In the spring 2020, when most businesses in Moscow were forced to put their operations on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Moscow Government offered a package of emergency relief measures for small- and medium-sized businesses.
To ensure awareness on the new program among those who needed it, the Department of Entrepreneurship and innovative development of Moscow (DE&ID) implemented a project entitled “Moscow Supports! Subsidies for small business”.
In spite of the restrictions and challenges faced by businesses, the project was developed and launched in record-breaking time – 14 days only. For the first time in Russia, the promotion of government support measures was organized using the principles of direct sales and customer services for the applicants.
The project included:
- Developing a matrix comprising 13 products (subsidies) with comprehensible description different from the bureaucratic language of statutory decrees, and preparing an information kit for each subsidy – guidelines, tutorials, check-lists, and etc.;
- Developing a single entry point for everyone, who needs financial support from the city: the landing page integrated information on all products, enabled feedback, and accumulated initial applications. Organization of initial application processing and consultations for applicants: front office, online services, customer service;
- Comprehensive advertising campaign using the new visual identity with a call to action for the SME sector, so that they apply for the financial relief measures available to them via a mix of offline and online communication channels.
The financial relief program for small business is gathering pace: as of October 30, 2020, 1 310 applications from Moscow-based SMEs totaling over 1 691 billion rubles have been approved* (in 2019, 310 subsidies were allocated, totaling 235 million rubles), the product offering has been expanded to 14 based on feedback from SMEs, and requirements to applicants and the application process have been simplified.
(*Application review boards will take place until the end of 2020.)
Поставленная задача и ее решение
- Raising awareness on the financial relief measures available to businesses;
- Call to action for the target audience to apply for financial support and subsidies on the landing page http://cashback.moscow.business;
- Overcoming the distrust among businessmen concerning the facility of access to the support measures offered by the city government;
- Reinforce the positive image of the DE&ID as a single business-oriented platform offering customer support to SMEs applying for financial subsidies from the Moscow government;
- Implement the new corporate style in the advertising campaign across all channels.
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Communication strategy and its congruence with the tasks:
The project was launched in spring 2020, with advertising support across all the key communication channels: TV, radio, outdoor advertising, digital, special projects with the media. Following the effort aimed to build general awareness about the financial relief measures, the campaign focused on attracting applications from the target audience: targeted advertising, mailing, call center, Telegram.
The campaign was built around the message “Moscow supports! Subsidies for small business” in the new corporate style with the single landing page for the target audience (http://cashback.moscow.business).
Достигнутые цели и KPI по итогам запуска
- Awareness on the financial relief measures for the SME sector, offered by DE&ID;
- A conversion funnel for SMEs as customers: from showing interest to claiming the end product (subsidy);
- A perception in the target audience that all financial relief measures, offered by DE&ID, are aggregated on a single platform with an intuitive and comprehensible user interface;
- A visual association between financial relief measures offered to SMEs by the city of Moscow and DE&ID as an integrated information and service platform, where they can apply for a subsidy and get full-cycle support;
- A new visual identity, which integrated all the financial relief measures for business, offered by DE&ID and helped to increase awareness on the new subsidies and other non-financial support measures from DE&ID.
Measurable results of the campaign:
- Total reach – over 20 million contacts;
- Landing page traffic – 807 thous. unique users;
- Telegram-channel, launched at the beginning of the campaign, became not only information, but also lead generation tool for the project: 4 703 permanent subscribers, 426 initial applications;
- The front office processed 116 440 queries, 33 781 businesses received a consultation;
- 36 551 initial applications for subsidy received;
- 6 321 applications were in the “awaiting industry commission” status before the end of the campaign;
- As of October 30, 2020, 1 310 applications from Moscow-based SMEs totaling over 1 691 billion roubles have been approved. Application review boards will run until the end of 2020. (For reference: in 2019, 310 subsidies were allocated, totaling 235 million roubles).