What is the history and background of Dalima in Mozambique?
Dalima was created six years ago. We started with a simple idea, which was to introduce new and innovative ways to communicate across Digital Out of Home Media (DOOH Media). This is generally considered to be a luxury trend that only works in developed countries, where companies have the money to spend, and would never work in Africa. It was a new and complicated business when we entered the market, and there were no guidelines or business models from any other African Countries that we could apply. We developed our own technology in partnership with our factory. Our screens are now created accordingly to our own specifications, and are perfectly adapted to the special conditions in Mozambique. Our Business model had also to be adapt to the local market., for the first few years we had to battle the value perception of DOOH Media, to educate the market, and to make it clear that it does not have to be expensive, but could instead be approached in a more cost-effective way. Dalima's solutions are directly integrated into the community, and as a result we are a socially responsible company. We see our screens not only as instruments for DOOH communication, but also as a public information provider and a connection with the public. We support and promote several social responsibility campaigns, from driving to blood donation, and we offer a range of public utility information such as weather updates, exchange rates, and news headlines. We managed to create a name for ourselves, and to gather the support of not only the primary Mozambican brands, but also over major international brands. This support made us sustainably grow every year; we started with only three screens in 2009 (in the most iconic corner of Maputo, the Piri-Piri) and currently we have 18 screens in Mozambique, spread across three major cities, namely Maputo, Matola, and Beira.
What are your investment and expansion plans for the near future?
We are always aware of our clients' needs, and will continue to expand our operations in the other provinces of Mozambique. The DOOH business is a high maintenance and costly operation. To offer the best service and quality to our clients, we have our own specialized team. From motion graphic designers that are responsible for our clients' videos, to the technical team who can assemble and reassemble a full screen from the LED lamp to the cabinet, there are a lot of workers involved in our business. Over the past year we have introduced formats to the DOOH industry in Mozambique. We will continue to build landmarks, like that of the Piri-Piri circus (first curved digital screen, and the biggest in the country), making a mark on the surrounding area and continuing to introduce innovative methods of communication.
What types of regulations apply to the digital billboards in Mozambique?
Although it may not appear to be, this is fairly new technology for Mozambique. The regulations have only begun to grapple with the term “electronic billboards,” but it shares the same limitations as any outdoor billboard. There is still ground to evolve, and we need to work together to present a firm and consistent regulatory system for this subject. This kind of media requires a high level of technical skill, and that should be an important element in regulatory decisions. We introduced ourselves many international recommendations, for instance our DOOH automatically reduce their brightness at night, working at full brightness during the day. When choosing the right spot to put our billboards, we conduct intense impact studies, evaluating the light impact on the nearby buildings, and also the physical integrity of the location.
What is your strategy for setting yourself apart from your competitors?
We always innovate and try out new technologies. Every new DOOH is fully packed, with the latest and best technology available. We know that the best technology is not always right for every situation, and that is because customer care is important. If you ignore your clients, your clients will not care for you and they will soon go somewhere else. We take this very seriously, especially in the Mozambican market. We invest in technology so we can offer a more controlled and reliable service. To achieve this, we also invest in our workers, because without them our technology cannot work properly. They are a vital part of the process. As one of the pioneers in the Southern Africa region, we have created a customized business and services portfolio. At the same time, we have gathered young Mozambican workers and developed and adapted our own technology to suit the environment in which we work.
How have new social media technologies shaped the way you work in Dalima?
The rapid expansion of websites such as YouTube and Instagram have changed user expectations, and digital content, such as the videos we prepare, must be more appealing. In the coming years, Mozambique will see huge growth in smartphone technology. This growth, combined with that of DOOH advertising, will offer opportunities to interact with these devices. This communications shift is changing the way we connect with the world. We are increasingly subject to more information, and that changes our expectations and needs. We are no longer satisfied with a standard product, but rather with our own version, a customized or tailored service or product. Companies like Google and Amazon are at the forefront of this evolution, and give away the control to their services to those who know best, their clients.
What would you say are the main trends in the marketing industry in Mozambique?
Mobile and digital are no longer the future, they are the present, and those are the biggest trends in marketing in Mozambique. Digital and social medias will continue to grow at a rapid pace, and you are already seeing a shift of attention from mainstream television and traditional outdoor advertising to a more immersive and personal kind of social and digital media.
What are your expectations for the year ahead?
Changes in consumer habits and technology growth are altering the effectiveness of traditional marketing campaigns. This creates a new challenge for finding correct and effective ways to reach customers. It will be a year in which we will see the integration of all digital medias. More and more people are immersing themselves in the digital era, and mobile smartphone users are growing in number. Social media and digital outdoor technologies will start to merge together to create stronger interactions and synergies. We are already testing the interactive capabilities of Dalima Digital Outdoor screens, not only on people passing by the physical screens (direct interactivity with users), but also on social media. We are working on our Client Access Program too, and this will include a smartphone application, which will allow for access to client data. We want to start giving more freedom to our clients. You will be able, for example, to see where we are displaying your ads, and can give direct feedback if you need to request changes in locations. In the future you could easily launch and manage your own campaign.