Corporate bigwigs give major boost to SME marketing

Communications group Singtel is launching the first private sector-led, nationwide campaign to rally support for small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs).

Named the 99%SME, the campaign celebrates and supports the nearly 190,000 SMEs which make up 99% of the total number of registered companies in Singapore. According to Singtel, SMEs contributed to 50% of Singapore’s GDP last year.

This corporate initiative aims to encourage consumers to use products and services offered by SMEs. The campaign by Singtel will run from 29 October to 1 November with the support of co-founder DBS, official media partner MediaCorp, Spring Singapore along with strategic partners: CapitaLand, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Samsung.

With the support of its partners, Singtel will spearhead a marketing drive that aims to convert eyeballs to footfalls to SME establishments.  A microsite has been created for the campaign. The campaign also runs on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr where consumers are encouraged to pledge their support for SMEs.

According to Titus Yong, vice president, business sales, global enterprise group, Singtel, the company will mobilise marketing efforts to reach out to more SMEs and encourage them to join the campaign. The marketing drive, which will roll out on 5 October, includes above-the-line advertising such as radio talk shows and television ads. In addition, on-the-ground marketing will rally SMEs to submit video content that documents information about their businesses. Yong said, “We will be creating special TVC ads featuring SMEs in order to drum up empathy among more consumers. This will hopefully drive eyeballs and subsequently, footfalls to SMEs.”

As part of its marketing to consumers, Singtel is offering 1GB of free data for its postpaid customers who are among the first 50,000 to patronise an SME establishment on each day of the four-day campaign. Customers would need to upload their receipts and furnish personal details on the microsite in order to claim the free data.

Fans of participating SMEs can also submit videos on their favourite establishments to The top three SMEs with the most shared links on the campaign website or the highest number of views for their fans’ videos will each receive SG$100,000 advertising grant from MediaCorp.

Chang Long Jong, deputy chief executive officer of MediaCorp, said,”Branding and marketing are key challenges confronting SMEs and that’s where MediaCorp can help – through our focus on SMEs in our content and through our advertising products. We aim to help SMEs succeed, create sustainable growth for themselves an in turn sustain our economy.”

Speaking at the press conference for the launch, Bill Chang, CEO, group enterprise, Singtel, said that it will be using its Amobee Brand Intelligence to aggregate and analyse online sentiment to help retailers better understand and engage their customers. “We are also leveraging social media to get consumers to rediscover and celebrate what SMEs have to offer,” Chang added.

Chang said: “The campaign is focused on driving innovation for a more dynamic SME ecosystem and a stronger economic base for our nation.”

The branding and logo for the campaign by Singtel was done by Ogilvy Singapore.

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