Advertiser: Maxis Brand: Maxis Creative Agency: Leo Burnett Credits: -
Objective & Challenge
The world’s leading economists and business strategists have all made their best predictions, but they never would have guessed that the biggest business disruptor of the decade would be a microscopic killer. On March 11 2020, WHO announced the COVID19 outbreak a pandemic. 7 days later, Malaysian government commenced the Movement Control Order (MCO). Lockdowns ensued; and overnight, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) suddenly found themselves not just fighting desperately to stay above water, but also pressured to fasttrack their digitalisation efforts. We helped rally SMEs to come together and inspire each other to adapt through digitalisation. SMEs struggled with unprecedented challenges including stagnant cash flows, heightened risks of bankruptcy or not knowing how to equip employees to work from home. And their usual support channels: business associations, financial institutions and peers, were no longer accessible as the nation’s focus shifted to the efforts at the frontlines. We set out with the goal to support SMEs across the country through these challenging times, but we could not provide answers to an entire community’s questions singlehandedly, or in time. If we could reach one SME business owner, then he/she can share the answer with six or more peers. We could then help spark a movement within the SME community to help each other weather the storm, and ultimately benefit Maxis Business as well.
Insight & Strategy
Various forms of assistance like grants have surfaced to help SMEs weather the storm. But what SMEs needed most were answers to their questions: “I want to sell online but I don’t know how.” “I want to get onto a food delivery service, but I don’t know how.” “I heard the government is giving grants – but how do I apply?” Yet some have figured it out. From our own customers who have quickly adopted ecommerce, to neighbourhood Nasi Lemak sellers who take orders via WhatsApp, some SMEs have hacked new ways of doing business using digital solutions. And instead of acting like it’s every man for himself, they readily shared when prompted. The problem? The other 920,000 SMEs couldn’t find them. Maxis Business is all about connecting Malaysian businesses and helping them always be ahead with help from technology. So, how can we rally SMEs to inspire each other by sharing their stories, knowledge and experience? 98.5% (over 920,000) of business establishments in Malaysia are SMEs and they have contributed 38.9% to Malaysia’s GDP in 2019. So, it was troubling to learn that more than 30,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have closed their doors for good since March 2020. This was troubling to say the least as SMEs form the foundation of our economy and employ more than 70% of the country’s workforce. To live up to our promise of being a true business partner, it was Maxis Business’ responsibility to step up and do our part for the SME community.
From one business to another – 1,000 SMEs sharing 10,000 new ways of doing business in the new normal through digitalisation. Featured stories of real SME heroes, with Maxis Business providing amplification platforms, guides, an SME Help Squad and digital solutions.
STEP 1: WE LISTENED We ran a snap poll amongst 200 SMEs
for better clarity of the challenges they faced. The results were unanimous: more than 51% of SMEs suffered business disruptions. They were desperate for ways to stay afloat, but advice offered by media portals have not been tried and tested.
STEP 2: WE RALLIED Then we sought out our heroes: SME owners who had successfully adapted to the new normal with our own customers who already had inspiring stories to tell. So they were the first we invited to the circle. We wanted to first serve the community, not sell. These SMEs were asked to share three practical digitaldriven solutions (e.g., digital marketing to find new customers, or using online tools to maintain remote work productivity) that they have successfully implemented to continue thriving despite the pandemic through selfrecorded videos. In return, they would gain media exposure and be offered the chance to become a Maxis Deals partner for access to our 10 millionstrong consumer base.
STEP 3: WE AMPLIFY We partnered with local English, Malay and Chinese media to get these stories heard by as many SMEs as possible. We also leveraged on owned channels on Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, as well as our website and base marketing via email. STEP 4: WE HELP After they were inspired by their peers’ successes, it was time for SMEs to take action for themselves. But many were still lacking the confidence to take the plunge into digitalisation. To point them in the right direction, we created a series of English, Bahasa Malaysia and Chinese ‘cheat sheets’ across four key topics: eCommerce, Digital Marketing, Employee Upskilling, and Funding. We also wanted to make sure that SMEs could reach us directly for guidance. We repurposed our sales teams into a 100strong SME Help Squad that’s specially trained to provide advice on pressing topics.
With 7.6 million video views, #KitaSapotKita: Business Edition sparked a movement within the SME community nationwide. Maxis Business gained a 42% increase in web sessions, more than 1,500 leads from SME Help Squad enquiries and over 100 million online impressions. Campaign received over 7.6 million video views across YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn in 12 weeks. In terms of PR media reach, we received 63.95 million online reach for stories in various mainstream media such as The Star, Harian Metro, and China Press. The campaign garnered over 100 million total online impressions – 86% more than the precampaign period. In under 21 days, we created over 50 videos to feature SME success stories. Maxis Business also saw a 42% increase in web sessions during the campaign period. Over 1,500 leads were collected by the Maxis Business SME Help Squad — that’s 38% more than the precampaign period. We maintain our No. 1 position in SME brand preference against competitive telcos, we also gained a 10point increment from Q1 2020 to Q3 2020; indicating a growing confidence in our capabilities as a digitalisation enabler after the campaign.