digital transformation


The Future of Digital Marketing Trends in 2024

In today’s fast-paced digital world, the marketing landscape is constantly evolving. To stay ahead of the game, businesses must keep up with current trends and anticipate the future. As we venture into the year 2024, let’s explore some of the exciting digital marketing trends that are set to shape the industry.

Understanding The Digital Marketing Landscape In 2024

AI Tools in Digital Marketing

Technological advancements and evolving consumer behaviours will shape the digital marketing landscape in 2024. Integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into marketing strategies is a dominant trend. AI-powered tools, from advanced chatbots to predictive analytics, will redefine how businesses connect with their audience.

Picture AI-driven chatbots offering human-like responses to customer queries, providing instant support, and delivering personalised recommendations based on individual preferences and purchase history. This high level of personalisation ensures a seamless customer experience, fostering satisfaction and loyalty.

Moreover, AI-driven predictive analytics will empower businesses to make real-time, data-driven decisions. By analysing extensive customer data, AI algorithms identify patterns and trends, allowing marketers to precisely target audiences with tailored messages. This precision promises higher conversion rates and a substantial return on investment.

Voice Search and SEO

Another significant trend in 2024 will be the rise of voice search and its impact on search engine optimisation (SEO). With the growing popularity of voice assistants such as Siri and Alexa, businesses must adapt their SEO strategies to cater to voice-based queries. This means focusing on long-tail keywords and natural language processing to ensure their content is voice search-friendly.

Voice search is changing the way people interact with search engines. Instead of typing a query into a search bar, users can simply ask a question out loud, and their voice assistant will provide the most relevant answer. This shift in search behaviour requires businesses to optimise their content for voice search. By incorporating conversational language and answering common questions, businesses can increase their chances of appearing in voice search results and capturing the attention of voice assistant users.

Personalised Marketing

Personalised marketing will also be crucial in 2024. As consumers become more discerning, businesses must tailor their marketing messages to meet individual preferences and needs. Personalisation will enhance customer experiences and drive customer loyalty and conversions.

Individualised Experiences

Businesses must move beyond generic mass marketing and focus on creating individualised customer experiences. This can be achieved by leveraging customer data to understand their preferences, purchase histories, and browsing behaviour. 

Targeted Marketing Messages

Businesses can use this information to deliver targeted marketing messages that resonate with each customer personally. Whether through personalised email campaigns, customised product recommendations, or tailored social media ads, businesses can create a sense of exclusivity and relevance, making customers feel valued and understood.

Offline Personalisation

Moreover, personalised marketing can also extend to offline experiences. Imagine entering a store where the sales assistant knows your preferences and previous purchases. They can provide personalised recommendations and offers, creating a seamless and personalised shopping experience. This level of personalisation will drive customer loyalty and increase the likelihood of repeat purchases and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Technological Advancements

Technological advancements and changing consumer behaviours will shape the digital marketing landscape in 2024. Artificial intelligence will revolutionise how businesses reach and engage with their target audience, while voice search will require businesses to adapt their SEO strategies.

Embracing Trends

Personalised marketing will be crucial in enhancing customer experiences and driving customer loyalty. As the digital marketing landscape continues to evolve, businesses must stay ahead of the curve and embrace these trends to remain competitive.

Key Digital Marketing Trends to Watch Out ForKey Digital Marketing Trends to Watch Out For

Staying abreast of emerging trends is crucial for businesses aiming to remain competitive and effectively connect with their target audience. As we look forward to 2024, several trends are poised to shape the digital marketing realm.

1. Social Commerce Integration

Social commerce is anticipated to gain significant traction in 2024, redefining how consumers interact with products and services. Social media platforms will further integrate eCommerce functionalities, enabling users to make seamless purchases directly within their favourite social apps. 

This evolution is not merely a convenience for consumers; it represents a powerful opportunity for businesses to tap into new customer bases and enhance overall sales. Recognising the potential of social commerce and strategically leveraging it will be essential for businesses seeking to stay ahead in the digital marketplace.

2. Video Content Dominance

The dominance of video content is poised to continue shaping the future of digital marketing. Videos have emerged as the preferred medium for consuming content across various platforms. Businesses can capitalise on this trend by creating compelling and shareable video content. 

Whether it’s informative product demonstrations, engaging storytelling, or behind-the-scenes glimpses into the company culture, videos provide a dynamic means for businesses to connect with their audience on a deeper, more personal level. Incorporating video content into marketing strategies will foster engagement and build brand affinity.

3. Mobile-First Marketing

The relentless shift towards mobile-first marketing is set to maintain its momentum in 2024. With many consumers accessing the internet through mobile devices, businesses must prioritise mobile optimisation across all facets of their digital presence. 

This entails ensuring a responsive website design that adapts seamlessly to various screen sizes, crafting mobile-friendly email campaigns, and, where applicable, investing in mobile app development. By embracing a mobile-first approach, businesses can enhance user experiences and effectively engage with their target audience in a manner aligned with evolving consumer behaviours.

As digital marketing continues to evolve, businesses that strategically navigate these trends will position themselves for success in the competitive and dynamic digital landscape of 2024.

Preparing Your Business for Digital Marketing in 2024

Adapting your marketing strategy for the future is crucial to staying ahead of the competition. In 2024, businesses must be agile and willing to embrace change. This means regularly evaluating marketing strategies, monitoring industry trends, and making necessary adjustments.

Investing in Digital Marketing ToolsInvesting in Digital Marketing Tools

In addition, investing in the right digital marketing tools is essential for success. From marketing automation platforms to data analytics tools, businesses must equip themselves with the latest technologies to streamline their marketing efforts and provide valuable insights.

Building a team with the right digital marketing skills is also paramount. In 2024, digital marketing will require diverse skills, including AI, SEO, content creation, and data analysis expertise. Businesses must invest in hiring and training professionals who can navigate the ever-changing digital landscape.

Emerging Trends

As we look ahead to the digital marketing landscape in 2024, it is crucial to consider the emerging trends and technologies that will shape the industry:


Challenges and Opportunities in Data Privacy

While the future of digital marketing is undoubtedly exciting, it has its challenges. Navigating data privacy concerns will be a top priority for businesses in 2024. With stricter regulations and increased consumer awareness, businesses must prioritise data security and transparency in their marketing practices.

GDPR Compliance

One of the significant challenges businesses will face in data privacy is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This regulation, implemented in 2018, requires businesses to obtain explicit consent from individuals before collecting and using their data. It also grants individuals the right to access and control their personal information. Adhering to these regulations will require businesses to invest in robust data protection measures and establish clear consent mechanisms.

Programmatic Advertising Opportunities

However, with challenges come opportunities. Programmatic advertising, for instance, presents an excellent opportunity for businesses to reach their target audience with highly relevant and personalised advertisements. Businesses can optimise their ad placements and budgets by leveraging programmatic advertising platforms for maximum impact.

How Programmatic Advertising Works

Programmatic advertising relies on algorithms and real-time bidding to automate the buying and selling of ad inventory. This allows businesses to target specific demographics, interests, and behaviours, ensuring that their ads are seen by the right people at the right time. Programmatic advertising can significantly enhance the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns by delivering personalised messages at scale.

Addressing Ad-Blocking Challenges

Additionally, overcoming the challenges posed by ad-blocking technology will be crucial in 2024. As more internet users install ad-blockers, businesses must find innovative ways to engage with their audience. This could involve exploring native advertising, influencer marketing, or other alternative advertising methods less likely to be blocked.

Native Advertising and Influencer Marketing

Native Advertising: Seamlessly integrating branded content into the user’s online experience makes it less intrusive and more engaging. Sponsored articles, videos, or social media posts provide valuable information or entertainment.

Influencer Marketing: Leveraging the popularity and credibility of social media influencers to promote products or services allows businesses to reach a highly targeted and receptive audience.

Challenges and Opportunities in Data Privacy

Technology and the Future of Digital Marketing

The future of digital marketing is full of possibilities and challenges. As technology advances rapidly, the digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving.

The Role of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

In 2024, businesses must stay ahead by staying informed about the latest trends and technologies. Artificial intelligence (AI), for example, is expected to shape the future of digital marketing significantly.

AI-Powered Marketing Tools

AI-powered tools and algorithms can analyse vast amounts of data to identify patterns, predict consumer behaviour, and automate marketing processes. This can help businesses deliver more personalised and targeted marketing campaigns, improving customer engagement and conversion rates. The possibilities for AI in digital marketing are vast, from chatbots that provide instant customer support to AI-powered content creation tools.

Voice Search and Smart Devices

Furthermore, the rise of voice search and smart devices will present new opportunities and challenges for digital marketers. As more people use voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, businesses must optimise their online content for voice search queries. This will require a shift in keyword strategy and a focus on conversational and long-tail keywords.

Leveraging Smart Devices for Marketing

Moreover, the increasing popularity of smart devices like smart speakers, smart TVs, and wearable technology opens up new channels for reaching consumers. Businesses can leverage these devices to deliver targeted advertisements, personalised recommendations, and interactive experiences. However, they must also ensure their marketing efforts are seamlessly integrated across multiple devices and platforms.

Navigating the Future

The future of digital marketing holds both challenges and opportunities. By staying informed, embracing new technologies, and adopting innovative strategies, businesses can navigate the evolving landscape and thrive in the digital era of 2024 and beyond. So, gear up, adapt, and get ready to conquer the digital marketing landscape of tomorrow!

Embracing the Digital Horizon: The Future Beckons

In the fast-evolving digital marketing sphere, 2024 is set to witness transformative trends driven by advancements in AI, the growth of voice search, and the drive towards personalisation. While the landscape is dotted with promising opportunities, businesses must also tread with vigilance, especially in data privacy and ad-blocking technologies. 

Crucially, success in this realm will hinge on the agility to adapt, the foresight to anticipate changes, and the commitment to offer genuine, individualised experiences. As the digital wave continues its relentless surge, businesses must equip themselves to ride it and harness its full potential, ensuring they remain at the vanguard of innovation, engagement, and growth. 

The digital odyssey of 2024 awaits, and businesses must now chart their course with informed precision and strategic flair.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Future of Digital Marketing Trends in 2024

How will the metaverse impact the future of digital marketing in 2024?

The metaverse, a collective virtual shared space, is expected to influence digital marketing trends in 2024 significantly. Marketers may explore new ways to engage audiences within immersive virtual environments, creating opportunities for innovative and interactive brand experiences. Understanding the metaverse and its implications for digital marketing will be crucial for staying ahead in this evolving landscape.

What role will voice search and smart speakers play in shaping digital marketing strategies in 2024?

With the increasing prevalence of voice-activated devices and smart speakers, digital marketers will need to optimise their strategies for voice search. Tailoring content to conversational queries and understanding the nuances of voice-based interactions will be essential for maintaining visibility in search results. Adapting to the rise of voice technology will be a key consideration for marketers in 2024.

How will the evolving data privacy landscape and regulations impact digital marketing practices in 2024?

As concerns about data privacy continue to grow, digital marketers will face evolving regulations that may impact data collection, tracking, and targeted advertising. Adhering to privacy regulations while still delivering personalised and relevant content will be a challenge. Staying informed about changing privacy laws and implementing compliant practices will be essential for successful digital marketing strategies.

What trends in social media platforms and user behaviour will shape the future of digital marketing in 2024?

Social media platforms are likely to evolve, and user behaviour will continue to change in 2024. Marketers will need to stay abreast of emerging trends on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and others, adapting their strategies to align with shifting user preferences. Understanding the dynamics of social media and effectively leveraging these platforms for marketing purposes will be crucial for brands aiming to connect with their target audiences.

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, comparing traditional and digital business models has become a topic of critical importance. 

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, businesses must adapt to stay competitive. Understanding both models’ key differences and advantages is essential for success in the digital age. 

This article will delve into the intricacies of traditional and digital business models, explore the transition from one to the other, evaluate their impact on businesses, and provide insights into future trends.

Understanding Traditional Business ModelsUnderstanding Traditional Business Models

Traditional business models have long been the foundation of numerous industries. These models typically involve physical brick-and-mortar establishments, relying on established supply chains and customer relationships. 

Key components include a hierarchy of command, clear roles and responsibilities, and predefined processes. Such models offer stability and a proven track record.

Let’s delve deeper into the world of traditional business models and explore the various factors that shape their functioning and success.

Key Components of Traditional Business ModelsKey Components Of Traditional Business Models

A key component of traditional business models is the emphasis on face-to-face interactions. Personal relationships play a crucial role in generating sales and maintaining customer loyalty. 

Meeting customers in person allows businesses to establish trust and understand their needs better. This personal touch often leads to long-term partnerships and repeat business.

Geographical constraints have also been a defining characteristic of traditional business models. Physical stores and offices limit the reach and scalability of these models. 

Local businesses rely heavily on the immediate community for their customer base, making expanding into new markets challenging. 

However, this localised approach can also create a sense of community and loyalty among customers, fostering a strong customer base.

Furthermore, rigid operational structures can hinder adaptability and innovation. 

Traditional business models often follow a hierarchical structure with clear roles and responsibilities. While this can provide clarity and accountability, it can stifle creativity and limit the ability to respond quickly to changing market trends. 

The bureaucratic nature of these models can slow down decision-making processes and impede the implementation of new ideas.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Traditional Business Models

The strengths of traditional business models lie in their established reputations, long-standing customer bases, and perceived reliability. 

Businesses operating for decades have built a solid reputation within their communities. This reputation is a strong foundation for growth and sustainability, as customers trust these businesses to deliver consistent quality.

However, traditional models can be hindered by slower response times, limited global reach, and resistance to change. 

The absence of digital capabilities can result in missed opportunities and reduced efficiency. In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, businesses must adapt quickly to changing customer demands and technological advancements. 

Traditional models that are slow to embrace digital transformation may fall behind their more agile competitors.

Despite these challenges, many traditional businesses have successfully adapted and integrated digital strategies into their operations. 

They have recognised the importance of online presence and have leveraged eCommerce platforms to expand their reach beyond their physical locations. 

By combining the strengths of traditional models with the advantages of digital technologies, these businesses have managed to thrive in the ever-evolving business landscape.

In conclusion, traditional business models have their strengths and weaknesses. While they offer stability and a proven track record, they can also face limitations regarding adaptability and global reach. As the business world evolves, traditional businesses must embrace digital transformation and find innovative ways to stay competitive in the market.

Exploring Digital Business ModelsExploring Digital Business Models

Digital business models have emerged as revolutionary alternatives to traditional models in recent years. 

Defined by their reliance on digital technologies and online platforms, these models offer unprecedented possibilities for innovation, scalability, and global reach. 

Embracing digital transformation has become essential for businesses thriving in the modern economy.

In today’s interconnected world, where technology is advancing at an astonishing pace, digital business models have become the driving force behind many successful enterprises. 

These models have transformed how businesses operate, enabling them to leverage the power of the Internet to reach a wider audience and tap into new markets.

By embracing digital technologies, businesses can streamline their processes, making them faster and more efficient. This saves time and reduces costs, allowing companies to allocate resources more effectively. 

With the ability to automate repetitive tasks, businesses can focus on more strategic initiatives, driving growth and innovation.

Defining Digital Business Models

Digital business models leverage technology to streamline processes, enhance customer experiences, and drive growth. These models operate primarily online, tapping into vast digital ecosystems and data-driven insights. 

They prioritise agility, innovation, and customer-centricity. By harnessing the power of the Internet, businesses can break geographical barriers and expand their markets exponentially.

One of the critical aspects of digital business models is their ability to harness the power of data. By collecting and analysing vast amounts of information, businesses can gain valuable insights into customer behaviour, preferences, and market trends. 

This data-driven approach allows companies to make informed decisions, tailor their offerings to meet customer needs and stay ahead of the competition.

Moreover, digital business models allow businesses to create personalised customer experiences. 

Through targeted marketing campaigns and tailored recommendations, companies can build stronger relationships with their audience, fostering loyalty and increasing customer satisfaction.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Digital Business Models

The advantages of digital business models are numerous. They include faster and more efficient processes, increased productivity, enhanced customer engagement, and improved data analytics. 

With digital models, businesses can target a larger audience, optimise marketing efforts, and personalise customer experiences. 

However, digital models also have challenges, such as cybersecurity risks, increased competition, and the need for ongoing technological adaptation.

As businesses embrace digital transformation, they must also be aware of the potential risks and challenges that come with it. Cybersecurity has become a major concern in the digital age, with businesses needing to invest in robust security measures to protect their data and systems from cyber threats. 

The digital landscape is highly competitive, with businesses constantly vying for customers’ attention. Companies must continuously innovate and adapt to changing market dynamics to stay relevant.

Despite these challenges, the benefits of digital business models far outweigh the risks. With the ability to reach a global audience, optimise operations, and deliver personalised experiences, businesses can unlock new opportunities for growth and success. 

Digital transformation is no longer an option but a necessity for businesses looking to thrive in the digital age.

The Shift from Traditional to DigitalThe Shift From Traditional To Digital

Multiple factors drive the transition from traditional to digital business models. Firstly, technological advancements have revolutionised how businesses operate, creating new opportunities and disrupting conventional industries. 

Additionally, changing consumer expectations and behaviours, such as the preference for online shopping and personalised experiences, have accelerated the need for digital transformation.

The business landscape has witnessed a remarkable shift towards digitalisation in recent years. This transformation has been fueled by various factors that have reshaped how companies conduct their operations. 

One significant driver of this transition is the proliferation of mobile devices. With the advent of smartphones and tablets, people now have access to the Internet and digital services at their fingertips. 

This has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for businesses, allowing them to reach customers anytime, anywhere.

Another key factor contributing to the shift to digital models is the rise of social media. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly known as Twitter) have become integral parts of people’s lives, offering businesses unprecedented opportunities to engage with their target audience. 

Companies can build brand awareness, foster customer loyalty, and drive sales through social media. The power of social media lies in its ability to connect people from all walks of life, creating a global network that transcends geographical boundaries.

Furthermore, the increasing accessibility of the Internet has played a vital role in driving the transition to digital business models. 

With the widespread availability of high-speed internet connections, businesses can now easily operate online. This has led to the emergence of eCommerce, where consumers can browse and purchase products or services from the comfort of their own homes. 

The convenience and efficiency of online shopping have attracted a growing number of consumers, prompting businesses to establish a strong online presence to remain competitive.

Factors Driving The Transition

The proliferation of mobile devices, the rise of social media, and the increasing accessibility of the Internet have all played significant roles in driving the transition to digital models. 

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has further underscored the necessity of digital capabilities, as businesses were forced to adapt to remote work and online service provision.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented challenges for businesses worldwide. With lockdowns and social distancing measures, traditional brick-and-mortar stores have faced significant disruptions. 

In response, businesses have had to quickly pivot to digital channels to continue serving their customers. This sudden shift has highlighted the importance of having robust digital capabilities in place, as companies with existing online infrastructure were able to adapt more seamlessly.

Furthermore, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of remote work practices. With employees working from home, businesses rely heavily on digital tools and technologies to ensure smooth collaboration and communication. 

Video conferencing platforms, project management software, and cloud-based storage solutions have become essential for remote teams to stay connected and productive.

Challenges In The Transition Process

Transitioning from traditional to digital business models is not without its challenges. Businesses must navigate technological complexities, manage organisational change, and address potential employee resistance. 

Cybersecurity threats and data privacy concerns pose risks that require careful consideration. Overcoming these challenges necessitates strategic planning, strong leadership, and a willingness to embrace innovation.

One of the main challenges businesses face when transitioning to digital models is the need to adapt to rapidly evolving technologies. 

The digital landscape is constantly evolving, with new tools and platforms emerging rapidly. Companies must stay abreast of these developments and invest in the right technologies to remain competitive. 

This requires a deep understanding of the digital ecosystem and identifying which technologies best serve the business’s objectives.

Organisational change is another significant challenge in the transition process. Shifting from traditional to digital models often requires fundamentally rethinking business processes and structures. 

This can be met with resistance from employees who may be accustomed to the old ways of doing things. 

Effective change management strategies, clear communication, and training programs are essential to help employees embrace digital transformation and understand the benefits it brings.

Cybersecurity threats and data privacy concerns are critical considerations in transitioning to digital models. With the increasing reliance on digital systems and the collection of vast amounts of customer data, businesses must prioritise protecting sensitive information. 

Implementing robust cybersecurity measures, such as encryption and multi-factor authentication, is crucial to safeguarding against cyber attacks. 

Businesses must comply with data protection regulations and ensure customer data is handled responsibly and ethically.

The shift from traditional to digital business models is driven by technological advancements, changing consumer expectations, and the need for digital transformation. 

Factors such as the proliferation of mobile devices, the rise of social media, and the increasing accessibility of the Internet have played significant roles in driving this transition. 

However, businesses must also navigate challenges such as technological complexities, organisational change, and cybersecurity threats to transition to digital models successfully.

Evaluating The Impact on BusinessesEvaluating The Impact on Businesses

The shift from traditional to digital business models profoundly impacts how businesses operate and interact with their customers. 

Two significant areas of impact are operational efficiency and customer engagement.

Changes in Operational Efficiency

Digital business models allow businesses to streamline operations, automate processes, and reduce costs. 

Digital tools and software enable efficient resource allocation, inventory management, and supply chain optimisation. 

Real-time data analytics empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions, identify improvement areas, and innovate faster.

Impact on Customer Engagement and Satisfaction

Digital business models provide businesses with the means to enhance customer engagement and satisfaction. 

Businesses can create meaningful connections with their customers through personalised marketing, targeted advertising, and seamless online experiences. 

Digital platforms enable businesses to gather and analyse customer feedback and adapt quickly to changing customer needs and preferences.

Future Trends in Business ModelsFuture Trends in Business Models

Looking ahead, the future of business models will continue to evolve as technology advances and consumer expectations evolve. 

Traditional and digital models will have their place in the business landscape, but digital models are poised for significant growth.

Predicted Advancements in Digital Models

As technology evolves, digital business models are expected to see advancements in artificial intelligence, blockchain, and augmented reality. 

These advancements will further optimise processes, enable advanced personalisation, and create immersive customer experiences. 

Integrating Internet of Things (IoT) devices into business models will revolutionise automation and data collection.

The Potential Future of Traditional Models

Although digital models are on the rise, traditional models will only disappear partially. Some industries, such as manufacturing or certain service-oriented businesses, may still benefit from the familiarity and reliability of traditional approaches. 

Hybrid models that combine digital and traditional elements may become more prevalent, offering the best of both worlds.

In conclusion, comparing traditional and digital business models is essential for any business aiming to remain competitive in the ever-changing business landscape. 

Understanding each model’s key components, strengths, and weaknesses is crucial for making informed decisions. As businesses continue to transition from traditional to digital models, the impact on operational efficiency and customer engagement becomes increasingly evident. 

Looking towards the future, digital business models are expected to dominate as technology advances. However, traditional models will still have their place, and a hybrid approach may emerge as the ultimate solution. 

Success lies in embracing digital transformation and harnessing the immense possibilities it brings.

Frequently Asked Questions About Digital Business Models

What are the Components of the Digital Business Model?

The digital business model can be broken down into several components:

  1. Value Proposition: What unique value does the digital product or service provide customers?
  2. Customer Segments: Who are the target audiences for the digital offering?
  3. Channels: Through what digital platforms or mediums will the product or service be delivered?
  4. Customer Relationships: How does the business engage with customers digitally?
  5. Revenue Streams: How will the business monetise its digital offerings?
  6. Key Activities: What critical actions must the business undertake to support its digital offerings?
  7. Key Resources: What assets or resources are essential for the digital model?
  8. Key Partnerships: What external entities or services are necessary to facilitate the digital model?
  9. Cost Structure: What are the costs of delivering the digital product or service?

How Do You Create A Digital Business Model

  1. Research the Market: Understand customer needs, competitors, and digital trends.
  2. Define Your Value Proposition: Determine the unique value your digital offering provides.
  3. Segment Your Audience: Identify specific groups that will benefit most from your digital offering.
  4. Choose Channels: Decide on the best digital platforms to reach and serve your customers.
  5. Plan Monetisation: Determine how you’ll generate revenue, whether through sales, subscriptions, ads, etc.
  6. Map Out Key Activities and Resources: Outline what’s needed to deliver on your digital promise.
  7. Forge Key Partnerships: Identify potential partners that can facilitate or enhance your digital offering.
  8. Calculate Costs: Ensure you understand the financial structure behind your digital model.

What is The Role of the Digital Business Model?

The role of the digital business model is to provide a structured approach to delivering and capturing value in a digital environment. It guides how a company will operate, compete, and achieve profitability online.

What Are the Advantages of a Digital Business Model?

  1. Scalability: Digital models often allow rapid scaling with relatively low incremental costs.
  2. Reach: Access to a global audience.
  3. Flexibility: The ability to pivot quickly based on data and market feedback.
  4. Lower Overheads: Reduced physical infrastructure needs.
  5. Data-Driven Insights: Digital operations provide a wealth of data for informed decision-making.

What Is The Digital Business Model Transformation?

Digital business model transformation refers to the shift from traditional business operations to models that leverage digital technologies and platforms to create new value propositions and revenue streams. It involves reimagining business processes, customer experiences, and the underlying value chain in the context of a digital-first world.

In the digital realm where code and creativity intersect, Jasmine is a beacon of transformative prowess. A software engineer-turned-marketing maven, she represents the harmony of logic and artistry, embarking on a journey that most wouldn’t dare tread.

From translating algorithms into user stories to envisioning a world where SaaS grows under the shade of sustainability, Jasmine’s tale is a testament to relentless evolution.

Whether it’s her innovative thinking, aimed at promoting and expanding the adoption of AMP, or her unwavering enthusiasm in urging marketers to harness the potential of AI, Jasmine consistently demonstrates a commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the realm of marketing technology.

Her story isn’t just about clicks, conversions, or cloud solutions. It’s about bridging worlds, fostering innovation, and inspiring an industry to adapt and thrive. And today, we dive deep into that story.

Join us as we venture into Jasmine’s world, unravelling the tapestry of her experiences and gaining insights into the SaaS cosmos through her eyes.

Hi, Jasmine, 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?

Following almost two years as a software engineer, I yearned for a role that was more strategic yet creative.

Marketing, with its fusion of technology and storytelling, emerged as the logical next step for me. I was particularly drawn to growth and product marketing as it leverages my technical background with the art of crafting narratives.

This journey enables me to bridge the gap between technology and communication by fostering innovation and effectively conveying the value of products. In marketing, I’ve discovered a dynamic realm that consistently challenges me to acquire new knowledge and adapt.

Currently, you’re the Assistant Manager for Product Marketing at Netcore Cloud. Please tell us about the work you do.

In my current role, I oversee a critical array of responsibilities aimed at driving effective marketing campaigns. I focus on creating compelling email campaigns, crafting engaging social media posts, developing thought leadership content, and scripting impactful videos.

Throughout my 4 years of hands-on experience, I have honed my expertise in various domains, including email marketing, lead generation, webinars and events, podcasting, SEO optimisation, go-to-market strategies, content creation, and evangelism, among others.

My unwavering passion for communication is at the core of my work, and it serves as the driving force behind my marketing initiatives that captivate and convert effectively.

My overarching goal is to contribute to the martech community’s growth and success. I strive to provide valuable insights and offer glimpses of real-life marketing success stories. By doing so, I aim to empower martech professionals to excel in their endeavours, armed with the knowledge and inspiration they need to make a significant impact.

How has the SaaS industry changed in recent years? How has Netcore Cloud evolved?

The SaaS industry has undergone significant transformations in recent years, and Netcore Cloud has adapted to these changes by constantly innovating to stay ahead of the curve. Here’s an overview:

  1. Shift towards cloud-based solutions: The SaaS industry has seen a continued shift away from on-premises software to cloud-based solutions. Netcore Cloud has embraced this trend by offering cloud-native marketing and customer engagement solutions that provide scalability, flexibility, security, and accessibility from anywhere.
  2. Personalisation and AI: Personalisation and artificial intelligence have become central to SaaS offerings. Netcore Cloud has incorporated AI-driven personalisation features into its products, allowing businesses to deliver highly tailored content to their customers dynamically.
  3. Integration and ecosystems: SaaS platforms are increasingly focusing on integrations with other software to create seamless workflows. Netcore Cloud has expanded its integrations and partner ecosystem to provide a comprehensive, omnichannel marketing technology stack.

Can you tell us about some of the most effective product marketing strategies that you’ve implemented in recent years? Is there a strategy or campaign you’re most proud of?

Here are a few of the strategies that I have implemented in recent years:

  • Webinars and events: Hosting webinars and virtual events engages our audience, showcases our product’s capabilities, and provides educational content.
  • Thought leadership content: Establishing the brand as an authority in its field. When prospects see a brand consistently sharing valuable insights and expertise, it builds credibility.
  • Content distribution: I also believe in spreading the reach of the content (in various formats) on different stages. I use Quora, Medium, related communities, LinkedIn groups etc. apart from sharing it with our sales and ABM teams.

The one campaign that stands out and that I’m particularly proud of my team for pulling off was the “No Redirects November” campaign for AMP emails. It was an impressive line-up of 22 videos which were promoted within the span of one month.

The primary goal of this campaign was to successfully educate about a new product feature (AMP in emails) and drive user adoption.

To give you a context about the technology, AMP brings about 80% of the web and app-like features within emails. This enhances user engagement and interactivity. Since every user interaction happens inside the email, there are no redirects to websites or forms. Result, user drop-offs, also known as lead leakages, get eliminated.

Here’s how the campaign was executed and its salient outcomes:

  • Content creation: The team created a series of industry-specific videos highlighting different use cases of AMP in emails. These videos showcased how brands could utilise AMP for multiple actions such as conducting surveys, and feedback, implementing gamification elements, addressing cart abandonment, providing live calculators, flight and hotel search/booking, product catalog and more – all happening right inside the email.
  • Platform: LinkedIn was chosen as the platform for the campaign due to its professional network and suitability for B2B marketing.
  • Customer engagement: Customer-facing teams within Netcore actively engaged with customers and prospects by tagging them in relevant LinkedIn posts. This personalised approach generated a huge interest and initiated several lead conversations.


  • Lead generation: The campaign successfully generated a significant number of leads. This indicated a strong interest among brands in exploring AMP in their email marketing efforts.
    Increased awareness: By showcasing real-world use cases through videos and engaging content, the campaign effectively increased awareness about the potential of AMP technology.
    Positive adoption: The positive response from brands indicated that they not only understood the benefits but were also willing to adopt AMP in emails as a valuable marketing tool.

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

Some of the biggest challenges in my opinion are:

  1. Market saturation: The SaaS market is becoming increasingly crowded, making it challenging for new entrants to gain visibility and market share. Established players must continuously differentiate themselves with innovations to stay competitive.
  2. Customer retention: As competition grows, retaining existing customers becomes crucial. Marketers need to focus on customer success, product adoption, and long-term relationships to reduce churn.
  3. Content saturation: The abundance of content makes it challenging to cut through the noise. Marketers must create thought leadership content with a fresh perspective that excites their target audience.
  4. Partner ecosystems: Building and managing partner ecosystems to extend product reach and integrations can be a challenge. Marketers must choose and collaborate effectively with partners keeping the client/end-user benefits in mind.

Where do you see the SaaS sector heading in the next five to ten years? And Martech specifically?

The SaaS sector, including Martech (Marketing Technology), is poised for significant transformation and growth over the next five to ten years. Here are some key trends and directions we can anticipate:

  • Sustainable SaaS: Sustainability concerns will influence SaaS product development, with a focus on reducing carbon footprints and energy consumption. SaaS providers will work toward sustainable practices and offer eco-friendly solutions.
  • Content automation: Content creation and distribution will become more automated. AI-powered tools will assist in generating written, visual, and video content, and optimising content strategies at scale.

Marketing in the metaverse: As the metaverse develops, Martech will explore ways to engage with audiences in a unified manner, endeavouring to offer a brand-consistent experience across virtual platforms.

Where do you stand on the advancement of AI in the digital sphere?

The ongoing advancement of AI in the digital sphere has undeniably made a profound impact. One of the most notable effects is its ability to facilitate the creation of highly targeted and relevant content. Thanks to predictive analytics, brands can now predict which individuals are likely to make a purchase, often within a remarkably precise time frame, such as the next 15 days. This invaluable information allows marketers to allocate their resources and efforts more prominently toward potential customers.

Moreover, AI empowers marketers to reach their audience where they are most active and engaged, whether it’s on a particular social media platform or through a preferred communication channel. The use of AI-driven recommendation engines and data intelligence has been a game-changer. Marketers understand their audience better and craft more meaningful conversations that lead to conversions.

AI’s integration into the digital landscape is revolutionising how brands connect with their customers. It enables more precise targeting, enhanced communication, and, most importantly, the delivery of content and offers that truly resonate with the audience. This, in turn, is driving better results and fostering stronger relationships between brands and their customers.

What is it that motivates you, personally and professionally? Any words to live by?

What motivates me personally is a passion for my work, and professionally it would be career advancement.
As for the words to live by, I will quote Joe Chernov: “Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.”

Any advice you’d give to aspiring marketers looking to dive into the SaaS sector?

Here are my 3 pointers:

  1. Get to know your SaaS product inside out. Understand its features, benefits, and how it solves customers’ pain points. The better you understand the product, the more effectively you can market it.
  2. Attend industry events, conferences, and webinars to network with professionals in the SaaS sector. Building relationships can lead to valuable partnerships and insights.
  3. Address attention recession by prioritising content quality, relevance, personalisation, and customer behaviour.

It’s been great to learn more about you and your work, Jasmine, 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 Netcore Cloud?

It was great to share my thoughts and have the conversation. Thanks!

I am available on Linkedin or email.

Digital convergence has been around for a while, following in the footsteps of evolving technologies and upgraded networking. The development of the Internet of Things (IoT) has increased the amount of multimedia available to consumers worldwide – multimedia being the combination of audio, video, and data. 

There’s a lot of talk about digital convergence with a global pandemic and its impact. Digital convergence has seen a massive uptake due to the digital transformation demanded by the changes of 2020. But what is digital convergence? And how has it impacted society?


What is Digital Convergence?What is Digital Convergence?

Digital convergence is using any device to view any multimedia regardless of its format. 

This looks pretty straightforward, but the technology is required to allow us to stream videos from our smartphones to our televisions, read emails on our tablets, or send instant messages from our computers.

The seamless experiences many take for granted have steadfastly transformed our lives and work as we know it.

Types of Digital ConvergenceTypes of Digital Convergence

Digital convergence refers to merging different technologies, platforms, and industries in the digital era. It integrates various digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence and smart devices, with business models and processes to drive innovation and digital transformation. 

Digital convergence is crucial in shaping new business models and addressing business issues in the current business landscape.

1. Technological Convergence: 

Technological convergence involves the interconnection of communication technologies to create a seamless and integrated ecosystem. 

This convergence allows the sharing of information, services, and resources across different devices and platforms. 

It enables access to digital content, such as music and videos, on a single device, eliminating the need for separate devices for each media type.

2. Business Convergence:  

Business convergence refers to transforming traditional business models to adapt to the digital era. 

It involves integrating digital technologies and platforms into business processes, leading to more efficient operations, improved customer experiences, and increased competitiveness. 

Digital business models, driven by digital transformation projects, are reshaping industries like the music and radio industry, where digital platforms have disrupted traditional distribution channels.

3. Innovation Convergence: 

Innovation convergence combines technological innovations with business models to drive sustainable and disruptive innovation. 

It involves leveraging digital technologies as tools for innovation and exploring new ways to meet customer needs. 

Examples include Nokia’s converged charging and policy controller solutions, which enable telcos to offer their customers personalised and tailored pricing plans and services.

Digital convergence is a transformative force in today’s business world. Understanding the different types of convergence can help businesses and individuals navigate the digital landscape, leverage new opportunities, and stay competitive in an ever-evolving digital economy. 

Developing critical thinking, communication, and adaptability skills is crucial to effectively harnessing the power of digital convergence for growth and success.


Implications of Digital Convergence

Digital convergence has given society a new interconnectedness across all facets – our personal and professional existence. It has granted us universal access to information, regardless of the devices we possess.

It has also allowed us to share that information more easily with others; we are no longer dependent on the content’s format to be able to view or share it. This has led to improved integration in communication, not only between individuals and companies but between machines as well. 

Think about it this way: if we can share information more readily across all our devices without fussing over the shape it takes or its compatibility with devices, data sharing between machines has taken on a whole new speed. 

The downside of digital convergence is ‘fate sharing’. If everything is interconnected across one network, then if something goes wrong with the network, everything will be affected. 

Think of it like ‘all eggs in one basket’ – if the basket breaks, all your eggs will be on the floor in pieces, leaving you with a mess and no omelette.

Increased Use of Smart Devices and Wearables

The increased use of smart devices and wearables can be attributed to the ongoing process of digital convergence. These devices are critical in bridging this convergence’s diverse digital technologies and platforms.

Smart devices such as smartphones, smartwatches, and fitness trackers have become integral to our daily lives. They have evolved from mere communication and entertainment tools to powerful devices, enabling us to access and interact with various digital services.

 These devices transform how we live, work, and interact, from healthcare to retail. In healthcare, wearables are used to monitor vital signs, track fitness levels, and even detect early signs of illnesses.

This trend has also had a profound impact on consumer behaviour and expectations. Consumers now expect seamless integration between their smart devices and the digital platforms they interact with. They demand personalised experiences and instant access to information and services.

The growing dependence on smart devices and wearables introduces organisational challenges and opportunities. They need to adapt their business models and strategies to accommodate this shift in consumer behaviour. 

The increased use of smart devices and wearables in the context of digital convergence has revolutionised industries and consumer behaviour. Organisations must embrace this trend and leverage its potential to remain competitive in the dynamic landscape of today’s digital age.

Impact on Privacy and Security Issues

Digital convergence has revolutionised how we interact with technology, but it also raises concerns about privacy and security. The interconnectedness of devices and information sharing across platforms can create vulnerabilities that pose severe risks to individuals and organisations.

One of the significant impacts of digital convergence on privacy and security lies in the increased amount of shared data. With more devices and platforms connected, a larger pool of personal information can be accessed. 

This raises concerns about how companies, governments, and other entities collect, store, and use this data. It places individuals at greater risk of identity theft, fraud, and other forms of privacy infringement.

Moreover, the interconnectedness of devices means that a breach in one system can have a domino effect, potentially compromising multiple platforms and devices. 

For example, if a hacker gains access to a smart home system, they could control other connected devices, such as security cameras or personal assistants, further invading privacy and posing physical security risks.

To address these challenges, robust security measures are needed. This includes strong encryption algorithms, regular software updates, and strict access controls. Organisations must also prioritise user education on privacy and security best practices to minimise the risks associated with data sharing and interconnected devices.

While digital convergence offers numerous benefits, it also brings significant privacy and security concerns. Individuals, organisations, and policymakers need to take proactive measures to ensure technology’s secure and responsible utilisation in the digital age.

Shifts in Consumer Behaviour and Expectations

Consumer behaviour and expectations have undergone significant shifts in recent years due to the advent of digital convergence. 

One major factor driving these shifts is the increased access to digital platforms and smart devices. With the widespread use of smartphones, tablets, and wearable tech, consumers now have instant access to information and services at their fingertips.

This has led to an expectation of convenience, personalisation, and seamless experiences across various touchpoints.

Another shift in consumer behaviour is the growing demand for sustainability and social responsibility. Consumers are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their choices and expect businesses to align with their values. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has only intensified these transformations in consumer behaviour. 

In this resilience-based structure, technology convergence plays a crucial role. Integrating robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled businesses to automate processes, personalise customer experiences, and analyse data for better decision-making. 

These digital technologies have become essential for innovation and adapting to changing consumer expectations. Digital convergence has caused significant consumer behaviour and expectations shifts. The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated these changes, necessitating adopting a resilience-based structure. 


The Digital Convergence Revolution

Agility is one of the keys to unlocking the advantages of digital convergence. The ability to pivot based on the changing circumstances will be the difference between companies that survive the pandemic and companies that fail. 

2020 taught us that digital transformation is no longer optional but demanded in the face of our unpredictable world. In this dynamic landscape, you can never know when a start-up competitor will undercut you, your industry will take a hit, or a pandemic will bring the entire world to a halt. 

No matter the situation, an agile company is a resilient company. 75% of executives believe the pandemic’s lasting impact will mean that we will be working faster and with more agility than before. Combined with the pandemic, the digital revolution has left behind those brands stuck in rigid systems. 

Those brands may never recover. Forrester predicts that lines between marketing and customer experience functionality will blur more than ever before, eventually leading to a true convergence and a definite increase in loyalty and retention marketing.

2021 will be a make-or-break year for all brands: either join the revolution or be left behind and miss out on all the new year’s opportunities.

Challenges for Organisations in the Age of Digital Transformation

In the age of digital transformation, organisations face numerous challenges as they navigate the rapidly evolving digital landscape. As traditional business models are disrupted and replaced by innovative digital ones, organisations must adapt to remain competitive. 

The convergence of digital technologies, including artificial intelligence and smart devices, further intensifies organisations’ challenges. They must understand and harness these technologies and effectively integrate them into their business processes. 

This requires a deep understanding of digital convergence’s potential benefits and risks and the ability to leverage it for innovation. 

Additionally, organisations must consider their digital transformation initiatives’ social and ethical implications and ensure they align with corporate social responsibility. 

To overcome these challenges, organisations must maintain ongoing investments in digital transformation projects, foster a culture of innovation, and equip their employees with the necessary communication and critical thinking skills to thrive in the digital age.

Final Thoughts

Digital convergence has paved the way for the future of technology, representing a natural evolution driven by the impact of digital transformation. It’s a trend that is here to stay.

It empowers the IoT and drives the strategies behind digital marketing, research and development for new technologies, improving how we gather, communicate, and track data and automate systems. 

Where will it all lead? Only time will tell, but with the rise of seamlessly integrated technologies like smart home devices and voice controls, we can assume that digital convergence will give birth to a single digital ecosystem somewhere down the line.

Originally published: 07 Jan, 2021
Updated: 12 September, 2023

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Frequently Asked Questions About Digital Convergence

What is Meant by Digital Convergence?

Digital convergence refers to integrating different technologies, media formats, and devices into a unified digital platform. It’s merging distinct technologies, industries, or devices into a broader, more versatile system.

What is an Example of Convergence?

A classic example of convergence is the smartphone. It combines the functionalities of a telephone, camera, music player, computer, GPS, and more into a single device. Another example is a smart TV, which combines traditional television broadcasting with internet browsing and streaming capabilities.

What is the Basic Concept of Convergence?

The basic concept of convergence is the merging or integrating of different media forms. It’s the process where several media channels unite and operate in synergy. For example, the Internet, television, and newspapers are separate media forms. Still, they converge when a news article is read online via a smartphone or a TV show is streamed over the Internet.

What Are Convergence Culture Media Examples?

Convergence culture refers to a shift in media consumption where consumers actively participate and interact with multiple media platforms. Examples include fans discussing TV shows online, creating memes, or remixing music and videos. Another example is blending video gaming with movies, where stories and characters transcend across both mediums.

What Are the Benefits of Convergence?

Convergence offers numerous benefits. It involves multifunctional devices with various consumer capabilities, potentially resulting in cost savings. It also ensures a more seamless integration of different media forms for a more enriched user experience. For businesses, it presents opportunities for new revenue streams, increased audience engagement, and the ability to tailor content for various platforms. It also paves the way for innovative product and service offerings as industries overlap.

Sharing knowledge with others and helping them advance is a great way to live your life. In many industries, knowledge is considered proprietary – kept separate from others to ‘protect’ it. 

Digital marketers often share their knowledge and expertise – this is one of the key reasons for this Marketing Expert Series, after all. 

In this issue, digital marketing trainer, Alena Chan, shares her story. Backed by years of B2B sales and marketing experience, Alena turned to training to help others grow their skills and overcome challenges.

Hi, Alena! Welcome to our Marketing Expert Series. Let’s start with your background, please tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get to where you are now? 

I started my career with 20+ years of experience in B2B sales,  serving in a leadership position for 10 of those years. 

My marketing experience gave me the ability to transition to becoming a passionate and dedicated digital marketing trainer.  

I am a firm believer in knowledge sharing to help my learners navigate this complex world of digital marketing, acquire new skills, and knowledge and empower them to achieve their goals. 

So you spent more than 20 years in B2B sales and marketing. You spent much of those years in leadership positions. How did you go from that to digital marketing training? Tell us more about how you came to be a trainer and what your training is all about.

I always challenge myself to explore new opportunities in different ways. Operating a boutique marketing agency business together with my mentor has helped me gain sufficient expertise to transition into digital marketing training.  

Training allows me to pursue my passions and do something that brings me greater happiness and fulfilment. My training typically covers a range of topics, such as Google Marketing (search engine optimization, search engine marketing and google analytics), social media marketing and content marketing. I also train people in skills in leadership, people management, presentation and effective selling skills. 

In addition, I have the opportunity to teach in these courses: Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing and SG United Skills Program (SGUS). Successfully designed the entire curriculum for the Applied Degree in Digital Business course. 

The goal of my digital marketing training is to help individuals and businesses build a strong online presence and drive more traffic, leads and sales by breaking down complex concepts into simple terms to help them succeed. 

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?

The Pandemic has led to a global recession, with many industries facing significant challenges and economic disruption. Many businesses have shifted to online operations and e-commerce has seen a surge in demand. 

The marketing agency business has been impacted in some ways and many companies have had to cut back on their marketing budget, this has led to a reduction in the demand for marketing services.  

This meant that I had to take a good hard look and think about what I wanted in life and my career.  ‘Resiliency’ is the word to describe it.  

How did the developments over the last few years affect your strategies? 

The Pandemic was a challenging time for many people.  However, it also led to unexpected opportunities for me.  

I had to pivot my strategies to adapt to the changing paradigm, shifting my priorities from marketing agency business to training opportunities with a greater focus on exploring digital channels, personalization and building strong relationships with my stakeholders. 

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?

In recent years, I have revamped and transformed a financial website from a traditional look and feel to a lifestyle website with a clean and attractive design to target the younger generations.  

Optimizing the website content to rank higher in their search engine results by increasing traffic and visibility. Ensuring that the website is well-structured and easy to navigate, focusing a lot on user experience.  Creating high-quality and engaging content that resonates with our client’s target audience.  This has ultimately attracted more traffic to their site. 

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

I stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in digital marketing to ensure that my training is relevant and effective, such as following industry blogs, and publications.  Joining online communities, and attending industry events and webinars. 

As a digital marketing trainer, I continuously take online courses and certifications on various platforms to learn about the latest digital marketing tools and technologies. Networking with fellow trainers and other professionals in the digital marketing industry to learn about their experiences and insights. 

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

Some challenges that marketers and digital experts may face in today’s industry are keeping up with evolving and new technologies and tools are constantly emerging.  Knowing how to use them effectively can be a challenge for marketers. 

Managing data and analysing it can be overwhelming as marketers need to have the skills and tools to effectively collect, analyse and make informed decisions. 

In your experience, as a woman, are there any obstacles – glass ceilings and the like – for digital marketing trainers? 

Gender-based obstacles and glass ceilings do exist in various industries.  Despite in recent years, gender inequality in the workplace has been reduced, I do still face challenges as a woman digital marketing trainer. 

Some studies have shown that women are often evaluated less favourably than men in performance reviews, even when we have similar skills and experiences.  

Overall, while there are certain obstacles that women may face as digital marketing trainers, it is important to recognize that progress is being made towards gender equality in the workplace to address gender bias and support women in their careers.  

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

Continuously learning, and keeping up with the latest trends and best practices is essential.  Finding your niche by specializing in a specific area of marketing or entrepreneurship.  This will help to build a focused brand and differential yourself from competitors. 

In today’s digital age, building a robust online presence is essential for success.  Your personal brand is your reputation and how people perceive you.  

I embrace failure as I see it as an inevitable part of entrepreneurship.  Learn from our mistakes and don’t be afraid to pivot when things aren’t working well. 

Entrepreneurship can be challenging, but it can be incredibly rewarding.  Have fun and enjoy the journey, and celebrate successes along the way. 

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

My motivation is to learn something new every day, it helps me to gain new perspectives and insights.  I often reflect on my progress and assess how far I can go. Learning is a lifelong process and it is important to continue challenging myself and seeking new opportunities to learn and grow. 

Overall, my passion for learning and dedication to knowledge sharing are valuable qualities that I can inspire and motivate my learners to pursue their learning journeys. 

Two-way learning enables me to learn with and from each other.  

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Alena. How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you or your training courses?

I welcome people to connect with me via Whatsapp or LinkedIn.



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You may know it better as the ‘fast food industry’, but it’s also known as the ‘quick-service industry’. In Southeast Asia there are plenty of different franchises and types of quick-service restaurants, some focusing on local cuisine and more global ones like McDonalds, Subway, and Burger King.

In this issue of the Marketing Expert Series, Head of Marketing at 4Fingers Crispy Chicken, Belinda Ho, talks about her 20+ years in this fascinating industry and how she came into digital marketing. Her experiences over the course of her career provide insight into the industry itself, as well as her own life’s story.

Hi, Belinda, 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?

I have been in the quick-service restaurant industry for more than 20 years. Starting with McDonald’s for 17 years, then a quick 21 months in Texas Chicken and finally, nested in 4Fingers Crispy Chicken.

Local store marketing, events and family marketing were my foundation and forte back then. I previously headed the Happy Meal Program in Malaysia. I plead guilty for breaking many hearts due to the “sold out” situation in all of the HM Programs during that time. But in my defense, we did not expect such an overwhelming response…..  Ha! Ha! Ha!

It was my short stint with Shell, representing EdenRed that had me dabbled in digital marketing overseeing built on mobile apps CRM Programs. That was my awakening and brought me further and deeper into digital marketing (social media, digital marcomm, food aggregator and strategic partnership)

When I was at Texas Chicken in particular, the insights into digital marketing played a major role in encouraging me to learn more, leading me to my current position as Marketing Head at 4Fingers.

You’re the Head of Marketing at 4Fingers Crispy Chicken. Please tell us about 4Fingers and the work you do there.

Let me see, where do I start…?

I am responsible and accountable for everything related to Sales, Marketing, and even PR. This includes yearly budget projection & marketing calendar planning, sales performance, brand management & positioning, advertising, new product development, local store marketing, new store openings with image enhancement, digital marketing as well as Corporate MarComm and strategic partnerships. Since we are the brand keeper, we must keep tabs on any new designs from store images to uniforms.

My typical day starts with analyzing daily performance and nimble it strategically. Not forgetting preparing project proposals throughout the year and leading campaigns from the budget; planning to execution. And I usually end my day by visiting at least 1 store out of our 52 stores.

Lastly, I also support Franchise Team and Indonesia Team in setting up of new stores and on-going engagement in campaigns & new products.

What sort of impact did the COVID-19 pandemic have on 4Fingers Crispy Chicken?

The impact comes as an opportunity to reach out to customer beyond the storefront, as customer seeks to digitally hunt and engage themselves for their next meal. The need for businesses to change digitally and evolve with new consumer behaviour is essential.

How have the developments of the COVID-19 Pandemic affected your strategies as Head of Marketing? What challenges and/or developments have you had to adapt to since 2020? How have you overcome them?

We switch 180 and fully focus on advertising digitally and collaborate heavily & effectively with our Food Aggregators Partners to bring attractive selections to the our consumers. Since delivery is dominating over foot traffic, all campaigns are emphasized towards products that can sustain portability. We changed the packaging to maintain our product quality to be same as enjoyed at the storefront.

Strategies became shorter to midterm. And we (the marketers) must be more adaptable to situational circumstances. Understanding that the lines between tactical and strategic during this period are totally blurred.

From helping to market the brand as a Covid safe brand, marketing the safety aspect of the business, taking on new consumer needs for staples and family meals and now helping the business adapt after it has opened.

In addition to that, the biggest challenges were the insufficient and inconsistent supplies that made the obstacles even more significant, especially our chicken supplies. Because of that, Marketing Team synergizes with the Supply Chain Team to ensure continuous supplies, especially chicken. Marketing will tweak the menu & window calendar campaign based on SCM projections. During this time, we have to be extremely agile and able to response quickly based on unpredictability circumstances.

What lasting impact do you believe the pandemic’s forced acceleration of digital transformation has had on your industry?

The positive impact would be the building of digital infrastructure as the adoption rate of digital engagements are now higher. This accelerated the consumer learning on it and that now has set a foundation for a lot of businesses.

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?

In fact, it doesn’t because marketing’s true role is still about “communication of a product to a target customer through a medium and seeks to convert them” and for the past decade it has still proven that change is a constant and marketers must adapt.

Changes in communication channel adoption and effectiveness, consumer behaviour and environment are part and parcel of day-to-day marketing. Ultimately is the understanding of consumer behaviour.

As a woman, there are often obstacles to overcome in any industry. How have your experiences and opportunities helped shape you professionally? Do you feel that your career has had an impact on how you now lead your teams?

Totally agreed. The working landscape is dynamic as we established, and the business world is no longer just a man’s game. In fact, based on my working experience I have met more women Marketers either as a client or within the agencies communities. However, I must admit that battling or trying to compete in this challenging environment is “no walk in the park”.

My experiences and opportunities now had an impact on how I lead my team as they have given me:

  1. The ability to wear many hats
    Balancing careers, household management and taking up the mantel of parental guidance helped me to quickly adjust to new situations and focus on finding solutions to real-life work issues.
  2. Enhancement of Teamwork
    I am an advocate of teamwork and team player. Making bold and wise decisions which will help make the team environment less authoritative and more cooperative, bringing a family-like feel to the team. Eventually, this boosts teamwork across the organisation and helps implement a new culture within the business.

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

Learn how to be proactive & helpful instead of being quiet and waiting for directions. Be PROACTIVE by asking a lot of questions. However, it is AN ART to ask questions without being annoying and counterproductive. You do by listing down all the questions, set a dateline for feedback and coming out with options & solutions.

This behaviour eventually produces the right working attitude and lastly, understanding & be adaptable to the ever-changing marketing industry.

It’s been great to learn more about you and your work, Belinda, thank you for sharing. How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you or 4Fingers Crispy Chicken’s work?

You can follow me on LinkedIn.

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The finance industry is a complex arena, requiring special insight and expertise to excel. With the last few years, the industry – like all other industries – had to make monumental changes to adapt to the changes in human behaviour.

In this issue of the Marketing Expert Series, we talk fintech, banking and how they’ve changed. More than that, we are given the rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of the inner workings of the industry. Our guide for this journey? Kevyn Eng, vastly experienced, Head of Growth and Marketing at Hugosave, Singapore’s first Wealthcare® and savings app aimed at helping users manage their finances more healthily.

Hi, Kevyn, 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? 

I started my career in Public Relations with two of the world’s most respected consultancies—Fleishman-Hillard and Burson Marsteller—serving finance, industry and B2C clients. I had the chance to be exposed to the dynamic world of Banking and Finance.

In 2009, I entered the banking space, specifically, payments. In those days, marketing was an end-to-end function that combined today’s business (product marketing) and marketing roles (marketing communication). I’m always grateful for the wide exposure and opportunities to be involved in almost every component of the integrated marketing spectrum. For instance, I was fortunate to have entered banking at the point RBS took over ABN Amro’s payment business and, within two years, executed another brand change to ANZ. In this short span of time, I was thrust into two major bank rebranding exercises and that experience really taught me much.

2011 was another interesting year when I worked on Marketing Communication for private banking clients in Southeast Asia. Though frequent travels were tiring, the direct exposure and working relationships formed with agencies and partners across Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand were valuable. Today, I still keep in contact with some of them.

2019 was yet another milestone year when I moved into the Intelligent Banking business. Leveraging open banking, cognitive banking and ecosystems, we pioneered changes in mindset, processes and business models, all within a giant bank with a global presence.

Today, I’m leading the Growth and Marketing department of Hugosave, Singapore’s first Wealthcare® and savings app.

You’re the Head of Growth & Marketing at Hugosave. Please tell us about Hugosave and the work you do there.

Launched in July 2021, Hugosave is Singapore’s first Wealthcare® and savings app which helps users become financially fit by spending smarter, saving more, and investing diligently, starting with gold.

Today, more than 50,000 users in Singapore are using Hugosave to optimise their finances. The Hugosave Growth & Marketing department commercialises the business, driving customer acquisitions and CLV whilst optimising acquisition and customer costs. This is done through an in-depth understanding of users’ needs and behaviours, and close coordination and collaboration with many internal stakeholders. We actively acquire and engage our clients through a mixture of broad-based marketing to personalised communication triggered via our CRM platform.

Building the Hugosave brand from a nobody to a multi-award-winning name, the high-performing team deploys a multi-lever approach involving PR, Branding, Content, Social, Communities, Digital Marketing and advertising channels. We also plan and execute innovative campaigns, rewards and partnership activities.

What sort of impact did the COVID-19 pandemic have on Hugosave?

Covid-19 has fundamentally changed the way the world works. On a macroeconomic level, it has significantly disrupted supply chains, impacting the global movement of goods and services. This increased the cost of doing business and jacked prices of goods and services up across the globe.

In Singapore, where natural resources are scarce, we are heavily reliant on global supplies. The increases in prices have definitely eroded our savings, disrupting our financial plans and reducing our purchasing power.

The need to save has never been more apparent. Consumers have now a heightened awareness of the need for sufficient emergency funds and saving for rainy days. It’s a double whammy when they now have to spend more on daily essentials due to inflation. Hugosave is well-positioned to help customers save in a painless manner. In line with our Little, Often, Early mantra, we think consumers can still achieve savings when they set aside small amounts of savings on every spend they make. Our Roundups feature on our Hugosave Debit Card does just that. It rounds every transaction up to the nearest dollar and saves the spare change, aka Roundups, in Gold. The precious metal is widely accepted as a safe-haven asset and an inflation hedge.

Consumers can also set scheduled savings in Gold, in any amount starting from S$0.01. This automation at the back allows customers to continue with their daily lives with minimal disruptions and pinch.

Hence, this is a golden time for Hugosave to engage our prospects and encourage them to start their Wealthcare® journeys, and hopefully with us.

How have the developments of the COVID-19 Pandemic affected your strategies as Head of Growth & Marketing? What challenges and/or developments have you had to adapt to since 2020? How have you overcome them?

From a marketing outreach perspective, we see the shift in our budget and investments fully into digital marketing, content creation and public relations.

Whilst we continue to believe in face-to-face interactions with our prospects, the situation during Covid-19 forced us to be sharper in the way we communicate, to further simplify complex finance terms for consumers. Online attention is also way shorter than a physical interaction and so messages needed to be more succinct and on-point.

What sort of lasting impact do you believe the pandemic’s forced acceleration of digital transformation has had on your industry?

The digital wave has accelerated faster as a result of the pandemic. From eCommerce to content consumption, the digital space is now the default for many Singaporeans. As a by-product, our push towards a cashless society has also moved quickly.

Does this then see the death of the piggy bank since there’s even lesser use for coins? Here’s where we introduce Hugosave’s digital piggy bank. Rounding up transactions to the nearest dollar, the cents are now saved and invested in Gold. So not only do customers save from incurring unnecessary processing fees from banking coins, they have a good chance of seeing the investments grow and protecting savings from inflation.

In the world of personal finance and Wealthcare®, a similar wave is happening. Innovations and tech disruptions to traditional banking services have grown tremendously.

Opening banking and SGFinDex paved the way for data democratization, and clients now have greater control over their information. With that, it also spurs growth in Wealthtech apps with better journeys and simpler and easier-to-understand propositions that help clients manage their finances more efficiently and effectively.

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?

Definitely, Hugosave is primed at the right time with the right proposition built by the right team.

In times of FUD, people turn their attention to saving opportunities as they tighten their belts. This makes the environment ripe for a business like Hugosave. We provide a platform for our clients to protect, preserve and grow their savings without feeling the pain. From automated savings with every spend via our Roundups feature to scheduled money pots, savings are invested in relatively lower-risk assets such as Gold, enabling their growth.

As a Weathcare® and savings App, we naturally reach out to our customers on a mobile-first principle. Over the Covid-19 period where physical interactions are limited, we make our marketing investments digital. Social media, in particular, Instagram and TikTok is key channels we utilise to get our messages out.

We have also taken the opportunity to explore audio podcasts via Spotify and Twitter Spaces. These platforms enable us to deliver our messages where our clients are. Apart from performance buys, we have also embarked on building our communities on Facebook & Telegram. It’s very interesting to note that our TG community has grown and overtook our Facebook Group within four months of its inauguration.

Communities will continue to be our focus and way to drive multi-way conversations. As we continue to dish out information and bite-sized education on personal finance, our communities will benefit from discussions with us, and amongst themselves.

How do the last few years impact your insight into how personal finances should be managed? Do you have any suggestions for people on how to better control and manage their financial situations?

Savings has almost become a forgotten topic as Cryptocurrency speculation sweeps across the youth’s mind space with the ‘get rich fast’ opportunities. The bull run of the crypto space prior to 2020 saw many trying their luck. Arguments that savings were too slow in accumulating wealth and such investments would work far better.

Looking back now, many have now understood that such speculations are highly risky and should be taken with much caution. With a gloomy economic outlook, people now turn their attention back to savings.

In Hugosave, our philosophy is to start your savings journey with a little, often, early. Start small to avoid feeling the pinch and slowly increase once it becomes second nature.

Keep a schedule going so that you continuously buy into the market, achieving dollar averaging and the potential to mitigate timing risk. Finally, start as soon as you can so that you enjoy the power of compounding interests.

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

My personal mantra is, “Keep going, you’ll get there”. Marketing is a diverse, dynamic, ever-changing industry that continues to reinvent itself as it responds to consumer and social developments. Sometimes, it feels chaotic and frustrating when plans change and we pivot fast to keep ahead and stay relevant. Bite the bullet, keep going and you’ll get there.

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

Follow me on my LinkedIn or simply visit the #Hugoverse!

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With everything that 2020 and 2021 have given us so far, namely a global pandemic, it’s easy to forget that climate change is still a threat. While it’s vital that we talk vaccines and defeating COVID-19, it’s also important that we do not lose any ground in the battle for the planet. One of the companies keeping this conversation at the forefront is Geneco, one of Singapore’s leading energy retailers. 

Joining us for this issue of the Marketing Expert Series, is Geneco’s Head of Marketing, Alex Chan, who shares the importance of green energy for Singapore and Geneco’s place on the frontlines for greener energy initiatives. With a background in marketing that cross-cuts multiple sectors and industries, Alex offers insights that help deepen our understanding of marketing, especially when it comes to marketing green energy.

Hi, Alex! Thanks for joining us in this issue of the Marketing Expert Series! Let’s start with something straightforward: tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get to where you are now? 


It’s my pleasure and thanks for inviting me to the Series


I always believe in the power of language and visual elements, and how it impacts the way one feels or think, whether it is a tv commercial or even a billboard. From then, I knew that this was an area that I always wanted to pursue, and that’s why I studied Mass Communications during my university days.    


I started my career in advertising agencies as account servicing. Over time, I wanted to be in the end-to-end marketing journey and be a key influence behind campaign results. Soon after, I had an opportunity to work in the marketing team of M1, a telco company, where my passion to be a marketer truly ignited. One gig led to another, I had the opportunity to work in another leading telco StarHub and other industries, such as FMCG and Chemical.


Over my 17 years of experience, I was also fortunate to spearhead multiple award-winning brand and marketing campaigns. And that led me to where I am right now – Geneco, a retail brand of YTL PowerSeraya, in the energy industry.


As I progressed in my career, I realised that the marketing landscape is dynamic and evolves incredibly quickly. There is always something to learn, skills to hone and strategies to adapt. This is one key reason that continues to fan the fire for my passion for marketing.


Now, you’re the Head of Marketing at Geneco, a leading electricity retailer in Singapore. What does your role entail?

To make it concise, I would like to describe the Head of Marketing role as having two key focuses: Brand-First and Digital-First.


This role charts the path in building the brand of Geneco. In the competitive energy market with 12 retailers, consumers are immune to an endless bombardment of tactical shout-outs with ever so slight differences in prices, plans and promotions. There is a need to balance these functional attributes and differentiate the brand with emotional attributes. This is where brand building comes in, this is where it worked well for Geneco, and we will continue to do so.


In the world of digitalisation, this role is also required to develop and optimise digital performance as well as social media strategies. As Geneco is a digital company without any brick-and-mortar shops, its online presence has to be built towards delivering effective direct-to-consumer results. As part of customer engagement, this role also looks after the development and enhancement of the Geneco mobile app, which was recently revamped and relaunched. Singapore has a mobile penetration of 155%, one of the highest in the world, and we see the need to leverage the mobile app as a two-way platform to continue to engage and build loyalty with our customers.


Energy companies are all in the process of adapting to the impact of climate change. Green policy is in fashion, so to speak, what with the Singapore government launching its new Green Plan 2030. What steps has Geneco made to align with this initiative?

First, I would like to explain the brand name ‘Geneco’, which is made of two key parts: ‘Gen’ refers to our organisation as energy experts with over 50 years of power generation experience and electricity retailing for 20 years. And ‘Eco’ represents our commitment towards building a sustainable, greener nation. The brand purpose of Geneco is ‘Power The Change’ – our brand is not just about providing electricity, we aim to have a positive impact on the social, environmental and cultural aspects that shapes the lives of Singaporeans.


Since Geneco launched in 2018, we have embarked on this eco-journey by offering green electricity plans to our customers. Beyond this option, we have also initiated a program called The ChangeMakers, partnering with 6 like-minded organisations, Comcrop, Cultivate Central, Food Bank Singapore, Green Nudge, Refash and Repair Kopitiam. Each of us brings our area of expertise to encourage Singaporeans to adapt their lifestyles with greener practices.


Since the multi-agencies announced SG Green Plan 2030 earlier this year, Geneco is even more driven to work towards the 2030 vision with its green targets.


The first initiative we had was on Earth Day, 22 April. We announced the launch of our comprehensive solar installation solutions for residential, commercial and industrial customers, to help offset carbon dioxide emissions. On the same day, at Windsor Nature Park, we planted the first 50 of 250 trees that we have committed over 5 years. This initiative is under the NParks’ One Million Tree movement, and which is part of the SG Green Plan as well. 


The next key initiative, and which I am very excited to share is the launch Power Eco Add-on – Singapore’s First-and-Only green add-on for an electricity plan.

Can you elaborate a little on this? How has it been received so far?


At Geneco, we always challenge ourselves and strive to create impactful ways to empower customers to Power The Change for the environment. Along with SG Green Plan 2030, we are even more committed to encourage and ease Singaporeans in embarking on a journey towards building a greener home for all. 


Through the study on how Singaporeans responded towards climate change, we had the insight that while 80% of Singaporeans do care about the environment, 75% felt they lack options to act sustainably and 56% felt sustainability choice was of poor value.


And we were determined to make that change and worked on an innovative product that is the first of its kind – Power Eco Add-on.


Not only we simplified 6 plans to just 3 plans, but we also addressed the pain points of customers with 5 key differentiating benefits:


    • Flexibility – It allows customers to choose between Carbon Credits or Renewable Energy Certificates.
    • Affordability – Customers is able to select the level of green contribution from 25/50/75/100%, which starts from just 40cts more per month.
    • Impact – Customers can help to offset/avoid up to 3920kg of carbon dioxide emissions and that’s an equivalent to 192 rain trees absorbing in a year. 
    • Simplicity – Customer’s sign-up journey takes less than 5mins
    • Certified – A digital certificate will be sent to the customers for their green contributions

We coincided with our launch on National Day, not just to celebrate our Garden City’s 56th birthday, but also to reinforce our commitment to the SG Green Plan. We hope to rally Singaporeans to ‘Go Green Your Way’, which is the campaign tagline, and do their part for the nation.


And in just a month, we are heartened to see 10 times more customers who chose this green add-on actively as compared to the past. This result is exceptionally encouraging as it shows the growing commitment that Singaporeans has. It also reflects that the green path to SG Green Plan 2030 is a promising one.   

Being more focused on green initiatives, I imagine your marketing strategies and approaches have shifted as well. Could you tell us a bit more about what marketing activities you’ve been using to engage your customers and partners? Have there been any marketing challenges?


If we think about it, the need to protect the environment is not a recent trend or topic. Years ago, our nation has quite a few green initiatives, such as the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. And as shared earlier, though 80% of Singaporeans are aware and do care about the environment, such green practices have not been adopted widely over the years.


One of the key attributes is that the green topic is not a popular one for an engaging conversation, let alone to evoke any action. 


Since its inception, Geneco has always strived to be a responsible organisation. We always seek to understand what challenges our customers are facing and how we can ease and encourage them into adopting a greener lifestyle.


For example, to amplify the Power Eco Add-on campaign, we looked for partners that not only understand and are aligned to our purpose but also have a wide reach for us to leverage and increase the campaign awareness.


We eventually collaborated with the ever-popular bubble tea chain Playmade, as the design of Power Eco Add-on’s varying green contributions is in the likes of the sugar level choices concept for bubble tea. With the strong bubble tea culture in Singapore, this partnership will allow us to reach out to more Singaporeans through our gamification and initiatives together.

In addition, we also engaged prominent social media KOLs, who range from eco-warriors to those who just started their sustainable journey, to talk about their own green lifestyles and then explain the benefits of Power Eco Add-on.


Through these collaborations, we believe that we are able to reach out to the masses, create meaningful conversations and open up new narratives on a sustainable future.

Let’s switch it up a bit now. You’re a successful marketer with a variety of experiences across a different number of well-known brands. How have your career experiences shaped you as a marketer?

I am very thankful for the opportunities I had as each industry has its own learning curves, customer behaviours and marketing strategies.

For example, some companies focus on tactical approaches; others focus more on brand building. Some companies are smaller scale with a different set of priorities, while the bigger companies have a different set of challenges. Some companies’ core business depends on having physical stores or presence; others are going digital-only.  I was fortunate to be exposed to these experiences, which made me learn and re-learn and helped in shaping my skill sets as a marketer. 

 But what made a significant difference was that I had many inspiring mentors throughout my career. They didn’t just teach me about marketing but also guided me on how to be a more rounded individual, collaborative team player and a better leader. Some of them made an effort by translating their thoughts to me; while others inspired me by the way they led, approached and resolved matters. 

 These are valuable learnings, which will stay with me as a marketer and as an individual. 

Looking back at your career, is there any experience that you feel had a bigger impact on your life as a whole? Or do you feel like they all add up?


There are definitely key moments in different stages of my career that influenced my journey. As I look back and beyond my own experiences, it culminates into two key takeaways that I will always reflect on – the constant need for self and skill improvement.


Marketing has evolved rapidly over the years, advanced by technology. The media landscape has been significantly disrupted, renowned companies who led in the past have been overtaken by e-commerce platforms, customers have vastly different consumer habits now, and with the Covid-19 pandemic, these changes are accelerated – the list goes on.


What I feel is important, during these waves of changes, is to hold on to our marketing basics, as these foundations will never waver. Then complement these foundations by learning constantly whenever there are new opportunities, and keep applying what we have learnt. Only then, I feel we can build ourselves upwards and be stronger marketers.


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

I hope to give three pieces of advice and hope these will resonate with them.

Stay on top of the latest, whether they are trends, topics or happenings. It can be over casual conversations with your agency partners or connections with your peers in different industries; to be relevant is everything in this field.

Stay curious in the ever-evolving marketing landscape. Learning never stops, whether you are a marketer of 10 months or 10 years, there is always something new to add to your expertise. 

Most of all, stay passionate. No matter how challenging it gets, remember why you chose Marketing and keep the fire burning bright. It will only make you stronger over time.

Thanks for spending some time with us, Alex! How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you?

Thanks for having me. For those who might have more questions or simply want to connect, they can easily find me via LinkedIn; I will be happy to share more. 

The Marketing Expert Series features marketing and communications experts from across every industry. Every month, 2Stallions showcases the stories and expertise of marketing experts from around the world, join us as we explore how marketers navigate the challenges of the regions and industries they work in. If you’d like to be featured in the next issue of the Marketing Expert Series please reach out to us via email.

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Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, many companies have struggled to adapt to the changing circumstances. Digital transformation has often been a forced effort, born out of necessity rather than a driving desire. Some industries took the opportunity to take hold of their own futures and address the challenges head-on.

One of the digital marketers who drove through digital transformation early on, is Rena Tan, Regional Head of Marketing and Communications for Randstad Singapore, Malaysia, and Greater China. The world of recruitment and human resources has been impacted by COVID-19, requiring adaptation to new working practices and flexibilities, as well as the strain companies have had to deal with in light of hiring freezes and dips in revenue. 

Join us for this remarkable issue of the Marketing Expert Series with Rena Tan as she takes us through her personal journey and professional digital transformation.  

Hi, Rena, thank you for taking part in the Marketing Expert Series! Let’s start with some background, can you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get to where you are now? 

I like to think I’ve always had a creative side. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved to write, doodle and draw, create poetry, and was a voracious reader. In fact, my dream is to publish my own book one day. 

I was interning at MTV Asia back in my poly days, and was offered a full-time position on the very day I completed my final exams (yes – they liked me that much!). Pursuing my creative dreams, I went on to become a TV and radio producer at MTV, and later moved to the licensing and merchandising division where I helped launch various consumer products under the MTV and Nickelodeon brands. That stint truly honed my skills in marketing, branding, and communications. 

Subsequently, I was drawn to the bigger idea of marketing my home country. I took on a marketing role in the Singapore Tourism Board and was working on major projects such as the Singapore Fashion Festival, Singapore JewelFest and the MTV Asia Awards. My job took me on a study trip to Disneyland in California where my mission was to research theme parks and their accompanying amenities to build a business case for having big-brand theme parks in Singapore (and this was before Universal Studios came to town!)

Afterwards, I was offered a Head of Marketing role in a recruitment company. Now, including my current role at Randstad, I have been in the recruitment industry for 15 years.

Was there something that drew you to this line of work? Were there any specific experiences that attracted you to it?

The recruitment industry is where I felt I’ve finally found my groove as a marketer. The role allows me to express my creative flair while giving me exposure to all types of people, companies, and industries. 

When I first joined the industry 15 years ago, recruitment marketing was not as prominent. In fact, it was pretty traditional. Companies typically ran newspaper ads, participated in career fairs, and posted advertisements on job boards to attract job seekers.

Over the years, the industry has been constantly changing and disrupted – yet it remained resilient and agile. Since the recruitment industry is constantly evolving, it is extremely challenging and exciting to be working in marketing. You are always running on adrenaline, and forever looking 10 steps ahead to see how you can stay competitive and relevant. The industry, although traditional, has also gradually opened up to new and emerging technologies, especially over the last five years. 

Randstad in particular, was on a digital transformation journey when I joined the company, which gave me a blank canvas to pilot new marketing technologies and ideas. We are also very open to experimenting and although not all initiatives are successful, our leadership believes that failing is also about knowing what works and what doesn’t. This level of trust is really empowering for me, especially in Asia where failure is often frowned upon. The experience is exhilarating, to say the least, because having that autonomy to try new things has opened up so many new opportunities not just for the company, but also for myself and my team. I feel like I am learning something new every day.

Currently, you are the Regional Head of Marketing and Communications for Randstad Singapore, Malaysia, and Greater China. Can you tell us more about what Randstad does and how you fit in?

Randstad is a global leader in the HR services industry, and our mission is to support people and organisations in realising their true potential. We help connect companies with the best permanent and contracting talent in accounting & finance, banking & financial services, corporate & secretarial support, engineering, human resources, legal, life science, technology, sales, marketing & communications, and supply chain & procurement. Our ultimate goal is to touch the work lives of 500 million people worldwide by 2030.

As the Head of Marketing for Randstad Singapore, Malaysia, and Greater China, I’m responsible for the evaluation and implementation of Marketing and HR technology, with a particular focus on regional digital transformation projects for the business. I work with both internal and external stakeholders and partners to develop, trial and roll out initiatives involving marketing automation, demand generation, artificial intelligence, big data, predictive marketing analytics, social selling, design thinking, employer branding, talent communities and customer experience (CX).

I also oversee a dynamic team of 13 marketing and CX staff across Singapore, Malaysia and Greater China – and they look after strategic marketing, communications and branding campaigns, public relations and customer experience management.

I understand you cover Singapore, Malaysia, and Greater China – that’s a broad area indeed, what sort of challenges do you face dealing with such a large region?

The key challenge, I think, is understanding the cultural nuances and socio-political landscapes in each country. As much as you would like to bring some level of consistency and scale for certain marketing initiatives across the region, it might not be possible as there are different rules and regulations governing each market. I personally have to download a number of different apps so that I can communicate more effectively with my team members in the local market.

You need to navigate the local markets with a high level of sensitivity and be acutely aware of the lines you can or cannot cross. This is on top of the cultural and language differences you need to be mindful of when interacting with people from different markets – which I feel requires a strong sense of diplomacy, humility, EQ, and the ability to switch your state of mind quickly from one to another whenever you are interacting with people from the different markets. There is always something new to learn from local colleagues so you will continue to gain new knowledge, insights, and perspectives.

Are there any advantages to dealing with a region that large?

I love learning new things and having a large remit across multiple countries feeds my insatiable curiosity – where I am constantly exposed to new things, industries, organisations, cultures, people and ideas. I’ve learned to work with different types of people, gained stronger problem-solving skills through managing various difficult situations and conflicts, developed better cross-cultural communication skills as well as significantly enhanced my local market knowledge beyond Singapore’s shores. I get the opportunity to improve my Mandarin too when I interact with my stakeholders and teams in China. I would also say this experience has vastly expanded my horizon and perspectives, and made me a more consultative, strategic, and well-informed business partner and leader.

You have a bit of experience in the marketing sector in Asia; before Randstad you worked with Robert Walters.  Have you noticed any changing trends and marketing strategy changes in the region over the last decade or so?

I recently published a trends report on the new skill sets a future marketer would need in the next normal. Future marketers are responsible for championing data-led innovation within the organisation to drive business or better customer experience. They leverage technology and emerging trends in marketing to enhance the end-to-end customer journey. Marketers are not only increasingly looked upon as sales enablers, but also act as strategic business partners and drivers of change. 

We are also shifting to deploy more digital strategies not just as a response to the pandemic, but also to better engage the new generation of digitally-savvy consumers. This explains why there is also a stronger focus on areas such as social selling, social listening, marketing analytics, SEO, online reputation management, storytelling, hyper-personalisation, gamification, voice search and customer experience (just to name a few!). 

I am hopeful that as more companies go through their digital transformation journey, the marketing function will be regarded as a growth driver. The future marketer will be expected to harness the power of data, automation, customer insights, machine learning and artificial intelligence to better attract, retain and engage their organisation’s customers. 

Given the work you are involved in with Randstad, I imagine that COVID-19 has had a big impact. Have your marketing and communications strategies had to change because of the pandemic?

At the onset of COVID-19, I convinced my team that we had to pivot, and pivot early. Globalisation and technology have created a borderless world, and we could never be truly immune to whatever is happening in other parts of the world. If we had waited till the virus became a pandemic, we would not have been able to reap the success we did. We literally threw our 2020 marketing and content plans out the window and started fresh – creating a series of employer guides, market research on hiring appetite and employees’ expectations, employment outlooks, as well as a whole suite of business technology tools and COVID-19 related resources to help organisations navigate the complexities of operating in the midst of a pandemic. Subsequently, we continued to produce content to help organisations engage and manage the well-being of their staff and provide information they need to accelerate business recovery in the new normal.

We have definitely learned to be more agile in these unusual and uncertain times, and constantly try to anticipate what challenges lie ahead and how we can add more value to our recruiters, clients, and candidates.

As a result, we saw phenomenal growth in terms of web traffic and social media engagement levels, and continue to generate a high number of quality leads despite a really difficult year where we saw many businesses come to a halt.

How lasting do you think the impact of the pandemic will be to marketing – and indeed to Randstad – in the coming years?

I think the pandemic has made a permanent positive impact on marketing and hopefully, the way businesses now view the value of marketing. 

In this new world, organisations need to learn how to better engage their talent and customers in a virtual environment, and design new digital processes to attract, engage and retain them. Company leaders are increasingly looking to their marketing teams to help build and amplify their brands online; drive constant sales through new e-commerce models; explore new channels and partners; leverage data to predict customers’ propensity to buy or leave, as well as automate time-consuming and manual processes to drive greater efficiencies. 

We have definitely experienced this in Randstad, and this trend will only grow as more and more business leaders stepped up their organisation’s digital transformation efforts to stay relevant and as a business sustainability and growth strategy. At Randstad we are already experimenting with ML/AI and blockchain and building our own tech platforms and apps through our global Digital Factory so that we can be future-ready.

What about for you, personally, when this pandemic is over, what’s next for you?

As a marketing leader, I feel we have an obligation to stay ahead of the curve. We need to constantly find ways to disrupt our own industry because others will do it for us if we don’t. 

Hence, I will be expecting my team and I to remain open-minded and agile in our marketing approach, embrace the fact that the market will remain unpredictable and be prepared for change as it will be a constant, whether we like it or not. I will be looking out for new ways in which marketing can evolve further – for example, explore non-traditional marketing channels, tools and partnerships; adopt a data-driven mindset; and continue to benchmark our work with the best in other industries and countries. 

I also hope my team continues to receive the recognition for the amazing work they are doing everyday, not just from me but also the business. They are the real masters in their craft and they deserve all the credit for the successes we see in Randstad across the region today.

Most importantly, I would need to strive to achieve a better balance between work, family, and personal life. My boss told me in a recent performance review that he has no negative feedback for me at all but if he has to pick one, it would be that I’d need to maintain a better work-life balance as I tend to be an incorrigible workaholic, and the pandemic has kind of amplified that trait. I recognise that is not a healthy example for myself, my family nor my team, and this is something I am working on. For instance, I have tried to not check my emails or work during the weekends, and take time out to do things I really enjoy like drawing and gaming together with my family.

Now, I just want to touch on something you mentioned during our correspondence ahead of this feature interview: you’re a working mother with two children, a gamer in a previous life, and I understand that you like to draw in your spare time to destress? Could you tell us a little about that? How did you start and where can we see your work?

As mentioned, I have always had a creative streak and loved drawing and doodling since I was young. However, I never had the chance to pursue my passion for art further because you know, real life gets in the way. I picked it back up again in recent years because my daughter, who like me, has developed a real passion for art. Hence I used drawing as a reason for us to bond and spend time together. Recently we even went for a manga drawing workshop together – and we loved it!

You can check out my humble works on Instagram @sheerdoodles.

I also used to be quite an avid gamer before I got married – and at one time I was really into the MMORPG game World of Warcraft. I was literally “going on dates” with my husband (then boyfriend) – questing and raiding in the virtual gaming world every weekend. I stopped playing when I became a mom (time is such a luxury I don’t have!) and got back into playing casually only recently due to the lockdown. 

Any advice you’d give to aspiring or upcoming marketers? 

For a start, I would perhaps encourage aspiring marketers to keep pace with the trends not just within the marketing function, but also the industry that you work in. Understand your skills gaps in the next normal and take initiative to find out how you can upskill to close that gap. It’s also important to take an outside-in approach and network with your peers to find out where they are at and how they got there. It could help you map your career path. 

However, when I am looking to hire, I tend to look out for talent with a good set of soft skills. I am a strong believer that technical skills can always be taught, but soft skills – or essential personality traits as some might call them – have to be developed. For many people, you either have it or you don’t.

Examples of soft skills that many CMOs like myself look for in marketers would include having a high level of emotional quotient, adaptability, drive, an open and positive mindset, as well as strong work ethics and commercial acumen. Marketers are also increasingly expected to be a collaborative team player, great communicator and champion for change.

Some key advice for aspiring or upcoming marketers:

  • Continuous learning is key. Cultivate an insatiable appetite for knowledge and understanding in the disciplines or areas that are beyond your current role. Learn from the best outside of your function or industry to gain a new perspective on your work.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. You won’t know if an idea will be a success unless you move it to reality. Be prepared to fail and try again.
  • Always strive to add value and position yourself as a business partner. If you act like an order taker, you will be treated as one. Integrate yourself into the heart of the business and identify challenges/issues you can solve as a marketer.

Thank you, Rena, for sharing your experiences with us. How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you?

LinkedIn would be the best place as everything you want to know about me is right on my profile page:

If you’re wondering, sheerlock is my avatar’s name in World of Warcraft when I was playing a warlock. 🙂

The Marketing Expert Series features marketing and communications experts from across every industry. Every month, 2Stallions will showcase the stories and expertise of marketing experts from around the world, join us as we explore how marketers navigate the challenges of the regions and industries they work in. If you’d like to be featured in a next issue of the Marketing Expert Series. Please reach out to us via email.

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Despite being the tragedy of 2020, the COVID-19 crisis has driven a new wave of digital transformation and innovation approaches. Businesses learned to navigate the challenges of the coronavirus while addressing the needs of their employees, customers, and clients.

A study conducted by McKinsey & Company, a management consulting company, found that COVID-19 has forced many companies to accelerate their digital initiatives.

The research also reported that digital adoption rates during COVID-19 have increased compared to the previous surveys conducted in pre-crisis time.

These findings suggest that the coronavirus pandemic awakened businesses to the importance of digital technology. Most organizations have sped up their digital efforts to keep pace with changing consumer behaviour.

Impact of COVID-19 on Businesses

When COVID-19 broke out, businesses all over the world were impacted by a range of challenges: keeping employees and customers safe, maintaining operations, navigating government support schemes, and managing revenue.

Smaller companies, particularly start-ups, faced more devastating effects, including mass employee layoffs. In fact, small businesses had to lay off people just a few weeks after the onset.

According to Startup Genome’s Global Startup Survey, a majority of startups saw a decline in revenue since the beginning of the crisis. The key findings from the survey include:

  • 41% of startups globally are threatened in the “red zone”—they have three months or less of cash runway left.
  • 16% of startups saw their revenue drop by more than 80%
  • 74% of startups have had to terminate full-time employees a few weeks after the onset
  • 39% of all startups had to lay off 20% or more of their staff, and 26% had to let go 60% of employees or more
  • North America is the place with the biggest share of companies reducing headcount (84%), followed by Europe (67%) and Asia (59%).

Also, micro, small, and medium enterprises’ (MSMEs) struggle to survive the effects of COVID-19 as the crisis lengthens.

In the ILO SCORE Global Covid-19 Enterprise Survey, survey results show that 70% of MSMEs have had to shut down operations. Nearly 9 out of 10 businesses are experiencing a shortage in their cashflow, affecting business continuity.

Another study  also found that the sectors with the most business closures globally were the following:

  • Travel or tourism agencies (54%)
  • Hospitality and event services (47%)
  • Education and child care services (45%
  • Performing arts and entertainment (36%)
  • Hotels, cafes, and restaurants (32%)

While many start-ups are moving closer to closure and bankruptcy, the pandemic has opened doors to many entrepreneurial businesses.

Entrepreneurs have pivoted to offer goods and services borne out of the crisis, such as face masks, commercial cleaning services, delivery and errand services, and so on.

Moreover, some businesses have managed to stay operational in the midst of COVID-19—and accelerating digital transformation has helped them a lot.

3 Ways Businesses Adopted Digital Technology During COVID-19

1. Reshape Remote Working

A vast majority of businesses across the globe have made an abrupt shift to remote work. Many have normalized the “work from home” model to protect employees, serve customers, and most importantly, establish business continuity.

Remote work and virtual teams also put a spotlight on the importance of technology.

For example, Zoom, a video conferencing application, emerged as one of the most useful tools during COVID-19. Organizations use it to collaborate with their team members, in real-time.

Other online productivity tools and employee-facing technologies have also helped employees to more easily operate at similar levels of productivity, despite working outside the office.

According to a Synergy Research Group study, cloud providers see aggressive growth amidst the coronavirus crisis. It only means that more businesses have moved to the cloud to support a remote workforce.

With COVID-19 making remote work the new normal, companies—small or large —should see cloud-based technologies as a digital transformation priority.

2. Adopt Technology-Driven Systems

The success of remote work setup during the pandemic depends on several factors, including digital technologies.

Small to medium-sized businesses, and most especially, larger corporations must invest in digital tech to manage remote employees and facilitate fast communication and collaboration.

However, the virtual work environment is susceptible to data protection and data privacy risks, requiring businesses to adopt a technology-driven system to allay the fears of security risks.

The latest Exabeam report finds that there has been a significant increase in enterprise adoption of cloud-based security solutions to support a remote workforce.

The data found that 44% of enterprises use cloud-based security products to protect corporate financial information compared to the earlier study, where only 12% were protecting corporate financial information in this way.

Additionally, about 90% of companies said they rolled out cloud-based security products at the right time for the business. Many deployed such software solutions to safeguard customer information while sending emails and sharing files.

Those who incorporated cloud technology have also seen improvements in monitoring and tracking cyber attacks (21%) and accessing the software’s latest features (20%). These findings evidence that digital transformation minimises resources and overheads, allowing security analysts to complete tasks faster and focus on other projects.

3. Digitize Customer Experience

The virus not only changed the way people work but also the way people use the Internet.

With the lockdowns and limitations of activities, people seek out alternative entertainment and socialization. These include the uptake of the use of streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon,  and YouTube.  People are also connecting with distant friends on social media apps like Facebook.

Time spent online has increased, and so has how much money people spend online.

COVID-19 has driven changes in consumer behaviour and put e-commerce at the forefront of retail. Pandemic-weary consumers are looking for new normal must-haves online from alcohol to hand sanitisers, face masks, cleaning supplies, skin care products, groceries, and more.

This new consumer behaviour pattern has encouraged many businesses to digitize customer experiences using technological solutions like chatbots.

Short for chatterbot, this Artificial Intelligence (AI) feature helped retailers to bridge the gap in customer communications. The tool lets customers receive quick replies to their queries, eliminating the need for emails and long customer service wait times.

The use of live video streaming also spiked during the pandemic. Amazon, a big player in the e-commerce industry, entered the live streaming space to add a human touch to internet shopping.

Facebook has gotten more involved with live streaming since many online merchants strive to provide personal assistance and in-store experience to their followers.

McKinsey & Company acknowledged the importance of elevating customer experience in the time of COVID-19. Engagement is a crucial aspect of digital transformation that businesses should not neglect to remain economically viable.

Final Thoughts

Businesses that embraced the digital transformation, adding cloud technology and digitized customer experiences to their arsenal, can weather any challenge, even a pandemic. They can innovate employee collaboration, protect sensitive data, and digitize the customer experience, among other benefits.

The role of marketing in this transformation is crucial. Companies should pair digital tech with a solid marketing strategy to create, drive, and deliver a customer-centric experience.

At 2Stallions, we provide digital marketing services (i.e. social media marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing, etc.) that will help businesses understand and connect with their customers in today’s digital era. 

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