A cross-platform advertising and news content initiative helped MYOB amplify its message and cut noise at tax time, enabling the business management platform to engage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), d ‘improve the brand and boost conversion over the longer term.
Tax season is a busy time of year, especially for SMBs looking for information and tools to help them prepare for a smooth year-end.
“Similar to how Christmas is peak season for retail, the end of the fiscal year is the busiest time of year for accountants,” said Jane Betschel, head of marketing and digital at MYOB ANZ.
But it’s also hard to cut through all the noise.
“With so much content on the market at this critical time, companies are looking for trusted sources of information to help them prioritize what they need to do and avoid any unpleasant surprises,” Betschel said.
The key business period raises many questions for SMEs and their accountants, creating the perfect opportunity for MYOB to speak to its target audience about issues that concern them. “Placing SMB-directed advertising and content about our solution can help them meet tax-period compliance requirements,” Betschel said.
The company wanted to build on its Above the Line (ATL) business with contextually relevant initiatives and chose to partner with news media. “The challenge with B2B marketing is a longer conversion cycle. We wanted to try a news environment to deliver both top-to-bottom funnel marketing activities,” Betschel added.
The objectives of MYOB with the integrated information campaign
MYOB worked with News Corp to drive awareness and consideration during year-end by communicating with SMB owners about the benefits of MYOB to generate Trials, Referrals, Qualified Leads (MQL) and web sales.
Through a bespoke content partnership curated and anchored across news.com.au, The Australian and Sky News, MYOB leveraged the scale of over 2 million SMEs. “We set reach and frequency goals for media that drove awareness and demand into our funnel. But, ultimately, we focused on sales and revenue targets,” Betschel said.
The partnership included content (editorial, native and video), media, talent onboarding and lead generation tools (EDM, social amplification and QR codes to name a few). Betschel explained how putting MYOB’s message in the context of the news while people were actively reading helped establish an immediate connection to the problem MYOB is solving.
“We’re looking for ways to communicate the benefits of the MYOB Business product – it’s an all-in-one online solution that will help take the frustration out of tax time,” she explained.
The goal was to position MYOB as an authority on business management solutions for SMBs and give business owners time to focus on what really matters.
MYOB has published a number of sponsored articles and has seen a 21% increase in brand awareness through this program. “Having ad-supported content in the news is a great way to reach such a wide audience,” Betschel said.
Driving a rise in metrics
According to Betschel, the key to the decision to align with new brands is the halo of trust that the content offers and the contextual environment. “They read the trusted source of information and then they can see our product next to it,” she said.
The mix of content put in place for MYOB has generated strong results for an already well-established brand, with significant impacts across the brand funnel. In terms of recall, unaided awareness increased by 15% and aided awareness increased by 9%. As a result of the partnership, MYOB was better perceived, with brand affinity increasing by 11%.
The content resonated strongly with MYOB’s target audiences. According to Kantar’s outcome evaluation, online ad awareness increased by 10% and brand popularity increased by 11% due to the content initiative.
The Kantar brand study also revealed that current users had an already high opinion of MYOB, while non-users benefited from training and a better understanding of the value of accounting software. Overall, brand consideration increased by 7% and purchase intent by 8%. Among MYOB users, purchase intent increased by 14%.
“This was a large, multi-faceted campaign that delivered great branding and sales results,” Betschel said.
The value of integrated information campaigns
For MYOB, this type of integrated news content program is now a key part of marketing. The company has seen firsthand the value of investing in brand awareness and lead generation.
Although Betschel noted that there was a level of experimentation on this project, there was enough data to give MYOB confidence in the return on investment. “I’m proud of how the MYOB team has brought our strong culture of innovation and collaboration to drive great results,” she said.
Overall, the MYOB campaign was a success, with the strategy of creating consideration and awareness and generating warm leads to MYOB effectively achieved through the strong premium content created, as well as the tactical placement of all posting activities.
The result shows that news brands are an effective way to reach targeted audiences. Vanessa Lyons, managing director of news media organization ThinkNewsBrands, said: “The MYOB results underscore that no matter what industry you’re in or what business outcome you’re trying to achieve, the moment came to reevaluate your allocation of media spending and reconsider a higher allocation to news.
“It demonstrates that there is a direct correlation between leaning forward and paying attention to a story in a news environment and the effectiveness of the advertising placed there – it’s Total News, digital and print combined.
“Highly engaging and contextual environments deliver. It’s essential to pivot your marketing plan and adapt to new discoveries. It’s time to get comfortable with the idea that news advertising works.
To learn more about how new brands can help drive real results for your business, visit the ThinkNewsBrands website here.