The Future Of Digital Outdoor Advertising In Nigeria

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The outdoor advertising sphere in Nigeria is growing in leaps and bounds and the future seems very bring for the sector with the recent wave of digitization sweeping across the sector.

Speaking on the future of digital outdoor advertising in Nigeria, Mako Alabi CEO of Vimedia Outdoor Limited, during an interview with CNBC Africa, mentioned that outdoor advertising remains indelible because it creates an opportunity to lend something tangible, physical and visible to brands.

In his words, “Outdoor advertising is the oldest medium. If you go to the Rome of today you will still see the poster of the Roman Empire in Pompeii and even if it is static, it has its place, but of cause the digital advertising of today gives you the ability to change copy within seconds basically, and have multiple campaigns on the same location and of cause drive more traffic to that particular location, and you have several audiences and campaigns in one location.”

When asked if the presence of social media and digital/online marketing poses a threat to the growth of outdoor advertising in Nigeria, Mako stated that the presence of both media amplifies the efficacy of digital outdoor advertising in ensuring that customers are always engaged with a brand which will, in effect, provide brand equity while driving traffic to the company’s website.

According to him, outdoor advertising should no longer be seen as an independent medium; rather each advertising medium should complement one another to ensure that clients get value for their money.

“The whole idea is to create an integrated campaign were outdoor is linked with social media, search engine and direct marketing. You can imagine when a client has a brief and you are able to tie up all this together, that is going to create a more impactful campaign. So that is exactly what we should do for client” He says.

Mako also highlighted the ability of advertising media convergence in garnering wider reach for a brand, product or service. “Beyond social networking, social media is going to take more people looking at what is going on in different brands. You have Twitter, Facebook, many TV channels as well, but at the same time outdoor advertising has to be linked to all these mediums for further reach of the brands.”

Mako Alabi posits that for the Nigerian Outdoor Advertising industry to advance in the wake of Digital Out-Of-Home (DOOH), there needs to be a holistic transformation in the industry across all 36 states of the nation.

He identified Lagos state as spearheading this transformation since the inception of the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) four years ago. The regulatory body, headed by Mr. George Kayode Noah, has wrought a positive change in outdoor advertising in Lagos state by embarking on sanitization activities making it feasible for outdoor advertising to thrive within the state.

“One of the first things that has to be done in other parts of Nigeria is to go through what we did in Lagos by ensuring that there is a regulatory authority to clean up the city and make sure it is very amiable to advertising  because without the cleaning exercise it becomes very difficult.

“The reason why we talking about Lagos state now is because it is a better place for outdoor advertising. The clients get value for money; the outdoor advertisers themselves, the owner of the structures also get benefits from whatever they put up. The market is huge from a mobile perspective as well, you link that up to outdoor advertising and it is going to be huge.”

In response to how the issue of power supply poses a challenge to the growth of digital outdoor advertising in Nigeria, Mako revealed that most operators who have digital hoardings rely on generators to power their structures. However, a positive move by Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to provide uninterrupted power supply will impact hugely on the growth of the digital outdoor advertising within the country.