digital marketing


The digital era has opened up a plethora of marketing opportunities, and content marketing remains at the forefront of these channels.

But in an increasingly crowded online space, how can you ensure that your content marketing efforts are delivering the best possible return on investment (ROI)? 

The answer lies in using analytics to optimise your strategy. By interpreting and acting on the insights provided by analytics tools, you can refine your content marketing strategy for maximum impact and ROI.

Understanding the Importance of ROI in Content Marketing

At its core, content marketing is about providing value to your audience, building trust and authority, and, ultimately, driving profitable customer action. But how do you know if your efforts are making the desired impact? 

This is where ROI comes in. 

ROI is a crucial metric for measuring the success of your content marketing strategy. It helps you to understand the value of your investment in content marketing and identify areas for improvement.

One way to improve your ROI is to create high-quality, engaging content that resonates with your target audience. This can be achieved by conducting market research to understand your audience’s needs and preferences, and tailoring your content to meet those needs. 

For example, if you are targeting a younger audience, you may want to use more visual content such as videos and infographics, while if you are targeting an older audience, you may want to focus on more in-depth, informative content such as whitepapers and case studies.

Defining ROI in the Context of Content Marketing

ROI is a financial ratio that measures the net profit generated by an investment relative to the cost of that investment. In the context of content marketing, ROI is the return you get for the investment you make in creating, promoting, and distributing content.

This includes both the monetary cost of producing content and the time and effort involved in crafting and promoting it.

However, it’s important to note that ROI is not just about measuring the financial return on your investment. It’s also about measuring the impact of your content on your brand’s reputation, customer engagement, and overall business goals. By tracking these metrics, you can gain a more holistic understanding of the value of your content marketing efforts.

The Role of ROI in Measuring Content Marketing Success

Measuring the success of your content marketing strategy goes beyond simply tracking the number of likes, shares, or page views. While these metrics are important indicators of audience engagement, they do not necessarily translate into tangible business outcomes, such as increased sales or customer retention. 

ROI helps you to evaluate the real impact of your content marketing efforts on your business goals.

Another way to improve your ROI is to promote your content through various channels, such as social media, email marketing, and influencer outreach. By reaching a wider audience, you can increase the visibility of your content and attract more potential customers. 

Additionally, by tracking the performance of your content across different channels, you can identify which channels are most effective for driving engagement and conversions.

In conclusion, ROI is a crucial metric for measuring the success of your content marketing strategy. By understanding the value of your investment in content marketing and identifying areas for improvement, you can create more effective, engaging content that resonates with your target audience and drives profitable customer action.

Identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Content Marketing

To measure your content marketing ROI, you need to track specific metrics that align with your business objectives. These are known as key performance indicators (KPIs). It’s crucial to set SMART goals for your content marketing strategy and identify the KPIs that will help you measure progress toward those goals.

Content marketing has become an essential aspect of any business strategy. It’s an effective way to attract and engage customers, build brand awareness, and generate leads. However, to achieve these goals, you need to measure the success of your content marketing efforts. That’s where KPIs come in.

Setting SMART Goals for Your Content Marketing Strategy

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

An example of a SMART goal for a content marketing strategy might be to increase website traffic by 20% within six months. This goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant to business objectives, and has a set timeframe for achievement.

Setting SMART goals is essential for any business. It helps you focus on what you want to achieve and provides a clear roadmap for achieving those goals. 

When setting SMART goals for your content marketing strategy, you need to consider your target audience, business objectives, and available resources.

Common KPIs to Track in Content Marketing

There are several KPIs that you can use to measure the success of your content marketing strategy, including:

  • Website traffic: This KPI measures the number of visitors to your website. It’s an essential metric to track as it shows how effective your content is in attracting visitors to your site.
  • Conversion rate: This KPI measures the percentage of visitors who take a specific action on your website, such as filling out a form or making a purchase. It’s an important metric to track as it shows how effective your content is in converting visitors into leads or customers.
  • Time spent on site: This KPI measures how long visitors stay on your website. It’s an important metric to track as it shows how engaging your content is to visitors.
  • Leads generated: This KPI measures the number of leads generated from your content. It’s an important metric to track as it shows how effective your content is in generating leads for your business.
  • Sales revenue: This KPI measures the revenue generated from your content marketing efforts. It’s an important metric to track as it shows how effective your content is in driving sales for your business.

Tracking these KPIs will help you measure the success of your content marketing strategy and make data-driven decisions to improve your content and achieve your business objectives.

Using Analytics Tools for Content Marketing

Content marketing is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy, and to ensure its effectiveness, it is crucial to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and measure your content marketing return on investment (ROI). One of the most effective ways to do this is by using analytics tools. 

Analytics tools provide you with a wealth of information on your website traffic, audience behaviour, and content performance. 

By tracking metrics such as page views, bounce rate, and time on site, you can gain valuable insights into how your content is performing and make data-driven decisions to improve your strategy. 

Google Analytics for Content Performance Measurement

Google Analytics is one of the most widely used web analytics tools and provides a wealth of information on website traffic, audience behaviour, and content performance. 

It allows you to track metrics such as page views, bounce rate, and time on site, and set up custom dashboards to help you visualise and interpret your data. 

With Google Analytics, you can also track the performance of specific pages or content types, such as blog posts or videos, to gain insights into what is resonating with your audience.

Furthermore, Google Analytics provides you with information on the demographics of your audience, including age, gender, and location. This data is invaluable when creating targeted content that resonates with your audience.

Social Media Analytics for Audience Engagement

Social media platforms are also valuable sources of data when it comes to tracking engagement with your content.

For example, Facebook Insights allows you to see metrics such as page follows, post reach, and engagement rate, while Twitter Analytics lets you track tweet impressions and engagement. 

By monitoring your social media analytics, you can gain insights into what types of content are resonating with your audience and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Additionally, social media analytics can help you identify key influencers in your industry who can help amplify your content and reach a wider audience.

Email Marketing Analytics for Subscriber Growth

Email marketing is a powerful tool for nurturing leads and building relationships with your audience. Email service providers like Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor offer analytics tools to help you track subscriber growth, open rates, click-through rates, and other important performance metrics. 

By monitoring these metrics, you can gain insights into what types of content are resonating with your subscribers and adjust your email marketing strategy accordingly.

Furthermore, email marketing analytics can help you identify opportunities to segment your audience and create targeted campaigns that speak directly to their needs and interests. By sending the right message to the right person at the right time, you can maximise the impact of your email marketing efforts.

Analysing and Interpreting Content Marketing Data

Once you have collected your data, it’s time to analyse it and draw insights that can inform your content marketing strategy. 

Analysing your data involves identifying trends and patterns, understanding audience behaviour and preferences, and evaluating the effectiveness of different content formats.

Identifying Trends and Patterns in Content Performance

Looking for patterns or trends in your data can give you a better understanding of what content resonates with your audience. For example, if you notice that certain blog topics consistently generate high levels of engagement, you may want to produce similar content in the future.

Understanding Audience Behaviour and Preferences

Analytics tools can help you gain valuable insights into your audience’s behaviour and preferences. For instance, if you notice that a particular type of content is getting a lot of views but has a high bounce rate, it may indicate that the content is not sufficiently relevant or engaging to your audience.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Different Content Formats

By tracking the performance of different content formats, such as blog posts, videos, or infographics, you can determine which formats resonate best with your audience. This information can help you adjust your content strategy accordingly and focus your efforts on the formats that deliver the best results.

Optimising Your Content Marketing Strategy Based on Analytics Insights

Armed with the insights gained from your analytics data, you can begin to optimise your content marketing strategy for maximum impact and ROI. 

This involves adjusting content topics and formats for better engagement, improving content distribution and promotion tactics, and testing different approaches to continuously improve your strategy.

Adjusting Content Topics and Formats for Better Engagement

Use your analytics data to identify which content topics and formats are resonating best with your audience, and adjust your content strategy accordingly. For example, if you notice that your audience is highly engaged with video content, you may want to produce more video content in the future.

Improving Content Distribution and Promotion Tactics

Just as important as creating great content is ensuring that it reaches the right audience. Use your analytics insights to determine which distribution channels are most effective for your content and adjust your promotion tactics accordingly. This may involve experimenting with different social media platforms, email marketing campaigns, or influencer outreach strategies.

A/B testing for continuous improvement

A/B testing involves running two versions of a piece of content, such as two different email subject lines or two different social media ads, and measuring their performance to determine which version is more effective. 

By continuously testing different approaches, you can refine your content marketing strategy and continually improve your ROI.

Wrapping up on ROI for Content Marketing

Measuring the ROI of your content marketing efforts is essential to maximising your business impact. By using analytics tools to track performance, analysing data to gain insights, and optimising your strategy accordingly, you can ensure that your content marketing efforts deliver the best possible ROI.

Since its inception, Instagram has evolved into a dominant force in brand advertising, boasting a user base of over 2 billion active users and high levels of engagement. It is essential to stay up-to-date with the most effective methods for optimising your Instagram presence. If you are currently reading this, it may be time to refresh your understanding of Instagram advertising.

Here are all the things you need to know about advertising on Instagram from its features, pros and cons, and what are the best practices to maximise it.

Instagram Advertising: What is it?

Advertising on Instagram refers to the practice of promoting products, services, or brands through sponsored posts, stories, or ads on the Instagram platform. 

These ads can be in the form of photos, videos, carousels, and more. They can be targeted to specific audiences through demographic, location, and behaviour-based targeting options. 

Advertising on Instagram is definitely an effective way for you to reach and engage with your target audience, increase brand awareness, and drive sales and conversions.

Important Features

In Instagram advertising or Instagram ads, you can leverage visually appealing content to reach a large and engaged audience through a robust platform. With a wide range of ad formats and targeting options, you have the flexibility to create campaigns that align with your objectives and resonate with your target audience.

Two key features of Instagram advertising are boosting posts and creating campaigns:

Boosting Posts 

Boosting allows you to promote your existing posts to a larger audience, beyond just their followers. 

This is a simple way to increase visibility and reach for specific posts, without the need for a full advertising campaign. By selecting the post to boost, you can choose the target audience, budget, and duration of the promotion. You can learn more about how to boost your Instagram posts here.


Campaigns offer a more comprehensive approach to advertising on Instagram. This feature allows brands to create and run multiple ads as part of a larger campaign, with the option to target different audiences and test different ad formats and creatives. 

Additionally, you can track the performance of the ads and make adjustments to optimise your campaigns. With campaigns, you can achieve greater scale and impact with creative advertising practices on Instagram.

Pros & Cons

Pros & Cons of Instagram Ads InfographicPros of Instagram Advertising

Large Audience

With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram offers a vast audience for advertisers to target.

Visual Platform

Instagram is a visually-driven platform, which makes it perfect for showcasing products and services in an attractive and appealing way.

Targeted Advertising

It offers various targeting options based on interests, behaviours, and demographics, allowing advertisers to reach their desired audience.

High Engagement Rate

It also has a high engagement rate, meaning that people are more likely to interact with content on the platform compared to other social media platforms.

Cons of Instagram Advertising:


The cost of advertising on Instagram can be higher compared to other platforms, especially for popular keywords and target audiences.

Algorithm Changes

Instagram’s algorithm is constantly changing, making it difficult for advertisers to reach their target audience organically.


With more businesses advertising on the platform, it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd and get noticed by potential customers.

Limited Action Options

Instagram advertising options are limited to clicks to websites, profile visits, and direct messages, which may not be suitable for all businesses.

How To Get Started

How To Get Started On Instagram AdsIf you’re considering using Instagram advertising for your brand, 2Stallions can help you with that!


Here are six simple steps to get you started:

Creating an Ad Account 

The first step in advertising on Instagram is to create an ad account. This can be done through Meta Business Suite, which allows you to manage your Instagram advertising alongside your Facebook advertising.

Defining Your Target Audience

Once you have an ad account set up, the next step is to define your target audience. Instagram offers various targeting options based on interests, behaviours, and demographics, allowing you to reach your desired audience effectively.

Choosing Your Ad Format

Instagram offers several ad formats, including photo, video, carousel, and story ads. You can choose the format that best fits your business goals and target audience.

Creating Your Ad

After selecting your ad format, you can create your ad by uploading images or videos and adding text and a call-to-action. You can also choose to target specific locations and select your preferred budget and bidding options.

Launching Your Ad

Once your ad is created, it’s time to launch it. Instagram’s advertising platform will review your ad and make sure it meets its advertising policies. After it’s approved, your ad will be live and start reaching your target audience.

Measuring Results

Finally, you can measure the success of your advertising campaign through the analytics available in your Instagram ad account. You can track metrics such as impressions, reach, engagement, and conversions to see how your ad is performing and make any necessary changes.

Who Should Use Instagram Advertising

Instagram advertising is a perfect tool for a variety of businesses, especially those in e-commerce, business-to-consumer (B2C), direct-to-consumer (D2C), industries that rely on visuals, service-based businesses, local businesses, and non-profit organisations.

How Much Does Instagram Advertising Cost?

The cost of Instagram advertising can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the ad format, targeting options, industry, competition, and budget. 

Instagram uses a bidding system, which means that the cost is determined by how much advertisers are willing to pay for their ads to be shown to their target audience. The cost can be based on cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-impression (CPM), or cost-per-action (CPA) models.

It is best to use Instagram’s advertising platform to set a budget and determine the actual cost of advertising for your specific campaign. Alternatively, you can learn more about setting the right budget through Meta’s Ad Guide.

Best Practises For Instagram Advertising to Achieve Marketing Goals

Best Practises For Instagram Advertising InfographicDefine Your Target Audience

Knowing your target audience is essential for any advertising campaign. Instagram’s advertising platform allows you to target users based on factors such as age, location, interests, and more. By targeting the right audience, you can increase the chances of your advertisements being seen by users who are most likely to engage with your brand.

Use Visually Appealing Content

Instagram is a visual platform, and users are more likely to engage with visually appealing content. Use high-quality images or videos that showcase your products or services in an attractive way. Utilise Instagram’s various ad formats, such as carousels, stories, and reels, to create a more dynamic and engaging experience for users.

Utilise Instagram’s Call-To-Action (CTA) Features

Use Instagram’s built-in CTA features, such as “Shop Now” or “Learn More,” to drive users to take specific actions, such as visiting your website or making a purchase. By making it easy for users to take the next step, you can increase the chances of converting them into customers.

Track And Analyse Performance

Instagram provides detailed insights and analytics that allow businesses to track the performance of their advertisements. Use this information to make informed decisions about future campaigns, such as adjusting your target audience, changing your ad format, or modifying your CTA.

Use Influencer Marketing

Partner with influencers who have a large following in your target audience. By having influencers promote your products or services, you can reach a new, engaged audience and increase brand awareness.

Wrapping Up

Instagram advertising is a powerful tool that can help businesses and individuals connect with a vast and engaged audience, leading to higher brand awareness, engagement, and conversions. 

By leveraging the various ad formats and targeting options available on Instagram, you can create compelling campaigns that resonate with your target audience and drive real results for your business.

If you are looking to maximise the potential of Instagram advertising and build your brand presence, look no further than 2Stallions. We’re passionate about helping businesses of all sizes succeed, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you create an effective Instagram advertising strategy that drives real results for your business!

Facebook advertising is a powerful tool for any business.

With over 2.8 billion monthly active users, Facebook is one of the most used social media platforms in the world. 

Aside from being a popular social network for individuals, it is also a powerful platform for businesses to promote their products or services to a wider audience. Facebook provides cost-effective and efficient marketing tools to help businesses reach their target audiences and achieve their goals. 

Here is how your business can benefit from advertising on Facebook:

4 Key Benefits of Advertising on Facebook

Both big and small businesses can benefit from advertising on Facebook. Here are 4 key benefits of advertising on Facebook that might help you get started. 

1. Wide Audience Reach

With a wide audience reach, Facebook offers businesses access to an audience diverse in age, location, and interests. Through Facebook’s advanced targeting options and demographic, businesses can target their ideal audience and reach people who are most likely to be interested in their products or services.

2. Cost-Effective

Advertising on Facebook is an affordable way for small and medium-sized businesses to promote their products or services, making it a great option for them. Facebook’s range of ad formats can cater to different budgets, and businesses can set their ad spend according to their budget.

3. Advanced Targeting Options

Facebook’s advanced targeting options enable businesses to reach their ideal audience based on factors such as demographics, interests, behaviours, and location. Helping businesses create ads that are relatable and relevant to their target audience increases the chance of conversion that benefits the business.

4. Measurable Results

Aside from advanced targeting, Facebook also provides a range of metrics to measure the performance of ads. Businesses can track metrics such as ad reach, impressions, clicks, and conversions, which helps in terms of optimizing ads and improving ROI.

6 Top Tips for Creating Successful Facebook Ads

Successful Facebook advertising campaigns start with a systematic approach. Here are 6 tips you can use to create engaging Facebook ads campaigns to suit your audience. 

1. Define Your Objectives

Before creating a Facebook ad, it is essential to define your objectives. Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, or generate leads? To create ads that are relevant to your goals and increase your chance of success, your business needs to define your objectives.  

2. Choose the Right Ad Format

Facebook offers a range of ad formats, including image ads, video ads, carousel ads, and more. Selecting ad formats that best suit your objectives, ensures your ads resonate with your target audience.

3. Use High-Quality Visuals

Visuals are an essential component of Facebook ads. For example, you can capture the attention of your audience through high-quality images or videos that are relevant to your ad. Avoid using stock photos and opt for original visuals representing your brand and message.

4. Write Compelling Ad Copy

The ad copy is another crucial element of Facebook ads. Write a concise and compelling copy that communicates your message and encourages your audience to take action. Ads with clear call-to-action that directs your audience to the next step, such as visiting your website or contacting your business are always the best. 

5. Use Advanced Targeting Options

Use Facebook’s advanced targeting options so that your business reaches its ideal audience. These options target people based on their demographics, interests, behaviours, and location. When you know your target audience, it is easier to create relevant ads to increase the chances of conversion.

6. Test and Optimize

Testing and optimizing your Facebook ads are essential phases you need to do to improve ads performance and ROI. Test different ad formats, visuals, copy, and targeting options to identify what works best for your audience. Use the insights gained to optimize your ads and improve ads’ effectiveness.

Expand Your Reach With Facebook Ads

Businesses can reach a wider audience and achieve their marketing goals through Facebook advertising. It is a powerful tool for businesses in this digital age.  

With its advanced targeting options, cost-effective pricing, and measurable results, Facebook provides businesses with an effective platform to promote their products or services. 

With these tips, businesses can create successful Facebook ads that resonate with their target audience to increase their ROI.

Let’s explore our in-depth tips and tricks when advertising on Facebook. 

The F&B (food and beverage) industry moves fast on a bad day. On a good day, it’s one of the fastest-evolving industries on the planet.

Digital marketing acceleration plays a dominant role in this industry, propelling it forward at lightning speed!

In this issue of the Marketing Expert Series, we are in for a tasty treat. Secret Recipe’s Evelyn Lee, the company’s Head of Marketing for Malaysia, joins us to talk about marketing strategies and tactics during and post-Pandemic.

In particular, she shares some deep insights into the impact of digital marketing acceleration and how she and her team have grown closer together to keep up with the ever-advancing pace of the industry they call home.

Hi, Evelyn, thank you for joining us in our Marketing Expert Series. Let’s kick off with a little background, can you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get to where you are now? 

Interestingly enough, my journey actually began in a bank! Three years later, I then moved into F&B where my true passion lay, landing a role at Classic Fine Foods, a leading gourmet and ingredients supplier in Malaysia.

During the height of the third-wave coffee movement, we opened the first coffee training school in South East Asia, Universita del Caffe Della Malaysia in partnership with illycaffe in Italy.

Nine years on, I was presented with the opportunity to join Secret Recipe Cakes and Café.

At Secret Recipe, effective marketing strategies and a supportive team resulted in a proven track record of awards for the brand, namely, ‘Brand of the Year’ by World Branding Awards from Kensington Palace, London and Platinum for ‘Best Brand’ and ‘Best in Marketing’ by Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) for both 2018 and 2019.

In fact, just last week, we took home ‘Malaysian Business of the Year’, Platinum for ‘Best Brand’ and Platinum for the newly introduced category ‘Best Halal Product or Service’ at SOBA 2022.

You’re the Head of Marketing at Secret Recipe Cakes & Cafe in Malaysia. Please tell us a bit about Secret Recipe and the company’s product philosophy.

With a history spanning 26 years, our vision has always been to establish ourselves as a top-tier industry leader by consistently delivering high-quality products that exceed our customers’ expectations. Our team is committed to going above and beyond by implementing innovative ideas and continuous improvements to meet our goals.

The market is highly competitive, and we use various marketing channels throughout the year to showcase our new and exciting hot meals and cakes to keep our customers engaged. However, introducing new products alone is not enough, so we also collaborate with different parties and brands to keep our brand top of mind and close to our customers’ hearts.

As marketers, it is crucial to stay informed of the latest industry trends and always be open to learning and adapting.

What role do you play as Head of Marketing at Secret Recipe? Is there a part of your role you enjoy most?

As a marketer, you will always wear more than one hat. You have to be the marketing strategist, the social media strategist, the content strategist, the creative director, the budget specialist, the coach and a whole host of other things.

I can’t tell you which of them I enjoy the most but I love the unpredictability. I love the challenges, the new things that are thrown your way, obligating you to navigate.

For example, look at the buzz and concern ChatGPT has created – instead of it being a threat, how can we learn from it? That should be our focus.

You’ve worked at Secret Recipe for more than 7 years now, and before that, you were with Classic Fine Foods for nearly 9 years. What drew you to the F&B industry as a marketer?

People say FMCG is fast, but personally, I feel F&B is even faster.

Your response time to market situations has to be on point and you must be able to scale quickly. It keeps me on my toes, and I learn more and that’s what I love about marketing.

There’s always something new to learn!

Is there an experience or moment you’re most proud of during your career to date?

One of the moments that I am most grateful for is when we won Platinum for ‘Best in Marketing’ at SOBA for 2018 and 2019. Another is when I was invited to be a panel speaker at DigiBranCon 2.0, last October.

But if I am to be perfectly honest, I am the proudest of my team, how far we have come and grown together in 7 years. Some have since left, but I am very proud to see how they have grown in their new roles.

(Side note: do not try to headhunt my team members.😉)

The F&B industry was heavily affected by the Pandemic. What lasting impact do you believe the pandemic’s forced acceleration of digital transformation has had on the industry?

The two years of the pandemic forced the F&B industry to grow digitally, which is something that might have taken five years or more normally. That being said, digital adoption and transformation will not slow down and we shouldn’t stop and go back to the conventional ways of doing things.

People changed, and consumers’ buying behaviour changed as well. I believe many industries are accelerating digitalisation as we have to be open to the new technologies and trends coming our way.

Do you think that this impact has permanently changed how you and your team go about your work? Where do you see your strategies going in the next few years?

My team grew very close together during the pandemic and it has shown us that we can do things that are beyond our expectations.

The sense of emotional closeness other than just the professional relationship makes us work together much more cohesively.

One thing that I realised during the pandemic was that we cannot work alone and in silos. As individuals, we all require assistance and collaboration with each other. I cannot foresee exactly what will happen in the next few years but on a personal level, I will continue to connect with my team both professionally and emotionally.

Any advice you’d give to young and/or aspiring marketers? 

This will sound corny but I am going to quote “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Always have the perseverance to test and learn. Humility is key since there will always be something that you don’t know, but it doesn’t mean you can’t learn!

It’s been great to learn more about you and your work, Evelyn, thank you for sharing. How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you or Secret Recipe?

Connect with me on LinkedIn!

There’s no doubt about it that we live in a crazy digital age that’s packed with data.

Especially in the marketing field. 

Businesses are constantly collecting and analysing data to make informed decisions about their marketing strategies. The funny thing is that most marketers still struggle with a very fundamental fact: being data-informed and data-driven are not the same thing!

There’s no denying that digital marketing has evolved. We are facing new technologies and data analytics tools almost every day! 

The double-edged sword of this, however, is that marketers now have more data at their disposal than ever before. 

As a result, marketers must choose between two approaches: data-informed marketing and data-driven marketing. Both are – obviously – reliant on data, but they differ in their underlying philosophy, goals, and methodologies. 

Let’s see how:

Data-Informed vs. Data-Driven Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Being data-informed means using data to aid your decision-making process. 

It’s all about using data to gain insights and understanding but ultimately, the final decision is based on human judgement. 

Data-driven marketing, on the other hand, relies on making decisions based solely on data. It’s about using data to set objectives, make decisions, and measure success.

According to Dhawal Shah, 2Stallions Managing Director, in an interview given at the Programmatic Pioneers Summit 2023: there are pros and cons to both approaches. Being data-informed allows for a more balanced decision-making process that takes both data and human judgement into account.

Essentially, data-informed marketing tips the hat to the fact that while data is valuable it doesn’t always tell the whole story, often overlooking other considerations such as customer experience, brand identity, and business goals. 

By combining data with human judgement, businesses can make more informed decisions that take into account the bigger picture.

However, being data-informed also has its limitations. Too much data can bog marketers down, or worse, overwhelm them in the attempt to analyse it. In addition, marketers might interpret the data differently, leading to different conclusions and decisions.

On the other hand, being data-driven can provide a more objective and measurable approach to marketing… 

Let’s dive a little deeper:

What is Data-informed Marketing, really?

Data-informed marketing is an approach that uses data to inform decisions, rather than drive them. 

Data-informed marketers don’t only look at the analytics and metrics that they gather using platforms and tools. They also gain insight from other sources like customer feedback and market research. This offers a glimpse into the actual human sentiment behind the data that they need to consider.

The trick is, of course, to then use this insight to create a more personalised and effective marketing strategy and campaign.

Pros and Cons of Data-informed Marketing

Using data-informed marketing to create these kinds of personalised and relevant campaigns is one of the key strengths behind data-informed marketing.

Campaign messaging and other content can resonate better with target audiences. 

This strategy is also more flexible than data-driven marketing, allowing for on-the-fly tweaks based on real-time feedback and new data.

The downside, however, is that it can be limited by the quality and quantity of the data that comes in. If data is incomplete or inaccurate, marketers could make decisions based on flawed assumptions, which can lead to ineffective campaigns. 

Additionally, data-informed marketing may not be suitable for all industries or products, as some customers may not have a strong online presence or may not be as responsive to digital marketing efforts.

So what is Data-driven Marketing then?

Data-driven marketing, on the other hand, is an approach that relies heavily on data to drive decisions. 

Data-driven marketers use data analytics tools to gather, analyse, and interpret large amounts of data, such as customer purchase history, web traffic, and social media engagement. They then use this information to make data-backed decisions about marketing strategies, targeting, and messaging.

Pros and Cons of Data-driven Marketing

One of the main advantages of data-driven marketing is its ability to deliver more precise targeting and personalisation. 

By analysing vast amounts of data, data-driven marketers can create highly specific customer segments and tailor marketing messages to each segment.

Data-driven marketing is also more efficient than data-informed marketing, as it can automate many processes, such as A/B testing and optimisation.

One of the downsides of data-driven marketing is that it can sometimes overlook the human element of marketing. While data can provide valuable insights into customer behaviour, it may not always capture the full context of the customer’s needs or emotions. 

Additionally, data-driven marketing can be expensive and time-consuming, as it requires advanced analytics tools and skilled professionals to interpret the data.

Final Thoughts: Benefits of Data-informed and Data-driven Marketing for Marketers and Brands

Both data-informed and data-driven marketing have their unique benefits, and the choice between the two depends on the marketing goals and resources of the brand. Data-informed marketing is ideal for brands that want to create personalised, relevant campaigns, but may not have the resources or infrastructure to implement advanced analytics tools. 

Data-driven marketing is suitable for brands that want to leverage data to drive growth and achieve more precise targeting but may have more significant budgets and more complex marketing needs.

Where does that leave us then?

That really depends on your resources and desired outcomes.

In essence, data-informed and data-driven marketing are two approaches that use data to inform or drive marketing decisions. While both approaches have their pros and cons, they can offer significant benefits for marketers and brands, such as more personalised targeting, higher engagement, and increased ROI. 

Looking to get a bigger picture on your own data-driven or data-informed marketing strategies? Or just want to get started? We can help – our team of experienced marketers can help you implement a bespoke strategy that is aimed at helping you achieve your business goals.

Fintech. It’s a sector we’ve been hearing – and talking – about a lot for the past five years.

And the conversation isn’t going to stop any time soon.

When you grow up with a strong work ethic and a passion for taking on new challenges, there’s no doubt that you’ll do well in life. That you’ll be drawn to situations and opportunities that others might find daunting.

In this issue of the Marketing Expert Series, we meet Robin Ang – co-founder and Group CEO of Finology. Those of you who have been following this Series will remember that we spoke with Finology’s Head of Marketing, Vahid Ebrahimi, in a previous issue.

This time around, we deep dive into the why’s and wherefores behind the founding of Finology – a company that continues to grow, evolve and provide fintech innovations and solutions to an ever-changing society.

Hi, Robin, thank you for joining us in our Marketing Expert Series. Let’s kick off with a little context, can you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get to where you are now? 

Sure. Growing up in a family of restaurateurs, entrepreneurship is second nature to me. I was raised in a humble environment where I learned the importance of hard work, people, innovation, perseverance, and passion in approaching life’s challenges. This has taught me to remain optimistic in the face of setbacks and maintain a positive outlook.

Building on this foundation with over two decades of entrepreneurial experience, I am now eager to tackle innovative ideas in the Fintech industry.

I am drawn to this rapidly growing field because it offers ample opportunities for investment and development in areas such as lending, insurance, real estate, and automotive. I am also passionate about finding ways to empower individuals and help businesses become sustainable and effective.

You’re the co-founder and group CEO of Finology. In a previous interview in this Series, we spoke with Vahid Ebrahimi Fakhari, Finology’s Head of Marketing, we touched on the importance of fintech and the innovations Finology stands for. What led you to found Finology and what role do you believe the company will play in the future?

By 2017, my partner, Jared Lim, and I had already established a reputable presence in the financial industry through Loanstreet, a consumer financial marketplace that we co-founded in 2012.

It is incredibly fulfilling to see the impact our technology has had on so many people, from uncles and aunties to young families and new professionals, all of whom have been able to access affordable credit and improve their lives in so many ways.

However, we realised there was still much more to be done. We observed a growing frustration with manual loan application processes that were slow, cumbersome, and lacking in accessibility. This sparked our mission to create a financial solution that would eliminate these barriers and make financial products accessible and seamless for all.

And so, Finology was born – a name inspired by the idea that finance can be accelerated through technology. Our mission is to make financial products accessible and seamless for everyone, everywhere.

Can you tell us about some of the most effective strategies that you and the team at Finology have implemented in recent years? Is there an achievement you’re most proud of?

We’ve got a couple of tricks up our sleeves that have helped us achieve great things over the past few years. For starters, we’ve invested a lot of resources into technology to make our solutions even better and give our clients a top-notch user experience. We’ve also joined forces with some of the biggest names in finance, as well as consumer brands and platforms to broaden our reach and offer more services to our valued clients.

As for what we’re proud of, there are two things that stand out. Firstly, the recognition we’ve received from the industry. Being named one of the best fintech companies in the Asia Pacific region by leading publications is a huge deal for us. It’s a reflection of all the hard work our team puts in, and we’re determined to keep raising the bar.

And secondly, but most importantly, is the trust our clients have in us. Our client retention is key to our success, and it’s amazing to see our clients coming back for more and more solutions. We feel incredibly fortunate to have such fantastic support from our clients.

The world has changed in the last few years, with the Pandemic and the shift in the economy, how has Finology been impacted by these changes?

The pandemic has definitely kicked things into high gear in the financial world. All of a sudden, there’s a huge demand for digital transformation, and that’s led to some exciting partnerships and collaborations between traditional finance players and fintech/insurtech companies like us.

We think this is all for the better, as it’s creating new opportunities to make finance more accessible and user-friendly for everyone. At Finology, we’re making the most of these changes by always improving our solutions and building relationships with even more partners.

Another silver lining of this global crisis is that it has pushed countries that were behind the times in terms of technology to catch up faster. This means a bigger market for us to explore and serve. It’s a pretty exciting time to be in finance, right?

How did the developments over the last few years affect your strategies as both co-founder and Group CEO?

The past few years have been a rollercoaster, and we’ve had to roll with the punches. To keep up with the changing landscape, we’ve sharpened our focus on making our end-to-end solutions even better for our clients. We’re also staying ahead of the game by investing in technology and building strong partnerships.

On top of that, we’ve put together a team for business development and marketing to boost our growth in the local market while making a name for ourselves regionally. It’s been a lot of work, and we look forward to seeing our efforts pay off.

In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges facing the fintech industry today?

One of the biggest challenges facing the fintech industry is regulation. As the industry grows, we must have clear guidelines in place to protect consumers and ensure stability in the financial system. The challenge is finding the right balance between innovation and protection.

Another challenge is the constantly-evolving consumer expectations. We believe in staying ahead of the curve and continue to offer unique solutions that make a difference in people’s lives.

Finally, data privacy and security are top concerns. With more and more financial transactions happening online, companies must implement strong security measures to protect their client’s sensitive information. At the same time, we must also make sure we are transparent about our data practices and give people control over their information.

How have these challenges affected the direction and strategies you’ve implemented with Finology?

Challenges keep us focused, reminding us to stay ahead of the curve and to continuously innovate.

Where do you see the overall fintech sector heading in the next five to ten years?

In the coming years, we’re bound to see some exciting changes in the fintech world. Advances in technology and shifts in consumer behaviour will continue to drive growth and development.

Here are a few trends that we’re watching closely:

  • More and more people are turning to digital and mobile banking services.
  • Alternative lending and investment options are becoming increasingly popular.
  • Technology is helping to bring financial services to people who were previously “underbanked.”
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming more integrated into financial services.
  • Financial wellness and education are becoming a bigger priority for everyone.

All in all, the fintech sector is poised to play a vital role in shaping the future of finance and financial services. We’re eager to see what the next decade brings!

With all the digital disruption industry and the fintech innovation we’re seeing now, do you believe that there will be a continuing need for a human touch amongst all this technological advancement?

Definitely. While technology is advancing rapidly, it’s unlikely that it will completely replace human interaction in finance. People still value the personal connection and human empathy that comes with financial advice and support.

For example, even though Finology offers end-to-end digital solutions, we still give room for manual intervention. This is especially true when it comes to outlier financial decisions and circumstances.

So, I believe there will always be a need for a human touch in the fintech industry, complementing technological advancements.

Any advice you’d give to aspiring fintech entrepreneurs and marketers? 

I’d say, first, find a real pain point in finance and create a solution that solves it. That’s how you’ll stand out from the crowd. Second, reach out to others in the industry, build partnerships and learn from their experiences. Lastly, don’t be afraid to test and make changes to your product or marketing strategy based on customer feedback. Continuously improve to meet the evolving needs of your target audience.

It’s been great to learn more about you and your work, Robin, thank you for sharing your experience and insights with us. How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you or Finology?

You can connect with me on Linkedin and, visit to know more about what we do as a company.

Did you know that the majority of the digital marketing experts we have featured in this Series came into their careers by accident rather than by design? In fact, most of them tell the story that they were in a different line of work and were either nudged by others or made their own choices to enter a digital marketing role.

Not so with today’s interviewee! 

Mark Ong is the Corporate Marketing Director for Phoenix Contact, and he got there by studying Marketing Communications at school. 

From there, Mark has built himself a strong, successful career in the digital marketing sector, working with companies like Honeywell. 

Join us then, for exciting insights into Mark’s career and achievements in this issue of the Marketing Expert Series!

Hi, Mark! Welcome! Thank you for joining us in our Marketing Expert Series. Let’s kick off with some background, please tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get to where you are now? 

Thank you, it’s a pleasure to be here. I think I am very fortunate because I am working in an area which I studied in school (Marketing Communications). I have been in marketing for more than 17 years and serving in a leadership position for 9 of these years.

I am currently the Corporate Marketing Director for Phoenix Contact and part of the management team. Prior to Phoenix Contact, I was working as the APAC MARCOM Leader for Honeywell, which is a Fortune 100 US Conglomerate.

You’re the Corporate Marketing Director (SEA) of Phoenix Contact. Can you tell us about Phoenix Contact and the solutions the company offers? 

Phoenix Contact is a German company, founded in 1923. This year marks our 100th years anniversary, which is a tremendous milestone for any company to achieve. We manufacture electrical components and connectors for a wide array of industries such as Oil & Gas, Telecommunications, Water & Waste Water, Machine Building, Infrastructure as well as E-Mobility. 

The world has changed in the last few years, with the Pandemic and the shift in the economy, how has Phoenix Contact been impacted by these changes?

Thanks to the wide breadth of products and solutions that we carry (we offer > 100,000 products) for various industries, we were thankfully not heavily impacted by the pandemic. This is because when 1 industry is down, another industry will inevitably pick up. For instance, during the Energy crisis a few years ago (which is one of our main industries), Machine Building picked up and we enjoyed tremendous growth from it. 

How did the developments over the last few years affect your strategies as  Phoenix Contact’s Corporate Marketing Director for Southeast Asia? 

We built up our marketing and technology stack and implemented tools to aid in our digital transformation, making us more agile and harnessing the power of automation to increase the productivity and efficiency of our team. For instance, during the initial stages of COVID when there were no physical events, we switched really quickly to webinars and live streaming.

I also realized that because of the pandemic, the majority of people will be working from home and thus consumption of content will have to change. Therefore, I invested in building up our very own media centre here in Singapore (about 1,500 sqft) where we can produce and edit local content for SEA. 

Tell us about some of the most effective digital strategies that you’ve implemented in recent years. Is there a strategy or campaign you’re most proud of?

We have done many great campaigns over the years, but the one that I am most proud of is our social media strategy shift. Being a B2B company, we used to post photos of our products on social media together with the USP of the product.

However, 2 years ago, I implemented a strategy shift whereby the theme and focus of our social media posts are socially relatable. In other words, we moved away from posting product photos as the highlight, but rather utilize visuals and texts that would easily be understood at a glance even by a non-engineer. 

I subscribe to the belief that even though we are a B2B company, ultimately the people using our products and solutions are humans, so essentially we are marketing as a B2C. 

This paradigm shift in strategy helped us to more than 3X our engagement rate with our customers and increase our followers on social media by more than 20%.

How do you stay up to date with the latest digital marketing technologies and tools?

By being on the ground and keeping yourself updated on the latest news. For instance, I read daily technology websites such as Ars Technica, Fast Company, The Verge etc. and attend marketing events (as either a speaker or as a participant).

This helps me to build up my understanding of the ever-evolving digital landscape. 

In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges facing marketers and digital experts in your industry today?

We work with a tremendous amount of big data, but I feel that many marketers are not harnessing this data effectively to drive business decisions. For instance, many marketers would have KPIs such as open rate, CTR, impressions etc. These in my opinion are great to have, but how does it truly advance the business? Therefore, the KPIs that I set for my team are more marketing revenue driven – for instance, the number of MQLs, the value of opportunities generated from these MQLs, the conversion rates etc.

If you think about it, oftentimes, when there is a retrenchment exercise, marketing is often one of the first to go. Why is it? This is because many people view marketing as a cost centre and not a profit centre. 

And in other to be a profit centre, we need to start by adjusting our mindset to be more revenue and results focused. 

Where do you see Industry 4.0 heading in the next five to ten years? Will we get to a point where we’re living in a fully automated and ‘smart’ world?

We already are seeing the effects of Industry 4.0 – whether is it marketing automation, robotization, big data analysis, AI or Machine learning. 

However, right now what is really changing the marketing landscape is AI-driven tools like ChatGPT, which has really radicalized the way we work. In the past, we used to spend hours crafting social media posts but right now, with ChatGPT, a social media post can be crafted automatically in just seconds.

The big question many people ask is, will this make my job redundant? I empathically say no to that, because while ChatGPT can help you to craft your messages, there still needs to have a human element involved to read through and edit and “humanize” the message.

To me, this automated and smart world is not an ‘if’ but is already here. As marketers, we need to evolve and adapt to it. 

Any advice you’d give to aspiring marketers especially those interested in helping advance Industry 4.0? 

I think that the biggest advice I can give to aspiring marketers is to read voraciously, keep an open mind and embrace technology instead of shunning it. 

What keeps you motivated? Do you have a personal motto/saying or something else that drives you forward?

My team is the one that motivates me. I believe in servant leadership and a company is nothing without its employees. Therefore team spirit and strength are crucial. 

With that being said, I firmly believe that a team is like a sports team. We are here to win medals, but not everyone will stay here forever. People come and go, and that is normal. What is important is the time spent together winning. 

Thank you for sharing your experience and insights with us, Mark, it’s been a real pleasure. How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you or Phoenix Contact?

Please connect with me on LinkedIn! 

2Stallions Digital Marketing Agency is pleased to announce that we will be supporting Singaporean Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) in their digitalisation efforts as a Pre-Approved Digital Marketing Solutions Vendor for the Digi-TAC programme.

The Digitalisation of TACs Programme (Digi-TAC) was launched by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and SGTech in a joint effort to help TACs grow their businesses through digital activities.

“The future of business is digital,” Dhawal Shah, co-founder and Regional Managing Director of 2Stallions said, “and it’s important that we as a digital marketing agency are doing everything we can to help businesses of all kinds step into that digital space. This is why being able to support TACs as a Digi-TAC Pre-Approved Digital Marketing Solutions Vendor means a lot, to us and to the TACs we are here to support.”

Digitalisation has been at the forefront of business growth for more than a decade now. In fact, studies show that Internet user growth alone has risen by a factor of 2.27 over the past decade. Basically, more and more target customer audiences are going online, and businesses have to follow to stay in touch with them.

As an added advantage, the digitalisation of marketing initiatives allows for real-time data analysis. 

2Stallions Head of Performance, Geetha Boyani, elaborates: “Digitalisation has improved efficiency and productivity for all kinds of businesses. Data-driven digital marketing, in particular, has brought organisations and their target audience together through value exchange and personalised user experiences.”

In essence, the result of digitalisation is a better understanding of customer behaviour, leading to vast improvements in user interfaces and experiences on websites and other digital platforms.

Digital marketing solutions can help businesses of all kinds stay ahead of the changing digital environment and help them leverage useful tools like Search Engines and Social Media platforms.

About the Digi-Tac Programme 

The great thing about the Digi-TAC Programme is that it supports TACs in two distinct ways:

1. The adoption and integration of digital solutions to help TACs grow
2. The training of TAC teams to help TACs move forward in the digital space

In other words, not only does it create opportunities for TACs to use digital marketing solutions, but the Digi-TAC programme also provides training opportunities to consolidate the benefits of those solutions in that industry.

Supported by Enterprise Singapore, eligible TACs can apply for support and grant funding until 31st July 2025.

The grant amount for each TACs is $60,000 (SG) for the 3-year programme with a cap of $30,000 per year. In addition, 70% of support for qualifying costs is granted to TACs to help them get started.

If you want to check whether your TAC is eligible, visit the SBF website

2Stallions Digi-TAC Digital Marketing Solutions Packages

Package A – Search Engine Optimization + Social Media Advertising (3 months)

Benefit to TAC: Rank higher on search and grow your membership/event registrations

Our 3-month package combines Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Advertising (SMA) to deliver results. 

With SEO, we’ll help you improve your ranking and attract more visitors through search engines. And with SMA, we’ll deliver targeted ads directly to your audience, increasing conversions and driving growth. This package has the potential to increase your organic traffic and expand your social media reach. 

Package B – SEO with content creation (12 months)

Benefit to TAC: Get more visitors to your website pages through search

Our 12-month package combines SEO with high-quality content creation to deliver powerful results. 

With SEO, we’ll help you rank higher on search engines and attract your target audience. And with our expertly crafted blog articles and infographics, we’ll help you engage and educate your audience, generating more leads and driving traffic. This package has the potential to increase your organic and referral traffic making it a smart investment for any TAC.

Package C – Search Engine Marketing (SEM) with landing page development

Benefit to TAC: Drive membership growth, event registrations and awareness with Google Ads

Our SEM package includes targeted Search Ads and professional landing page development to deliver results. This can drive membership growth, build awareness or drive registration for TAC events. With our expert team handling your campaign, you can expect highly qualified leads and an increase in website traffic. This package is ideal for TACs looking to take their online presence to the next level and generate measurable results.

Package D – LinkedIn Marketing 

Benefit to TAC: Build quality followers and thought leadership on LinkedIn

Our LinkedIn marketing package is designed to help you to create a monthly content calendar featuring 12 engaging posts that showcase your TAC and its activities. 

We’ll create and publish high-quality content that resonates with your target audience. The package includes high-quality photos and video creation that will be used in your LinkedIn posts. This package has the potential to increase your social media reach. 

Package E – Marketing Automation

Benefit to TAC: Leverage on automation such as membership renewal automation

This marketing automation package is designed to help you streamline your digital marketing efforts and improve engagement with your audience. 

We will recommend processes for automation and create up to 3 customer nurture sequences to drive activation and engagement e.g. include event registration automation and membership renewal automation. By automating emails, social media posts, and other marketing efforts, you’ll save time and do more with a small team. 

Our expert team will handle the setup and execution of your automated campaign, you can expect increased ROI through lead nurturing and a better overall customer experience.


Tap into the Digi-TAC grant for your organisation
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Marketing intelligence is a complex field.

In a nutshell, it’s the process of gathering, analysing, and interpreting data to gain insights into customer behaviour and market trends. It helps marketers understand their target audience better, keep up with the constant change and identify opportunities for growth.

Marketing analytics is used to identify patterns in customer behaviour that can be used to inform marketing strategies.

As the digital sphere continues to diversify and change, the means of measuring and tracking all digital marketing activities must continue to evolve with it.

In this issue of the Marketing Expert Series, GrowByData’s co-founder and Managing Partner, Prasanna Dhungel, joins us to share his experience and insights into the complexity of marketing intelligence.


Welcome, Prasanna! Thank you for joining us in our Marketing Expert Series. Let’s kick off with a little context, can you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get to where you are now? 

I am originally from Kathmandu and spend my time between there and Boston. I am a trained engineer and started my career working in a Healthcare IT startup, which did very well. I went to business school and consulted product and investment companies on how to do well with data.

This was the early stage of Big Data and I was noticing challenges with how companies were using data. So I formulated a concept of how data should be used and kept using it. At that time, e-commerce was starting to grow and I co-launched GrowByData to offer data insights to SMEs in e-commerce. That is how we started.

In the beginning, we did various data service projects and slowly started building technology to enable firms to process and share marketing data. We went into the competitive intelligence space to offer insights on pricing.

Here, we saw an opportunity to offer broader reporting on marketing metrics such as share of voice, pricing, merchandising and lots more. Today, we provide marketing intelligence on ingredients that help a brand get clicks from shoppers on the digital shelf.

You’re the Co-founder and Managing Partner of GrowByData. Please tell us about GrowByData and how you came to create the company.

GrowByData provides marketing intelligence to agencies and brands to win new business and boost performance.

The challenge today is digital shoppers are meandering on the web collecting information on their path to purchase. However, platforms such as Google are constantly changing. And competitors are constantly adjusting their strategies and offers.

Hence becoming visible and getting the click on this journey is vital for brands. We offer agencies and brands this insight so they are on top of these ingredients to purchase.

Through our agency partners today, our marketing insights and white glove services power the marketing performance of leading brands such as Marriott, Amazon, Williams Sonoma, Discover Card, Express, AutoZone, Lego and others.

What role do you believe the Marketing Intelligence sector – and GrowByData as a result – play in the development of the global digital space?

All firms face competition digitally. Marketing leads, customer retention and incremental revenue are impacted without an ongoing understanding of the digital ecosystem a firm plays in.

For this, marketing intelligence is vital – online across search, marketplaces, social and others – and offline. GrowByData offers search intelligence, marketplace intelligence and product intelligence – subsets of the digital marketing ecosystem.

We differentiate our offerings by breaking silos across these point solutions and offering a holistic view of the competitive landscape to the management team. With our white glove services, we offer deep custom intelligence for brands to adjust their advertising, product, pricing, channel and merchandising decisions. This is vital for brand leaders to build, analyze and refine their custom strategies and maintain their competitive differentiation.

Can you discuss data and analytics in digital marketing and how they can be used to optimise campaigns?

Data analytics must be used in digital marketing to create strategies and campaigns and monitor and optimize campaigns. You should use digital marketing platforms’ native data, customer data and external datasets to create a 360-degree view of your business landscape.

In our case, we provide holistic visibility on Google across various SERP features on Organic and Paid. We help SEO and SEM teams understand opportunities to improve content and advertising so they maximize ROI for their marketing investment. This holistic visibility is vital now for two reasons.

First, the economic headwinds have reduced the marketing budget and headcount so smartly investing is key.

Second, Google is heavily making changes and I expect we will see more as Google is on a war footing to stay relevant with ChatGPT. In light of this, using platform-specific data is also key to constantly staying on top of performance.

The world has changed in the last few years, with the Pandemic and the shift in the economy, how has GrowByData been impacted by these changes?

We help brands maximise lead flow and conversion from their digital marketing investments. Hence with the rise in digital for brands, our clients have seen more business, which means we have also seen the same. That said, we ride the sentiments and business dynamics of our clients.

However, we are a marketing solution that helps agencies and brands maximize performance with fewer resources and for a given budget. We break silos and offer newer insights with fewer resources.

So with the economic headwinds today and many agencies and brands operating with fewer headcounts, we are a great resource to continue to delight clients in the downturn. We are optimistic that our clients will find more value in our unified insights and white glove services at a time when end clients are more demanding, but the stakeholders have fewer resources internally to delight their clients.

How did the developments over the last few years affect your strategies as Co-founder and Managing Partner?

Google is constantly changing SERP. We saw many changes during COVID. With the threat from ChatGPT, Google continues to make changes on the SERP to provide all of us who search for the right information so we don’t move away from Google to find our answers elsewhere.

Many brands and agencies are constantly trying to stay on top of this and become relevant for those who search. With the rising need for alternative platforms to advertise, brands are spending dollars on Amazon, Walmart, Target and others.

These changes have reinforced our goal of staying current across these platforms and supporting our clients to maximise returns on these channels – whether it be on search marketing, amazon investment or other retail media networks.

Tell us about some of the most effective digital strategies you’ve implemented recently. Is there a strategy or campaign you’re most proud of?

 We have been using massive datasets across categories and time to offer industry-level reports such as Google’s Pulse of the Market. This insight has been valuable to our clients to help them understand trends in their category. We continue to enhance this report to offer insights into other categories and are sharing it across our marketing channels. I am proud of our work on this and know this will be a powerful value-add to our clients.

How do you stay up to date with the latest digital marketing technologies and tools?

I regularly read relevant information posted on social media and credible journals by thought leaders and industry practitioners. We also like to experiment with newer tactics on existing platforms and test new capabilities coming out.

Our space is highly competitive and it is imperative for us to stay on top of new tactics and new platforms to retain our edge. We also have to experiment with a business model to offer value to our clients.

In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges facing marketers and digital experts in your industry today?

Information overload, excessive marketing, the proliferation of platforms and technologies, data silos and constantly evolving techniques are the biggest challenges.

Google is rapidly changing. ChatGPT is a new opportunity and a threat to many, and we don’t know how it will impact the way we ask, learn and buy.

That said, this is also an opportunity for those that stay on top, experiment and rapidly develop new working models that show ROI will do well.

Where do you see the Marketing Intelligence sector heading in the next five to ten years?

I expect to see innovation in the way we search and consume information. I expect that platforms will automate more routine tasks and offer deeper answers to marketers.

I see insights in non-text mediums like images and videos increasingly get used to answering questions. I see us getting away from finding our answers by going over pages and pages to get what we want quickly. ChatGPT offers a preview of this world.

We, humans, will elevate our thinking to go beyond reading/processing information to synthesizing processed information, thinking deeper and using our insight to build a hypothesis or rebut. We have also moved from a data-scarce society to a data-overwhelmed society and will increasingly prefer pointed credible information vs the current need to find the needle in a haystack.

We will narrow our focus to a few platforms vs the many now. I see certain platforms dying out with consolidation and business model death. I expect to see vast innovation to enable, grow and keep a check on the innovations arising. All this creates vast opportunities in our space to stay on top and lead the way.

Any advice you’d give to aspiring marketers and digital entrepreneurs? 

The future is exciting for those in marketing and entrepreneurship. The incumbents are under threat from new players. So we will see many innovative technologies and business models.

Existing ways of doing marketing will evolve. New ones with arise. New partnership opportunities will be there. So I encourage those looking ahead to pay attention to the activities of the key players and the disruptors. While you want to hear the pundits, I wouldn’t fully trust them as the experts have generally been wrong at times like this. I would get my hands dirty, experiment, be willing to fail and try new tools, businesses and operating models. I would find the early adopters and really build the way with them.

I don’t know what will happen. However, I do know that change will be there and the bold will lead the way.

What keeps you motivated? Do you have a personal motto/saying or something else that drives you forward?

Adding value to my clients, showing them the way forward and helping them win always keeps me motivated. When we do the right things for our clients, positivism flows. We can support our team members, our communities and the greater ecosystem.

I have a quote from when I was young that keeps me going – “No aim is too high if you climb with care and confidence”.

For me, the intellectual challenge of taking on a big goal of delighting my clients and building the team, processes and platform to do so at scale and with a sustainable business model drives me forward. While hard, it is intellectually fun.

It’s been great to learn more about you and your work, Prasanna, thank you for sharing your experience and insights with us. How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you or GrowByData?

I am available on LinkedIn.

Fairytales often start with “once upon a time…”, and many digital marketers interviewed in the Marketing Expert Series could have started their story in the same way.

Rajiv Rai Singh is no exception.

A great storyteller who started off with half-dreamt goals of television advertising, Rajiv has become a motivated, marketing leader and strategist for regional companies like Lalamove, Reebelo and Qlub. 

In this interview, he talks about the challenges and opportunities he has overcome – going from digital marketing basics to fractional CMO. Join us in this issue of the Series, and you might just find the inspiration for your own successes as a digital marketer.

Hi, Rajiv, thank you for joining us in our Marketing Expert Series. Let’s kick off with a little context, can you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get to where you are now? 

Thanks for having me, Olwen.

Well, let me tell you a tale of a geeky movie buff who never thought they’d end up where they are today. Twenty years ago, I thought I was destined to spend my life as a storyteller, locked in a dark room and editing TV commercials until my eyes bled. But fate had other plans.

I stumbled upon the world of digital marketing and eCommerce about fifteen years ago, and I was hooked. Back then, there were few ways to learn, but I was as curious as a cat. I earned my stripes creating and maintaining digital ad campaigns through trial and error, launching several eCommerce businesses for others before finally landing an opportunity to work for Lalamove.

Fast forward to today, I’ve been a marketing leader and strategist for startups like Lalamove, Reebelo, and Qlub. I’ve taken on 360 marketing campaigns throughout Southeast Asia and have gained a wealth of experience.

So, I took all that knowledge and experience and put it into a little black book, a framework that I now use to help startups and SMEs create a killer marketing strategy. And who knows, maybe one day you’ll be telling your grandkids about the time you hired the geeky movie buff turned marketing strategist.

Can you tell us about some of the most effective strategies that you have implemented in recent years? Is there an achievement you’re most proud of?

I love this question and I could talk about it all day, but I’ll do my best to keep it brief.

MSMEs faced a tough time during the COVID-19 pandemic, but at Lalamove we saw an opportunity to inspire and uplift their spirits. We featured stories of ‘hero clients’ who had found ways to succeed using Lalamove during the lockdown in YouTube interviews and advertorials, making them the stars and Lalamove the supporting brand. This strategy made us the leading on-demand delivery company among MSMEs.

Another time, at my previous on-demand grocery delivery startup, we had the challenge of targeting hyperlocal areas. We revved up awareness with a flashy convoy of wrapped trucks, and on-ground activation activity and followed up with geo-targeted social media and search ads to encourage conversions. Post-purchase, happy customers were given a reward for referring others. This allowed us to achieve double digital MoM growth.

For someone who started in digital marketing, you seem to have embraced several other formats as well. How has that experience been for you?

Starting out in digital marketing, I soon realized that it’s only one piece of the puzzle. It was a bit intimidating at first because not all formats like OOH or on-ground activation are as data-driven as digital. But after some experimentation, I came to understand that each form of marketing brings its own unique value to the table.

I have to say, one of the most impressive marketing strategies I’ve seen was Lalamove’s use of vehicle stickers. Talk about maximizing reach and influencing top-of-mind awareness on a budget! That was a major factor in their rise to the top of their market.

That experience inspired me to start my second venture, VOOH Media, which helps brands increase their top-of-mind awareness through vehicle stickers and re-engage OOH audiences online. I still love digital marketing, but I wanted to bring my skills to other areas as well.

You’re currently a marketing consultant, helping startups and SMEs establish themselves. Can you tell us more about your work and what it means to fill this role?

As a marketing strategist, or more accurately, a fractional CMO, I provide marketing leadership and expertise to my clients on a part-time or project basis. This arrangement allows clients to access my knowledge as a digital marketer and broader experiences as a CMO without incurring the cost and overhead associated with hiring a full-time executive.

For companies that are not quite ready to bring on a full-time CMO or simply need some temporary help, I’m here to navigate them through the marketing maze.

Whether it’s developing a winning marketing strategy, branding, conducting marketing analytics, leading the execution of a marketing plan, providing leadership and mentoring, or even assisting in the hiring of a marketing team, I can take those burdens off my clients’ shoulders.

How is a fractional CMO different from other marketing consultants?

While a marketing consultant focuses on a specific aspect of marketing, a fractional CMO offers comprehensive leadership and expertise in all areas of marketing, as well as team management and mentorship.

My unique edge as a CMO is my background working with startups and disruptive brands. Innovation and transformation require a new approach to marketing, one that embraces growth-oriented principles like iterative testing and development. I bring this expertise to companies looking to shake things up and navigate uncharted markets.

The world has changed in the last few years, with the Pandemic and the shift in the economy, how have you been impacted by these changes?

Well, let’s just say these times are like a wild roller coaster ride – we’ve seen consumer behaviour take a sharp turn, budgets tighten tighter than a screw, and layoffs happen faster than you can say ‘unprecedented.’ But hey, every dark cloud has a silver lining, right? 

As a CMO, these changes have challenged me to be a little more crafty with my strategies. I’ve embraced new technology like a kid in a toy store, using no-code tools to manage and launch digital campaigns and AI to lend a hand in content creation. Who knows what other surprises the future holds, but I’m all in with a positive outlook.

How did the developments over the last few years affect your strategies and motivation to strike out on your own? 

If anything, it has fueled my desire to take the leap into entrepreneurship. With so many companies struggling to keep up with the changes, it’s become clear that having control over my own success is more important than ever. 

And the best part? With all the cool new tech out there, it’s never been easier for someone with my experience to start their own ventures and chart their own path to success.

In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges as a fractional CMO today?

Here’s a big one. Most company stakeholders may initially view you as an external vendor which can limit your say in the company’s broader business strategy. This can limit your ability to make a significant impact on marketing activities. Hence, it’s important to quickly establish trust and credibility. With clear communication and a flexible approach, these challenges can be overcome and the role can be highly rewarding. By being smart, agile, and results-driven, a fractional CMO can make a big impact in a short amount of time.

How have these challenges affected the direction and strategies you’ve implemented in recent years?

Most of my clients actually come from within my network so I already have built years of trust and credibility with them.

As I expand my client base, I plan to further invest in personal branding and content marketing to establish my expertise and build trust from the outset with new clients. This approach will allow me to hit the ground running and bring more autonomy to each new project.

Where do you see the marketing sector heading in the next five to ten years?

I have a few thoughts:

  1. Data has and always will be King: Companies will increasingly rely on data to drive their marketing decisions, leveraging advanced analytics and AI to personalize and optimize their efforts.
  2. Technology is Changing the Game: With the emergence of new technologies such as VR, AR, and 5G, marketers will have more tools to reach and engage with their audiences in novel ways.
  3. Experience is Everything: Customers expect a seamless experience, and brands will be investing heavily to ensure their experiences exceed expectations.
  4. Overload of Channels: As the metaverse, AR and VR open new playing fields and existing ones innovate, there are going to be more channels than you can count. Companies will be using a combination of traditional and digital marketing channels to reach their target audiences. No single channel will be the silver bullet.
  5. Purpose is Becoming More Important: As consumers evolve to associate brands more with their own identity and purpose, brands will be paying more attention to their impact on society and the world, and marketing will be a key part of promoting their purpose and values.

Any advice you’d give to aspiring marketers? 

If you want to achieve that which seems unachievable, then you have to do the things that scare you the most. Anything less simply means you are sitting in your comfort zone.

And remember, setbacks are simply stepping stones on the road to success. Embrace them as opportunities to learn, grow, and soar higher!

It’s been great to learn more about you and your work, Rajiv, thank you for sharing your experience and insights with us. How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more?

Great, feel free to pick my brain anytime. They can connect with me on Linkedin. 

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