The future of digital marketing in Singapore

By Erik Hermanson

As a longtime digital marketer, I thoroughly enjoy spending my time online, researching, connecting with people, and visiting my favourite sites. But still, there is something to be said about attending real world events like the Adobe Summit, an event held in Salt Lake City, Utah last month.

It was a chance to mix and mingle with some of the best and brightest in the field of digital marketing, and learn about some of the key trends and technologies shaping, not just the industry here in Singapore but, our world.

My key take-away was not a specific piece of new technology, nor adoption of new platforms or applications by consumers. I’m fixated on the seemingly still large gap between what consumers need or demand, and what Singaporean companies are set up to deliver.

We all know consumers are increasingly becoming digitally savvy. More than ever, Singaporeans look for brands to deliver great customer experiences whenever and wherever they connect with that brand.

Hisamichi Kinomoto, Vice President of Marketing, Adobe Japan and Asia Pacific, recently said in response to the second annual Adobe APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard, "Singapore audiences prefer to be engaged socially and with compelling content."

Digital technology can make brand experiences smooth and seamless. Take moments like having a sales rep approach you in an Apple store and process your purchase right there, then instantly send confirmation to your device. It’s easy, it’s impressive, and it creates brand advocates on the spot.

Here in Singapore, Intel has done a great job delivering consumer-relevant content at the right time via their web app, Pocket Intel. They knew consumers were confronted with an overwhelming retail environment and needed a trustworthy, convenient source of personal device information from any location.

Pocket Intel was created to simplify the decision-making process, present the company as an authority on personal devices, and softly educate consumers on the relevance of core processors and their other products. This is a tool initially created for consumers, but proved so useful Singapore’s retail staff has embraced it.

And in our part of the world (South East Asia), where over 150 million people are connected online*, have some of the highest levels of mobile penetration*, and where people spend more time online than the global average*, you would expect to see more and more brands driving great, innovative digital customer experiences. But that has sadly not been the case.

Looking at the results of the recent APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard (conducted by Adobe and the CMO Council), there are some promising signs: Confidence amongst marketers in our region, when it comes to digital, is growing and 76% of Singaporean companies are planning to strengthen their digital marketing content strategy^.

However, when one digs deeper one can see there is a gap between feeling more confident and actually being able to deliver what is needed. Only 5% of companies are able to manage customer experiences in an Always-On manner^^, according to a global study conducted by Razorfish and Adobe.

So, while companies might want to be more digitally savvy, and deliver great customer experiences, most are not set-up to do so.

In the majority of organisations today, there still exists a big disconnect between departments who manage engagements with the consumer, poor platform and analytic infrastructure, and a lack of investment in digital (Note: on average APAC companies spend a fair bit less on digital than the global average*).

The pressure is on CMOs and CIOs to come together and put the consumer at the centre, creating great customer experiences. Driving a unified approach across the organisation does this.

Only together can they ensure budgets are invested in the right areas, that the necessary tools and technologies are being set-up and leveraged across departments and channels.

More and more the technology pieces are there to deliver great customer experiences. It just requires strong leadership at the CMO and CIO level, and an understanding that in order for brands to truly stand out and resonate with customers today, they need to deliver something exceptional across every touchpoint – Web, Mobile, Retail, and more.

The future is now, so let's make it happen!

*eConsultancy – February 2014
^ APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard 2013 (Adobe and CMO Council)
^^ The State of Always-on Marketing Study 2014 (Razorfish and Adobe)

Erik Hermanson is one of the speakers for the Engaging the Digital Generation Conference.

Engaging the Digital Generation
May 5 – 6 2014
Sheraton Towers, Singapore

Organiser: Pacific Conferences

Click here to register.

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