Thought Leader Thursday : Launch Namibia
In this age of sophisticated digital advertising, outdoor advertising might strike some as old school. Allow us to give you another perspective that may help you as you explore ways to increase the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns as an SME. Powered by analytics and flexibility, outdoor advertising provides great value for growing businesses that want to create awareness with the right audience in the right locations. The advantage here is that SMEs with a physical presence can run targeted hyperlocal campaigns that drive feet to their businesses.
We met up with Launch Namibia – an organization that serves as a motivational business platform aimed at capacity building and the development of start-ups – to better tell us of the importance of a marketing budget and their thoughts on outdoor advertising.
Tom Edison Shilongo, a Political Science graduate and Mandela Washington Fellowship alumnus, founded Launch Media Consultants t/a Launch Namibia to foster Namibia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. His motivation came from the high rate of unemployment in the country. He decided to start his own organization after completing his internship with the United Nations and Information Centre in Namibia, partly to avoid working for someone else.
“What drew me into media, was the fact that in my last year as an SRC member in charge of Information and Publicity, I was tasked with designing flyers, which forced me to learn how to use Adobe products & software. I had a lot of digital content to produce, and because of that, I saw how powerful it could be as an income generator for myself,” says Shilongo, on his start in the media sector.
Launch Media Consultants itself is made up of two branches: the entrepreneurial wing, being Launch Namibia, and the design & branding wing, being Launch Media.
Launch Namibia aims at preparing, improving, and molding entrepreneurs through events such as Pitch Night, which is an event intended to help entrepreneurs hone their pitching skills, significantly increasing their chances of securing what might be a life-changing investment. The concept targets entrepreneurs, aspiring or already operating, with business concepts that are not yet executed.
It is Launch Namibia’s goal to assist entrepreneurs in securing financial assistance in order to enable them to put their ideas into action. Launch Namibia establishes the prerequisites for participating in the Pitch Night events, while their corporate sponsors and partners contribute to the prizes of each event, be it financially or in-kind.
Mr. Shilongo believes that many SMEs do not reach the levels of success they had envisioned due to a limited or non-existent marketing strategy. “SME’s should work on improving their advertising strategy and actually investing in it. Billboards are not the only medium available; there are other cost-friendly options as well. Outdoor advertising is still relevant despite the increasingly popular social media advertising platforms. When you’re in the public’s view, it is a daily reminder that your company exists.”
Without a marketing budget, it is extremely hard to make a small firm profitable. The more marketing you do, the more likely it is for your business to make sales. A majority of SMEs employ a more guerillaesque strategy when it comes to marketing, with digital advertising platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, etc, preferred to outdoor advertising.
Although this does look like the more effective and cost-friendly option, social media is flooded with several businesses trying to achieve the same thing, couple this with the complex algorithms and you can see how easy it is for adverts to end up being underwhelming in their reach. The most effective way to market your business would be to work out a budget for both digital and outdoor advertising.
It is a prevalent misconception that outdoor advertising is reserved for larger businesses. For many consumers, outdoor advertising is a statement of significance and importance. As a result, it is perfect for increasing your exposure. Thanks to outdoor advertising, your message will reach a large number of potential buyers. Unlike direct mail, they are chosen for the quantity of foot traffic and passing traffic, so your outdoor adverts will not go unnoticed. Additionally, because of the perception of being a large business, you will get more people interested in doing business with you.
Outdoor advertising can also help your other marketing efforts succeed. Consumers are more likely to respond positively to a direct mail offer and visit your website if they see your name on a billboard or street pole ad. You might acquire outdoor advertising space for a fixed length of time, similar to your promo campaign, and use the ad to remind clients, for example, that they can get 10% off all deals for the next month.
SMEs should not be afraid to seek guidance from outdoor advertising companies, as this information would be valuable to them.
If you would like some advice on the best outdoor advertising mediums for SMEs, feel free to drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a message on any of our social media platforms.