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Essence launches Essence Impact to accelerate digital transformation for non-profit organisations in APAC

Pro bono initiative helps non-profits apply for Google Ad Grants, and leverages Essence’s expertise in data, analytics and technology to drive increased visibility, donations and volunteers

Essence, a global data and measurement-driven media agency which is part of GroupM, has announced the launch of Essence Impact, a pro bono initiative that helps non-profit organisations raise greater awareness, attract more donations and recruit new volunteers via their websites to support their causes and effect accelerated change.

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Essence Impact was introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic to aid non-profit organisations in their digital transformation, as many historically depended on tentpole physical fundraising events for their operational needs. As part of the initiative, Essence helps eligible charities apply for Google Ad Grants which provides up to US$10,000 per month of in-kind search advertising. Leveraging Essence’s best-in-class digital, data, analytics and technology capabilities, the agency also assists the organisations in setting up, managing and optimising their advertising campaigns to drive traffic to their websites. The Essence team comprises diverse employees who volunteer and contribute to the initiative in roles including business development, client services, marketing, media activation and project management.

Originating in APAC, Essence has since piloted Essence Impact for ACRES which supports animal protection, Bethesda Care Services which serves children, youths, families and the elderly in need in the community, and Club Rainbow which supports and empowers children with chronic illnesses and their families. Following a discovery meeting with these organisations, Essence created Google Ads campaigns targeting local and regional audiences, and set up keywords, ads and bidding based on the agency’s best practices for clients. Essence further partnered with the charities to optimise the campaigns and expand reach to attract more visitors to their websites, and continue to collaborate with them to improve visitors’ onsite experience through website audits and conversion rate optimisation.

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ACRES

With campaigns commencing in December 2020, ACRES saw a 140% year-on-year increase in its website traffic in February 2021. As the top traffic-driving media channel, search advertising accounted for 45% of all traffic in February 2021 and over 8,000 new online visitors in less than three months.

Suriya Ashokan, Communications Executive at ACRES Singapore, said, “Working with Essence has been a great opportunity for ACRES. Through periodic meetings, updates and professional guidance, we have learnt a lot more about the benefits of having an online presence. As part of our advocacy efforts, making our advisories visible when the public seeks help online during human-wildlife conflict situations in Singapore is key. As Singapore evolves into a ‘City in Nature’, there is a pressing need for more individuals to be aware of wildlife etiquette.”

Bethesda Care Services

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Campaigns went live in November 2020 and Bethesda Care Services’ website traffic grew by 288% year-on-year in January 2021, with search advertising contributing to 56% of all traffic that month. The efforts resulted in over 3,000 new online visitors in less than three months.

Kai Lin Sng, Digital Marketing Specialist at Bethesda Care Services, said, “Working with Essence has been a great learning experience for the Bethesda Care Services Communications team as we have gained much technical insight. Meetings are effective and reviews are detailed yet concise. The Essence team is patient to listen and understand our organisation’s objectives, and includes our inputs in the execution of our campaigns. We are extremely grateful to the Essence team for helping us to be more effective in our ultimate goal to care for our community.”

Club Rainbow

Following the start of campaigns in November 2020, Club Rainbow experienced a jump in website traffic by 133% year-on-year in January 2021. Search advertising garnered 45% of all traffic in January 2021 and more than 4,000 new online visitors in less than three months.

Dr. Sashikumar Ganapathy, President at Club Rainbow (Singapore), said, “Working with Essence enables us to amplify our online presence. Club Rainbow is looking forward to a closer partnership with Essence, further strengthening our online marketing strategy, and driving greater awareness and support for our children and their families.”

Matt Holland

Matt Holland, Associate Vice President, Client Services, APAC at Essence, who leads Essence Impact in the region, said, “It has been challenging times for charities amid COVID-19 and its resulting lockdown restrictions, as the organisations have not been able to carry out their usual fundraising events. Essence Impact is supporting charities to help drive increased awareness, donors and volunteers online, as the organisations pivot their activities to be more digitally-led.”

Monica Bhatia

Monica Bhatia, Senior Vice President, Client Partner, APAC and Managing Director, Singapore at Essence, said, “Google Ad Grants helps non-profits share their causes with the world via Google search ads. In line with Essence’s mission to make brands more valuable to the world, we also believe in using our abilities for social good and that we have a responsibility to make the world a better place. With Google Ad Grants and Essence Impact, we are delighted to help non-profits transform and accelerate their efforts in the pandemic and beyond, while providing our teams with opportunities to learn new skills and give back to society.”

With Google Ad Grants available in 68 countries around the world, Essence aims to roll out Essence Impact across APAC and globally via its network of offices. Interested non-profit organisations can contact the agency for support at charities-apac@essenceglobal.com.

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