Best B2B Marketing Initiative 2022

Through digitisation and investment in wellbeing, XERO NZ has supported businesses through tough times, with helpful, actionable tools empowering them to create resilience in their business.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going

When Covid arrived in New Zealand in early 2020, no-one could have predicted the seismic impact on the local economy, and the difficulties experienced by the small business sector in particular. As a provider of cloud-based accounting software for small- and medium-sized businesses, New Zealand-based technology company, Xero, was obviously concerned about the catastrophic impact on the economy, recognising the debilitating long-term impacts that resulted from the prolonged Covid lockdowns.

Research studies revealed most SMBs (small and medium businesses) loved being their own boss but disliked the admin, while many were working too many hours. Additionally, NZIER (NZ Institute of Economic Research) research showed that investing in wellbeing could have a positive commercial benefit.

The ‘Why We’re In It’ campaign, motivating small business owners to digitise their business, was Xero’s way of helping its clients make admin easier, and improve wellbeing. Kiwi SMBs were reminded why they got into business, while connecting them to bite-sized content and tools that would help them succeed.

Xero created a content hub, with practical tips and resources to educate SMBs with information that would make a significant difference to their business practices. 

Collaborating with partners Pead PR and MBM, Xero initiated a PR driven, earned and paid strategy and stakeholder engagement, using mainstream news, new-wave publishers, and stakeholder engagement, with key industry bodies, driving back to the ‘Why We’re in it’ Hub. The company also created a ‘Self Employed Check In’, being a guide outlining actions that self-employed businessowners could take to stay on top of their wellbeing.

While earned media drove uptake of ‘Why We’re In It’, a paid media partnership with Stuff, resulted in the Stuff Small Business hub, Prosper, becoming a home for ‘Why We’re In It’ content. Editorial, film, sound bites and infographics were extended into general national and regional editorial, lifestyle titles, 36 regional and community papers, and Neighbourly, which has strong local community relevance to sole traders, who use it to market their businesses.

The comprehensive partnership resulted in 155 pieces of editorial content published across print and digital including an interactive digital article, six videos and extensive infographic soundbites, reaching over 2.45 million New Zealanders and 82 percent of SMBs.

A programme of digital traffic drivers across Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and eDM ran concurrently across the campaign, with a themed content series to push SMBs to access tools at the Hub. 

To clearly highlight the application of learnings in their own businesses, a competition ran across Stuff and Xero-owned channels to win $5,000 to put towards digitisation and wellbeing initiatives.

The campaign achieved 10,631 visits to the Hub and the Xero Assistance Programme (XAP) webpage saw a huge spike in views, with usage of XAP tripling between November and January. Engagement of Xero owned content grew by an average 42 percent. Great results in tough times.  

Best B2B Marketing Initiative


Marketing Initiative
Why We’re In It

Marketing Partner
Pead; MBM

Judges’ Comments
“A further extension for Xero as the champion of Small Businesses. Strong entry with connected alignment to overall business strategy. Deep insights to the mindset of SMEs. This multi-layered campaign delivered meaningful support to their customers with compelling results connected to the objectives. Commendable use of the data to drive SME engagement, mental resilience, and wellbeing. Financial, community and engagement – a very well-rounded communication approach.”

Chameleon Creator; Generator NZ; LawVu; NZ Post

Enter the 2023 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards

Best B2B Marketing Campaign

Open to businesses whose products and services are directed toward other businesses – for example delivery companies, business software companies, business course providers and more.

This article was originally published in the September/October 2022 issue of NZ MarketingClick here to subscribe.

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