The Current OOH Process in South Africa

In short, the current state of outdoor advertising in South Africa is that of many choices especially in urban metros and it can be overwhelming for a new buyer.

The current OOH process to purchase a billboard is also a long one and at times confusing one for potential clients often putting them off buying OOH in the first place. Billboard Finder has acknowledged this problem and is doing what it can to make it easier to find billboards based on location, price, LSM groups, and many other filters. We hope to continue to innovate and better this process based on customer feedback and needs we receive.

Our unique value proposition makes looking for your ideal billboard a much smoother process and our team is here to assist and guide you through aspects such as placement of your billboards based on your target market and assistance with creative design and guidance with ensuring your creative is impactful and generates sales for your business.

The Current OOH Process in South Africa:

Media Planning Process – Traditional Method

Step 1. Planners meet with the client to discuss campaign requirements. (Size/Budget/Areas/Target Market/Creative Execution etc)

Step 2. Planners then send a brief with campaign requirement details to media owners. This is done usually over email BCC to hundreds of media owners.

Step 3. Media Owner receives brief and submits sites within the required deadline by email in their template which all differ in quality and information submitted and often need to be vetted for accuracy.

Step 4. Media planner receives hundreds of mails from media owners and then select sites best suited to the client brief and budget for clients consideration. Planner also has to go back to the media owner for any information that has been left off the proposal for answers.

Step 5. The media planner then puts all sites together in their template and sends to the client for consideration.

Step 6. Client after some time usually gets back to Media Planner with sites they want or doesn’t like any of them and asks for sites in alternative areas and requirements change again. If that happens then please revert back to Steps 1 to 5.

Step 7. Media Planner then emails/calls Media Owner to ask if the site's client has selected is still available for the client over the selected period. The campaign start date is often pushed out further if the client delays a decision here.

Step 8. Media owner confirms availability of sites or if not avail sends alternatives for consideration. Media Planner then lets the client know what sites are available and offers alternatives where possible. Media Owner often options sites for a media planner to secure the space but this is usually limited to 48/72 hours and system is manually inputted on excel spreadsheet generated by the media owner.

Step 9. Client confirms site selection and dates with media planner and asks to book sites with media owner.

Step 10. Sites are booked with media owner and agreements are prepared and nitty-gritty sorted out with paperwork etc.

Media Buying Process – Traditional Method

Step 11. Media planner prepares a schedule of the campaign and sends to Media Buyer to arrange PO/CI etc from client. Once received back from the client the Media Buyer or Planner sends CI/PO to Media Owner in order for the campaign to be invoiced.

Often this is a waiting game and Media Owner has to send a numberof emails to the media agency to ask for their PO/CI in order to ensure the campaign is invoiced etc.

Some media owners do not go ahead with production without a PO for print and or flighting. But generally, these days agencies are using their own printers to print in bulk for their entire campaign and save costs for the client or they add their own markup and make a profit on this process.

Implementation Process – Traditional Method


Step 12. Agency arranges creative from client or client’s creative agency. This is also often late and creates a rush to ensure that the campaign is printed and flighted on time. As we all know often when things are rushed mistakes happen then the process has to start again.

Step 13. Once creative is received the media salesperson sends it onto an operations manager to arrange a jpeg for final approval with the printers for client.

Step 14. Printers send jpeg to operations with comments if there is any problems they see with the creative and advise for any changes to be made.

Step 15. Operations sends jpeg to sales and sales sends to agency/client for final approval before print.

Step 16. Operations then follow up with printers to see where we stand with campaign print and once print date is confirmed moves to scheduling flighting with the flighting team.

Step 17. A print is often couriered to outlying regions and then flighting team is notified of this. Operations then schedule a flighting date with flighting crew across South Africa.

Step 18. Flighting crew receive banners and arrange for flighting as per Media Owner requirements in terms of priority.

Step 19. Banners are flighted and flighting crew takes a dated close up and distance visual of the new campaign up and flighted to be sent first to media owner who then sends it onto media agency or client direct.

Step 20. Sales send campaign visuals to client/agency to prove that it went up on time and looks good.

Step 21. Media owners are also required where possible to send monthly reports with dated visuals even night visuals for clients to see that everything is in working order. 

Step 22. A month before campaign expiry media owners send a reminder to client/agency that their campaign is expiring and if they would like to extend. Salesperson and operations also handle any new creative changes for new campaigns and so then steps 12 to 21 apply again.

As you can see this is a very long process and Billboard Finder's long-term goal is to develop technologies to smoothen and simplify the above traditional process currently implemented in South Africa.

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