Lazada SG Celebrates Its 9th Birthday With Katy Perry, NCT Dream, and More

Lazada is known for having big discounts and huge sales on its site, so it’s no surprise that they are hosting a massive event for their 9th birthday this coming weekend.

Known as Lazada Super Party, this event includes a virtual concert, flash sales, surprise boxes, games, and more. The full performance lineup can be viewed here, although Lazada has already teased us with a few names.

Headlined by Katy Perry and NCT Dream, other local artists such as Jasmine Sokko and Nathan Hortono will also be performing for the virtual concert.

On 26 March at 9:30 pm, Lazada will be streaming this virtual concert via LazLive to countdown to its official birthday which falls on 27 March.

Michelle Chong, Michelle Chong, Michelle Chong, Lee Min-ho are posing for a picture: Lazada Celebrates Its 9th Birthday Sale With A Virtual Concert, Games, Flash Deals, Vouchers

In fact, Lazada will be streaming live performances of various K-Pop idols every Saturday at 8 pm for seven consecutive weeks, starting 20 March. Viewers will be able to partake in games and other giveaways for a chance to win a prize!

Beyond these live streams and performances, Lazada has organised a bunch of pre-sale activities to keep us interested in grabbing ridiculous deals off their site. Before the big day, participate in as many games and activities as you can to obtain vouchers, free shipping, LazCoins and more. These will definitely come in handy during the two-hour storewide flash sale from 12 to 2 am on 27 March!

More than 200 stores are involved in the celebration of Lazada’s 9th birthday, offering more up to a whopping 90% discount on some of their products! The list of participating stores can be found here.

Lazada is definitely going all out for their birthday celebration this year. Indeed, the blend of international celebrities from Katy Perry to NCT Dream to local singers is bound to draw a huge crowd to join in on their festivities.

If you want to find out more about the new marketing strategy, Contact Us.

How to Update Your Digital Marketing Strategy

How to Update Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Spring cleaning is a necessary job in any household, but it’s also a necessary job for your digital marketing strategy. Your digital marketing strategy should be checked, measured, and revitalized a few times per year, and the end of the first quarter is the perfect time to take the first steps.

Logo And Design

The first thing to look at is the design aspects of your digital presence. You should check that your logo and designs work across all platforms. Make sure that it’s still relevant and that your customers and potential customers have a positive reaction to your design. You may need to update your logo to give it a fresh look or change any design elements that are outdated and no longer relevant. 

In some cases, you may need to completely redesign your logo. You should also make sure that any changes are also updated on any physical promotional materials as well. Try a free logo app like Logo Creator to come up with some concepts for your business.

Goals

Your digital marketing strategy should have set out goals for your business. You need to look at whether these goals have been achieved. Use your key metrics to analyze what strategies worked well, and which didn’t. You should also assess your previous goals to make sure that they were achievable in the first place.

Set New Goals

When you set your new marketing goals, make sure that they are realistic, specific and achievable. You may also want to consider breaking wide goals down into smaller, more specific steps. Lastly, you should also set a realistic timeline for when you expect these goals to be met. You should have a master calendar for your digital marketing strategy, but you may want to have specific calendars for your social media campaigns, blog posts and email campaigns as well. Doing this means you can make sure that all posts and materials are going out on time.

Social Media Accounts

Social media is constantly evolving and changing with new sites and trends emerging all the time. It’s important that you keep your social media presence updated, relevant, on-trend, and consistent with your brand. This may mean updating profiles, creating new accounts, looking at which posts had the most reach and engagement, and updating your response policies. There are plenty of ways you can boost your social media shares to gain more exposure — check our article here for more details. If customers are reaching out to your business on social media, you need to make sure that responses are timely and appropriate.

SEO

Search engine optimization should be seen as a vital task. It’s incredibly important to keep up to date with SEO practices. These practices can evolve as the way people use search engines change. Check your page speeds, meta descriptions, content, images, readability and headers. Optimize every page. We’ve curated a list of SEO tools here that are not only free but perfect for beginners.

Keywords

Re-examine your keywords. Remove any keywords that are no longer relevant, or have a low or no impression. Create a new list of targeted keywords. This will help you create a much more efficient strategy.

Content

Look at your existing content and see which has the most engagement. Revamp lower performing content with fresh links and keywords. Make sure that the information in older posts is still relevant, or update it to include more recent data. 

You can also plan out new content. Make a calendar of when each content should be posted. When you’re planning topics or posts, make sure that it is specific and readable. Large topics should be broken into a series of posts.

Advertisements

You should also check how your advertisements are performing. Look at your paid search ads. Examine which keywords are being used and if these need to be extended upon. You should also check the ad copy. Make sure that the copy is free of errors and that it is still relevant. For the best results, read up on our ultimate guide to advertising.

Coca Cola’s Emotional Ad Warms the Hearts of Many this Christmas

Coca Cola's Emotional Ad Warms the Hearts of Many this Christmas

One of the most challenging things we’ve had to face this year was the pandemic.  With Covid-19 in mind, Coca Cola has thus decided to cancel its annual Truck Tour. In its place, they released an emotional commercial for this yea that warmed the hearts of many even in the absence of their truck.

The ad’s message is simple: make time for the people you love at Christmas, and give something that “only you can give”. Go on a journey with Coca Cola even as they will not be holding their Truck Tour this year.

Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi, who has also directed the likes of Star Wars and Thor, it is no wonder this advert touches our hearts so. Ranked the most powerful ad of the season by Kantar, Coca Cola’s ad beat the likes of many others’, including Disney’s and Tesco’s.

Over 3000 UK consumers were paired with LinkNow AI facial coding technology, which revealed that Coca Cola’s Christmas ad elicited the greatest response from audiences. Indeed, they deserve the title of the most powerful ad this festive holiday!

Not only that, but it was the top-performing in seven out of ten key measures, scoring 96 out of 100 in terms of long-term return potential as well as creating brand memories. It also gained a full score in terms of remembering the brand. Talk about effective!

With Covid-19 interrupting many Christmas plans this season, Coca Cola’s ad helped viewers to feel more positive about Christmas – the only ad to score in the top percentile (74 to be exact) for this metric. Beyond that, it also scored 88 for creating warmth and love for the brand and 93 for feeling different.

6 Simple Tips for the Most Effective Headline

6 Simple Tips for the Most Effective Headline

While I was researching what makes a good headline, one question kept resurfacing: what is the difference between a headline and a title? I think it is important to answer this question before looking into the elements that make up a great headline.

You see, headlines and titles serve similar functions and are similar in many ways, so there is plenty of overlap between the two. Many marketers can easily make the mistake of assuming they are both the same, but there is one aspect that sets the two apart.

I’m sure you’ve seen the title of this article before you clicked on it. The title serves to tell you what this article will be about — it is more for the benefit of the reader. Headlines, while also meant to grab attention, have an implicit aim of getting the reader to take an action — it is more for the benefit of the marketer.

Here’s a twist — the title of this article is also the headline. As I mentioned, there is quite a bit of overlap between headlines and titles, and this manifests in the way that titles can be headlines, but not all headlines are titles. To put it simply, titles fall under the umbrella of what headlines are.

So how does one differentiate between a headline and a title? Generally speaking, titles are used for articles and any type of long-form content. Headlines aren’t as restricted to the content that they are attached to. For example, imagine the banner of your landing page, which contains a short phrase that is meant to instantly hook your visitors. That may not necessarily be considered a title, but it is your headline.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, the next step is to look at the elements that make up an impactful headline. Headlines are so omnipresent in marketing that it is important to do them right. From landing pages, to blog articles, to social media posts (really, the list is endless), headlines are everywhere. So here’s what we found about what an effective headline should include.

1. Use numbers

Headlines with big, obscure numbers at the start tend to do much better than those without. Almost every headline guide will agree on this. In fact, A/B testing has been conducted previously on the same exact headline, the only exception being one has the number written out and the other has the number spelt out. And the one with the number written out always wins.

2. Put impact words at the front

Trigger words like how, why and what tend to draw in more readers than most other words. Especially when placed at the front of your headline, it is more likely to enable or persuade someone to click on your article and read it. Just make sure that your headline either starts with trigger words or numbers, because it rarely works well if you try to do both at the same time.

Here’s a really good example to help you decide which to choose should you ever face a similar scenario:

The two titles, “10 Simple Communication Tips That Can Help You Ace Your Job Interview” and “How to Ace Your Job Interview with These 10 Simple Communication Tips”, both mean the same thing. However, on mobile devices such as the email inbox, long headlines are very much likely to get cut off. Subject lines get truncated after about 45 characters in the mobile inbox. Similarly, headlines get truncated after about 60 characters in search results. This is why it’s extremely important to put the keyword within the first handful of characters in your headline. Readers would be able to see the benefit and value of clicking into your article clearly.

3. Incorporate emotional words

Using powerful adjectives will draw out emotion from your readers, which might then nudge them into taking an action. Words such as free, incredible, effortless, and painstaking all have high emotional value in them. When emotional adjectives are used to describe pain points, your readers would be more likely to feel a sense of connection to you and/or the topic at hand.

The Advanced Marketing Institute (AMI) has created a headline analyser that looks at the emotional marketing value (EMV) of your headline, which is a gauge for how likely your headline will be able to elicit an emotional response from a reader. By eliciting emotions, you are more likely to get your readers to like, share, and engage with your article.

In fact, studies show that headlines that elicit positive emotions are more likely to get your reader to take the action you want them to. This is as the positive emotions give readers an additional boost and help them imagine a better outcome.

4. Create a sense of urgency

Developing urgency in a headline by including words such as ‘now’ or ‘today’ is more likely to push your readers into taking action. For instance, “10 Ways to Boost Your Career Today” is a lot more compelling than “10 Ways to Boost Your Career”. In a fast-paced society, everyone desires instant gratification and wants to see immediate results.

You can also create urgency by implying the effects of ignorance, as seen in the headline “5 Mistakes You are Making Right Now”. This offers the reader something that they can do or change right now to give them the efficiency they are seeking.

5. Use power trigrams

Trigrams are groups of three words. In the marketing field, there are many common trigrams that appear in headlines. But which ones are actually effective?

A few years back, Steve Rayson of Buzzsumo conducted a study where he looked at typical trigrams that appear in headlines. When looking at how it correlates with social media engagemen, he found that certain trigrams encourage more social engagement.

6. Write multiple headlines and read them aloud

This is basically self-explanatory, and while it isn’t something tangible that you can include in your headline, you should always follow this step. Having multiple headlines allows you to compare and contrast, whereby you might be able to notice what’s lacking in the ones that don’t seem to flow as well.

Ultimately, headlines show up everywhere. From your blog title, to your subject line, headlines are the ones doing most of the work. They are your opener; the attention grabber. Marketing would not be marketing without a good headline. Find out more about how you can improve yours by connecting with us.

Marketing: Product Placement in Korean Dramas

Marketing: Product Placement in Korean Dramas

Product placement in television dramas has always been an avenue for companies to market their products. In recent years, however, product placements as a method for marketing have risen in popularity where it was previously on the decline.

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As Korean dramas are beginning to experience a surge in popularity and demand even beyond Asia itself, many luxury brands have begun seeking out these K-dramas to extend their reach. With online streaming platforms like Netflix now expanding their K-drama portfolio, the reach these dramas have stretch further than ever. In fact, Netflix currently boasts more than 158 million subscribers, which tells us just how effective product placement can be when used correctly.

Look at how these high-end brands market themselves through dramas, tastefully drawing millions of eyes while not completely stealing attention from the entertainment itself.

1. Breitling

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42

Breitling’s first K-drama debut was in ‘Descendants’ of the Sun’, where the popularity of the drama helped propel the brand’s exposure not only in Korea but in China as well. Later on, Breitling adopted the same marketing strategy and engaged in product placement in ‘Memories of the Alhambra’, where the protagonist wears a Breitling Navitimer 1.

In this particular drama, however, the watch served more than just a superficial function — it was actually pivotal in pushing the narrative forth. The protagonist, in fact, in one scene activates a special function on his Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 that allows him to stop time.

2. Roger Vivier

In ‘The King: Eternal Monarch’, Roger Vivier’s bouquet strass slingback pumps appeared in two episodes where they caught the viewers’ attention. Many praised the stylist for giving Jung Eun-chae’s (the actress) character such a sophisticated style!

In a few other episodes, fans marvelled over the I Love Vivier Piping pumps, which brought about a fashion statement — particularly when paired with Roger Vivier’s Soft Flowers embellished clutch.

Although Roger Vivier only launched in Korea in 2014, merely six years ago, they have rapidly made a name for themselves and gained a loyal consumer fanbase. This might indubitably be due to the fact that product placement has always been a vital part of Roger Vivier’s marketing strategy.

3. J.Estina

Descendants of the Sun J.ESTINA Necklace Song Hye-Kyo SV 925 CZ White  16.54in | Silver necklaces, Necklace, Silver

The starburst necklace in ‘Descendants of the Sun’ needs no introduction. After the TV series burst in popularity, J.Estina saw a huge spike in demand for their Sun Rhinestone 925 Sterling Silver necklace. This accessory sparked the interest of many Chinese consumers who followed the drama closely. Indeed, it was the summer accessory of 2016 for many ladies alike. J.Estina can arguably be considered one of the pioneers of the K-jewelry fever, and it all started with product placement.

4. Jimmy Choo

How a Korean TV Show Sparked a Jimmy Choo Craze in China - WSJ

Another popular TV series, ‘My Love from the Star’, shot Jimmy Choo’s products into the spotlight. Although Jimmy Choo has always been a well-established luxury brand — who hasn’t heard of the brand before? — their appearance in ‘My Love from the Star’ saw the pumps being sold out across Asia.

To many Asian consumers, their approach to media and luxury goods are reliant on the entertainment they are exposed to. Product placement of such luxury brands, particularly as seen in the examples raised, is proof of just how expansive the reach of these dramas is.

Since the birth of film, product placement has been a staple in marketing. After all, it is one of the most organic ways to grab the attention of consumers, because people always pay attention to their favourite TV shows and movies. Consumers aren’t able to swipe away or block product placements, which makes it an extremely influential way to reach consumers.

Next time you turn on your favourite drama, you might want to keep an eye out for product placements and look at how well (or badly) they are incorporated into the show. Then think about your business and what is the next step for it. If you’re ready to turn to product placement as your next move, give us a call or drop us an email here.

Evangelism Marketing a la Burger King

Evangelism Marketing a la Burger King

This early November, we were surprised by Burger King. Their latest social media campaign was a shout-out to McDonald’s. Yes, you read that right. In Burger King’s latest marketing campaign, they shone the spotlight not on themselves, but on another fast food chain. But it wasn’t just McDonald’s — Burger King asked their loyal customers to patronise other fast food chains as well. Such an unconventional marketing method cause the campaign to soon become viral.

Burger King released a statement on Twitter urging people to order takeaway from other fast food outlets including McDonald's during the lockdown.

More than a just shoutout

Many people who read Burger King’s campaign poster believe that it is in fact acceptable behaviour from Burger King to give a shoutout to their competitors. The reason behind such a move was due to the F&B industry being hit hard with the recent pandemic. Many fast food outlets had to stop operating in order to keep the business alive, which meant that many employees lost their jobs. Burger King’s campaign therefore gave courage to people around the world; to support each other through difficult times.

But some people believe that Burger King’s marketing campaign goes beyond just a simple shoutout. Marketing experts dub Burger King’s strategy as “Evangelism Marketing”. 

Evangelism Marketing is commonly known as word of mouth marketing and relies on customers to deliver marketing messages to other potential customers. This is not an easy feat as not every company can turn their customer into an evangelist of their brand.

So what is the reason for Burger King’s latest campaign being categorized as part of Evangelism Marketing? In their campaign itself, Burger King acted as the brand evangelist for McDonald’s by encouraging others to buy from them. It’s almost as though they were positioning themselves as a customer and promoting McDonald’s products for them. 

There are at least five traits for a customer to be considered a brand evangelist:

  1. Regularly buys their products and believes in the brand
  2. Recommends the brand to family, friends, and coworkers regularly
  3. Gives the products as a gift for others
  4. Offers praise and other feedback without being asked
  5. Participates in the brand, making the customer feel like they are part of something larger than themselves

Burger King Hidden Messages behind Viral Marketing

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The shoutout campaign by Burger King indeed went viral after they posted it. Millions of social media users read the message and Burger King’s loyal customers reposted the content. This way, Burger King also manages to gain brand exposure and brand engagement even as they are giving the spotlight to McDonald’s.

But behind the campaign, Burger King placed a hidden message which actually still promotes their product. The last statement of the poster reads, “Getting a Whopper is always best, but ordering a Big Mac is not such a bad thing”. The underlying message seems to hint to us that Whopper is the best choice for a burger, whilst Big Mac is second to it. Such a subliminal message cleverly markets Burger King’s burgers while seeming to promote McDonald’s products on the surface. 

Burger King has done such a big campaign with this current condition. Getting a shoutout from a big brand is not an easy thing — moreover, getting a shoutout from a rival is miraculous to say the least. Our faith in humanity is definitely restored by Burger King through this supportive campaign in trying times.

How to Up Your Graphic Design Game in 3 Easy Steps

How to Up Your Graphic Design Game in 3 Easy Steps

Graphics are one of the best ways to grab your audience’s attention. Used in essentially all forms of marketing, it has been proven time and again to be a surefire way to boost your business.

Perhaps you clicked on this article curious about improving your graphic design skills. Well, we completely understand. To help you, we’ve compiled some steps you could take on your journey to become a better graphic designer.

1. JOIN A DESIGN COURSE

Branding Services Singapore | Graphic Designer in Singapore

Plenty of schools in Singapore offer design courses that you could take to help you hone your design skills. There are various courses that focus on different areas of design, depending on what you’re looking for. Here are some of the best design courses in Singapore we recommend:

With plenty of design-related courses at their arsenal, including branding and animation, First Media Design School might be the institution you want to look at if you’re considering getting a diploma in media and graphic design. This course lasts a duration of 18 months (1½ years), so it may be more suited for students pursuing design as a serious career.

Maybe a full-time course might not be what you’re searching for. Or you might already have a diploma and am still looking for minor ways to refine your designing skills. At $540 a unit, Laselle offers more than 30 different design courses across a range of design disciplines. If you have a strong interest in graphic design, you may want to consider Laselle.

Feeling the hefty price tag on the previous two courses? There’s another alternative. Nanyang Polytechnic is providing a simple yet all-rounded design course under SkillsFuture. If you have some leftover SkillsFuture credits, now is the time to use it! At only $300, this is the perfect course for casual students dipping their toes into the world of design.

2. STUDY THE WORK OF GRAPHIC DESIGN COMPANIES

The 21 Best Graphic Design Companies in Singapore [2020]

In order to apply the skills you’ve picked up, it’s important to be able to look at the works of others and distinguish the good and the bad. With a vast amount of design companies in Singapore, there are definitely plenty of examples for one to study.

From web design to desktop computing and, of course, graphics design and branding, Hipster offers cost-effective digital solutions for your marketing needs. Their speciality lies in their augmented and virtual reality services. Just by entering their website do you see their portfolio of clean and aesthetic designs on display. Look through their case studies and you can see why Hipster is such a successful graphic design company.

Positioning themselves as a one-stop solution for creative advertising, branding and packaging label designs, Artnexus certainly strives to cover all aspects of graphic design — and come out on top as well. Under the creative umbrella, the company covers publication design, digital display advertisement, not to mention graphic designing. Take a look at their website to understand why their designs are so popular amongst marketers.

Having established themselves in the industry, Graphic Masters’s clientele consists of government agencies, public organisations and private corporations around the globe. These include the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, SAF Yacht Club, and many others. Their services range from publications, advertising and promotions, corporate branding, infographics, and even corporate gifts — to list a few! With a strong understanding of the current graphic design trends, Graphic Masters’s professionalism shines through.

3. UNDERSTAND THE LATEST GRAPHIC DESIGN TRENDS

13 Graphic Design Trends To Expect In 2020 - Webgyaani

Besides upgrading your design skills and studying the portfolio of other designers, it is also important to be aware of the latest design trends. Some of the design trends that surfaced in 2020 and are likely to continue in 2021 include but are not limited to the following:

  • Muted Colour Palettes

Perhaps one reason why muted colours have been so in trend lately is because of its ability to evoke comfort and warm feelings. They also often feel natural and organic, which may why plenty of health and wellness companies are implementing the use of muted colour palettes in their design and marketing efforts.

  • Flat Icons and Illustrations

Flat icons have become somewhat of a popular trend, particularly when used as a social media graphic. With a simple icon, brands can communicate more by using less. Indeed, they are a powerful tool for communication. This trend is taking over companies by storm, including BMW, Volkswagen, and even Google, all of whom have adopted a flatter, more minimalistic logo for their brand.

  • Social Media Slide Decks

Slide decks are a great way to break up chunks of information. If you want to convey a lengthy message to your audience but are unsure how to keep their attention focused on you, try having various image slides rather than one single image. This habit has been employed by many brands on virtually almost all social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook and Linkedin. Furthermore, the algorithm actually seems to favour posts with multiple slides rather than those with a single image!

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If you find these tips helpful, or have a friend in mind who is looking to hone their design skills, why not share this article with them?

As a creative agency, MIU strives to constantly improve itself. Providing digital solutions such as package design, logo identity and brand styling, the list of design services MIU offers runs on. Interested to find out more? Book a free consultation with us today!

Businesses in the Face of Covid-19

Businesses in the Face of Covid-19

Covid-19 and the ‘New Normal’

In the face of the Covid-19 era, many businesses and individuals have had to adapt to the new normal. From social distancing rules to travel restrictions, these measures to combat Covid-19 have affected the modus operandi of many businesses. The introduction of circuit breaker has seen many defaulting to having their employees work from home as a consequence. On the other hand, consumers have begun shopping online more voraciously.

With phase 3 of Singapore’s circuit breaker on the horizon, here are some things that one can expect.

Phase 3: The New Normal

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Social, cultural, religious and business gatherings or events will be allowed to resume during this phase. However, gathering sizes would still have to be limited so as to prevent large clusters from arising. Individuals would also have to be aware to avoid close contact with each other.

ESG’s Enterprise Infoline, as it has done in the previous two phases, will continue to assist businesses in the last part of the three-phased approach to resume activities in a safe manner during this post-pandemic period.

“With advisories and guidelines that were applicable to different sectors as the COVID-19 situation evolved, the Enterprise Infoline provided business owners with help to navigate the compliance requirements; procedures that can be complex particularly for small and micro SMEs. ”

Ms Chew Mok Lee, Assistant Chief Executive

One phrase which has gained momentum in the past few weeks is the ‘new normal’. Despite the fact that things are looking up, it is important to note that the impact of Covid-19 will still be felt far beyond 2020. Remote work will most likely be retained in the ‘new normal’, so don’t expect the current situation to change too drastically. Until a vaccine is uncovered, it will be a fixed aspect of our lives.

What this means for businesses and their employees

Working remotely with kids during the Coronavirus outbreak | eXo

Singapore’s phased approach to open the economy could mean that the ‘new normal’ may involve a cautious approach of alternating between remote work and the office. However, working life as we know it might never return to the normal we all remember.

This is not an indicator that productivity, creativity and profitability levels pre-Covid will not return for businesses. In fact, the changes that arose due to this pandemic may as well have presented more business opportunities in Singapore. Human beings, after all, tend to resist change and the ‘new normal’ allows businesses across the world to reimagine the impossible and shift to new ways of working and collaboration.

Leaders are redesigning their business operations to navigate this significant change and evolve the business for it to continue thriving. This has seen the acceleration of some non-traditional workforces. For instance, flexible working arrangements are expected to be the ‘new normal’ in some industries. Take Twitter as an example — CEO Jack Dorsey announced that employees can keep working from home ‘forever’ if they wish.

As everyone transitions through this period, the best way to ensure businesses’ survival in a post-Covid era would be to adopt a blended approach. Take the most efficient working methods from pre-Covid and combine it with the best methods mid-Covid, and we will see a strategy fit for commercial success.

When we look back at 2020 from hindsight, there’ll certainly be questions raised around company conduct. Organizations will be judged not only on how they managed the financial crisis, but how they supported their employees as well.

“People will remember how leadership and businesses dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic. They understand that it’s a difficult time for businesses and in most cases acknowledge that changes may be required due to changing business pressures. If these conversations are managed and handled in a human and authentic way, reputation and employer brand will be maintained and amplified.”

Robert Stone, Chief Talent Officer at McCANN

What this means for businesses and their consumers

Premium Vector | Woman using mobile app for online shopping cartoon

As the Singapore government eases the country back into normalcy, many Singaporeans are remaining cautious and playing it safe. They intend to adopt a wait-and-see approach when it comes to resuming activities. Only 1 in 4 Singaporeans, for example, say they would be comfortable to visit restaurants if the option is made available. 30% say they will not join a cultural event or gathering in 2020; 28% say they will not visit a gym or take a sports membership; and 53% do not intend to travel this year even if it is allowed.

“Many marketers had hoped that once the Circuit Breaker restrictions are eased, life would get back to the way it was. Singaporeans, at present, do not feel that way as seen from their reduced spend intention at dining out or disinclination towards going on holidays or attending large events or gatherings.”

Prasad Shinde, Senior Client Officer at Ipsos in Singapore

Due to the circuit breaker, online shopping has seen a tremendous boom in activity. With digital shopping becoming increasingly pervasive in our everyday lives, it would be a smart move for businesses to grab this opportunity to go digital in order to expand their customer base. It is where most consumers’ attention have turned in the face of the lockdown.

In a survey conducted, 88% of Singaporeans said that they have bought something online during this period, of whom, 2 in 3 say that they had shopped for a new product category for the first time. While the bulk of online purchases are on groceries and food products, other categories saw some first-time online shoppers as well.

“There are clear shifts in the adoption of e-commerce for the purchase of items that were typically purchased in brick and mortar stores — groceries and fresh produce for example –- as well as an introduction to different omni-channel purchase options. It has become quite common for example for a purchase to be made via WhatsApp and for collection to be made at a curbside pick-up. The awareness and familiarity with such possibilities, as well as the perceived greater convenience to shoppers, may mean that demand for these options remains long after life goes back to normal, so it will be interesting to see whether any retail sectors look to make some of these permanent.”

Nick Hunter, Director of Market Strategy and Understanding at Ipsos in Singapore

This could very well signal to businesses the type of change they need to undergo in order to adapt to this ‘new normal’. Covid-19 has proven across all industries that it is possible to maintain high quality outputs and relationships even with remote work at the core of their strategy.

Large Marketing Firms versus Boutique Agencies

Large Marketing Firms versus Boutique Agencies

All about boutique marketing agencies

When looking for a digital marketing agency, it may be easy to just pick one amongst the list of well-known companies out there. After all, with the number of projects they have undertaken, this seems like the obvious choice. It’s easy to be wowed by the big brands they have worked with and the testimonials they have gotten.

Oh yes, we know all about the psychology of choice.

Can you make informed decisions? | Construction Leaders Club

So why give boutique agencies a chance? Many have the misconception that businesses turn to these smaller agencies when they can’t afford the expertise of a larger company. Let me ask you this: if that’s the case, why are there still so many marketing firms sprouting up?

Betting your all on a boutique marketing agency that is barely established just doesn’t seem worth it when you have the budget to go big. But size doesn’t always matter, and neither does money.

Big brands have worked with smaller names just as well — and have been quite successful in their marketing strategy too! This only proves that boutique agencies aren’t just all bark and no bite. In fact, boutique agencies can just as well come up with the most creative digital marketing strategy for your company.

Still not convinced? We’ve laid down the pros and cons of large marketing firms against that of boutique agencies. The rest is up to you.

Why you should give boutique agencies a chance

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  • Large agencies

Pro: Renowned for what they do

Established companies of course have plenty of testimonials behind their business. It’s easy to develop a sense of security knowing that these companies are reputable and have handled all sorts of projects. After all, if they have the marketing skills to make it, they certainly have the skills to write about it.

Con: Heavy politics and bureaucracy

One weakness that bugs large companies is the bureaucratic process that they so often adhere by. But remember, all big businesses were once small businesses, after all. It’s possible to get the job done without first waiting for the green light from the head of the department, who is also waiting for feedback from a higher committee. It’s always easier to add processes than to remove them. The larger a company gets, the slower the decision-making becomes.

Pro: More resources

Since large companies tend to have more resources to work with, it’s easier for them to stay competitive — and offer you the same resources as well. With a large agency, the many resources act as a security net that can allow clients to feel assured leaving their marketing plan in the care of these big firms.

Con: The Innovator’s Dilemma

Following the work of Harvard professor and businessman Clayton Christensen, the Innovator’s Dilemma argues that large companies default to a status quo once they have reached a certain level of success. Rather than breaking the mold to disrupt the equilibrium, they stick to what they know and only innovate within that certain area.

  • Boutique agencies

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Pro: Budget stretches further

With lower overhead costs and agency fees, the money that you pump in for the campaign will be used to its full potential in the hands of a boutique agency. They are able to find ways to stretch your budget to its maximum, so you receive more bang for your buck.

Con: Inadequate management

Oftentimes in a small agency, there is only one or two people in the management team overseeing the whole process. This might mean that they do not have time to check in thoroughly with each employee and the work they do. Without a dedicated management team, there is a greater risk of mismanaging occurring.

Pro: More control and flexibility

With fewer processes for each step, boutique agencies often have more control and flexibility over their work. This means that you do too, since you have the final say. The small size of the team you are working with means that there is a lot more transparency — and thus accountability — that a boutique agency can offer you.

Pro: Niched and specialised

The only way boutique agencies are able to stand out in their field is if they find a niche that they are good at and position themselves as the leader in that niche. This way, they are able to compete with larger firms in the same industry.

Having a niche also helps them develop a stronger understanding of the work they do and thus allows them to hone their expertise in it, which may be something that a large firm is unable to offer. With their specialised knowledge, boutique agencies can then give advise on the best marketing strategies to undertake, leading to effective results.

What this means for you

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Boutique agencies might not have many testimonials to go on, it’s true. However, this means that they rely a lot more on the outcome to prove their worth.

When it comes to a marketing agency, you need to discern which is the best partner to hire for your company.

Let us tell you — for a marketing plan to really succeed, you need to stick with it through and through. Long-term engagement is important, and if you don’t visualise yourself staying with the agency for a few years at least, then it is not the right one for you.

MIU offers a wide variety of services with comprehensive strategies to go along with it. As a client-oriented creative agency, we place a strong importance on the customer journey. Saying that we understand the importance of long-term engagement is not enough — this manifests in our policy of staying with our clients even after the work is done. With our diverse portfolio of work, we firmly believe that we can provide for you the service your company is looking for.