Master Ad Plc (MACO) was established in 1988 with registered capital of 600,000 baht by Noppadon Tansalarak, who still serves as CEO today. The company began by providing advertising services through stationary billboards and has since expanded into many other forms of out-of-home (OOH) media and entertainment services. Mr Noppadon discusses the company’s strategy and outlook.
Noppadon: Must have transparency
What is your business model?
Master Ad is a complete OOH media solutions provider from conceptualising to designing, investing to completion and managing to marketing. For over 24 years, we have offered a one-stop service: clients can choose among several of our products and services to increase their brand exposure and effectiveness of their campaigns, whether it be through location, production, design and/or technology.
At which locations does MACO have billboards and OOH media, and what are the current utilisation rates?
MACO currently has more than 1,200 signs that cover key strategic locations in both inner and outer Bangkok to grab the attention of people in a captive environment and on-the-go consumers during daily life. They are located in areas such as Silom, Sukhumvit, Rama IV, Phahon Yothin, Rama II and Vibhavadi-Rangsit. Currently, we achieve an occupancy rate of between 55% and 60% and expect to exceed 75% by the end of December.
What is the working relationship between landlords, MACO and customers?
They are not landlords and customers but our stakeholders. The notion of “paying attention to key stakeholder relationships” is a major principle of our management.
In fact, stakeholder satisfaction is critical for our success in this hyper-competitive environment. Work transparency, clear-cut and precise information about the work, commitment and our passion about customers and their consumers are absolutely vital to build the trust necessary to retain suppliers’ and customers’ support.
How does MACO decide on a location for its billboards?
Location is the most important factor and criterion for clients when they decide whether to choose billboards or other OOH media to advertise their brands. A high population density area is the first priority that I consider in making an investment. However, we also construct billboards and other media in any locations according to our customers’ demands.
MACO made several investments and joint ventures in 2010 and 2011 in Master and More Co Ltd, V Big Co Ltd, and Index Creative Village. What are the purposes of these investments and what impact will they have on MACO?
We made those investments to strengthen our business and increase competitive advantage by expanding our portfolio and leveraging these companies’ core capabilities. We have gained a number of locations for street furniture and transit media from Master and More. V Big specialises in green advertising technology, and Index Living Village is currently the market leader in event marketing. These investments and joint ventures will help our business grow faster, increase productivity and generate greater profits.
What differentiates MACO from its competitors?
As an out-of-home media solutions provider offering one-stop service, we have a strong product portfolio and value-added services to satisfy customer’s needs. Our core media have different roles _ they can reach people driving their cars or walking on the street, which cover key strategic locations in Bangkok. Moreover, our innovations and ambient media are unique and generate strong word-of-mouth for clients’ advertisements, such as 3D mapping and Digital Gateway for Coca-Cola, and the Levi’s 501 mock up at CentralWorld. Last but not least, we provide high-quality customer service and customer relationship management to build strong relationships.
MACO’s financial performance increased nearly 300% from 2009 to 2011, and the first quarter of 2012 was 33% of full-year performance in 2011. What are the reasons for this improvement?
For MACO, it is obviously more cost-efficient to cater to our existing customer base versus investing the time it takes to prospect [for new business] and turn that group into loyal customers. But we work in parallel _ we want to retain and service well our existing clients, as well as recruit new clients to demonstrate the quality of our products and services. More importantly, we have effective financial management, allowing us to control and keep costs to an agreed level, ensuring that our projects are developed within budget and deadline.
What are the biggest risks facing your business?
I would say that political turmoil is still a major risk for our business and of course for many other industries as well. Business confidence is affected and consumer confidence also falls, and as a result customers spend less money on advertising.
What impact will the AEC have on your business?
Businesses in Thailand will confront greater challenges from the Asean Economic Community as a result of the higher percentage of ownership by Asean investors in services sectors. We foresee international companies expanding to Thailand requiring advertising media to promote and support their businesses, and thus we believe that given our strong know-how in this industry and business alliances in other markets, the AEC will be very beneficial for our business.
Where do you expect to see MACO in five years from now?
We foresee that out-of-home advertising media will grow in the next five years. We are ready and will make more investments to drive the growth of our business in Thailand and expand throughout Southeast Asia. We aim to be the market leader in out-of-home media in Thailand and become the social hub in Asean.
Source: Bangkok Post
Originally published in the Bangkok Post on 17th August 2012