With the global pandemic affecting businesses of all sizes in the region, the SME community, in particular, is being hit the hardest. In response to this, digital OOH company, Elevision Media launches a new initiative called, “Support your local community” to help small businesses navigate these difficult times by leveraging Elevision’s media assets. Communicate got a chance to speak with Niall Sallam, CEO of Elevision Media to understand more about the initiative and how it works.
What is the purpose behind the initiative?
Ultimately our goal is to do whatever we can to try and help small businesses and the local economy stay afloat. The best way for us to do that is by leveraging our media platform, to help small businesses generate and maintain brand awareness in the market now, and as we emerge from the immediate crisis. At the end of the day, if our initiative plays a role in one business avoiding closing up shop and contributes to them landing back on their feet, then it will have proven to be a success.
Can you explain in detail how the entire process will work?
Any small business wishing to avail of the support can simply reach out to us at [email protected]. From here we begin a dialogue to understand their specific needs and where best to direct their campaigns for maximum effectiveness. For example, Café Rider is a local business who connected with us early. After a discussion, we understood that based on their location, delivery logistics, and other constraints specific to the crisis, launching their campaign in The Greens & Views made more sense than in JBR or the Marina.
Once we have established exactly what the business needs are from an advertising and awareness perspective, we then look at content requirements. If the business doesn’t have content production capabilities, we assist with this also as we have an in-house content department that specializes in production for Digital-Out-Of-Home campaigns. Following this process, we slot the production work (if needed) into our production pipeline and schedule the campaign for launch according to the agreed dates.
What do you hope to achieve from this initiative?
As mentioned earlier, our sole objective is to play a role in trying to keep the local economy afloat. Of course, this also serves our greater purpose as a business; the fewer businesses that survive this crisis, the less business we will have in the future when things begin to normalize. As of now, we’ve onboarded around 40 small businesses into the initiative, and if I were to take a guess maybe only 15% of these businesses would actually have the budget to advertise with us in normal times. We don’t expect to have a commercial relationship with most of these businesses down the road, nor is that the goal of this initiative. However, if we help them stay afloat now, then in six, nine or twelve months’ time their employees are going to go out for dinner, or shop at the mall, or go to the movies and buy popcorn, and by doing so they will be generating revenue for those businesses that do have an advertising budget to spend with Elevision. So, if helping to keep these small businesses afloat now helps them keep their staff employed, who in turn are able to remain working and living in the UAE and contributing to the local economy, we have a win-win situation as far as I can see. While we as a media network have both inventory and human resource bandwidth at the moment, it just stands to reason that we’d throw what we have into the mix to try and help as many as possible through this mess. If all businesses that have resources, whatever those may be, are also able to help prop up those that don’t, then the overall damage done due to the crisis will be far less than if we all simply retreat into a defensive position while we wait out the storm.