Friday, September 16, 2016


According to Wikipedia small scale business are normally privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorship.  What businesses are defined as "small" in terms of government support and tax policy varies depending on the country and industry.

Now, with so many Nigerians venturing into businesses with little start-up capital due to the present state of the economy, it isn’t hard to figure out that small scale businesses are facing a lot challenges. Some of the challenges include certification, transportation, recognition etc. but very significant is cost of advertising/marketing.

Advertising is actually one of the most important considerations for any business and without it your target audience may never have an idea about your brand/product or services or what stands you out from other competitors. Thus, your product or service goes unnoticed and un-purchased. Cost of advertising for the small-scale businesses is no doubt a big challenge. Running a full-page advert on Guardian or Punch Newspaper respectively or placing TV commercials is not a financial challenge for most large scale businesses but such expenses are obviously not okay for small-scale businesses, Like water production company, nursery/primary schools, daycare, beauty stores etc… But not withstanding you can still market and advertise your product using Below the Line (BTL) Advertising which can effectively reach your target audience.
According to Geoff Lancaster, a marketing professional from the UK, below the line advertising promotions are becoming a more essential part of the communication mix of every company, and as people continue to get more habituated to traditional above the line techniques, this trend will continue. What this means is that more interaction-based advertising such as exhibitions and sponsorship activities, which are all growing in popularity, will continue an upward trend into the advertising field.

Below the line advertising is an advertising strategy in which a product is promoted in mediums other than radio, television, billboards, print, film and the internet. The below the line ad method has a lot of credit to its system because in an unusual way it stands out of all the known methods of advertising used here in Nigeria.

So here are some tips on how to effectively advertise small scale businesses in Lagos, Nigeria

  • Carry out research: knowing your strength, opportunities, limitations, threats, competition, analyze your business environment.
  • Print and distribute flyers: A flyer through the door (with a clear USP, business name, logo and contact details) will likely catch the attention of a prospective client or customer. Exchange flyers with other business companies for example, at a wedding venue if you are a photographer or makeup artist you can introduce yourself by distributing fliers.
  • Use free notice boards: A small printed ad in a supermarket/mall or community centre notice board will be seen by a surprising number of people and it's sometimes free. Focus on your USP to attract their attention.
  • Word of mouth: It is important not to disregard the power of word of mouth. Tell people about your business and ask them to tell others.  Hold a contest or offer some sort of incentive or promo.
  • Make use of business cards: Business cards are very useful for reinforcing word-of-mouth recommendations. Always carry enough with you and give at any business/friendly meetings or gatherings.
  • Social media: Several technologies have made below-the-line marketing easier e.g mobile communication through smart phones that allow access to documents, instant messaging, Bulk messages and business applications make it very easy for sales people to develop connections to customers in the field.
  • Give out branded products:  Giving out branded products with your organization name and logo is another strong BTL ad strategy. Make sure you stick to useful items that people will actually use, such as t-shirts, keyrings, mugs, pens, calendars, umbrellas etc  and give these things to customers, suppliers, business partners, sponsors, friends, family and anyone else at every opportunity. Also have your business details and contacts on nylons, packages or materials used in selling your goods or services.
  • Use public transport: Bus, taxi and train companies all carry advertising posters inside their vehicles and stations, using this medium is also as effective as the others because a lot of people see them.
  • Brand your business vehicle: If your company has a business bus or car then this is another way to get people’s attention. Carrying an ad containing your brand name, logo and details while you're on the move can establish a strong presence in Lagos and this can last for at least three to five years and could be seen by thousands of people.
  • Endorse BRT tickets: Many people use BRT buses to get around because it’s one of the fastest ways to beat traffic in Lagos state. Endorsing the tickets they purchase is also an effective form of advertising for small scale businesses.
  • Slip a business card or flier into relevant books, Newspapers and magazines.
  • Leave business fliers on the bathroom doors of restaurants, bars, local hangout, clubs, eateries etc.
  • Advertise with rental agencies: Real estate offices, and leasing offices.  Offer the office members a special gift or discount for allowing you to advertise with them.

  If you are thinking of advertising in Nigeria, please contact PoiseMedia Communications at www.poisemedianigeria.com or check our contact at the bottom of this blog. We can help you identify your market and reach them. We apply both BTL and ATL strategies to project our clients’ brands to the right audience. We can do same for you at very affordable price.

Lilian Izuorah
Business Development Officer
PoiseMedia Communications Ltd

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