Dentsu Africa CEO, Dawn Rowlands recently announced a bold move to invest 30% in black-owned out of home media, signalling the company’s commitment to growing the OOH media sector. The investment is specifically targeted at small and medium-sized black-owned OOH media owners.
Donald Mokgale, Business Director of Dentsu SSA, elaborated on the company’s efforts, stating that they are investing, upskilling, and taking real action to promote diversity. They are using technology and an interactive, easy to navigate platform that empowers black-owned OOH media businesses and offers them a place to transact. As part of their commitment, Dentsu is dedicating 30% of their overall OOH spend to these platforms.
However, creating this investment and platform was not an overnight success. Dentsu had to gain a thorough understanding of the space and the challenges faced by black-owned OOH media owners. One of the problems was that these owners lacked access to agencies, relationships, and context, which hindered their access to the market. This led to a disconnect in the industry, and dentsu was unable to access some of the strategically relevant sites that these owners had.
To address these issues, dentsu partnered with Lukhanyo Dyosopu, founder of Light-tech Media Solutions, who shared the same values and commitment to promoting diversity, empowerment, and skills development in the industry. Together, they created a tech-based business platform that empowers and transforms the OOH industry for SME media owners.
The platform, OOH Marketplace, is an easy-to-use and accessible platform that solves industry problems. It enables media owners who have no agency networks, relationships, or access to the market to upload their inventory and make it available to client and agency personnel in real-time. Media agencies can access real-time site availability, option inventory, negotiate rates, book inventory directly with site owners, and receive one campaign invoice that consolidates multiple media owners.
The benefits of OOH Marketplace include ease of use, efficiency, transparency, accountability, and market access for SME media owners. Dentsu pledges to invest and drive transformation for small to medium black-owned media owners while continuing to support larger global entities. For dentsu, it is not an either-or situation, but both. The company aims to build an industry led by excellence, not by colour or BEE scores. This approach ensures value and innovation, pushing the industry forward.
In conclusion, dentsu’s commitment to black-owned OOH media owners is not just about being black but about promoting excellence, value, and innovation. The OOH Marketplace is an example of how information and technology can drive the industry forward and offer access to a wider audience.