Walking billboards offer SMEs cheaper advertising option

    A new advertising model is allowing SMEs cut down on advertising budget while reaching out to targeted clientele, interacting directly with them and translating into sales.

    Known as walking billboards the new concept is giving advertisers a chance to meet and interact with prospective clients hence translating into sales.

    Clients are charged according to time taken, allowing clients to choose convenient packages depending on their financial muscles. A 30 minutes advertisement in one geographical area costs Sh3000. Advertisement messages and designs are done by South Sea media, the company behind the concept.

    Advertisement messages once crafted and approved by the client are printed neatly on a hard paper which is covered by a slim transparent nylon paper.

    Those papers are them stuck on the backs of the advertising agents employed by the company who hover in the specific niche market for the goods or service being advertised. For instance, while marketing stationery; advertising agents hover around offices in a bid to attract attention of office secretaries and management.

    According to the company’s Managing Director Daniel Muturi, they have a formidable advertising team with wide experience in marketing that easily identify possible market for different goods and services.

    “Once a client has approached us with a product, our team quickly figure out possible markets, learn more about it, identify its competitors in the market, craft and design catchy messages before heading to the field,” said Muturi.

    He explained that a client is charged depending on the length of the advertisement, site and desired reach.

    “Clients who wish their products to be advertised  in Wajir for instance are charged higher due to transport costs since the company has branches in Nairobi, Kisumu, Eldoret, Mombasa, Thika, Machakos and Kakamega,” said the Director.

    ”Walking billboards are a fantastic, non-invasive, subtle but powerful way to grab, and keep, the attention of your target audience,” explained Michael Ambani, an advertisement lecturer at Kenya Institute of Mass Communication.

    He said that this form of advertisement is popular in developed countries like the United Kingdom where LED lit walking billboards are used by companies to maximise on sales since they target specific market and attract more attention.

    He explained that unlike print and electronic adverts which are expensive, walking billboards are on point and affordable hence help companies to cut on expenditure costs.

    A minute advert on a national television in Kenya costs between Sh130,000-320,000 depending on time it is aired. This is thousands times more than what is charged by South Sea media for walking billboard advertising considering that Sh3000 per hour translates to Sh50 per minute.

    “We reach a client in person and even get an a rear opportunity to interact with them,” said Silas Muraguri, a staff at South Sea. He explained that a client can easily evaluate efficiency of their services by accessing the number of sells made after, during and before advertisement.

    A part from business entities, politicians and event promoters use those services to marshal support and followings. Cooperative bank, NIC, Housing Finance and Bank of Africa are some of the clients currently using this mode of advertisement to sell their packages.


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