Sarel’s new chal­lenges

Finweek English Edition - - ADVERTISING & MARKETING -

As new ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Out-of-Home South Africa, Sarel du Plessis has am­bi­tious plans for the or­gan­i­sa­tion, in­clud­ing rais­ing its share of na­tional ad­ver­tis­ing ex­pen­di­ture from 2.6% to 6% in 24 months.

“For too long OHMSA was re­garded by the me­dia in­dus­try as the stepchild of the me­dia owner as­so­ci­a­tions, of­ten scorned as ir­rel­e­vant and not rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the OOH sec­tor,” he says. “All of this is to change as OHMSA em­barks on a pro­gramme of re-en­gi­neer­ing and devel­op­ment, and fo­cus­ing on our pri­mary goals.”

OHMSA is the off icially recog­nised trade as­so­ci­a­tion for the in­dus­try.

The sec­ond goal is to grow mem­ber­ship num­bers to en­sure a strong col­lec­tive voice for the sec­tor when re­quired.

“Es­sen­tially this means that OHMSA will be­come a mar­ket­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion for the OOH sec­tor,” says Du Plessis. “But this also re­quires the sec­tor play­ers to work to­gether to de­velop the nec­es­sary tools to per­suade mar­keters to al­lo­cate more of their bud­gets to­wards OOH.”

Out-of-home ad­ver­tis­ing used to be known as out­door ad­ver­tis­ing, but the new ter­mi­nol­ogy ref lects its ex­pan­sion into much more than bill­boards along­side high­ways. It now in­cludes elec­tronic and tra­di­tional small bill­boards and posters in shop­ping malls, air­port ter­mi­nals and other in­door ar­eas of pub­lic use.

The tar­geted growth in ad­ver­tis­ing seems over-am­bi­tious for an in­dus­try that hasn’t im­proved its mar­ket share for two decades, but there’s im­mense scope to haul in out­door con­trac­tors that aren’t mem­bers of OHMSA and con­se­quently don’t report their rev­enues.

A set of OHMSA sub-brands will be r ol l ed out dur­ing 2013, prov i ding i mproved benef it s for mem­bers and de­signed to cre­ate new rev­enue and in­come op­por­tu­ni­ties for the as­so­ci­a­tion. They will cover spe­cial­ist ser vices to mem­bers, in­clud­ing awards, re­cruit­ment, net­work­ing days, con­fer­enc­ing, on­line and a daily news ser­vice.

The lat­est brand, OH! Clas­si­fieds, was launched on 1 De­cem­ber. This gives outof-home me­dia play­ers the op­por­tu­nity to ad­ver­tise their busi­nesses for only R100/ month on the web­site.

“We re­ceive many en­quiries each month from me­dia own­ers look­ing for in­for­ma­tion on var­i­ous sub­jects,” says Du Plessis. “So we are en­cour­ag­ing sup­pli­ers to list their com­pa­nies un­der our cat­e­gories.”

All OHMSA mem­bers get a free list­ing as an added ben­e­fit to their mem­ber­ship, worth R1 200/year.

OHMSA re­cently joined FEPE, which pro­vides con­nec­tiv­ity with other out-ofhome me­dia as­so­ci­a­tions and the lat­est global re­search and trends.

Du Plessis was a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive in the news­pa­per di­vi­sion of Naspers be­fore his short-lived ten­ure as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Mar­ket­ing As­so­ci­a­tion of SA.

“Our aim now,” he says, “is to move the as­so­ci­a­tion from be­ing ir­rel­e­vant to be­ing e-rel­e­vant.”

Tony Koen­der­man

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