its way.
The total startup investment for Runningboards Marketing ranges from $70,500 to $255,200, with a royalty of 6% of Gross Revenues per month. The start-up time can be quick as three to four weeks, with a net worth requirement of $50,000 in liquid capital and a net worth of $150,000. For more information, please visit: https://runningboardsmarketing.com/.