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Marketing Kraal: Lebona Moleli

An intrepid entrepreneur turns outdoor advertising on its head with an innovative new model.

Juliet Pitman



Lebona Molle of Marketing Kraal

When Lebona Moleli, CEO of Marketing Kraal, started abusiness selling wall mural and container advertising space, he introduced arefreshing new take on outdoor advertising and developed an offering that’sopened up a previously untapped market.

Side-stepping thecompetition

“I’ve been fascinated by billboards ever since I was achild and when I left the corporate environment, I thought it would be a goodbusiness to get into,” says Moleli. But he knew competition was extremely toughand barriers to entry were high. “To erect a billboard is extremely expensive – betweenR100 000 and R250 000 – and it involves a huge administrative headache becauseyou have to get permission from the council. Then it takes time to build up aregular client base. Going that route and taking on the big players likePrimedia was going to be too challenging from a marketing and finance point ofview,’ he explains. So, like a true entrepreneur, Moleli came up with adifferent way of doing things.

Devising aninnovative model

Instead of owning the advertising space, he realised hecould use what was already out there. Marketing Kraal sources existing wall andcontainer space in townships and semi-urban areas across the country, appliesbranding on the space for advertisers and pays a percentage fee over to theowner of the site. “This means we keep our costs low because we don’t need toerect and own a billboard structure and it helps other small businesses in ourcommunities to grow, because we pay no less than 10% of our media rental fee tothem. It’s a win for us, for our clients and for local small business owners,” Moleli says, adding that onesite owner has used the proceeds from her site to send her child to school.

Going for impact

The business model has another important differentiator,as Moleli explains: “We don’t find the site and then try to sell it to theclient. We see ourselves as a marketing partner, not a sales business. So wesit with the client, discuss what they want to achieve with a campaign, whothey want to talk to and what they want to say, and then we source a sitespecifically suited to meet those requirements.” When word gets around in communities, people contactMarketing Kraal to highlight possible new sites, which helps the company togrow and extend the reach of its offering. What all this adds up to is anoutdoor advertising offering that can reach into the much sought-after townshipmarket, is impactful and can offer advertisers powerful returns on investment.

Targeting a niche

Marketing Kraal draws on Moleli’s comprehensiveunderstanding of the township and semi-urban market. It’s experience he builtup over a career that includes senior marketing positions at SAB, Coca-Cola,South African Airways and former lottery operator, Uthingo. “I knew I needed a niche and the township market was theobvious choice,” he says, “It’s a market I know and understand, and obviouslyhaving grown up in the township helps!” Such an understanding is an important value-add,particularly in what is a constantly evolving and dynamic market. “The townshipmarket” is undergoing a lot of transformation with the emergence of the blackmiddle class and an increase in property development, and there’s a real needto talk to it in a very specific way. Our offering helps clients to do that,”he says.

Landing clients

It’s an offering that has the likes of, Cell C andthe new Lottery operator, Gidani, convinced. Moleli signed up his first clientsusing an aggressive marketing strategy and a “kick ass” PowerPointpresentation. “I didn’t even have a website then but I think what I wasoffering was unique and they were interested. My first client signed up for 12months,” he says. No doubt the price tag plays an important role as well –Marketing Kraal’s niche focus, unique market knowledge and tailored siteselection all comes at a fraction of the usual billboard advertising price. “Weare lucky to have some big name clients but the offering is priced to suitsmall to medium businesses as well and we’d like to grow in this area,” heconcludes.

Marketing Kraal

Player: LebonaMoleli

Est. 2007

Tel: +27 11 805 6538

Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.


25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.

Nicole Crampton



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“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.

South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:

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Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’

People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.






Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

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Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Merge Connect




Vital Stats

It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.

“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.

Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.

The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.


“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.

“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris

Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.

Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

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