The inspiration behind the business is simple.
“There are a lot of vacant billboard spaces in Nigeria and Africa as a whole,” Tunji Alao, VacantBoards founder and CEO told TechMoran. “Many of these boards are left unused for months, most times due to buyer-seller disconnect. Usually what you see on these boards is “Vacant”. So the name VacantBoards was adopted to depict this situation and aims to address it by reducing the number of vacant outdoor advertising spaces.”
As the name goes, VacantBoards addresses the issue of vacant outdoor advertising spaces in Nigeria and also aims to make the process of booking outdoor advert spaces less cumbersome due to the bureaucracies involved. VacantBoards aims to address this continuum by providing an easy and seamless way to book outdoor media spaces. With just a click, users can book outdoor advert spaces across Nigeria. Alao also adds that the firm aims to help advertisers find cheap outdoor advertising options from the platform.
VacantBoards solves the problem of wrong targeting by featuring audience data, this helps advertisers to match their product/services to their target audience.
And though advertising is going digital, outdoor advertising is here to stay as firms still combine both media to make their advertising campaigns more effective in terms of reach, frequency and brand engagement cum interactivity.
“Outdoor is one advertising medium that is showing no signs of going into extinction rather we see it growing daily and expanding, benefitting from the immense potentials offered by digital advertising,” Alao says adding that the birth of VacantBoards couldn’t be timelier as the industry is becoming more digital.
Targeting business owners, media buyers, advertisers, non-profits, brands, outdoor vendors and board operators, VacantBoards estimates that the outdoor advertising industry in Nigeria is worth over $177m and is part of a marketing strategy that has proven over the years to be very effective. Apart from wide reach, outdoor advertising meets firms target audience on-the-go, giving advertisers the opportunity to influence consumer’s buying decisions.
In Nigeria, the Advertisers Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) is the regulatory body responsible for vetting advert copies before they are aired or published. So when an advertising agency finishes working on a creative and is ready to execute, the advert copy is submitted to APCON for vetting after which it is licensed to go up on a billboard. Failure to vet an advert attracts a fine from the regulatory body.
VacantBoards has a growing list of 32 operators with over 1,000 outdoor sites in Nigeria with 3 key partnerships and hopes to scale its services across Africa and ultimately become a go-to platform for outdoor advertising spaces all over the world.
“Our feat as the winner of IBM SmartCamp, Lagos validates the scalability of our business,” concludes Alao.