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In today’s information-rich but time-starved marketplace, advertising has become an essential part of the business landscape. However, when it comes to advertising, Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can be rather hesitant. While SMEs make up 98.5% of Malaysian businesses, the overall advertising expenditure of these businesses makes up less than 25% of the industry total. A number of reasons smaller firms shy away here compared to larger businesses, include the typically high costs and complexities involved in advertising.
However, a new platform is poised to shake things up for SMEs, setting its sights on levelling the playing field for these smaller businesses. Adwork is a newly launched self-serve end-to-end advertising platform intended to provide easy, highly affordable and effective advertising experiences for SME business owners in Malaysia and the Southeast Asian region.
Zaky Moh, Chief Cluster Development Officer, SME Corp. Malaysia officiated Adwork’s launch. Adwork’s objectives are in line with Budget 2020’s Shared Prosperity goals, especially “Development for All” which aims to restructure the country’s economy to be more progressive, high-value and knowledge-based with full community participation; including locals SMEs. 
The online advertising marketplace will feature a variety of advertising products and options through an online selection which will include a wide variety of advertising mediums including newspaper, magazines, radio, television, static and digital billboards, cinema, transportation, hospitals / clinics, in-store, talk-shows and digital platforms.
Moreover, users of the Adwork are assured of ease, simplicity and accessibility with the platform’s propriety three-step booking method – Media Selection, Creative Service and Payment. It is a simple as that. With more than 5,000 media for selection, Adwork is now the largest media advertising platform in the country.
This industry-disrupting gamechanger is the brainchild of industry veteran and entrepreneur, Kumaresh Visvanathan, who has over 20 years of work experience in various stages of corporate commercial activities including international sales and marketing, new business development, key account management and business strategy across various industries including telecommunication, computing, energy and technology. 
“Up until now, mainstream advertising has been a ‘privilege’ of large-scale organisations with huge marketing budgets which enable them to engage with media agencies. SMEs do not have this so-called luxury. This is a disconnect we want to change, by making advertising more accessible online and affordable for SMEs,” said Kumaresh, the CEO of Adwork.
As part of its launch initiatives, Adwork will be offering RM2 million worth of free advertising space to users through cash rebates, value-added deals and discounts of up to 70%. These promotions will be published on the Adwork platform. All advertisers need to do is create an account to grab these limited-time promotions. They may also follow the platform’s social media pages for detailed information on the promotions. From the RM2 million giveaway, Adwork will be offering up to RM1million worth of free ad space to SMEs under SME Corp’s database.
Kumaresh explained that while Adwork is available for all businesses and organisations, the platform is specially designed for SMEs – businesses with an annual revenue of RM50 million or below – across all industries in Malaysia and the region.
“In line with the government’s Budget 2020 Shared Prosperity agenda, we are going all out to empower local SMEs through these easily accessible and highly affordable promotions and products online. This is part of our competitive strategy which is made possible by collaborating closely and directly with our media partners to craft special promotion deals for SMEs,” Kumaresh said, adding that Adwork expects to see a strong take-up and increased overall advertising expenditure by SMEs, with an initial estimated target of RM5.7 million in revenue by the end of 2020. 
“This model has been operating very successfully in foreign markets and we believe the market conditions are rife for the industry here – but we’re taking it a step further. While the focus for such platforms in other markets typically focus on billboard and print media, Adwork’s initial offering of 12 advertising mediums will provide more value and wider options for SMEs to advertise. In time, we expect to add more channels to the repertoire of products on the platform,” he added.
More information about Adwork can be found at or on Facebook at