The market for GST-ready accounting software is heating up and Quicken Australia has upped the ante with a $2 million TV campaign.
According to Quicken's national sales manager, Jeremy Richardson, the campaign is intended to stimulate the small and medium business market in the run-up to the introduction of the GST. But he was keen to stress that sales leads generated by the campaign would be referred to Quicken's resellers.
"As well as notifying our major retailers, we have faxed information about the campaign to 2000 resellers," Richardson said.
Quicken's major retailers include Dick Smith, Harvey Norman, Leading Edge Group, Myer Grace Bros and Officeworks. While retailers are expected to be running promotions and bundled offers, Quicken will be supporting them with seminars and POS material.
"We are avoiding gimmicks, though, as we don't believe they work well with accounting software," Richardson added.
Supporting the television ad campain, Richardson said that 320,000 existing Quicken users will be sent a mail piece about the GST upgrade strategy, and leads generated will be referred to resellers.
The national campaign, which commenced last week, is said to be Quicken's largest advertising spend to date and includes sponsorship of Channel Nine's Small Business Show and extends to other programs on the Nine and Seven Network. It will init-ially run for five weeks with follow-up phases planned throughout the year.
The first advertisement, running currently, features "real people ranging from retailers and doctors to taxi drivers and farmers in their business environment, and aims to demonstrate the low levels of awareness of the effect that the GST will have on their business." It closes with the strapline "Adapting your business for GST should be quicken easy."
Greg Wilkinson, CEO of Quicken developer Reckon, said that with the implementation date of July 1 looming, its research indicates that there is a real lack of preparation for the GST among small-to-medium businesses.
"This campaign shows this lack of awareness and communicates the brand proposition that Quicken makes GST quick and easy for your business,"he said.
The Quickbooks and Quickbooks Pro GST upgrades for version 5 are priced at $99 and $149.
The current versions (6) retail at $199 and $349, and include a free"technology upgrade".www.quicken.com.au