Melbourne, Australia – Advertising agency Howatson+Company has been appointed by Australian-based business management platform MYOB to be its creative lead on its new brand advertising across Australia and New Zealand.

While MYOB works with several external agencies, as well as their in-house agency, Howatson+Company will be taking the lead on their brand advertising. The remit spans strategy and creative for internal and external audiences across the region.

Belinda Watson, MYOB’s head of design, agency and brand, shared there was a true sense of partnership and shared ambition for the business, that stood out during the tender process.

“Howatson+Company understood our strategy and the direction of the business. It was clear they took the time to really listen to our challenges and have applied critical strategic thinking and creativity to position MYOB for success,” said Watson.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Robertson, managing partner at Howatson+Company, noted that MYOB is a household name with a proven history of helping Australian and New Zealand businesses succeed. 

“We are thrilled to partner with MYOB to help support them in their next stage of growth. The MYOB team acted with such openness and integrity during the pitch process, we can’t wait to bring our shared vision to life,” said Robertson.

In May 2022, Howatson+Company has also been appointed by Sydney-based university UNSW as media agency of record. The agency was appointed following a competitive tender process to service UNSW’s domestic and international recruitment.

New Zealand – For the first months of 2021, small and medium enterprises in New Zealand have reported a decline in their profitability with 36% stating a downturn, according to the latest business monitor by professional services MYOB. 

The statistics reflect the three months prior to March 2021, with 12% of those surveyed admitting profits had reduced by ‘a lot’, while still a significant percent – 20% – have reported that profitability has also improved since the start of 2021.

Despite this, SMEs in the region are showing quite the optimism with over one in five or 22% expecting an improvement in profitability onto the coming quarter. This is in line with New Zealand SMEs having a similar sentiment on revenues. 

The same report showed that more than a quarter or 27% of SMEs in the country are forecasting a slight increase in revenue over the next 12 months despite the unpredictable year when the pandemic first emerged. 

After a number of lockdowns, SMEs based in Auckland have seen the most significant impact on their bottom line over a 12-month period to March 2021, with 44% of SME operators in the country’s largest center reporting a fall in revenue. In comparison, businesses in Christchurch fared better than the national average, with 35% reporting reduced revenue over this time, while nearly half or 48% of Wellington-based SMEs said their revenue had remained the same and 38% saw income fall.

Meanwhile, a big percentage of those surveyed – 41% – expect to generate the same level of revenue across the next 12 months, while 25% expect their income to fall.

Current statistics are an increase in positive sentiment where in last year’s report, 40% of SME operators expected their revenue to be down in 12 months’ time, with 21% predicting their revenue would increase.

MYOB SME Senior Sales Manager Krissy Sadler-Bridge said that overall, findings are a solid turnaround for “hard-working” SMEs. Considering the past 12 months when the SMEs had to endure the pandemic blow, Sadler-Bridge believes local business owners should be congratulated for not just hanging on but also finding hard-won opportunities amid some of the most challenging trading conditions the times have seen. 

On profitability meanwhile, she commented, “When a business makes a profit, they may have the funds to develop their business further, hire more employees or increase employee benefits, or for some SME-owners, pay themselves a solid wage – making profitability a key measure of progress for the sector.”