Brand engagement in Singapore: One size does not fit all

/ 15 December 2020

What are you doing to reassess what you thought you knew about your customers and prospects?

We recently surveyed Singaporean consumers about their attitudes to engaging with brands and what motivates them to share their data, and it quickly became apparent that one size certainly does not fit all in Singapore! 

Although traditional loyalty programs that incentivise repeat customers remain popular, with 83 percent saying they have meaningful influence over their decision-making process, the type of preferred incentives differs across age ranges. The importance of providing incentives and rewards that match the audience and objective is something we’re covered before, and was again emphasised here. 

Those aged 45 and over said they favour tangible incentives such as cashback and coupons; whereas those under 45 are far more interested in experiential rewards. 

Consumers under the age of 30 are more likely to share their data while engaging in online brand experiences, whereas those 60 and over are more willing than the national average to volunteer information when asked to participate in polls and surveys, showing the value of asking for comment and opinion. That younger generations are more likely to volunteer data via brand experiences and prefer experiential incentives, while older generations prefer tangible ‘financial’ rewards and are more likely to share data when asked for their views, should make interesting reading to marketers.  

Although 81 percent of Singaporean consumers surveyed said they interact with their favourite brands beyond transactional activities, it’s clear they’re cautious about sharing their data, with 68 percent saying their contact information – commonly needed in marketing activations – is the data they’re least willing to share.

Ensuring subtle but incredibly important engagement mechanics work for targeted consumers is the difference between success and failure. The research helps shed light on those preferences and resulting behaviours. For example, Singaporean women were found to be less likely to share their data in general; the one exception being during the check-out process where they are 22 percent more likely to share data than men, which highlights the importance of ensuring effective point of purchase engagements.

The study also surveyed consumers in the United States (U.S.) and the United Kingdom (U.K). Of the three markets, Singaporean consumers were found to be the most critical of current brands’ online customer experiences and remain most attached to physical shopping experiences, showing there’s clearly work to be done when it comes to brands’ digital offerings. They also lead the way in wanting to express their opinions to their favourite brands on social media, showing the importance of marketers listening (and being seen to listen) via the medium.

Across the regions, consumers are united in their belief that brands need to step up their game and start to build actual relationships rather than one-way dialogues. Singaporean consumers were the most interested in interacting with brands beyond shopping and purely transactional experiences, providing brands with a path to improved engagement and improved margins.

Consumers want a mix of ways and reasons to engage and it’s important they do. The future of marketing will depend on consumers volunteering their data. The days of data scraping and inference are numbered as consumers guard the information that brands need the most and increased regulation springs up around the world.

Brands must establish open, honest, and mutual value exchanges. Put simply, they must take advantage of engagement opportunities and earn their customers’ data by working with consumers to understand how (and when) they want to share their information, and meet those preferences to the best of their ability.

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