The uncertainty of the pandemic might be over, but marketers will continue to face many of the same challenges of the last two years, with the added wrinkle of a global recession. New joint research sponsored by CRM platform HubSpot, along with LinkedIn and conducted by YouGov, highlights the current business challenges faced by marketers in Singapore and reveals how the marketing dollar will prioritised in a tight climate to keep the brand conversation going.
More than 520 marketing decision makers based in businesses of 20+ employees in Singapore with local, regional and global headquarters were surveyed and the main findings are:
- 99% of Singapore marketers are currently facing growth challenges.
- 41% of marketers in the survey say their top priorities include initiatives to increase mindshare and brand affinity.
- However, 82% of marketing decision-makers in Singapore agree they spend too much time educating HQ on local nuances and needs.
- 47% of marketing decision-makers in Singapore say that senior leadership in regional or global offices are misaligned with local marketing teams
Marketing remains critical to continued business growth
The latest economic projections agree that it’s no longer a question of if, but when, a recession will happen. Amid this economic stress, nearly all (99%) marketers in Singapore are concerned about growth challenges.
According to the survey, four in 10 business leaders are being tactical with their marketing dollars while prioritising the need to enhance initiatives for mindshare and brand affinity, nearly three in 10 marketers are working on strategies to deliver results within the budget and the same number focusses on building brand awareness.
“Businesses are now facing the discernible impact of weakened demand leading to slower growth. This can have a profound influence on marketing budgets as well. There is a lot more scrutiny and a need to do more with less,” said Kat Warboys, director, APAC, HubSpot.
She adds: “This is also the ideal time for marketers to showcase the measurable value and impact of marketing, and how it helps brands reinforce their continued commitment and focus on their customers. If brands get this right, they can build unwavering customer loyalty which will lead to sustained business growth in the long run.”
Sarah Tucker, head of APAC marketing, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions – Enterprise talks about the challenges of juggling multiple responsibilities while aligning marketing efforts to drive business growth.
“Despite the challenges, our research shows Singapore marketers are keen to increase mindshare, affinity, and brand awareness—the key ingredients that contribute to brand growth. We know a full funnel approach will drive stronger business outcomes, but this focus also allows for marketers to invest in creativity.” said Tucker.
Headwinds can breed opportunities and better creativity
With key business priorities including increasing brand awareness and affinity, the main opportunity for business growth in the immediate future is in attracting customers with educational initiatives to help inspire loyalty and trust, according to nearly half of marketers in Singapore (44%). A third of the respondents (33%) say that new technology tools are enhancing their operations.
Singapore’s internet penetration rate currently stands at 92%, social media is undoubtedly the most successful channel (38%) for the most effective communication with customers in the island nation, followed by online video marketing (36%) and other online communities (29%). Overall, nearly all (97%) of marketers claim to have success with online or digital channels when communicating to customers, while seven in 10 (72%) say the same for other channels.
69% marketers reveal expanding locally (35%) and globally (34%), as well as regionally within APAC (28%), is a key marketing opportunity for long-term growth.
New ways of working are reframing the global vs. local marketing debate
Marketers say local requirements are kept in mind by headquarters when making decisions, however, the majority (82%) feel they spend too much time educating HQ on Singaporean nuances and needs.
47% of marketing decision-makers in Singapore say that senior leadership in regional or global offices are misaligned with local marketing teams, there is a lack of local understanding of effective channels, and in some cases, there’s an assumption that a global approach will work across countries.
Over a third (36%) of marketers believe in localising content for maximum ROI, however, the local tone, diversity and humour in campaigns is often not well understood by global offices teams.
“Marketers are the growth engine for their brands’ expansion into new territories. They understand and communicate local customer sentiment and cultural nuances, which directly feed into business acceleration strategies. This knowledge makes regional marketers hugely valuable,” said Tucker.
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