A smart  advertising system

A smart advertising system

ROMA – WHEN you sit in a 4+1 taxi, suddenly a sleeping screen in-front of you roars into life, playing you a video. The screen wakes up because it is “aware” that you have entered the cab.

“And it starts showing you the latest things Maseru can offer,” the National University of Lesotho (NUL)-trained Relebohile Morienyane says.
Morienyane is a legal mind and a business founder backed by a team of NUL-trained software scientists.

Plus, when you pass close to a certain shop (which is being advertised), the screen suddenly switches to advertise what is in that shop.
It knows you are passing close to the right shop.

The brains behind this unfolding business, which they call IQ Media, also includes Kopano Mokoma, Lehlohonolo Sekokotoana (both from NUL) and Mphetole Mona (from Centre for Accounting Studies).

The young thinkers have been developing this product since 2016.
They are still on it, come what may. When you are the one advertising, here will be the benefits.

These folks are developing an app in which you will just upload your videos on your cell-phone or desktop and, oops! They are now being played in every corner of the town in 4+1s for the rest of your subscription period.
To do this, you don’t have to have any physical contact whatsoever with IQ Media, just upload.

Plus you are able to monitor the effectiveness of your advert: how many people are watching it, in how many cars it is being advertised and how often it is being played, right on your cell-phone.
“With this app, you always get instant feedback on your advert, and a detailed report at the end of your advertising period,” Morienyane says.

As we speak, the system is being tested in seven 4+1 cabs in Maseru even as software development is in full gear.
They test, improve, test, improve, test and improve.
There is more to this brilliant system.

For instance, since the system has a GPS, you as the customer are able to analyse the routes most of the cabs using this system take.
In this way, you advertise strategically.

Also, remember, the system is designed such that when a cab passes by the location of your business, it starts advertising your business.
It is not only telling the potential customer that there is a certain business having what she needs, it is actually saying, “Since you are already here, why not get outta the car and see for yourself?”
What could be more convenient than that?
This kind of business advertising makes sense in Lesotho.

We live in the digital age and things are moving very fast.
“However,” Morienyane says, “If you look at a local landscape, video advertising has not yet been tapped into. We are yet to master the art of advertising on video, even on TV.”

But, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then, a video is worth ten thousand words!
In a video, you pack a lot of information in one message.
It doesn’t matter how small the message is, it often makes the biggest impact if it is on video.

But why choose a 4+1 when you can just put your video on Facebook?
Those who have tried marketing their videos on Facebook will tell you one thing.

You ain’t not getting potential customers there.
That is because no one (by that we mean only a few) watches videos on Facebook, or anywhere online.

Your average internet user in Lesotho doesn’t want to spend her data watching a video, any video.
Videos are expensive, they protest.
But in a taxi, you just sit there and the whole thing just plays itself in front of you for free.

You’ve now got valuable information without paying a cent.
Also, the screen is strategically placed at the back of the front seat in a taxi, facing customers at the back.

“When you are sitting there, and there is this video popping up right in front of you, you are forced to watch, at least at some point, during your brief stay in the cab,” Morienyane says.

At the moment, Morienyane and his team are testing the system in seven, 4+1 cabs even as they continue to make changes to improve it.
“Our computer team is constantly thinking of various ways to improve this smart advertising system.”

Own Correspondent

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