For almost a decade now, charging stations have received a lot of attention from a large number of companies and investors. As the concept evolved over time, innovation resulted in the rise of ideas about the use of such stations for advertising purposes-to raise revenue and even ‘pay users’ charging fees’. A frequently asked question is, ‘how can that be done’?
Keep reading to receive a comprehensive understanding of how charging stations can combine with digital media in this modern era to create a sort of win-win situation for all.
What Are Charging Stations?
Charging stations are pieces of electronic infrastructure that allow users to charge their electrical devices (e.g. car and cell phone batteries) ‘on the go’. Two main types of charging stations are commonly widespread, especially in the U.S; electrical vehicle (EV) charging stations and cell phone charging stations.
These stations primarily charge users a fee based on figures such as charging time, while there are some which provide their services for free.
Does Charging Station Advertising Work?
Cell Phone Charging Stations
Today, about 9 out of 10 Americans own a cell phone, and an average native adult spends almost 3 hours on their phone daily. The figures for teenagers go way beyond these. Under such high usage scenarios, the need for keeping phones sufficiently charged is crucial to allow users to stay ‘connected’ all the time. Charging stations provide this large group of people with a solution by being there in times of need.
Since the need is ever-rising, with more and more people utilizing these stations (especially in public places), a great marketing opportunity is created for marketers. Stations can display paid advertisements on LCDs of these kiosks and directly target every user that interacts with the station. ‘Viewability’ of such sponsored ads will almost always lean towards the positive side because every user will definitely view the exhibited advertisement.
EV Charging Stations
The potential for advertising is somewhat higher when EV kiosks are concerned, mainly because the transition towards hybrid and electrical cars is speeding up (and partially because many cell phone users may not fancy paying for something they could do for free themselves). According to the IEA (International Energy Agency), by 2030, about 220 million electrical vehicles are expected to be on the entire world’s roads.
Many EV stations come with built-in LCD screens that can, as mentioned before, be used to display sponsored ad content. The ROI with this marketing method has the potential of reaching maximum heights, as not only users, but passersby would also be exposed to the adverts in targeted public areas. Unlike online ads, these cannot be skipped.
Moreover, owners of electrical vehicles fall in that income group whose median income is almost double of the US average. This means that EV drivers can be a lucrative target segment for many businesses out there.
Critics still find flaws in this modern marketing medium, but there are real-life examples that can prove them wrong. One of the most renowned examples is;
Who is Volta Charging?
This US startup has raised about $60 million to fund and build a vehicle charging network. It already has about 1,000 stations that combine marketing with charging, while providing support to various car brands.
There is something unique about Volta, though. The company has left critics way behind and works on providing free charging services to users nationwide. At the moment, 43,633,133 free electric miles have been delivered through their kiosks and the courtesy goes to the sponsors and brands’ users (and passersby) that see ads on Volta stations.
This is the perfect example, which shows how charging station advertising can create a win-win situation for every stakeholder involved.
When used innovatively and intelligently, charging station advertising can definitely work. With demand expected to rise in coming years, marketers and businesses have the golden opportunity to use charging station kiosks as effective promotional tools.