The Pursuit of Excellence

By Katy Galasinski, Chief Growth Officer

As our CEO, Alastair, said, at Aspectus, branding, marketing and communications is all about creating client success. And when we recently launched our new brand, we shared our formula for success, our X factor, our special sauce.

A key part of this is Excellent Execution. I want to let you all in on what that looks like at Aspectus. And what better way to do so than crowdsourcing intel from my talented Aspectus colleagues, whose endless energy, talent, and precision deliver success after success for the businesses and brands we call our clients.

“Clients don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” – Charlie Bonner-Davies, Junior Designer

Excellent execution for clients begins with striving to be an extension of their team. We count financial services, tech, energy, industrials, and capital market companies as clients. But in practice, our clients are not companies at all. They are people: the one, two, or three executives, heads of communications or marketing, or CEOs that trust us with protecting their businesses’ reputations and brands. This trust is something every team member at every level works hard to create.

Excellence for me means showing up every day as a safe pair of hands for my clients – making sure they trust us to get things done when we say we will, to a high standard.” – Nuala O’Sullivan, Account Executive, Energy

“In my eyes, excellence consists of many moving parts – stellar communication, insightful recommendations, valuable results and always putting your best foot forward, so we can build a strong and trusting relationship with clients.” – Ivy Gitarts, Senior Account Manager

It also means knowing what clients need before they know they need it. To do that we have to put ourselves in their position and adopt their POV. It takes time to develop this informed intuition with a client. We must immerse ourselves in the company’s marketing, sales, and business objectives. We have to fully comprehend the nature of their business, the marketplace in which they compete, and their offerings. And we must truly understand them, what their ambitions are, what keeps them up at night and how they like to work.

“Get a solid handle on your client’s objectives and your client’s boss’ objectives right from kickoff. Understand their obstacles and challenges and identify the gaps that you and your account team can fill.” – Christina Hong, Account Director

Once a client is confident that we have their backs, are in their corner, and consistently watch out for their best interests, they really do think of us as indispensable extensions of their team – integral partners in their business. Partners that support them from strategy to success in a way that creates meaningful business outcomes.

“No matter how good your strategy, in the end success always hinges on the execution. Ideas have to be distinct, relevant and challenging enough to change people’s hearts, minds and behaviors – or all your great thinking up front will go to waste. The reverse is also true. Execution is only excellent if it serves a brand’s big picture and takes it a step or two further towards success.” – Dan George, Associate Director

Different agencies undoubtedly treat their clients in different ways. For us, the term “client” doesn’t do justice to how we think about those companies who keep our lights on. And since each client point-of-contact has a unique personality and different workflows, and objectives specific to their businesses, we must be agile and adaptable.

“When I worked in-house, the agencies that stood out the most that we worked with were the ones who were able to proactively anticipate our needs, as well as reactively gauge when our needs or usual way of doing things had changed and switched pace accordingly.”
– Christina Hong, Account Director

So that’s what Excellent Execution means to us. As you can see there is nothing formulaic about it. It’s an attitude that runs deep here at Aspectus. An attitude that empowers our people to do their very best work for our clients, for Aspectus, and ultimately for themselves.

Related News

Insight unleashed: rediscovering the real magic behind the buzzword and harnessing its value in a data-driven world

By Ellie Jackson, Chief Client Strategy Officer

‘Insights.’ It’s one of those words, isn’t it? You know – the ones that get thrown around rather liberally over a period of time. And then, almost without you noticing it, you realize its true meaning has been diluted. 

For me, a true insight comes at the far end of a spectrum where ‘information’ sits on the left-hand side and ‘intelligence’ in the middle. Information is simply organized data. Intelligence is what the information tells us. Insight is the ‘a-ha’ moment. It’s that intelligence cleverly applied to the wider context of the situation that gives us an edge over everyone else. True insight requires us to understand what others don’t so we can make moves they can’t see. 

An Axe (marketed as ‘Lynx’ in the UK, Ireland, Malta, Australia, New Zealand and China) campaign from a couple of years ago really brings this to life. They worked with Google to investigate young men’s online searches: that data is the information. Searches like, ‘Is it ok for guys to eat tofu?’ and, ‘Is it ok for guys to do their eyebrows?’ formed the basis of the intelligence: there is a high level of insecurity among this group about what masculinity really means. The insight therefore was that what men are searching for is reassurance that it is okay to be themselves. Thus, a campaign was born: ‘find your magic’. 

Here at Aspectus, we talk about ‘intelligent insight’ – that’s core to how we support clients. In many ways, the ability to offer insight is a central reason to hire an agency. It’s something we see as being at the heart of the value we can offer our clients. That’s why our sector specialisms in technology, energy & industrials, financial services and capital markets are so important to us. It’s only because we understand these markets so well, and from every angle, that we can truly understand different stakeholder motivations and concerns. And although every situation is unique, now we’ve grown to around 100 people globally without diluting our sector focus, that wealth of experience is a real goldmine for us – and by extension our clients – to draw on. The ability to see the full picture from the outside is one of major sources of value of hiring an agency, after all. 

Intelligent insights goes deeper at Aspectus, too. We have a specialist Brand, Insights, and Strategy team, which works alongside our sector specialists. We are firm believers in rooting our strategic decisions in evidence, and that’s why we preface all our brand and messaging projects with stakeholder mapping, audience research and a deep-dive into competitor/partner/client positioning. That basis ensures we have the necessary information to generate valuable insights. True creativity cannot exist without that insight to hang off.  Insights are needed to steer that punchy, possibly even provocative, idea that’s really going to deliver success. That kind of creative energy only delivers when it’s grounded in meaningful insights and real-world thinking. 

For clients, this approach might mean identifying trends in their own data that they would not otherwise have been able to pinpoint. Or spotting industry themes that can align with their messaging and resonate with their audience. Or hitting upon the perfect mix of channels to communicate with their stakeholders. It’s that neat idea that is usually so brilliantly simple that once you see it, you can’t imagine how you didn’t think of it sooner. Ultimately it means getting them to their communications and business successes.  

While all this value will remain, we are standing on the brink of a major shake-up of our industry. The increasing use of AI technologies will bring considerable changes – well-documented already by others – not least of which will be to support an insight-led approach. The ability to more quickly and  easily interrogate data will provide strong foundations of information and intelligence for insight-led thinking – the ‘human-in-the-loop’ layer where we add our value. 

Whatever happens, we’ll continue to focus unapologetically on insight-led strategies. And we’ll try to be strict with ourselves about only using the word when we really, really mean it. 

Related News

Lehman Brothers 15 years on: why communication is king

By Madalena Thirsk, Account Executive, Capital Markets, Aspectus

September 1844, a Bavarian man and his two brothers arrived in New York full of hope and aspirations for a new life in the land of opportunity. September 2008, 164 years later, their legacy – Lehman Brothers – would collapse into bankruptcy, triggering the biggest financial crisis the world had ever seen.

The collapse was largely due to the firm’s involvement in trading complex derivatives, such as mortgage-backed securities, and the subsequent exposure to the subprime mortgage market. When the market turned sour, the value of these securities plummeted. The credit default swaps (CDS) contracts linked to these securities then amplified the losses, leading to the firm’s collapse.

The crisis highlighted the importance of clear and transparent communication as a crucial tool for maintaining financial stability and managing market expectations. One and a half decades later, there have been notable improvements in the way central banks and regulators communicate risks surrounding derivative instruments. Take the issue of forward guidance as a prime case in point. Central banks, including the Bank of England and the Fed, have increasingly used forward guidance as a key communications tool. This involves providing guidance to financial markets and the public around the likely future path of monetary policy – helping to manage expectations and provide greater clarity on the central bank’s intentions.

Central banks have also become more transparent about their policy frameworks, objectives, and decision-making processes. They often publish detailed policy statements, meeting minutes, and economic forecasts to provide insights into their thinking. In fact, the vast majority of major central banks now hold regular press conferences following policy meetings to explain their decisions and answer questions from journalists. This practice allows for real-time communication with the public and the media.

Then there is the social media factor, which has grown in importance considerably since 2008. Central banks and regulators have largely embraced social media platforms as a medium through which to disseminate information and engage with the public. Platforms like X are now used to communicate policy decisions and provide updates on economic conditions. Meanwhile, sites such as LinkedIn play a vital role in sharing information to address global financial stability concerns that emerge in international forums.

These advancements in communication are intended to enhance transparency, build credibility, and manage expectations in financial markets and the broader economy. Clear, timely and effective communication helps reduce uncertainty, foster trust, and allow central banks and regulators to better achieve their policy objectives.

The US regional banking crisis earlier this year (which had a slight whiff of Lehman about it) should reinforce why central banks and watchdogs must maintain their commitment to public communication. And today’s anniversary is a timely reminder. The importance of providing clear guidance on policies, actions, and intentions concerning derivatives cannot be understated.

Related News

Measuring What Matters: Missteps in Marketing Reporting (and how to fix them)

By Ellie Jackson, Chief Client Strategy Officer

One of the fascinating things about being in marketing in the last decade or so has been the evolution of digital marketing and how that’s affected measurement and reporting. For the first time, we have been able to link campaigns, content and coverage to shifts in the quantity and quality of web traffic. That data not only shows us what has and what hasn’t worked but is also a directional steer for future campaigns.

The seductive nature of short-term metrics

Take media relations, which has traditionally been considered hard to measure. Efforts like AMEC’s Barcelona Principles have made good headway, but when you get into the details, it’s still an area of much debate. Against that backdrop, the transparency of digital marketing reporting has been seductive. There’s been a drive to measure more and more marketing activity in this way – assessing short-term ROI based on clicks and conversions.  A recent study from the LinkedIn B2B Institute found that of 4,000 B2B marketers, just four per cent were measuring the effect of campaigns beyond six months. 

It’s tempting. And there’s no denying that it’s useful to see when a piece of coverage has prompted a rise in traffic or branded search, and how that traffic has performed. We can see that the coverage is being seen by the right people and prompting immediate engagement. 

But this is where we need to be careful not to overreach. What we’re doing here is using short-term, lead generation metrics to assess a tactic from the long-term brand-building stable. This is valuable information, but it’s only part of the picture. It’s like judging a marathon by how fast the runners cover the first 100 meters. 

The Long and the Short of it

If you’re familiar with Binet and Field’s work The Long and the Short of it, skip on down a couple of paragraphs. If not, let me explain what I mean. It’s useful to think of marketing as having two broad elements: long-term brand-building, and short-term ‘performance marketing’ or sales activation. Success comes from the right combination of the two, which both feed and feed off each other. 

The ‘long’ is about brand-building: strengthening your brand awareness and perceptions over time to increase brand salience – the likelihood of your brand being top of mind at the point of purchase. When it comes to big B2B purchases – an area in which we specialize, the chances are that only around five to ten per cent of your audience is actively looking to buy at any given time. So, a big part of the game is ensuring that your brand is first to mind when your prospect moves into the buying cycle. Because even for high-mental-involvement purchases, supported by buying committees and procurement teams, lots of research indicates that being one of the top brands to spring to mind initially has a high correlation with eventual purchase. 

Another central value of brand-building is the price premium you can command. Price is generally considered to be one of the biggest levers of profit growth, and one of the biggest contributors to price insensitivity is brand strength. So, it’s about future sales and the margin you can make on those future sales – which is of course a major part of how stock valuation is built. (For more on how to win internal conversations on the value of brand investment, see here.) 

Of course, all of that takes time, and must be complemented by the ‘short’: lead generation – the type that’s naturally more measurable because the path to purchase is more direct. 

Long-term metrics for long-term tactics

So, to pick up the thread: when we assess long-term tactics like brand-building – which is generally the primary aim of B2B media relations – by short-term metrics, we risk missing part of the picture. The truly meaningful measures of long-term brand-building efforts, such as media relations, are growth in brand awareness or salience, and brand perceptions versus direct and indirect competitors and how these change over time. 

Choosing the right reporting for you 

Where does that leave reporting? The first thing to say is that almost all reporting is valuable as long as you’re using it in the right way. A monthly list of coverage with details on the publication’s reach and overall view on KPI progress is a really helpful way to assess whether your media relations team is delivering what you agreed. Plenty of our clients opt for this route and it works well for them. 

If – as a growing number of our clients choose – you can get an integrated report that considers the full range of marketing tactics in the round and links aspects like coverage to web traffic, that is even better – as long as you recognize that this is only part of the value of the media relations program. 

Best of all, of course, is proper independent audience research, completed annually. That will show you the real impact of your activities and shape your future strategy. Of course, that costs money. Money well spent, I’d argue, since it allows you to optimize your broader marketing investment, but it’s not feasible for all. We’re a pragmatic bunch and are always exploring options to fit all budgets – whether that’s using Share of Search or smaller focus groups. 

Whatever route you choose, the key is to be intentional in the way you use it to ensure you’re not missing part of the picture.  

If any of this has whetted your appetite for more meaningful metrics, contact our team of strategists.  

Related News

Webinar – ESG Communications in South East Asia

Have a listen to our panel of experts discussing the challenges of ESG communications in South East Asia. They share lessons learned in regards to branding, marketing and communications decisions surrounding ESG and debate the importance of stringent reporting to hold businesses accountable.

The brilliant Lynda Hong, Senior Environment Correspondent at The Straits Times moderated the discussion with our panel of experts being: 

  • Kavita Gandhi, Executive Director of the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS)
  • Ken Hickson, Founder and Chairman at Sustain Ability Showcase Asia (SASA) 
  • Joyce England, Head of Corporate Communications EMEA and APAC at Experian

We hope you enjoy. Please get in touch if you’d like to hear more about our ESG services.

Related News

Unlocking the Power of GA4: Harnessing Events and Custom Reports for Data-driven Insights

By Kelley Wake, Digital Account Director

Staying ahead of the competition requires making informed decisions based on accurate and insightful data. With the official launch of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) on July 1, businesses now have an even stronger tool to do just that. And though, as with all updates like this, it has its own level of controversy, but it’s not going anywhere so here’s our guide to making sure it works as effectively as possible. 

You are invited to GA4 Events

Events in GA4 offer a significant improvement over Universal Analytics in terms of reporting capabilities. Unlike Universal Analytics, which primarily focuses on page views, GA4 events allow you to track specific user interactions across your website or app. This expanded event tracking provides a far more granular understanding of user behaviour. This means you know how users engage with digital assets, so you know what you should be investing and developing more of with your sales team.

Measurement with custom reports

While Universal Analytics offers custom reports, GA4 takes this to a new level. It enables you to create tailored views of your data, aligning them precisely with your business objectives. Unlike Universal Analytics, which limits customisation to predefined dimensions and metrics, GA4 allows you to define custom dimensions and metrics based on your unique requirements. This flexibility means you can create comprehensive reports that uncover insights specific to your business, providing a more holistic view of your marketing and communications programmes that you can then clearly communicate with all levels of the business.

Getting these two elements right means you can see how users are behaving on the site, how they are engaging with content and then align this with your business goals and objectives. But you need to understand how to set this up correctly, otherwise: garbage in – garbage out.

Our team can support in set-up, training and ongoing measurement. Get in touch to see how you can make data-driven decisions with confidence and precision, gaining a competitive edge in your industry.

Related News

When green bonds turn brown: Thames Water kicks up a stink

By Chris Bowman, Associate Director

Thames Water has been on the front pages for all the wrong reasons, discharging millions of litres of undiluted sewage into two rivers and earning itself a £3.3m fine – only the latest in a litany of such headlines.

It has also been on the business pages, ostensibly for all the right reasons: it has issued around $2.8 billion of green bonds across four issues since the start of 2022.

It doesn’t take an expert to notice a discrepancy here. And in fact, the some 200 ESG funds that eagerly snapped up the green bonds seem to be suffering some buyers’ remorse, with prices plummeting.

This will be music to the ears of the anti-ESG crowd, who will pounce on any opportunity to decry the whole concept as a woke folly, motivated for all the wrong reasons, and irretrievably flawed.

And you know what – far be it from me to argue with investment experts on what constitutes a good investment. If your focus is on making money and these bonds lose it, then who can argue that poor decisions haven’t been made?

However, it strikes me – as an admittedly lowly comms professional – that if we zoom out a little, this is arguably a prime example of ESG as a concept doing exactly what it’s meant to.

ESG at root is a movement about information and data, not values – at least, not a prescriptive set of values. ESG gives the data to make decisions based on principle, but is in itself principle agnostic.

To wit, ‘ESG’ is not about some vague yet specific set of ‘woke’ principles applied to an investment strategy. It may be the case that there is broad consensus that climate change is bad and civil rights are good, but fundamentally ESG does not require that you agree. If you think the opposite – e.g. that climate change is a hoax and the oil companies that stay the course will rake it in – then you can use the same data, information and analysis to inform your strategy.

ESG is about providing a broader set of information for investors to factor into their decisions. It is about free markets and free choice. Want to apply some specific criteria to your portfolio? Go for it. Don’t care? Equally, no problem – but with increasing ESG data disclosure – such as that mandated by the EU’s SFDR – you can make an informed choice.

So, back to Thames Water. What are we to make of these green bonds turning brown? Is it a searing indictment of the very notion of ESG? No, this is exactly what we want to see – companies putting out ESG related data and instruments and being punished by the market when they turn out to be effluent. Accountability. Proof that greenwashing can’t get all the stains out.

It is a childish idea that every ESG/sustainable/green investment would turn out to be squeaky clean, and I don’t think anyone ever really believed it. It is therefore a strawman to use incidents like this as evidence that the whole concept is bunk. What we have is a movement to provide access to a broader, deeper set of data to inform investment decisions from a new angle, and people changing their decisions when new information comes to light.

ESG has come in for a kicking in the media recently, with the op-ed pendulum seeming to swing behind the naysayers for now. However, there is real value in firms improving their ESG performance and communicating about doing so. It would be a shame if anti-ESG clamour around events like this scared communicators into leaving this value on the table – though care should always be taken.

No doubt ESG will continue to evolve. Maybe the name will even change. But the genie is not going back in the bottle – people accustomed to a greater degree of data and transparency will not happily revert to a less-informed view. That deserves pointing out and defending.

All investments involve risks including possible loss of principal, or your green bonds turning brown. Past green performance does not guarantee future green performance. Discretion is advised.

Related News

Mastering B2B SaaS marketing: choosing channels and media for optimal success

By Sophie Reed, Associate Content Manager

In today’s digital landscape, social media has become a staple for B2B digital marketing. However, the online space is crowded with countless platforms and an overwhelming array of content – making it tough to stand-out within the Software as a Service sphere. This makes it crucial for software companies to leverage social channels the right way and ensure efforts aren’t wasted.
Gone are the days of simply existing across every social platform. Instead, each social channel possesses its own unique dynamics, user demographics, and engagement patterns.
To maximise the impact of your social media presence, it’s essential to adopt a customer-centric approach and let your target audience guide your strategy and supercharge your SaaS metrics.

Social channels for meaningful connections

To hit the bullseye with your B2B SaaS audience, you must align your efforts with their preferences and behaviors to ensure your message resonates with the right people in the right places. If you are targeting primarily professionals and decision-makers, LinkedIn is an optimal platform to make connections.

Here, you can promote your spokespeople, showcasing their expertise, positioning them as key thought leaders in the space, and build meaningful relationships with potential customers. Through thoughtful engagement, such as participating in relevant group discussions, resource sharing, industry news commentary or offering expert advice, you can curate a genuine connection with your audience. By nurturing these relationships, you open doors to future collaborations, referrals, and increase your potential of high conversion rates.

Work smarter not harder

Less is more when it comes to selecting the right channels for your B2B SaaS marketing. Rather than a blind pursuit across a range of platforms, target two birds with one stone.

Twitter is a fantastic way to contribute to wider industry conversations in real-time, and enables wider audience reach and traction by leveraging trending hashtags and breaking industry news. To make the most of it, repurpose LinkedIn messaging to create short, punchy tweets sparking engagement. This way, you can recast, retell and replay your messaging to ensure it consistently aligns across your channels.

Amplify your credibility with PR

From a PR perspective, trade publications offer a golden opportunity to shine the spotlight on your company’s spokespersons, products and services to captivate your desired audience. These publications are read by industry professionals and decision-makers actively seeking insights on trends and innovative solutions within their field.

By targeting top-tier trade publications relevant to your niche, you can generate interest in your product and wider services. For example, if you are promoting an update to your HR software service, your HR tech PR strategy will target top-tier trade publications such as HR Grapevine, HR Magazine, The HRDirector and People Management Magazine. You can then boost engagement with trophy coverage by sharing it across your LinkedIn and Twitter.

Securing coverage in reputable publications boosts brand visibility and industry credibility, signalling to target audiences that you’re a trusted player, attracting and strengthening customer relationships. Credibility such as this paves the way for long-term loyalty.

The wrap-up:

🔍 Know your audience: inform your approach by selecting the social media channels where audiences are most present to ensure messaging gets in front of the right people

⚡ Recast, retell, replay: keep your messaging consistent and aligned across your chosen channels to make a cohesive brand presence, maximizing audience engagement and visibility

📰 Don’t underestimate the value of trade publications

Bear in mind, B2B company updates are not necessarily the tastiest bait for reeling in national headlines. When it comes securing a big tuna, PR campaigns and research are a brilliant hook. If you want to make a splash above the sea of competition, keep your eyes peeled for our following blogs in this series, covering considered creativity and data mining for national catches.

Want to step up your SaaS marketing game? Get in touch with Aspectus Group, an award-winning integrated SaaS marketing agency with expertise in B2B technology PR.

Related News

The $4trn question: why it pays to invest in your brand assets

By Ellie Jackson, Chief Client Strategy Officer

$4.7 trillion. That’s what Forrester forecasts will be invested globally on marketing in 2025. Of course, the age-old question is how much of that will deliver the brand-building return it should. 

One way of assessing that is to consider brand distinctiveness: the extent to which the audience recognizes your brand assets or ‘codes’ (logo, colors, slogans, etc.). After all, marketing material or an advertisement that is not associated with your brand in the mind of your target audience might as well be one for your competitor. 

A recent report by Jones Knowles Ritchie and Ipsos tested five key brand assets (logos, slogans, mascots, color and product) with more than 26,000 respondents globally. Only 15% of assets tested were found to be truly distinctive. In other words, 85% of that $4.7 trillion (just shy of $4 trillion) is being invested in sub-optimal brand assets.  

How does this translate to the bottom line?

It has been said that presenting brand consistency across all platforms can increase revenues by up to 23%. Fairly logically, consistent brands are 3.5 times more likely to have excellent brand visibility than those with inconsistent branding. And perhaps most important of all, 82% of investors say name recognition plays a crucial role in guiding them in their investment decisions

What does this mean for my brand?

If you’re concerned about the distinctiveness of your own brand assets, and by extension, the impact of your marketing and advertising, read on. 

Most brands have a number of brand assets. Several brands have more than they ought – especially if they have not reviewed brand assets in several years. New ideas creep in all the time – some stay and become part of the brand language. Having too many brand assets is a natural enemy of brand asset distinctiveness – your brand will only be afforded a fraction of space in the mind of your target audience and simplicity is key here. 

While you might not have Ipsos’s resources at your fingertips, you can still make certain assessments in a structured way. 

  1. Create a list of all of your brand assets. Cast the net wide at this stage: logo, colors, graphical elements, style, slogans and tag lines etc. You might want to include historical elements too – they may be worth resurrecting. 
  1. Rate each asset for familiarity (how many people associate your brand with this code) and uniqueness (how many people in the sample group ONLY associate your brand with this code). Ideally, you would do this with independent research – and there are relatively cost-effective options out there for something this simple. If that’s not a possibility then you will need to resort to an anecdotal assessment – gather views internally and with trusted industry participants. While this is no match for rigorous third-party assessment, it serves a purpose. 
  1. Plot each asset on a grid. The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute model pictured below is the standard, and it works well. 
  • Low fame and low uniqueness – ditch it, or at the very least, use in conjunction with other brand assets 
  • High fame but low uniqueness – proceed with caution and be careful of spending on something that will never be sufficiently distinctive to pay back that investment 
  • High uniqueness but low fame – worth consistent investment but monitor closely to ensure fame increases 
  • High fame and high uniqueness – this is obviously your star set – focus your attention here (before someone moves in on your turf). 

As the Ipsos x JKR study says: put your money where your mark is. 

If this has sparked any questions about your own brand strategy, get in touch

Related News

Why the time to ignite tech communications in Singapore is now

By Isabelle Dann, Media Strategy Director

The world of venture capital (VC) is like no other. Unlike the stock market, there are no daily temperature checks, nor individual share prices for people to watch. Still, as the global VC slowdown persists, there are reasons to be cheerful – if you know where to look. Singapore attracted more venture capital investment per capita in 2022 than any other country, receiving over $1 billion, beating the US – the world’s largest VC market – which ranked third. 

This makes sense, considering that South-East Asia is now the world’s most compelling region for digital innovation, with Singapore its technical capital. Catalysts include new local initiatives such as the Singapore Deep-Tech Alliance, the Singapore-MIT Alliance, and the National University of Singapore. 

On top of this, funds from home-grown VC firms such as iGlobe Partners and Temasek are fuelling tech founders. More time may be taken to choose and close deals but, ultimately, investors must deploy the capital they’ve raised. 

Within the tech sector, deeptech – encompassing the likes of artificial intelligence, robotics, and blockchain/Web3 – is a particular strength. Food tech is another, as Singapore is the only country where consumers can buy lab-grown meat. While the rest of the world largely recognises the climate benefits of cultivated meat, it has yet to catch up with Singapore – a golden opportunity for entrepreneurs in this space.

Beyond these spotlights, the opportunity is endless. After all, these days, technology can encompass everything from building a website and conversing with ChatGPT to crafting space satellites and driverless cars. No longer is it the preserve of a select few; everyone is a digital citizen. 

Until the invention of the printing press in the 15th century, books were scarce and expensive. As they became more abundant, literacy rates soared. In 1800, 60% of men and 40% of women were literate, rising to 97% for both sexes within a century. The same story can be seen in tech now. 

In 2001, there were 500 million global internet users; in 2021, that shot up to five billion. Just as increased literacy rates kindled communities and contributed to economic growth, widening access to digital resources has granted more people the power to shape and challenge the impact of technology on society. 

So, what does this all mean? For tech startups and scaleups in Singapore, now is the time to tell your story. Competition – whether that’s for headlines, clicks, or customers – will only grow more fierce. Those who cut through the noise with compelling communications, led by tech PR, will find themselves equipped with a unique competitive advantage. Make the move now – or risk missing out entirely.

Isabelle can be reached at and @izzydann 

Related News

5 reasons why podcasts are a powerful add to your content strategy

Maya Tan, Communications & Creative Content Director, Singapore

It’s the era of audio. Although podcasts have been around for a while, there’s been a phenomenal boom in the podcast landscape, especially in the last two years, as streamed on-demand content becomes increasingly a part of our lives, and the ease of access and richness of creative storytelling continue to appeal to millions of podcasts listeners around the world. 

With engaged audiences tuning in for a dedicated amount of time to listen to long-form conversations on niche topics – how can brands and marketers leverage this? If you’re looking for a powerful storytelling and brand-building tool that’s highly engaging, authentic, speaks directly to your audience (and isn’t AI-generated!) – podcasts might just be the ticket. 

 Here are five reasons why you should add podcasts to your content strategy: 

Podcast listenership is growing exponentially 

As of February 2023, there are 464.7 million podcast listeners worldwide, with a forecast of  

504.9 million podcast listeners by the end of 2024. The US leads with over 60% of the population having tuned in to podcasts, over half of UK citizens have listened to a podcast, while a consumer insight report by GWI states that, 66% of APAC survey respondents spend an average of 60 minutes a day listening to podcasts. 

The increase in listeners is expected to grow in tandem with the rise of audio streaming platforms like Spotify and smart devices like Google’s Alexa, as well as the popularity and acceptance of social media influencers, many of whom host widely-subscribed podcasts.  

Podcasts have also become a part of modern living. As consumers increasingly prefer on-demand content, accessible whenever, wherever, to suit their busy lifestyles, podcast consumption is a convenient way for them to build knowledge or be entertained. Research tells us that 59% of listeners multitask while consuming podcasts, e.g.during commutes, while doing chores or driving.  

Meanwhile, news media from The Wall Street Journal to Singapore’s The Straits Times are boosting subscriptions with podcast offerings of their own. With podcast publishers such as iHeartPodcasts boasting 30 million unique visitors per month, the average reach of a podcast could potentially rival that of traditional media. 

Opportunities for brand-building and thought leadership 

One of the top reasons that podcast listeners tune in is to learn something. Podcast listeners are a captive audience ready to digest information. With most episodes clocking in between 20-40 minutes (longer than most broadcast interviews), podcasts offer opportunities to provide more information and enable listeners to learn more about your brand.  

Because the shows are often delivered through casual conversation and soundscapes, audiences are more engaged in an intimate way, allowing for creative storytelling opportunities which are more powerful than static communications tactics such as newsletters, for example. 

The search for authenticity is also real. A recent Nielsen study shows TikTok subscribers around the globe value authenticity and perceive content on the platform to be ‘authentic, genuine, unfiltered and trendsetting’. There’s a high chance that the popularity of podcasts is also fueled by listeners being able to tap into conversations and to discern for themselves if a brand is genuine and authentic. 

This opens up possibilities to build trust with your audiences by shining the spotlight on your spokespeople.  As they share their knowledge and expertise, it also allows audiences to associate a human voice and personality to the organisation, while displaying authenticity and thought-leadership,  building meaningful relationships with listeners.  

Versatility, audience targeting and building communities 

The podcast is a versatile platform. Because you can target your audience with the subject category of the podcast, you can use it for external or internal communications, sparking conversations and inspiring action within communities, or to engage with a specific segment of the target audience to discuss your brand’s niche. Much like social media, each episode also provides a direct feedback loop via comments and analytics, making it easy to track audience sentiment, who your listeners are and where they’re based, what they react to and even how they react to different conversations, so that you can keep fine-tuning your show for targeted outcomes. 

Never just a podcast 

A podcast should never just be a podcast. With your key spokespeople sharing valuable knowledge and information, the conversations could be spun off into different forms of content that could be featured in other platforms within your marketing mix such as opinion editorials, short audio-visual excerpts for social media, LinkedIn articles or fodder for your e-newsletter. Tapping into the rising video-podcast trend could also be a way to create impact for your brand. 

Quick turnaround, enabling timely commentary 

Finally, podcasts can be relatively quick to launch and produce. The short turnaround time also means you can be proactive in terms of newsjacking, commenting on developments in your industry in a timely way, or to share your company’s position on hot topics in the news. With the ability to record speakers virtually from anywhere in the world, and a proactive editorial team on board, the podcast can be a flexible and powerful tool to add to your marketing or communications arsenal, to differentiate your brand and amplify your company’s messages. 

Related News