“I have a great product/service. How do I convince people to buy it?” That’s the question that marketing answers. Sales focuses on purchase, but marketing focuses on getting consumer’s attention and transforming it into a commitment to buy. Here is a simple guide on how to market business in Singapore.
How to Market Business in Singapore: Key Trends
Globalization and the digital age have changed the way people interact with brands and choose their purchases. Many of the world’s biggest brands have lost their market share to smaller, local brands who were more attuned to the consumer’s needs. Giant retail chains have closed down, as ecommerce provided more options at cheaper prices.
We have to rethink our approach on how to market business in Singapore and around the world. Experts say that these are the biggest factors to consider when shaping your marketing strategy.
Focus on customer experience
The most successful brands don’t just sell products; they create an exceptional customer experience at all stages of the purchase journey. And in the digital age, that customer experience does not just happen at stores. He discovers your brand in forums and articles, checks out your website and social media feeds, and may even message you for more information. Today, studies show that 70% of a buying decision is made before a shopper talks to a salesperson.
After visiting your store, he may turn to the Internet again for tutorials, tips and after-sales support. Nurturing this stage of customer experience is just as important as nurturing a lead. Customers who feel dissatisfied by a product or ignored after a sale can switch to another brand and share their frustration on social media. However, customers who receive good after-sales support – what marketing calls customer retention and lifetime value – can become powerful brand advocates.
This has led marketers to shift from the traditional marketing funnel to a more dynamic map of the customer journey. The new model reflects how a customer constantly interacts with a brand, and how the brand reaches out from awareness to after-sales. Instead of pushing customers down well-defined stages, and focusing only on a small number of qualified leads, the best brands engage customers in different ways at different stages. These factors have expanded the role of marketing from simply driving a sale to supporting the entire customer experience and journey.
Personalized and Customized Marketing Campaigns
Before the digital mage, the majority of marketing budgets often went to mass media like TV, print and radio. These could reach millions of people in one broadcast or print run. Campaigns were built around broad demographics and target audiences like “women, aged 25 to 35” or “office workers with income of $12,000 a month.”
Today, these traditional mass campaigns can still build general awareness. However, new marketing platforms and technology that allows better market segregation has enabled more personalized and localized campaigns. Now, you can send targeted messages to people based on location, hobbies, past purchases or Internet searches, or the specific responses to your previous ads. These smaller, micro-campaigns have a better chance of conversion, because you are tailoring your message to consumer needs.
That’s why you can’t ask how to market business in Singapore without sitting down and getting to know your customers. Every successful campaign starts with customer profiles or customer personas. Even if your product has mass appeal, your marketing campaigns need to have focus and intent. You create different ads or use different platforms for different micro-audiences. This can take more time, effort and investment, but they give greater ROI. If you try to sell to everybody, you appeal to nobody.
Sit down and create a Marketing Singapore Customer Profile. Try asking these questions:
- What are the needs, motivations, frustrations, and preferences?
- How can your product meet those needs? Shape this into key messages, using the language your customer uses.
- What stage are they on the buyer journey? What information and action points can push them from awareness, interest/consideration, purchase and satisfaction?
- What are most cost-effective platforms for reaching them? Look at their Internet and social media behavior, including the time and frequency they tend to log on.
Shift to Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is the most effective solution for how to market business in Singapore. It has one of the fastest Internet speeds in the world, and some of the most active Internet users. Consider these statistics:
- 93% use the Internet everyday, and spend an average of 7.2 hours online
- 84% say that the Internet is their primary source for information
- 75% are active on social media, and use an average of 8.8 social media channels
- 4.8 million Singaporeans use Facebook
- 9 million Singaporeans use Instagram
- 2.6 million Singaporeans use LinkedIn
- 60% go on Youtube to watch a product review or product demo
- 45% prefer watching Youtube over television
- 86% of Singaporeans use WhatsApp
Localized searches and ads
Busy consumers will pay a premium price for convenience. That’s why “Near me” searches are at an all-time high. They will look for the nearest products or services, and type a specific search term and location: like “printer ink near me” or “couple spa in Orchard Road”.
This is especially true in the post-Covid economy. Cautious consumers will avoid unnecessary travel or use of public transport. Capitalize on this trend. Market your business to Singapore neighborhoods or streets. Advertise in neighborhood guides. Optimize your website according to local keyword terms. Boost your Facebook ads by location. This can help you focus your marketing budget on the customers in your area.
Studies show that consumers find email to be too time-consuming, and prefer the immediacy of talking with customer representatives. However, not all companies can maintain a 24-7 customer care hotline. The solution: chatbots. These are programmed to answer common questions and fulfill simple requests.
How to Market Business in Singapore: Best Tools
What kind of marketing tools should you use to promote your brand? It all depends on your product, target consumer, and budget. Here are some of the typical components of a campaign, and when they’re most effective.
Television and radio advertising
Television ads are expensive, but they can help you quickly reach a wide audience and generate a lot of buzz. However, TV viewing is declining in the younger generation. They now turn to on-demand streaming for entertainment and news. A recent survey also found that only 35% remember the product or service they see in TV ads. That’s because TV and radio are often left to play in the background. It requires less engagement to watch TV or tune into a broadcast than to actively hold a gadget, and clicking on video to play them.
Television and radio ads are effective for older audiences who enjoy the TV habit or follow a particular show. Viewership can also spike during special TV events such as sports events or specials. Some brands also use TV in non-traditional ways, such as product placement or lifestyle features in related programs.
Newspapers and magazines are also on a decline, because online alternatives can actually provide information faster, cheaper and more conveniently. There is an exception: special issues for very focused audiences or purposes. This can include trade publications and industry journals, directories, guides, or luxury collector’s items.
Billboards, signs and posters, or other creative outdoor displays can certainly grab attention — and when done creatively, they can make an unforgettable impression. They can also give more mileage than a 30-second radio or TV ad, since they’re viewed 24/7 over a longer period of time. However, they can be expensive, especially in premium locations.
Product launches, pop-up stores, store sales, celebrity appearances, sponsored concerts or shows — these events can help drum up excitement and awareness for a new brand. They can also work with your other marketing efforts. You can share videos and photos on social media and collect emails in exchange for special coupons or free entrance.
However, events require foot traffic, and may not be practical in a post-Covid business environment. Until community quarantine measures are lifted, and the people’s fear of virus transmission have fully subsided, it is best to avoid investing in events.
Digital marketing is the most cost-efficient way how to market your business in Singapore. You get more value for your money, and can create very customized campaigns for specific audiences. It is also easier to track and measure your return of investment. Modern analytics can help you quickly see how many people are clicking on your ad, or which platforms bring the most traffic to your website. That allows you to quickly adjust your campaigns according to your customers’ responses. Here are some digital marketing tools:
Use content to attract and serve customers on different stages of the buyer journey. For example, blogs can attract customers who are still researching on benefits and features. Reviews and testimonials can help persuade customers who are already further down the marketing funnel and are comparing products. Manuals and tutorials can provide after-service care and strengthen customer service.
Social media marketing
Brands can reach out to customers through Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and other social media platforms. You can boost posts or use paid ads to expand your reach beyond your current followers. Influencer marketing — or partnering with social media influencers — can also help drive a specific community to your page and product.
Search engine marketing
Along with search engine optimization, this is essential for online marketing in Singapore. How can people find your brand or content on the Internet? Most people will not look beyond the first page of Google results. While it’s difficult to rank for common keywords such as “beauty” or “natural food”, a good SEO expert can help you become one of the top searches for specific keyword strings.
So what is the difference between SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing)? SEO can drive organic traffic, while SEM uses paid search. You can choose between paid impressions, pay-per-click and trigger-based ads which appear after the viewer performs a set series of actions.
Email and SMS marketing
Emails and SMS let you stay connected to your customer. They help building trust and long-term customer value, and create opportunities to upsell or cross-sell products. Done correctly, this regular correspondence can have a bigger impact on sales and higher ROI than social media marketing and paid ads. Read more about creaitng a powerful email marketing strategy.
If you do not have a strong website or ecommerce arm, you can sell your products and services through other websites, blogs and social media channels.
How to Market Business in Singapore: Best Strategy
Work with one of Singapore’s best digital marketing and web development agencies. MapleTree Media can create a customized, multi-platform campaign that can build your brand reputation and increase your sales. We offer web development, search engine optimization, content strategy and creation, social media management, and more.
We have worked with Singapore’s top businesses, clinics and beauty brands. You can view our portfolio, or contact us for a proposal that can show you what we can do for your brand. Together, we can find the best way how to market your business in Singapore.