DIGITISING NEW ZEALAND’S SME COM­MU­NITY

New Zealand Marketing - - Yellow -

We are quite com­fort­able in the dis­com­fort of trans­for­ma­tion and we can cre­ate that en­try point into the dig­i­tal world that is per­ceived to be ex­pen­sive.

“It’s not a mat­ter of if, but when,” says Yel­low chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer Bruce Pil­brow on busi­nesses un­der­go­ing a dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion. For the past 60 years, it’s been serv­ing New Zealan­ders and their busi­nesses along­side its own trans­for­ma­tion and now it’s ready to im­part that ex­pe­ri­ence onto SMES.

Since en­ter­ing the mar­ket with a phone book, Yel­low’s faced the dig­i­tal revo­lu­tion and come out the other end with a busi­ness that’s 50 per­cent dig­i­tal and grow­ing.

Now, it’s time for New Zealand’s SMES to fol­low suit, in or­der to help them get their sto­ries out to their com­mu­ni­ties.

“If we can help a small busi­ness thrive in a com­mu­nity, they are go­ing to em­ploy more peo­ple, they are go­ing to spend more in their lo­cal com­mu­nity,” says Pil­brow.

“We love that lo­cal con­nec­tion be­tween busi­ness and com­mu­nity; it’s part of our DNA at Yel­low.”

Yel­low has launched what’s be­lieved to be New Zealand’s first mar­ket­ing subscription ser­vice. It’s a needs-based solution to help SMES take off.

“We’ve worked with world-class in­ter­na­tional providers to pull to­gether some ex­cel­lent tools at an af­ford­able price for Kiwi SMES.”

With SMES in a va­ri­ety of mar­ket­ing po­si­tions around the coun­try, the ser­vice in­cludes four dif­fer­ent dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing so­lu­tions to help SMES grow their on­line and so­cial pres­ence, tell their sto­ries in dig­i­tal plat­forms and ul­ti­mately drive busi­ness leads.

They are ‘Get Started’, ‘Grow and Pro­mote’, ‘Share with Fol­low­ers’ and ‘Cre­ate Con­tent’ to suit the dif­fer­ent needs of busi­nesses.

Look­ing across New Zealand, Pil­brow sees SMES owned by peo­ple with strong val­ues and a love for their com­mu­nity but fac­ing hard graft.

Feed­back from own­ers shows they want more time to work on their busi­nesses as they are bal­anc­ing be­ing on the tools, do­ing the pa­per­work and their own form of mar­ket­ing.

“There is one Yel­low and our job is to find a mar­ket­ing solution that helps your busi­ness thrive – we will put to­gether a pack­age that suits that.

“We are quite com­fort­able in the dis­com­fort of trans­for­ma­tion and we can cre­ate that en­try point into the dig­i­tal world that is per­ceived to be ex­pen­sive.”

On top of price, Pil­brow adds there’s also a per­cep­tion dig­i­tal means build­ing a web­site, but that’s not al­ways the an­swer.

Yel­low takes a step back to ask: What does it look like to get on­line? And once you’re on­line, how do you ef­fec­tively tell your story with­out merely flog­ging a prod­uct?

And for those who al­ready have a web­site, Yel­low looks at how peo­ple will find it. It’ll ask how can you get a rank­ing in Google? And how do you op­ti­mise your list­ing or your web­site?

“Some cus­tomers might al­ready have a web­site but it doesn’t do any­thing and what they need re­quires search en­gine mar­ket­ing to get it pop­ping up on Google or a plat­form to tell their story in a so­cial space,” says Pil­brow. “Our chal­lenge is to help cus­tomers with­out us­ing con­fus­ing acronyms and mar­ket­ing speak, we sim­ply give them prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions based on their needs."

One of those cus­tomers is Mike Pero, who has called Yel­low a part­ner of Mike Pero Mort­gages since the early 90s. Like Yel­low, Pero has also evolved over the years, orig­i­nally ad­ver­tis­ing in Yel­low to grow his busi­ness from ground zero and to­day us­ing dig­i­tal as a ma­jor part of the busi­ness.

He’s also ex­panded, launch­ing Mike Pero Real Es­tate in 2011.

Since then, Pero has opened a new of­fice ev­ery 45 days, an achieve­ment aided by Yel­low’s mar­ket­ing sup­port.

While he loves mar­ket­ing and is hands on, he re­alised Mike Pero Real Es­tate lacked an in-house skillset for on­line busi­ness mar­ket­ing, so uses Yel­low to get his mes­sage out to the na­tion in­stead.

One size doesn’t fit all

But while a dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is front of mind for New Zealand SMES, that’s not to say the phone book should be pushed to the back.

Yel­low’s orig­i­nal of­fer of a list­ing in pages of a book is still a rel­e­vant solution, par­tic­u­larly when look­ing be­yond the coun­try’s main cen­tres.

Pil­brow ex­plains the Yel­low pages are still rated and used with Nielsen data pre­dict­ing it sees 9.6 mil­lion phys­i­cal lookups a month, with 65 per­cent of those lead­ing to a phone call.

“So the ques­tion is not whether the pages are dead. It is more about un­der­stand­ing the best way for you to pro­mote your busi­ness to en­able mea­sur­able, pos­i­tive im­pact. Great mar­ket­ing must al­ways come from what’s best for the cus­tomer.”

“Whether that’s print, or print and dig­i­tal, or dig­i­tal only, we will put to­gether a pack­age that suits that.”

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