Marketing In Singapore: Basics For Marketers & Business Owners

some strategies on how to market in singapore

Marketing in Singapore can be very challenging because there are so many options ranging from digital to outdoor to print. Businesses should consider the merits of the various marketing media in Singapore for market share and positioning. Here we consider the various modes to market in Singapore.

It must be a well-conceived strategy because the country has a very well developed economy which makes it highly competitive. The way businesses market in Singapore via offline and online has been shaken up due to the accelerated adoption of digital media.

Singapore has garnered quite the reputation when it comes to innovation and standard of living. It ranks as the world’s number 2 smart city. It’s widely regarded as one of the globe’s most crypto-friendly countries. It has managed to remain at the top of the list for the last four years as the world’s most expensive place to live. And it is also rumoured that this Southeast Asia city-state’s new satellite companies could make it the next leader in space technology. It’s this laundry list of achievements which makes Singapore one of the most dynamic and ideal places on earth to market your business.

The booming Singapore economy greatly motivates local and foreign investors to start businesses here. A recent report showed that there are more than 400,000 corporate entities in the country and 60% of them are owned and operated by sole traders. The government has put in place policies such as the open immigration policy that allows foreigners to easily relocate to Singapore. The government also offers tax incentives and investments protection policies that are geared to make the country one of the best places to run a business.

Singapore’s Business Environment

What draws most business owners to the Singapore market is how simple it is to do business there. Up until October of 2016, Singapore held a decade-long place at the very top of the World Bank’s list of the easiest places to do business. And there are several factors that came into play when measuring it against all others.

For instance, it’s easy to start a business there. This is because there is an abundant number of business opportunities for both locals and foreigners. In fact, for foreigners, the list of requirements for registering a new business is pretty basic: the business has to be legal, it must be registered as a PLC, the business must not be registered for more than 6 months at the time of your application, the foreigner applicant must own a minimum share of 30% of the company and the business needs to have an SGD paid up capital of $50,000.

Taxes are reduced in Singapore. The income tax rate for companies that are based there is 17%. However, these businesses are only expected to pay tax if their taxable income exceeds $300,000 per year. If their income is less than $300,000 per year, the tax rate is lowered to half the amount – only 9%. Also, to support businesses and bring in more investors the government offers tax exemption to new businesses. Not are taxes low, but there are also incentives and benefits offered.

Contracts are readily and swiftly enforced. In fact, in 2014 Singapore introduced a new litigation system which allows litigants to file their cases online and gives the courts the ability to keep litigants and lawyers well-informed about cases through e-mail and text messages. This makes it easy to manage hearing dates. Singapore is known for having the shortest resolution time worldwide with the average commercial dispute being settled within 290 days.

Another element of what makes Singapore’s business environment so inviting is how easy it can be to get construction permits. This is one of the quickest places to secure a permit. So for business owners who are interested in building a new structure, this is a huge benefit.

Trends in Singapore Marketing  

In the world of technology, things are constantly changing. And the same can also be said for the world of marketing and advertising. This is why it’s so important that business owners always be aware of what the latest trends are. Let’s discuss a few of the most popular marketing trends in Singapore.

Power of The Consumer

While social media has the power to help a business grow, it can also do damage if customers are not properly cared. This is why Singapore business owners are starting to take the power of social media very seriously. They understand that one complaint from one customer, could potentially go viral and the damage could be irreparable. This is evidenced by certain Facebook posts which make national and international news from time to time. Singapore advertisers are starting to give more weight to online reviews and other third party websites that could possibly sway a potential customers opinion.

Ways To Market In Singapore

There are several ways to advertise your business in Singapore. Each has its own benefits as well as drawbacks. However, the good thing is that they can also be combined to create the most effective campaign.

Here are expert tips on how to market and advertise your company in Singapore.

1. Advertising

Online Marketing

 

According to a 2015 report, Singapore has approximately more than 4 million broadband internet users. This figure is expected to increase by more than 20% by the year 2018 as more people purchase internet-enabled devices. So far, the internet is considered one of the most reliable sources of information in the country.

Based on these statistics, marketing your company online will help you to connect and interact with more customers that you would using the traditional marketing platforms. 74% of Singaporeans use social media daily. Therefore, posting ads on the various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will help increase sales as well as drive more traffic to your website.

Radio, TV, and Print Advertising

 

 

Radio advertising is a great way to increase sales and gain a leg up on the competition, though it’s worth noting that these means of advertising can be quite costly. They are ideal for businesses who cater to a younger audience.

For many years, radio, TV, and print advertising in Singapore have remained the most efficient ways of increasing sales and competitiveness. Recent statistics show that 47% of people who listen to radio consider it a reliable source of information. 6.9% of total media revenue earned by radio stations in the country is achieved by providing companies with advertising airtime.

The same case applies to TV and print advertising. Even though these channels are expensive, they allow one to target a specific audience. For example, when targeting the young generation, you can decide to advertise your products during radio and TV programs as well as magazines that the public is fond of.

Outdoor Advertising

 

One of the best things about outdoor advertising is the amount of exposure your business can receive. Unlike most forms of advertising, this one gives you access to public 24 hours a day. Outdoor advertising tends to be more affordable that TV, radio and print advertising. As long as your posters are placed strategically, meaning where your target audience is most likely to be, then this form of advertising can offer a nice return on investment.

Online marketing has gained immense traction in Singapore, but conventional advertising strategies such as outdoor advertising are still effective in generating sales for businesses. The cities are packed with posters that promote products and services for individual companies. One of the benefits of using this strategy is that information about your business will be exposed to the public 24 hours a day. It is also important to note that outdoor advertisements are 50% and 80% more affordable than radio and television ads respectively. They can also be combined with other forms of advertisements such as print and radio campaigns thereby creating an all-inclusive media focal launch.

The trick is placing the advertisement in strategic locations to get the most results. For instance, companies selling whole foods place billboards at farmer’s markets. Mobile billboards are also widely used by advertising agencies to grasp the attention of passers-by and drivers. Note that there are regulations that govern outdoor advertising that you need to heed to avoid legal tussles. Visit Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore website for full list of these regulations and information about the permits that you need.

2. Outreach Programmes

Email Blasting

Email blasting and telemarketing are two of the main strategies used by companies in Singapore to spread information the company to customers. Using email blasting software, you can send newsletters and general marketing emails to your opt-in subscriber base without spending a fortune. The email blasts can be tailored to suit your goods and services.

In fact, email blasting software makes this process seamless, making it easy to tailor messages to the products and services you offer.

Uber uses email marketing to inform their customers about promotions and deals. The clear call-to-action and intuitive design of the email make it easy for one to understand the intended message.

Telemarketing

 

Telemarketing involves marketing goods and services by calling the target customers. Companies that offer financial services, home security systems, Internet and cable services and charitable organisations widely use this strategy to get more customers. Callbox is one of the leading telemarketing companies in Singapore.

Direct Marketing

 

Direct marketing involves making direct contact with existing customers as well as potential clients and informing them about your products and services. Unlike other strategies such as media advertising, it allows you to target a particular group of customers and personalize the message to get maximum results. You can save time and money by hiring a direct marketing and lead generation company such as SingPost Admail. This company offers maildrop service to distribute unaddressed promotion materials such as brochures to business premises and households in Singapore.

Alternatively, you can rent a database from one of the lead generation companies such as Ninja Emails and Wave Evolution and use it to do email marketing.

3. Education

Free Seminars and Workshops

 

What’s the best way to build customer trust and loyalty? Offer free seminars and workshops. This achieves two things: offering things for free always gets the attention of your potential and teaching people what you know helps to build credibility with your audience. These events also serve as a wonderful opportunity to present new products or services.

Inviting existing and potential customers to free seminars or workshops at different times of the year can help you market your products. During the workshop, explain the solutions that the goods or services offer to customers.

You could also capitalise on these events by introducing new or upcoming products to the customers.

Visit the Go Global website for a comprehensive list of events, seminars, and conferences that you can attend to market and learn more about the business realm in the country.

Partnered Programmes

 

Partnered programmes are mutually beneficial associations that will help you save money on marketing and enjoy multiple streams of revenue. One such arrangement is the YouTube Partner Program that allows companies to use its vast online video platform for reaching more customers using their monetised content.

Youtube channels broadcast their content and during their videos ads are shown. When someone clicks on the ad, the owner of the Youtube channel is paid a certain amount. These types of partnerships give you the ability to have multiple streams of revenue.

The company offers YouTube analytics that aid in tracking and managing the performance of your content and keep track of earnings.

Write and Publish Blogs, Articles and Opinion Pieces Online and Offline

 

The internet is one of the most trusted sources of information in Singapore. You can empower the public with information about your products and services by writing and publishing informative and engaging blog posts on your website.

You can also post guest posts in authority site to drive more traffic to the main site. Guest posts are also very effective in boosting site’s ranking on search engines and domain authority.

Blogs and articles serve as another way to build credibility with your audience–specifically online users. Build your authority even further by guest posting on related blogs and websites.

Also, writing opinion pieces and submitting them to leading newspapers such as Lianhe Zaobao and The Business Times can help you engage with the target audience in a more direct and engaging way.

4. Digital Marketing

Social Media Marketing

 

Digital marketing in Singapore is a growing trend as many businesses realise that offline marketing means such as newspapers, free sheets, bus ads, billboards and telemarketing are rapidly losing ground. A recent survey showed that 48% of respondents aged 40 and below, 63% aged 30 and below and a whopping 97% aged 20 and below do not get their news feed from printed dailies.

Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, and Instagram are some of the social media platforms that you can use to market your products to millions of people simultaneously. Facebook allows marketers to create free pages and place either paid or free ads on them. The Twitter business version can also help influence your marketing campaigns positively by letting you post ads on your profile. You can also post links and small marketing blurbs on your profile to engage with millions of people.

More Singaporeans have embraced photo-sharing social media platforms that have sharply increased the number of individuals who use Snapchat and Instagram. The number of individuals using these two platforms increased from 8% to 15% between 2014 and 2015. Therefore, posting photos of your products on either of these platforms will help you to engage with more customers. You can also display sponsored ads and hold contests on the platform to keep your followers engaged and interested in your company.

Video Marketing

48% of Singapore smartphone users watch videos on their phone. That’s why many business owners are starting to realise how invaluable video marketing can be. This form of advertising gives them the ability to communicate a story more effectively. Singapore marketers are also creating videos for platforms like Facebook and Youtube. Marketers realise that this could help their message spread. However, it is worth noting that this particular trend is still in its infancy, so this is the perfect form of advertising for business owners who hope to stand out from the crowd.

Content Marketing

In 2016, Hubspot, one of the largest champions of content marketing set up its headquarters in Singapore. It was announced that it planned to hire 150 employees within the next three years. So it’s no surprise that other Singapore companies have decided to get in on this trend. Content is still king and in Singapore, content marketing is playing a huge role in advertising at the moment.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing entails contracting independent marketers to sell your products and services through their websites, blogs, and social media channels in return for a commission. The Affiliate Gateway and Optimise Media are two of the leading affiliate marketing companies that you can use to scale up your online sales. Both companies have systems and platforms that they use to target different segments of the audience.

Conversion Optimisation

Another trend if conversion optimisation. Singapore business owners are currently focused on turning those website visitors into actual customers. Many are doing this through Google and Facebook advertising. Since 2002, Singapore has taken advantage of Google’s ad prices, which are steadily rising. Facebook ads are expected to follow the same trend.

5. Soft Selling

Taking Part in Charities and Sponsorships

 

A recent poll showed that 90% of consumers expect companies that they buy products or services from to give back to the society. You can strike a balance between conduct business in the country and being a good corporate citizen by participating in charities and sponsorships. These two course-related marketing strategies will give your company immense exposure in return for footing the event expenses.

You can also sponsor local sports teams to get more exposure when the team takes part in tournaments locally and abroad. Garena is one such company that recently sponsored Young Lions, a Singapore League football club. The company signed a two-year deal to support the team by providing $4 million. The team will be wearing t-shirts with Shopee brand name. Shopee is Garena’s first C2C marketplace that is mobile-centric.

6. Use Professional SEO & SEM Services

 

If you want to ensure that your business is playing by the rules and will get the most out of your online presence, then it’s a good idea to seek the advice of a professional SEO service. What makes this form of marketing so useful is that it gives you visibility in the search engines. And the more visible and highly ranked your Singapore business website is, the more traffic and sales you will be able to generate.

Sure, you could take the time to learn the ends and outs of SEO on your own. You could learn the mechanics of SEM, Cost-Per-Click, Pay-Per-Click, and Cost-per-Thousand Impressions. However, you have to consider how much time this will actually take away from the rest of your business. That’s why many business owners choose to enlist the help of experts who have more experience in this particular field.

It is of paramount importance for all websites to comply with search engine optimized (SEO) rules to continue ranking high on Google and other search engines. High ranking results in more traffic and sales, as more people will get to know about your company and the products that it offers.

Go an extra mile and couple your SEO campaigns with SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Concisely, SEM is a new internet marketing strategy that entails promoting sites by increasing their visibility and popularity in search engine results pages through paid search ads, paid search advertising, Pay-Per-Click, Cost-Per-Click, and Cost-per-Thousand Impressions.

In most cases, the search engine ads are sold on a PPC/CPC and CPM basis. It is recommended to hire an online marketing company that specialises in offering these services to get maximum results from SEO and SEM. The service providers have the resources required to come up with a digital marketing campaign that resonates with your goals as well as software to monitor the amount of traffic and sales generated from each campaign.

what to look for in a singapore based digital marketing company

A top digital marketing specialist in Singapore which excels in SEO and SEM is MediaOne. Call them at (65) 6789 9852 or email them at enquiry@mm.com.sg to see how they can help. Apart from their high-quality work, a thing that really stands out about their service is its their unbridled enthusiasm in sharing their knowledge without trying to upsell their services. MediaOne firmly believes in helping businesses understand how digital media can help them – and in doing so, naturally obtains engagements when these business owners and marketers realise that it can be very intricate and time-consuming work to build up a good Internet profile.

Says Tom Koh, their Managing Director: “Being seen on the first page of Google is of paramount importance in today’s digital economy. We found that most people below the age of 35 do not read print anymore. Up to 90% of Singaporeans we surveyed said that they would check out a business online before they decide to buy or contact them – and these are not just B2C it applies for the B2B also.”

Mr Koh further added: “We help our clients increase their online visibility – 3 happy examples in particular are:

Comat, a popular corporate training firm, whom we helped increase first page keywords from 8 to an astounding 56 in 2 months using ethical SEO methods; Adrenalin an events company which jumped from nowhere to being top in the pecking order when people are searching for such services; and also Print City a digital printing specialist who complains (happily) that they can’t cope with the 40-50 enquiries they have a day due to limited equipment.”

Conclusion

Singapore is well known for its level of innovation as well its fast-growing economy. And these are the characteristics that make it the perfect mecca for new business owners, especially when it comes to marketing and advertising. It’s easy going business climate affords quick startup opportunities, reduced taxes and tax benefits, swiftly enforced rulings on contracts and easy to get construction permits. Content marketing, conversion optimization, the power of the consumer, real marketing, and video marketing are all trends that Singapore owners hope will make their businesses more productive. Luckily, there are several forms of advertising that can ensure that your campaign goes smoothly. All it takes is a little dedication and experimentation to figure out which one appeals most to your audience.

January 02, 2018

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