Surkus, a multi-sided experiential marketing platform offering members exclusive access to paid events and offers in exchange for engagement, has made significant strides in providing growth and exposure opportunities to SMEs in the UAE that fit the needs of a new era of marketing. Since launching its MENA operations in October 2019, with the UAE being the first live market operating out of Hub 71 in Abu Dhabi, Surkus UAE has on-boarded over 120 new businesses and hosted more than 950 new events, with over 90% of these being SMEs.
Working with local business owners to understand their particular business needs is key to Surkus’ innovative approach, essential in supporting the SME ecosystem growth and success. Through its 360 marketing approach and engagement incentives, the platform allows businesses to reach their ideal end audience through cleverly targeting - netting their desired demographic then following them through the entire customer acquisition journey, from start to finish.
Surkus also opens up the world of experiential marketing to all businesses – no matter their size or budget. The application is designed around the concept that targeted content, with a simple and trusted value exchange, will convert potential clientele at a much higher rate for a much lower cost than traditional digital advertising solutions.
According to the Ministry of Economy, the SMEs sector accounts for more than 94% of the total number of companies operating in the UAE and plays a crucial role in the country’s economy, with the sector contributing almost 40% to Dubai’s GDP alone. With the UAE Government focused on establishing initiatives and programs that support the SME sector, Surkus is committed to providing a solution that answers the needs of SMEs in the region.
Stephen George, CEO and Founder, Surkus, said: “From an SME perspective, Surkus offers a revolutionary marketing solution that’s not only cost-effective and transparent but also delivers real, measurable ROI. We take businesses from online promotion to offline acquisition back to online engagement, all in one campaign. This is the only way to truly close the loop on any marketing or advertising spend. We want to pave the way for direct incentives for consumer-generated and personalized engagement with the business. This approach is lacking in the advertising and marketing industry today, yet it is the future of effective and profitable marketing that is greatly needed over the next decade - particularly for smaller and medium-sized companies, who can’t afford to waste a single dirham.”
Daily Dose, an independent cafe in Jumeirah, joined the platform in November, offering Surkus members the chance to experience their menu for free in exchange for social media engagement. Surkus members enjoyed complimentary breakfast dishes, coffees and smoothies, sharing their experiences with their followers on Instagram in return. Along with the increased daily footfall and social amplification, Surkus members also added an additional 50% in revenue during the campaign.
All businesses working with Surkus get access to the user-friendly client portal, allowing them to tweak campaigns and offers depending on their changing business needs. They also get access to consumer data insights post-campaign, providing the tools to measure success and adapt offerings which, in turn, allows them to maximize every dirham spent. As a result, this can help fuel leaner business operations, meaning SMEs and brands have more budget to invest in the thing that matters most - their customers.
Commenting on the powerful SME opportunity in the region, Mazen Mourad, GM of Surkus UAE, said, “Traditional advertising is no longer equipped to meet evolving consumer wants and needs, especially in a country like the UAE, which has become an immensely attractive regional launchpad for local and international SMEs. Since launching in the region last quarter, our growth and learning have been exceptional, and this has shown us that we are in the right place.
“We look forward to further supporting the UAE and wider region’s bustling ecosystem to help SMEs maximize marketing efforts with minimal waste on marketing and ad spend to help yield more tangible results,” he continued.
Surkus currently has over 750,000 engaged users of the app around the world and has successfully worked alongside brands such as Netflix, MTV, Samsung, Amazon, Perrier and Live Nation to increase native engagement. The multi-sided experiential marketing platform incorporates powerful algorithms that focuses on delivering 100% ROI on EVERY dollar spent to engage with potential customers.
Surkus first launched in Los Angeles in 2015, followed by a second regional headquarters opening in Hong Kong early 2018. The platform is now live across multiple markets around the world with locations such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Singapore next on the list.