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Q&A With ‘Tunji Alao Founder & CEO Nigeria’s

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VacantBoards is an Online Outdoor Advertising Marketplace that maintains an inventory of billboards and leverages analytics, mobile and big data technology. The firm connects agencies, brands and businesses to available, low-cost and result-oriented outdoor advertising opportunities via the internet.

TechMoran caught up with Tunji Alao, the founder and CEO of Nigeria’s Vacant Boards and this is what he told us.

Why the name?

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There are a lot of vacant billboard spaces in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. 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.

Who are the founders?

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‘Tunji Alao is the founder of VacantBoards

What inspired you to launch it?

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As highlighted earlier, VacantBoards was born to address the issue of vacant outdoor advertising spaces in Nigeria. In addition, the process of booking outdoor advert spaces is very 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, you can book outdoor advert spaces across Nigeria. Also, we want advertisers to be able to get cheap outdoor advertising options from our platform.

Our platform solves the problem of wrong targeting by featuring audience data, this helps advertisers to match their product/services to the target audience.

canvasAdvertising is going digital, why VacantBoards?

Digital and online advertising/marketing has been gaining much ground within the advertising landscape. However, its presence cannot be a threat to outdoor advertising rather the combination of both media makes an advertising campaign 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. Therefore, the birth of VacantBoards couldn’t be timelier as the industry is becoming more digital. Please read this article on our blog: The Budding Romance Between Social Media and  OOH Advertising.

What is your target market?

Business owners, media buyers, advertisers, non-profits, brands, outdoor vendors and board operators.

How much is the billboard advertising market worth in Nigeria? The Outdoor advertising industry in Nigeria is worth over $177m. How does it work?

Outdoor advertising plays a significant role in an Integrated Marketing Communication campaign. It is part of a marketing strategy that has proven over the years to be very effective. Apart from wide reach, outdoor advertising meets your 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.

How many clients so far?

VacantBoards has a growing list of 32 operators with over 1,000 outdoor sites in Nigeria with 3 key partnerships.

What are your future plans?

In the nearest future, VacantBoards 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.

We just released our android mobile app which enables people become part of an active OOH audience by taking pictures of billboards around them and earning rewards while doing so. The points earned can be converted into rewards at any time. The app is available for download on Google Play Store.

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Sam Wakoba
Sam Wakoba
Taking you on tour through Africa's tech and business ecosystem, one story at a time since 2010! Based out of Nairobi, Kenya, Sam is the founder and managing director of Moran Media, which runs, various other digital platforms and a startup incubation hub for Kenya's youthful entrepreneurs. Drop me a mail at [email protected]

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