Runningboards Marketing Offers a Recession-Friendly Business Model and Valuable Services During Difficult Times

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The first digital mobile franchise concept has a low-cost business model that provides valuable advertising services in any economic climate.

The COVID-19 outbreak has had dire effects on businesses and has affected the daily lives of many, many people. Due to social distancing rules, consumers around the country are cooped up at home and unable to patronize their favorite restaurants and other public spaces.

This is precisely why the world needs Runningboards Marketing as much as ever.

The digital mobile advertising brand was founded in 2018 in Watertown, New York by the president and co-founder Calvin McNeely and vice president and co-founder Zach Yelle. The concept caught fire thanks to the brand’s use of the digital advertising vehicle DAV (pronounced “Dave”). DAV is equipped with high-impact LED screens to display brand messaging and customizable graphics, and clients can hire him to drive around markets where they want to target specific audiences.

In short: DAV is unique and awesome. After all, who can ignore a giant mobile screen with eye-catching graphics and, in some instances, catchy music to boot?

Then there’s the franchise opportunity itself. The recession-friendly Runningboards Marketing franchise model boasts a relatively low entry fee with few fixed costs, and franchisees can start off with just a handful of employees. A Runningboards Marketing franchise simply needs a salesperson, which can be the owner-operator, plus a couple of drivers. Franchisees can also avoid rent costs by running the business out of their homes.

“That’s all you need to start out,” General Manager Chris Mooney said. “We really are a simple, low-overhead business. If things get tight, there’s not too much to cut.”

Today, Runningboards Marketing is further proving its mettle as a viable franchise opportunity that provides a valuable service. Runningboards Marketing appealed to the New York governor’s office for essential business status, and as long as DAV runs both client ads and public health messages related to COVID-19, the brand is approved to continue operating.

Thanks to DAV, businesses can continue to advertise their services and engage with customers. What’s more, DAV can be used to advertise positive, uplifting messages such as birthday greetings and other types of fun shoutouts. Mooney noted that one local insurance agent simply wants to advertise a wellness message to the community to stay healthy. None of this requires direct contact with clients, which is critical in the age of social distancing.

“It’s at a time like this when people need to send a message out,” Mooney said. “We’ve always been a community-based business. We’re involved with the local chamber of commerce and we reached out to the city council, to Jefferson County, Samaritan Medical Center, and the United Way of Northern New York to run messages for them. We are doing this work pro bono, but you never know what doors that’s going to open. We’ve really been able to help the community out at this time.”

The brands that put their names out there will be the ones who easily reconnect with their customers when this is all over, Mooney said. From ads about restaurant-delivery deals to other special offers, businesses can use DAV to stay top of mind with their customer base.

“Everyone does radio, TV, print, and Facebook, so what it comes down to is what you’re going to do to stand out from the competition when businesses are closed,” Mooney said. “DAV offers you that chance. He’s in your face. You certainly can’t ignore him when you’re in traffic, and it’s not like you can change the channel.”

Times may be tough, but the Runningboards Marketing leadership team has remained optimistic. The franchise brand continues to see interest from prospective franchisees and leadership has even held Zoom meetings with prospects. The brand is also about to sell its first franchise.

Also exciting is an update to the brand’s proprietary software, RBM Velocity. Runningboards Marketing is developing version 2.0, which will have more user-friendly features, including integrated automatic reporting that will provide clients with “tamper-proof evidence” to show when and for how long ads ran, Mooney said.

“We are a fun business to run,” Mooney said. “We have trucks with giant TVs on them. People have even hired DAV to give birthday shout-outs to kids. There are lots of ways to use DAV. He is truly a benefit to everyone in the community.”

By offering a low-cost and flexible business model, not to mention a fun and cheerful product, Runningboards Marketing proves why it is a franchise brand to watch in 2020 and beyond.

To learn more about franchising with Runningboards Marketing, visit

Cristina Merrill – 1851 Franchise Staff Writer

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