Westpac, MYOB and Clems give Kiwi business luddites a boost onto the digital jungle gym

Youtube VideoAccording to the latest MYOB Business Monitor, 80 percent of Kiwis use the internet to research products and services, so it’s slightly surprising—especially for many in this sector who are battling with the seemingly unrelenting march of technology on the world of marketing and communications—that only 32 percent of New Zealand businesses have a company website. But Westpac and MYOB are aiming to change that with an initiative called getonline.co.nz, and it’s likely to be one of the last major campaigns created for the bank by the Clemenger Group before it heads across to DDB.

The April business monitor shows businesses without a digital presence are missing a trick (see stats below), with 35 percent of businesses that are online enjoying more customer engagement and 30 percent increasing revenue. So, to ensure more businesses are in that category, getonline.co.nz is offering free* websites for all New Zealand businesses for 12 months.

Westpac New Zealand’s chief executive, Peter Clare, says the campaign, which is a Colenso piece of work wrapped up by Colenso staff working out of .99, is another example of Westpac’s commitment to the national Grow NZ agenda, providing all New Zealand businesses with an edge and access to more markets 24/7.

“With so many Kiwis using the internet to research services and products before buying it’s imperative a business has a suitable online presence to be competitive. Westpac remains focused on growing the New Zealand economy, and lifting the number of Kiwi businesses online helps to ensure they have the opportunity to grow nationally and access international customers [in saying that, you would presume most of the businesses in New Zealand that aren’t online already are likely to be of the ‘Don’s Discount Plumbing’ in *insert small town here* ilk, rather than businesses aiming for international customers].”

Much like the recent Yellow Toolbox campaign, which aimed to sell businesses a tailor made digital solution, the release claims that a professional, search engine optimised, social media integrated website can be up and running in as little as 15 minutes (add another 45 minutes if you want the souped up version with inbuilt e-commerce functionality) with the help of its new website builder MYOB Atlas (take a tour here).

Businesses can also register a personalised domain name and matching email addresses free for the first 12 months and deploy a mobile optimised site.

“MYOB Atlas makes it incredibly easy for businesses to create a smart website that will allow a business to be found by customers, be more competitive and transact online,” MYOB chief executive Tim Reed says. “It offers a range of in-depth functionality that businesses can use to really enhance their operation. This is a fantastic opportunity for New Zealand businesses to embrace the opportunities of the internet and the online economy,” says Reed. “The broader economic benefits of a more connected business community when we reach our target of 10,000 new online businesses will also be significant in terms of growth, increased exporting opportunities, and a more nimble and responsive economy.”

*For a while. After the first 12 months, depending on the version they choose, businesses can pay from $5 per month on a pay-as-you-go basis to maintain their website using MYOB Atlas. Websites can be cancelled at any time. The .co.nz domain is free for the first 12 months, after which businesses can expect to pay around $40 to renew for another year.

Fact Box: New Zealand business online (from the MYOB Business Monitor, April 2012)

  • In the year to 31 March 2012, 42% of businesses with a website increased their revenue, compared to 29% without a website
  • In 2012, 51% of businesses with a website expect revenues to increase, compared to 37% without
  • 30% of businesses have enjoyed increased revenue directly as a result of having a website
  • 35% of businesses with a website say it has made them more competitive
  • 43% report more customer leads, and 35% report a better conversion rate
  • 26% have been able to sell overseas as a result of operating a website

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