SMEs in Malaysia can implement cross-border advertising through a  partnership between homegrown Adwork and Singapore’s SPH Media Ltd.

Adwork is a global platform, where any advertiser around the world can buy Malaysian advertising media. As part of the regional expansion, Adwork is introducing Singaporean advertising media for advertisers in January 2022. With just three clicks of a button, advertisers will be able to see their advertisement on a billboard in Singapore or through shoutouts over the radio.

SMEs in Malaysia are facing challenges when it comes to advertising as they have lesser reach than other larger companies. With budget limitations in place, agencies and foreign media companies might not entertain SMEs seeking an advertisement buy.

With this new service, SMEs now have a chance to grow their business regionally, more so during this pandemic where everything is going virtual. In Malaysia, a business is considered an SME if its annual revenue is RM50 million and below across all industries. SMEs make up about 98.5% of Malaysian businesses.

“No one in the region has attempted this cross-border media buy platform before and we are the first to introduce it. Going regional and introducing cross-border media buy has always been part of Adwork’s regional expansion plan and now it is finally happening,” said Kumaresh Visvanathan, CEO of Adwork.

He added that Adwork will be expanding regionally to various countries in the next five years. After Singapore, Adwork will expand its reach to Indonesia and Thailand next year, while 2023 will see Australia, Vietnam and Philippines coming on board.

Adwork was launched in 2019 and offers advertising across 12 channels like billboards, newspaper, radio, television, talk shows and more. Similar to other e-commerce platforms, the customers will just have to select their desired media advertisement channel, upload their creative art work and pay.

“Just like that, users will be able to see their advertisement in another country or city. Take a clothes seller in Kelantan for example, there is a huge market in Indonesia for them but they wouldn’t even know of this opportunity or what is available. So, with our platform, even small-time traders selling clothes will be well informed of the vast advertising opportunities out there and can see their advertisement up on a billboard in Jakarta for instance,” he said.

Adwork is developing its proprietary AI-based Recommendation Engine set to be launched sometime next year. This feature will be able to read and analyse SME profiles and recommend relevant advertising products to them.

It will also inform users what other similar SMEs have bought and the exposure rate. It will also make recommendations for overseas advertisement to help local businesses go global.

“Everyone wants to expand their business but most of the time, they just don’t have access to the right platform to market their products outside Malaysian borders,” Kumaresh said, adding that Adwork may also expand internationally to Middle East or Europe after achieving its five-year regional expansion plan.

Meanwhile, SPH Media channel excellence lead, Alicia Luke believes that this partnership is timely and hopes that the new platform will be able to help more SMEs in Singapore and Malaysia grow and expand their business.

“We are delighted to be on board this partnership and it certainly is an exciting time ahead.  I believe that the SME advertisement market is huge and with the help of this platform, all business big and small will now be on a level playing field,” she said.


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