- Startup offers Digital Marketing-as-a-Service, kind of
- If you’re not digital, you’re invisible to millennials
KUALA Lumpur-based on-demand services startup ServisHero is confident it can empower small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the region via its own experience in big data analytics (BDA) and digital marketing.
According to its founder and chief executive officer Karl Loo (pic), effective digital marketing is actually very complicated.
Many local tradesmen in the region can barely speak English, and may have a limited education level – all of which can hinder them from running their own digital campaigns, he argues.
“And these days, millennials look for services on the Internet, so basically if you are not on Google, you’re invisible to many consumers,” he says, speaking to Digital News Asia (DNA) in Kuala Lumpur recently.
“So what will happen when 90% of Malaysian SMEs do not know how to use Google or Facebook for their business? You get a large pool of businesses that is invisible to consumers,” he adds.
Thus ServisHero’s main task is to “simplify things for SMEs,” according to Loo. The startup is doing this by providing them with an app “that delivers job leads, generated by our marketing expertise.”
“So like Amazon Web Services (AWS), where people don’t need a server because they can plug in their businesses into the cloud infrastructure, I would like to say the same for ServisHero, which is a digital marketing infrastructure where SMEs can just come on board,” he adds.
Loo even goes a step further, saying it would be more cost-effective for SMEs to leave their digital marketing to ServisHero, and in return, the company would provide them with the value that they want.
Part of the startup’s confidence stems from its data-driven culture. ServisHero has had a data science team on board since its inception.
Loo says that the data it has gathered has helped the company make better decisions, especially when it comes to introducing new categories of services into the marketplace.
“We aggregate real-time data about search – so if we see that there is a trend for car window-tinting services, we will extract the data where there is a demand volume that needs more supply, and we will move into looking for more service providers in that category,” he says.
According to chief data officer Johan de Beurs (pic above), thanks to the data gathered by the ServisHero platform, it can provide job requests with high-quality information to service providers.
“Normal tradesmen won’t be able to compete with us in digital marketing because it is very complex,” he reiterates Loo’s earlier points.
“If I show you my AdWords campaign, it’s impossible for them [SMEs] to do the same. Our team is optimising bids on an hourly basis,” he adds.
But Loo says that the company also holds regular seminars to educate its SMEs about the ServisHero platform.
“We even give them feedback on how they should interact on the platform and how to manage customer service expectations to increase conversion rates,” he adds.
But while touting ServisHero’s data abilities, Loo insists that digital marketing isn’t only about the numbers. Instead, it is all about results.
“When we look at our performance metrics, it’s not just about the number of times that the app has been downloaded but how many times it has resulted in the satisfaction of our service providers when they get jobs,” he says.
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