Top 5 Marketing Strategies for Promoting Your Business in Singapore

Top Strategies For Successful Marketing In Singapore_ Your Essential Guide

The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) ranked Singapore #1 in the World Competitiveness Ranking 2024. IMD researched 67 countries based on the aggregation of their political, social, economic, and cultural dimensions. And Singapore came on top. 

Along with this accolade, it is apparent that Singapore has a competitive business environment. Many multinational and legacy companies have made the country their headquarters, and many vie for consumers’ attention and purchasing power. If you are a business owner in Singapore, you will need a strong marketing strategy to stand out. 

In this article, you will learn about:

  • The Singaporean consumer profile
  • Effective marketing strategies to use in Singapore

Understanding the Singaporean Market

You must study your target market before developing an effective marketing campaign. Here are some observations about the Singaporean consumer profile:

Marketing Strategies in Singapore - Singaporeans are becoming more conscious consumers

1. Singaporeans are becoming more conscious consumers

According to The Business Times, Mastercard Economics Institute (MEI) predicts that Singaporeans will tend to spend less in 2024, mainly because of inflation. Despite the decreased purchasing power, the country’s economy still booms because of external trade. 

“Its data showed that Singaporeans generally spent 5% less on travel and entertainment and 4.5% more on groceries.

At the same time, the affluent spent 2 per cent less on travel and entertainment, and 2.1 per cent more on grocery.” The Business Times further reported.

Singaporean consumers are becoming more prudent in leisure and prioritising essential needs. 

 

 

Top 5 Marketing Strategies for Promoting Your Business in Singapore - Survey results2. Singaporeans prefer shopping online and listening to reviews and experts’ opinions

Janio reported that three out of four Singaporeans above 16 years old have shopped online, and 73% have done so from stores overseas. More than their internet usage, Singaporeans prioritise time-saving.

They tend to work hard and multitask, so they want convenience in mundane things. Singaporeans tend to ditch all the lines in supermarkets and malls, order from the comfort of their homes, and check out at their fingertips. 

website design banner

Moreover, in a social commerce survey by Statista, 76% of the participants said they read reviews and check ratings online before purchasing a product.

Furthermore, 29% of the respondents also said they bought a product based on an influencer’s recommendation. 

Image source: Statista

 

Marketing Strategies in Singapore - Singaporeans are loyal customers3. Singaporeans are loyal customers

New brands are welcome in Singapore. However, many citizens still opt to buy from brands they have trusted for a long time or have relationships with. Singapore Business stated, “Seven in ten consumers are enthusiasts of loyalty programmes.”

 

4. Singaporeans tend to go cashless

The nationwide digitisation strategy provided Singapore with infrastructures like 4G and 5G, which ushers citizens towards cashless transactions. Mobile wallets, electronic transfers, and credit cards dominate the cashless scene in Singapore.

Singapore Computer Society listed the most used platforms: GrabPay, FavePay. DBS PayLah!, Singtel Dash, and EZ-link Wallet

 

Marketing strategies - Singaporeans love tech products5. Singaporeans love tech products

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Aligned with the country’s high internet usage, Singaporeans are undoubtedly tech-savvy. Statista reported that the demand for smart home devices and gaming technology drives this high revenue.

Moreover, many in Singapore are still working remotely. This work setup encouraged the Singaporean workers to upgrade their offices and equipment. 

6. Singaporeans prioritise health and wellness

Along with the country’s competitive landscape are the workforce’s stress and burnout. TodayOnline reported that nine out of ten Singaporeans felt stressed, with 16 per cent saying that the stress was not manageable. Because of this, many are gradually prioritising their health and wellness.

 

marketing strategies - Singaporean Gen Zs are the next attractive consumer segment7. Singaporean Gen Zs are the next attractive consumer segment

Gen Zs are already in the workforce. With this new surge of vigour, Gen Zs are more likely to spend their hard-earned money. Along with this young generation are their nuanced spending habits. Generally, Gen Zs’ consumer behaviours are as follows:

  • They are informed consumers. They research the product first. 
  • They need to be more brand-conscious as they prioritise good deals.
  • They love ethical brands and those with advocacies.
  • Their primary media touchpoint is social media.
  • They tend to shop online more.
  • They like personalised shopping experiences.

Now that you know who you will market to, here are some effective marketing strategies for promoting your business in Singapore.

 


5 Effective Marketing Strategies in Singapore

1. Social media marketing

Top 5 Marketing Strategies for Promoting Your Business in Singapore - WhatsApp as the favourite social media platform

Image source: We Are Social

According to We Are Social, 5.13 million, or 83% of the total population, are social media users. This staggering number shows that social networking sites are Singaporeans’ primary media touchpoints are social networking sites.

WhatsApp is the most popular site, followed by Facebook.

TikTok is also on the rise, and the platform is no longer exclusively used for entertainment. The app is becoming the current search engine of the younger generation, home to a combination of information and entertainment or ‘infotainment’.

Because reviews and user-generated content circulate on TikTok, the app is a new way to discover brands, businesses near the consumer, and many more.

 

Top 5 Marketing Strategies for Promoting Your Business in Singapore - Tyla's Water Dance Craze

 

The app is also a virality-generating machine. Because of trends, brands can easily engage their target audience and create a local or global marketing campaign. Songs of independent artists can quickly gain attention because of how TikTok can make them viral. 

A case in point is Tyla’s ‘Water’. Tyla is an artist from South Africa who then dominated the world because of the ‘Water Dance Craze,’ which made 1.5 million videos.

Since several social media platforms are on the market, and many are still budding, having a solid online presence can be taxing and expensive. As a startup business owner, you can focus on at least one social platform and establish your presence there. 

Here are some tips to be successful in solidifying an online presence:

Identify a specific brand voice

When you know your customers or who you are talking to, you can identify how you communicate with them.  Do your customers respond well to humour? Do they like memes? Do they like to be inspired?

A specific brand voice is essential to promoting retention and recognition among your audience. It will also dictate how you create content and engage with marketing campaigns. When you use your brand voice, the goal is for your customers to have an instant mental picture that your brand is speaking, not your competitors’. 

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Be human

Many use social media as their personal space; hence, your brand must level up with the users and use a human voice. It entails genuine and empathetic conversations, whether in chats or in responding to messages. Social media users also love to feel listened to. So, create content that reflects their demand and what they seek. It will give your customers a sense that they are building a relationship with your brand. 

Don’t hard-sell

No one wants the feeling of taking their money out of their pockets. However, there are ways to go about selling without the feeling of selling. Here are some tips to avoid hard-selling:

A. Inform your customers

Instead of promoting the product’s price, why not emphasise its perks and benefits? Inform your customers about how your product will impact their daily lives or make them convenient. The key is not telling them directly that they need the product. You must develop their need for it; eventually, they will buy the product.

B. Encourage FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Your customers are social beings. Most of the time, they want what others are having and experiencing. So, promoting the fear of missing out can benefit your business. You can explore creating content about the product’s life-changing effects, testimonials, and the better lifestyle it created for customers. You can also create content about events that portray your product as a hot commodity. 

Brand activations are helpful in this aspect. A case in point is Lazada’s Festive Pop-Up

Top 5 Marketing Strategies for Promoting Your Business in Singapore - Lazada's Brand Activation

Image source: CNA Lifestyle

Their activation event was an effort to boost its brand awareness. The brand installed Lazada’s iconic “heart-gram” logo using a customised LED wall. This installation encourages the participants to take social media-worthy snapshots, leading the brand to virality.

Lazada also created a mystery-prized vending machine to gift and reward the participants during the event.

C. Use compelling CTA (Call to Action)

Informing the audience about your brand will not suffice. You must use a compelling call to action to lead them to your desired action. However, it would be best if you still considered avoiding hard selling. You can lead them to visit your website, engage with the post through commenting, sharing the content, or participating in your campaign’s viral trend.

 

Top 5 Marketing Strategies for Promoting Your Business in Singapore - Sample of a Social Media CalendarBe consistent

Social media users often have short attention spans. With so many brands vying for their attention and multiple social networks, you must capture your target audiences. That’s why content consistency comes in handy. 

Your customers must constantly be reminded that you exist and know what’s happening with your brand. A content calendar can help you be consistent in social media. Below is an example of a social media calendar, as provided by Semrush

A social media calendar can be in a simple spreadsheet format. You can also utilise project management tools like Notion or Trello. The calendar consists of the following:

  1. Social media channel
  2. Date or day of posting
  3. Status
  4. Post topic
  5. Copy or caption
  6. Visual format
  7. Document links
  8. Link to the published post

Do not be overwhelmed by all the columns and rows. Let this be a helpful guide for you and your team so you can always be on top of your social media game.

Experiment with different content formats

Social media typically uses static content, such as infographics, memes, posters, or quotation cards. However, video formats, especially those in short form, have proven practical marketing tools.

Vidico reported that 90-second videos retain 50% of viewers and that revenue from short-form videos will surpass USD 10 billion in 2024. There is also a growing trend called ‘microlearning’. It involves learning through 2-5 minute videos and delivering a concise, straight-to-the-point, engaging educational experience. 

Track key metrics

After you have created all the necessary content, the next essential step is tracking your key metrics. Monitoring progress and milestones is required to measure the success of your social media campaign. According to SproutSocial, here are some helpful metrics you can consider measuring.

  1. Engagement metrics (like, follow, share, comments)
  2. Follower growth
  3. Click through rates
  4. Social media traffic
  5. Reach and impressions
  6. Conversion rates and leads generated

2. Mobile Marketing

marketing strategies - mobile marketing

Out of Singapore’s 6 million population, 5.72 million are smartphone users. As forecasted by Statista, 99.4% of the total population will be using a mobile device in 2026. Therefore, brands must pay attention to mobile marketing as mobile users in Singapore are becoming a dominant consumer segment. 

Here are some techniques to promote your product or service to mobile users:

  • Mobile websites: Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. It must provide a seamless user experience for smartphone and tablet users. 
  • SMS marketing: By sending batch SMS, you can engage your customers through texts or SMS and inform them about your current promos and offerings. Several tools, such as Brevo and Postscript, can automate this.  
  • QR codes: Singaporeans prefer cashless payments, so QR codes can ease transactions. Aside from convenience in payment, QRs can provide accessible information about a business. Some restaurants use QRs to provide digital menus to their customers, and some companies also use QRs to direct customers to their websites quickly. 
  • Augmented reality (AR): AR is an interactive experience combining real-life space with computer-generated 3D assets. Many marketing campaigns have used ARs to engage customers. A case in point is the home furnishing mammoth, Ikea.

 

Marketing Strategies for Promoting Your Business in Singapore

Ikea launched Ikea Place, an app that scans your real-life home to install the furniture you like virtually. Using the app, you can imagine your space with the particular furniture without purchasing it. It works like interior designing video games. Another example is TikTok’s AR filters. 

Image source: Gloam

Many brands are now utilising the power of TikTok virality and augmented reality. Through fun and interactive filters, brands can engage with customers without hard-selling while subliminally imprinting brand recognition.

You can also explore using AR to give your customers a sense of owning your brand while having fun. Eventually, these efforts can lead to sales conversion. 

  • Voice search optimisation: Mobile users use voice search to find what they need. The prevalence of voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant shows the widening use of voice search. According to Campaign Monitor, “The most common actions people take after performing a voice search include calling a business they found, exploring a company’s website, or visiting a local store. All of these are sales-generating actions.”
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3. SEO and SEM marketing

seo and sem as marketing strategies

Discoverability is crucial in this internet era. Quality products, good customer service, and strong brand visibility could help your brand rise above the competition. Hence, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) can be helpful. 

SEO is about optimising your website to rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs). Meanwhile, SEM is a collection of marketing efforts to attract website traffic, including organic and paid advertising. 

You need to employ both techniques if you want your business to be successful in the Singaporean competitive market. As many brands vie for overlapping customers, you need to make an extra effort to be discoverable when a customer inputs a query on the search bar. 

MediaOne can help you with this. With its decade-long experience, MediaOne has cracked the code of business visibility. Many brands partnered with MediaOne have experienced high page ranks and a boost in revenue.

 

 

4. Influencer marketing

influencer marketing strategies

Based on the above discussion about nuanced consumer behaviours, Singaporeans love checking reviews before purchasing a product. They tend to listen to authoritative voices and others’ experiences before they spend. Therefore, you must collaborate with influencers and key opinion leaders to widen your brand’s reach. 

To promote your business in a competitive market, tap the network and followers of relevant influencers and user-generated content creators. To make your business more credible, you need to have a commendation from key opinion leaders. 

A brand which aced its influencer marketing campaign is Singtel. 

Singtel wants to promote connectivity to Singapore’s senior generations. Hence, they chose Jin Jie in the campaign. During the pandemic, Jin Jie rose to fame on TikTok by participating in dance challenges.

It shows that age does not matter when learning new and modern ways, such as how to be digital-first with Singtel.

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5. Email marketing

email marketing strategies

Believe it or not, email marketing still converts to sales.

It may not be trendy, but it is effective as it has much potential for personalisation. GetResponse reported that in Singapore, the open rate is 21.67%, and the click-to-open rate is 8.23%.

engaging the top social media agency in singapore

Singapore’s data is close to the 39.64% open rate benchmark and 3.25% click-through rate. 

 

To be successful in email marketing, you can consider the following tips:

  • Use compelling subject lines
  • Identify optimal email send times
  • Send mobile-friendly emails
  • Make your CTA accessible and compelling

 

Marketing in Singapore

In summary, successful marketing in Singapore requires adapting to changes in the business landscape, staying on top of the trends, and consistently knowing the customers. Measuring metrics is also essential for long-term success. Businesses can create impactful marketing campaigns that resonate with consumers by focusing on data-driven decision-making, hyper-personalisation, and integrating online and offline experiences.

As marketers, staying agile and embracing new technologies, techniques, and trends is vital. With quality products, excellent customer service, good user experience, and engaging marketing campaigns, businesses can thrive in Singapore’s dynamic and competitive market.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the critical trends in Singapore’s marketing landscape?

  • Digital Transformation: Increased use of digital channels like social media, search engines, and email marketing.
  • Influencer Marketing: Collaborating with local influencers to reach targeted audiences.
  • Sustainability: There is a growing consumer interest in sustainable and ethical products.

How effective is digital marketing in Singapore?

Digital marketing is crucial and effective in Singapore due to high internet penetration and smartphone usage. Digital marketing efforts can widen the brand’s reach, promote authentic consumer engagement, and establish brand loyalty and relationships.

What social media platforms are most popular in Singapore?

  • Whatsapp: Currently the most popular and favourite messaging app.
  • Facebook: Widely used for both personal and business purposes.
  • Instagram: Popular among younger audiences for visual content.
  • LinkedIn: This is an essential platform for B2B marketing and professional networking.
  • TikTok: Gaining traction, especially among younger demographics.

How can businesses leverage SEO in Singapore?

  • Keyword Research: Brands need to identify how people are searching for their products. They need to know and target relevant keywords to guide them in their content creation and optimisation.
  • Local SEO: Consumers tend to find businesses of their interest near them. Brands need to utilise location tagging and optimised “Google My Business” so they are discoverable to consumers nearby. 
  • Content Quality: Creating high-quality, relevant content can highly impact your brand’s reputation. With engaging and consistent content, your brand can establish an authoritative and trusted voice among your audience.
  • Technical SEO: You must ensure your website is fast, secure, and easy to navigate. Your website being mobile-friendly is also crucial to the Singaporean market.

What role does influencer marketing play in Singapore?

Influencer marketing is highly effective in Singapore, where consumers trust recommendations from people they follow. Collaborating with influencers can help businesses increase brand awareness, build credibility, and drive sales.

How important is mobile marketing in Singapore?

Given the high smartphone penetration, mobile marketing is vital. It includes optimising websites for mobile devices, developing mobile apps, and utilising SMS marketing to reach consumers on the go.

What are the challenges of marketing in Singapore?

  • High Competition: The market is highly competitive, especially in digital channels.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Marketers must understand and respect the multicultural and multilingual landscape.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Marketing campaigns must adhere to local laws such as the PDPA for data protection.

How can businesses create effective content marketing strategies in Singapore?

  • Audience Research: You must understand your target audience’s needs, preferences, and behaviours.
  • Quality Content: Producing valuable and informative content is essential in engaging your audience. 
  • Consistency: Regularly update your blog, social media, and other content platforms.
  • Multichannel Approach: Distributing content across various channels is helpful to maximise reach and engagement.

What metrics should businesses track to measure marketing success in Singapore?

  • Website Traffic: Number of visitors to your website.
  • Conversion Rate: This is the percentage of visitors who take the desired action.
  • Engagement Rate: Interaction with your content on social media.
  • Return on Investment (ROI): Revenue generated compared to marketing spend.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.

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