How was Loatsad Promomedia established?
Loatsad Promomedia was an idea birthed by my business partner and I some four and a half years ago. We had a passion to create something that would be innovative and unique as well as providing a platform to start a business, which we both wanted to do. Hence, we got the license and set up our business. Eventually, we grew from just being static boards and lamp posts to LEDs. We realized there was a new market for us to enter. People were using the traditional methods of putting up a board, and we wanted to enter the space and make a change, giving advertisers something significantly more powerful for their brand. We wanted to create something powerful for them.
Why did you choose to enter advertising?
I studied Law in university but I wanted to break away from the norm and do something that will be innovative and improve Nigeria as a whole and also grow outside of Nigeria and throughout the continent, which was advertising. PricewaterhouseCoopers media research has stated that advertising revenues will double in Nigeria. In the short time we have been in the market, we have made a significant impact, as Outdoor advertising contains both boards and digital aspects. Digital is the future, and we are the future—we are the youngest in the game here. We do have a digital division and work with many international digital companies that we have brought to Nigeria. I believe the companies that will make an impact are those that consistently provide great value for money for their clients and work in tandem to ensure all their needs are adequately met.
What is the composition of your portfolio in terms of digital versus billboards?
Digital is still in the early stages in Nigeria; the country is extremely traditional. There's the need for some education because people mostly trust what they are used to. However, the advertising industry has evolved and modern technologies have opened the door to a whole new era, almost everyone uses mobile phones now and people are starting to be more open to concepts involving digital solutions. Nigerians like to see and touch; thus, the outdoor segment is still very much the leader in the country. Nigeria is still developing and the country is constantly evolving. Based on the numbers, Nigeria's population is going to continue to rise which means more opportunities for businesses and that leads to increased demand for our services. There will be significantly more demand for advertising here in the future, especially for digital advertising.
How did you manage to take your position in the market in only four years?
It has taken a great deal of hard work. Most importantly, it has been about having the right team. We are a young workforce, driven, and with a great deal of passion. Everyone at the company is involved in decision making and finding locations. We sit as a group and try to find out what is missing in the country or where we could have a presence. We are persistent and tenacious and we believe we offer real value. Our aim is to let brands thrive in the best possible way and we see our services as a unique medium to facilitate that process.
What growth ambitions do you have?
We are picking up on outdoor advertising, though we are also moving into digital and are working to push digital much more now. We are working on traditional popups on websites and phones. We want to eventually move outside of Nigeria and into other African countries. I want Loatsad to be an African brand and eventually move up into Europe and all around the world. In Africa, we are looking at moving first into Ghana, then to Kenya and South Africa.
What trends have you seen in recent years in the sector in the country?
There is an overall shift in innovative solutions that deliver real brand value. Organizations are not looking for a one size fits all approach. Instead, they are interested in strategic tailored solutions that impact their bottom line in a real way. There is a great deal of disruption and innovation in the sector at the moment. I believe that Loatsad Promomedia has been at the forefront of that innovation from day one. Outdoor advertising is growing rapidly and companies are looking to buy the best LED boards and get the most exposure. We always believe in going bigger and that has been our ethos from the very start with our structures, which are probably some of the biggest in Nigeria. others are now following suit. Many of the new structures that are coming up now are bigger than ever before. With the economy picking up, we have more clients coming back now. We want to make sure we are open to both local SMEs and major multinational corporations. We want to target both segments and adjust our rates accordingly.
How do you secure the ideal location for boards?
I will use the Victoria Island-Lekki toll gate as an example. The toll gate came up as an area with a great deal of traffic. For this, we first had to identify the owner of the asset. It belonged to LCC, and we proposed a concept of putting an LED on the structure. We also approached Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA), the regulatory body. Once we figured out what was doable, we created the contract and signed out the concession. We currently are working on five new sites that will be up soon. We are typically approached by advertising agencies as opposed to a client itself. Loatsad has about every top client in the county. We have Access Bank, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, 9Mobile, MTN and many more. We have also held concerts and events with young artists and entrepreneurs.
What are your expectations for 2019?
For Loatsad, 2019 will be a better year than the last four, we expect to create more iconic sites and to expand on our digital offerings as well. We hope to give more brands better locations for advertising opportunities; also, to have more strategic partnerships. We want to light Lagos up.