By S BIRRUNTHA / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THE AmBank Group and Maxis Bhd are collaborating to push some 140,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in their database to undertake digital marketing and expand their market horizon.
Digital marketing by SMEs in Malaysia is still at a very low rate and undertaken by about 20% of SMEs in Malaysia, AmBank group CEO Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir (picture) said.
He said most SMEs have yet to advertise and promote their products and services online as most of them are still depending on the traditional approach of marketing their business.
“We have about 900,000 SMEs in the country, but 80% of them are actually doing traditional businesses, whereas the remaining 20% are new businesses that are moving into digital.
“The new businesses had to start digitally because they have no choice and it is very expensive to set up a physical shop,” he said at the AmBank BizConference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
According to Sulaiman, SMEs not on the World Wide Web are missing out on a lot of good opportunities, particularly in terms of reaching their target demographics.
“Many people are online eight hours a day, whether it is on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram or any other platform.
“When we want to look for something, the first thing we do is search on Google and people are now shifting to buying things online,” he said.
The AmBank-Maxis partnership will offer financial and digital solutions, targeting SMEs that are clients of AmBank or Maxis.
“Working with Maxis gives us the exact platform to convert ideas, concepts and infrastructure to deliver products and services. We can help businesses in terms of financing and on how to manage their cash,” he added.
Suliaman said Maxis has more than 50,000 SMEs as clients, while AmBank has about 90,000 SMEs.
“Digital marketing will not only help increase sales and get the target audience, but it will also enable businesses to build a long-term relationship and loyalty between customers,” Maxis CEO Gokhan Ogut said at the AmBank BizConference.