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The power of news: How an integrated campaign drove awareness and consideration for MYOB at tax time

A cross-platform news advertising and content initiative helped MYOB amplify its message and cut through the noise at tax time, enabling the business management platform to engage small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), deliver brand lift and drive longer term conversion.

 Tax time is a busy time of year, particularly for SMEs looking for information and tools to help set them up for a smooth end of financial year.

 “Similar to how Christmas is peak season for retail, the end of financial year is the busiest time of year for accountants,” said MYOB ANZ head of marketing and digital, Jane Betschel.

But it’s also hard to cut through all the noise.

“With so much content in the market at this critical time, businesses are looking for trusted sources of information to help them prioritise what they need to do and avoid any nasty 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 matter to them. "Placing advertising and content directed to SMEs about our solution can help them with tax time compliance requirements,” said Betschel.

The business wanted to build on its Above the Line (ATL) activity with contextually relevant initiatives, and opted 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 and bottom of funnel marketing activities,” Betschel added.

MYOB’s goals with the integrated news campaign

MYOB worked with News Corp to drive awareness and consideration during the end of financial year by communicating with SME owners about the benefits of MYOB to drive trial, referrals, marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and web sales.

Through a curated bespoke content partnership anchored across, The Australian and Sky News, MYOB leveraged the scale of more than 2 million SMEs. “We set reach and frequency targets for media that drove awareness and demand into our funnel. But, ultimately, we focused on sales and revenue goals,” said Betschel.

The partnership included content (editorial, native and video), media, talent integration and lead generation tools (EDMs, social amplification and QR codes to name a few). Betschel explained how having MYOB’s message placed in the context of news as people were actively reading helped to make 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 remove tax time frustration,” she explained.

The goal was to position MYOB as an authority for SME business management solutions and give business owners time back to focus on what really matters.

MYOB ran a number of sponsored articles and saw a 21% uplift in brand awareness through that program. “Having content supported by news advertising is a great way to reach such a large audience,” said Betschel. 

Driving an uptick in metrics

Key to the decision to align with news brands is the halo of trust the content provides and the contextual environment, according to Betschel. “They're reading the trusted source of news and then they can see our product next to it,” she said.

The content mix put together for MYOB drove strong results for an already well-established brand, with significant impacts through the brand funnel. In terms of recall, top of mind awareness rose by 15% and aided awareness was up 9%. Following the partnership, MYOB was viewed more strongly, with brand affinity growing 11%.

The content resonated strongly with MYOB’s target audiences. According to Kantar outcomes evaluation, online ad awareness rose by 10% and brand favourability grew by 11% as a result of the content initiative.

The Kantar brand research also revealed current users maintained already high opinions of MYOB, while non-users benefited from education and an increased understanding of the value of accounting software. Overall, brand consideration was up 7% and purchase intent was up 8%. Among MYOB users, purchase intent grew by a whopping 14%.

“This was a large multi-faceted campaign that delivered some great brand and sales results,” Betschel said.

The value of integrated news campaigns

For MYOB, this kind of integrated news content program is now a key marketing. The business has seen first-hand the value of the investment in brand awareness and lead gen.

While Betschel noted there was a level of experimentation on this project, there was enough data to give MYOB confidence in the ROI. “I’m proud of the way the MYOB team brought our strong culture of innovation and collaboration to deliver some great results,” she said.

Overall, the MYOB campaign has been a success, with the strategy of creating consideration and awareness and driving warm leads to MYOB effectively achieved through the strong premium content created, as well as the tactical placement of all display activity.

The outcome shows news brands are an effective way to reach targeted audiences. Vanessa Lyons, general manager of news media body ThinkNewsBrands said: "The MYOB results highlight that regardless of the industry you are in, or what business outcome you are trying to drive, now is a great time to reassess your media spend allocation and reconsider a higher allocation to news.

“It demonstrates that there's a direct correlation between leaning forward and paying attention to an article in a news environment and the effectiveness of advertising that is placed around it – that’s Total News, digital and print combined.

“Highly engaging and contextual environments deliver. Pivoting your marketing plan and adapting to new findings is key. It's time to get comfortable with the idea that advertising in news works.”

To find out more about how news brands can help drive genuine outcomes for your business, visit the ThinkNewsBrands website here.

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