Tractor Outdoor celebrates 20 years in the outdoor media industry by offering a collective R8-million in media exposure to small and medium-size businesses SMEs as part of its #20in21 SME Initiative.
Twenty South African SMEs will receive a package from Tractor that includes advertising across its extensive out of home (OOH) and digital OOH networks, as well as social media and online exposure. From this pool, five deserving SMEs will be selected as Tractor Outdoor's ‘SME Heroes’ to get an additional boost in the form of a branded video, PR and digital promotion.
This initiative follows Tractor's enormously successful 'SME Heroes' campaign last year, which saw the media owner give a collective R5M in media exposure to small businesses that were struggling under the impact of lockdown, to help them boost sales and retain top of mind awareness.
Says Remi Du Preez, commercial director at Tractor Outdoor: “The idea behind this initiative is to give these businesses a much-needed marketing boost, helping them to increase sales and secure top of mind awareness.
“The qualifying criteria are simple. We’re looking for interesting companies and passionate people from all sectors; businesses that demonstrate the potential – and desire – for growth, but that could do with a helping hand to get them there.”
Tractor Outdoor’s SME Initiative, which was first launched last year, was initially a response to the nationwide lockdown. Du Preez explains, “Businesses all around the globe bore the brunt of the worldwide lockdowns intended to slow the spread of coronavirus, but – without the buffer of significant cash reserves – SMEs took the hardest hit of all.”
The intention, explains Du Preez, was to support local businesses that were struggling. “We decided that we would use the resources at our disposal to provide qualifying SMEs with free advertising. And so we put out the word and our inboxes began to fill almost immediately.”
Through this initiative, Tractor Outdoor granted billboard space to a significant number of businesses, while five were featured as part of the media owner’s #SMEHeroes campaign, which shone a spotlight on their respective stories through a video series.
The campaign also became a pivotal moment for Tractor, which led to a shift in its entire approach to business. "As an OOH media owner - which is reliant on outdoor audiences - we took a huge knock when lockdown was first announced in 2020,” notes Du Preez. “However, this period of difficulty gave us a moment to pause, and reflect on our purpose. We realised that we couldn’t think only of ourselves – we needed to help those around us, if we were going to get through this as a country.”
Tractor Outdoor has since applied for its B-Corp certification, which is granted to companies that meet the most stringent criteria of balancing profit with purpose.
“As we celebrate two decades in business this year, we’ve decided not to spend money on a lavish party, and rather redirect our resources to helping another 20 companies in the hope that they too will someday celebrate twenty years in business,” concludes Du Preez.