What do Businesses need and should have to succeed? Grateful for the opportunity to conduct this sharing with the Exabytes SG and IMDA team. The full video is available here

Responses from participants

Experimentation Marketing or Test and Learn Marketing is a data-driven approach, increasingly being adopted by agencies around the world. It will be the norm in the coming years especially in the current climate of constant uncertainty and changes. The creation of a social media ad in the traditional sense may look like this

With Test and Learn Marketing, the creation of a social media ad might look like this

For small and micro business owners, a common key area of concern is the marketing budget. Running 3 different ads for the same content may not seem financially feasible. Having a small marketing budget does not have to keep you away from the benefits of experimentation. Some form of testing still goes a long way in improved ad performance and  reducing marketing waste compared to none.

What can you test?

Ad testing can be done on several things but test them one at a time so as to maintain the accuracy of experiments. It is quite similar to the science experiments we used to work on in our younger days. Establish your variable and keep everything else constant. Here are some areas you might consider testing

  • Ad copies
  • Image design
  • Ad type (video vs article)
  • Image layout
  • Introductions of video
  • Type of Audience
  • Marketing channel for the particular ad based on your KPIs
  • Timing effectiveness of ads

As small and micro-businesses are usually 1-2 person teams, it is beneficial to tie their personal branding to their business. In this era of information overload, people do not buy products or services. They buy from people they trust and feel a rapport with. The ones whose stories they can relate to.

Some pointers in my podcast shared for the BRIMS podcast series in celebration of World Speech Day 2021 with IWFCI Singapore.

Original link: https://player.captivate.fm/episode/103d6bfe-f4d1-4bd3-acb5-9509456e9019

Digital Marketing Trends for Singapore 2020/21

A quick summary on 2020/21 Digital Trends for Singapore based on data from ‘We Are Social’ and ‘Hootsuite’. The top 3 Social Media Goals for 2021 is interestingly led by ‘Lead Generation’ as traditionally ‘Driving Conversions’ take the top spot in a ROI focused marketplace. 

Top 3 Social Media Goals for 2021 (‘Hootsuite’)

1. Lead Generation

2. Brand Awareness

3. Drive Conversions

With the Singapore Government’s drive to increase the Digital savviness of the Merdeka Generation, there is an increased potential of reaching them in 2021 through Social Media channels such as YouTube and Facebook via carefully customised content. This group of audience are easily overlooked by Digital Marketers who tend to focus on the younger audience groups. The Merdeka Generation is a matured group of audience with a relatively high purchasing power. Marketing customised content for them will enable businesses to tap on to this niche audience group.  

Have you completed your Marketing Strategy for 2021? Send me a message if your team needs help with the planning.


Personal Branding opportunities for Freelancers while business is on hold due to Covid-19. What can we do to make the best of the current situation?

Listen to the original Apple podcast here

Detailed audience list for better engagement

“Who are your customers?”  If you do not know whom you are speaking to, then your business is speaking to an empty space. Much like screaming at folks outside from a closed room window.

When coming up with a detailed audience list, there are 2 kinds. Your current audience and your target audience.

Current Audience – These are groups of people that you are currently catering to with your specific products or services. This data could be obtained from your website traffic and social media analytics such as Facebook Insights.

Target Audience – These are the groups of people that you would like to ‘target’ in your upcoming marketing strategy or campaign. This group could be an add on to your ‘current audience’ or a completely new audience group. For instance, If you have been catering to freelancers up till now and due to the current COVID situation, you see a B2B opportunity with SMEs then this group of SMEs will become your “Target Audience”.

The more detailed your Audience list, the better is your engagement and focus.  When we talk about detail, businesses have no issues with the demographics portion. However, the psychographics is what gives you insights to their behaviour patterns and the possible points of conversion. Ask the right questions at the right time and your chances of a positive reply are higher! Let’s take a closer look at the questions that we can ask to detail our audience groups. There are more specific ways to group your audience. For ease of understanding, I have simplified it into Demographics and Psychographics. 

target audience

You could add to the above with factors that cater to your business. If you are into health food, you might wonder about their eating styles or if you are a yoga instructor, you might want to know how often they exercise.  Detail it as much as you can.

When your audience feel that you know them and ‘get them’, they will be more inclined to listen to you. With better rapport, you would be enjoying better lead conversions. 

Quick steps to improve the relevance of your Social Media contests

With the current situation encouraging more scrolls on Social Media, now might be the perfect time for contests to draw a larger following or create awareness for your brand. Here are some easy-to-implement, effective quick tips on how to make these contests relevant and successful. 

Plan your objectives

Why are you conducting the contest? Every effort needs to have an aim to reduce wastage of time and resources. Some objectives you could consider are


– To highlight a new product feature
– Create hype for a sale
– Bring forth awareness of your brand’s positioning

Do not just go for the increase in followers. An engaging contest will draw much attention to your brand and may result in an increase in followers. However, do not have that as your end goal.

Keep your entry simple

Easy to follow steps with easy entry and easy to understand incentives.

Terms and conditions that are difficult to understand will confuse your audience and discourage them from participating. This can be counter intuitive in retaining their interest in your brand or worse, have a negative impression of it. The golden rule in Social Media is always keep it easy and simple. 

Create a Clear Publicity Image

Let the image do the talking. Make the text count minimal and highlight key messages in a succinct manner.

Doing so can attract quick interest in the contest and prompt them to explore further details of the contest. Or even better, your entire Social Media page!

Consider a Partnership

Or the absence of one. The former can be through collaboration with other complementing brands or influencers (eg. featuring your contest through their insta stories or regular posts).

In order to leverage on the partnership, ensure that your partners cater to the same demographics as your target customers.

Rethink your Prizes

Will the prizes create the right impression for your brand? Having expensive prizes is a common tactic in attracting higher participation. However, it can fail to add value to your brand objectives when it diverts your target audience’s attention away from a genuine interest in your brand/products. The prizes chosen should be aligned to your brand’s values.

Ensure a smooth collection process and proper followup for winners as it can go a long way in building customer loyalty and trust. What’s the point in winning if the prizes are difficult to collect right?

Fundamentally, Social Media contests are a great way to create awareness of your brand and reach new audience groups. As more businesses are pushed to continue selling their products through online platforms as an alternative, such a tool can also give you a competitive edge in gaining interest through positive association. 

Marketing Trends to note in 2020

We are soon entering into the 2nd Quarter of the year. 2020 has started with uncertainties and fear. Which makes Relationship Marketing one of the key areas to focus on this year as businesses work on building and maintaining trust in their brands and increase their rapport with their Audience. As the economic downturn looms in the horizon, now will be a good time to assess if these trends are relatable to your business. 

Conversational marketing 

Conversational marketing is one powerful tool in making customer engagement less complicated or bureaucratic. We may have experienced it at one point or another. Either through Facebook messenger to directly text a brand to query on a product while surfing their page or chatting with a chatbot to raise an enquiry.

Where emailers may come across as impersonal, conversational tools help to bridge the distance as we put across messages in the form of direct chats. Choosing the best conversational tool for your business could directly relate to the medium that your audience is in and is convenient for you. This could be WhatsApp chats, Telegram and may not necessarily be FB messenger alone. Live customer support, Chatbots and SMS messages are some common favourites too.

One note of caution, use this only when you are able to quickly respond to the incoming chats and messages. Failing which, it remains as another redundant tool on your marketing channels further frustrating your customers.  


Video Marketing

Video Marketing is at an all-time high as the public faces Stay-Home advisories and lockdowns. “Feel Good’ and “How To” Videos have been trending high on Tik Tok. With Social Distancing in place, sellers have gone on to “FB Live’ to display their items and conduct sales while their physical stores are affected.

Work on your content by expanding them into a workable storyboard. Draw up a plan on your video medium and tools, script and sequence before you shoot for a more professional outcome.


Augmented Reality (AR) 

If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad will go to the mountain

AR brings your products/services and experiences directly to your customer wherever they are. Regardless of age, we all love (or at the very least are enamoured) by those filters and lenses which are shared across social media like wildfire. Want to draw light-hearted attention to your brand? AR is a great platform to tap into!

A platform to try on things before they purchase, a 360 degree view of the area before they rent or even a visit to the museum while seated on your couch! With MNCs like Taco Bell jumping on the bandwagon, with their own branded lens on Snapchat being the top campaign in the app’s history, there’s nothing that’s stopping you from creating your own. As all marketing trends, assess and analyse if your products or services might lend to an AR experience before you embark on this plan as the start-up costs might be on the higher side. However, the ROI on this when done right is very positive. 


Shoppable Posts

This is a dead giveaway. Catch your customer’s purchase wherever they are by making your products accessible. Shoppable posts have proven to do the trick in driving up revenues especially with Instagram users. Time to take some time off to clean up your FB shop catalogues and link them to your IG stories. Make sure that your listings are regularly updated along with your website.


Voice Search

Google Assistant, Siri, Alexa, Bixby. They are all with us on our mobile and smart assistants. With the rise of competition among the tech giants on introducing the best voice search devices to dominate market share, it will be a shame not to capitalise on the consumer’s increasing appetite and dependence on them. Allowing your products and services to be traceable by voice search is akin to opening new doors to unprecedented accessibility in households and offices.

This should be taken into account as well when purchasing your Google Ad Words. As buyers are more accustomed in conversing with Siri and Bixby, they are searching more in question format rather than keywords. What used to be searched as “Best Laptop in 2020” is now “What are the top 10 laptop brands?” Be sure to purchase keywords in questions if your budget allows for it. 

Working From Home Effectively

Working from Home or #WFH? (as it’s now said) The COVID-19 situation has forced many organisations to implement Work-From-Home and Split-Teams arrangements as part of its business continuity plans. As someone who has worked from home for years, here are some tips to increase your productivity and not submit to the lure of Netflix. 

1. Plan your Calendar 

Put aside some time to plan your next day’s to-do list. Break down your daily tasks in terms of Urgency, Importance and Effort. We are usually at our mental best in the mornings. Pushing the more important tasks that require thinking and planning to the mornings and bringing down the more routine work that requires less effort to the sleepy afternoons will help make better use of our energy. Remember to be realistic with your list as we may tend to end up working more hours when working from home!

2. Start your day right

Stretch, meditate, drop off your kids and/or have a good breakfast BUT do them all without your digital devices! Avoid checking your emails en route to the childcare or tapping on your keyboard in front of your breakfast bowl.

Starting your work before your body is warmed up for work is akin to starting your car at high gear. Shift your gears slowly. 

3. Position matters

Dedicate a spot in the house solely for work and do not use it for anything else. Though tempting, avoid working on your dining chair, bed, on the living room floor or the couch. Ensure your dedicated workspace is free of clutter for a stress free work corner. 

You could pick a spot with good ventilation, wi-fi coverage or by the window if gazing outside gives you fresh new ideas. If you have the luxury of space, you could create a spot in one of your extra rooms and place a notice outside it to indicate you are at work. Mine is a table by the corner of my living room. When my family sees me on it, they know I am at work and do not wish to be disturbed. 

4. Dress for the occasion

Off with those Pajamas! Sleepwear is a big no no for productivity as they make you feel warm, cozy, comfy aka sleepy. Shower up and change to action wear! Non sleepwear that is comfortable will wire your brain into ‘working mode’.

As I have been working from home for years, loungewear works fine for me. However, some swear by changing into their working clothes to let their brain know they are supposed to be working.

5. Work in Spurts

As much as people tend to think that people who work from home will slack off, the reverse may be true. Being at home also means that you might end up working in the early mornings or late into the nights. A strict discipline on timing will help prevent your work from eating into your personal or family time. 

A working spurt of 2 to 3 hours works best for me. After which, I get up to stretch, do some other non-work related items to reset myself. I repeat this 2 or 3 times and strictly call it a day at about 6.30 when my girl comes back from childcare. 

The timings may be different for you but it takes conscious effort to avoid working constantly without a proper break.  Good luck!

Key Learning Points from GROW Conference 2019

I had the opportunity to attend the GROW 2019 Conference by Hubspot on 4 Nov 2019 and was blown away by the substance of the conference. Based on my previous experiences, there are conferences that are organised blatantly for their lead generation and there are some which only skim the surfaces ending up in a day of sales pitches by speakers. As this was my first time attending GROW, I did not expect much and was contended being there with the marketing gurus (fangirl alert!) The conference really had some good ‘meat’ for those in the sales and marketing industries. Here are some of my key takeaways.