Marketing in Singapore can be a challenge for many marketers, given its diverse mix of cultures and races, from Chinese, Malay to Indian. It's no surprise that new brands and marketers entering the country may find themselves doubting their strategies that have worked in other settings.
But here's the thing - despite what it may seem like, cracking the Singaporean market isn't rocket science. It's all about immersing yourself in the culture and building genuine connections with the people. You just need to know what questions to ask, who to ask, and where to go.
Take the example of Singapore's internet usage - with 96% of the population being internet users, businesses can leverage digital channels to promote their products and services. In fact, the most successful marketing campaigns in Singapore have all applied digital strategies. And with 84.7% of the population on social media platforms, brands have found success in launching their campaigns on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, achieving their goals in conversions, sales, and ROI.
Business owners looking to create campaigns that appeal to the Singaporean market need to be armed with the right information. But with so many beliefs and perspectives in this diverse country, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing.
So, how do you navigate these cultural differences and create successful marketing campaigns? What are some of the nuances that set Singaporean marketing apart from other markets? Fear not, as we delve into all the important things you need to know to make your mark in this unique and exciting market.
10 Must-Knows for Singapore Marketing ⬇️
1. Singaporean Consumers Trends
In Singapore, consumers are all about maximizing their time, making time-saving products a top priority. To appeal to this market, you'll need to demonstrate how your product can fit seamlessly into their busy schedules in this modern city-state.
And it's not just about time-saving - convenience is king for Singaporean consumers. That's why marketers should consider incorporating e-payments and fintech products to boost conversions. In addition, the rise of on-demand services like streaming entertainment and ride-sharing has set a new benchmark for affordability amongst Singaporeans.
When it comes to food, Singaporeans are serious spenders. The expense on food has been on the rise, as they welcome all kinds of cuisines to their gourmet haven and captivating leisure culture.
But amidst the hustle and bustle, Singaporeans are also looking for ways to alleviate work stress. The growing search for terms like "being calm" shows that they are actively seeking ways to deal with daily stressors. Many are turning to short breaks, which is evident from the increase in searches for "Sentosa resorts," "Staycation in Sentosa," and "luxury escapes" on Google.
2. Singaporean Consumers' Behaviour and Lifestyle
Gone are the days when simple goods and services would suffice for Singaporean consumers. Nowadays, the prestige of owning a branded commodity is a crucial factor in their purchasing decisions. So if you want to win them over, it's important to tap into their desire for psychological benefits through your brand name or products.
But it's not just about status symbols. Singaporeans are increasingly embracing healthier lifestyles, driving up the demand for sustainable and nutritious products. Like many other Asian consumers, they are conscious of environmental issues, but may be hesitant to pay more or change their habits to support the cause.
3. Understanding of Singaporean Consumers Expectations
When it comes to buying products and services, Singaporean consumers want more than just a sales pitch. They crave advice and guidance from brands they trust to help them make informed decisions.
But it's not just about giving information. Singaporean consumers also want to feel a personal connection with the brands they buy from. They want to know the story behind the brand, what makes it unique, and what values it stands for.
That's why new brands looking to break into the Singaporean market need to focus on building relationships before making sales. One effective way to do this is by partnering with influencers and experts who can introduce the brand to the market and lend their credibility to it. This way, consumers are more likely to trust the brand because it comes recommended by someone they know and trust. Another way to do this is by seeking help from a local Singapore marketing agency which already knows the heartbeat of this audience!
4. Literacy Rate and Education
The literacy rate in Singapore is impressive! It's great to see that education levels are increasing, which provides opportunities for higher-paying jobs. With this rise in earnings and low inflation, Singaporeans have more purchasing power, which is excellent for businesses looking to expand in the region.
Interestingly, the youth sector has almost perfect literacy rates, which bodes well for the future of Singapore's workforce. The adult sector is not far behind, and even the elder sector has a relatively high literacy rate.
With more educated consumers, businesses in Singapore must ensure that they provide informative and engaging marketing materials that appeal to the intelligence of the population. It's an exciting time to be a marketer in Singapore, with a highly literate and affluent population ready to embrace new products and services.
5. Products and Services Preferences
Did you know that more than half of Singaporeans are more likely to buy products from brands they're already familiar with Singaporeans enjoy a high ideal of living, and are eager consumers of foreign products, but with certain limitations.
They are very loyal and cautious towards seeking selections. For example, Singaporean consumers like new products, but they stay loyal to familiar brand names. They indeed like to experiment with new products, but limited to those which they feel assured about. They also consider other factors such as price, quality, and service when making purchasing decisions.
Singaporeans collect information on new products through recommendations from family and friends. They are most likely to discover new brands through product reviews of family, friends, or trusted online sources like influencers, vloggers, bloggers, and experts.
6. High Internet Penetration
Singaporeans are one of the most tech-savvy populations in the world, with a high rate of internet penetration. Internet and social media penetration in Singapore is significantly above the global average, specifically at 96%. Moreover, urbanization in Singapore is at 100%.
Therefore, brands need to make sure they have online presence. Consumers in Singapore are shifting to online experiences where they tend to consult online reviews to reassure their purchase decisions and online shopping. They also use online channels to discover, search, and support brands.
To increase online presence, brands may make use of e-commerce websites, create their own brand website, and make their own business accounts on social media.
7. Value for Money
Who doesn't love a good deal? Singaporeans are no exception. Big package promos and discounts are a great way to catch their attention and encourage them to make a purchase. As discovered from the Great Singapore Sale 11.11 by Shopee, Singaporean consumers were eager to queue for good deals.
The growth of search words like “cheap and good restaurants in Singapore” and “delivery promo” has indicated that spenders are looking to maximize the value of each dollar with good quality.
Some businesses speculate that Singaporeans are relatively "cheap" because they like to go for deals, GSS promotions, and gifts. However, that is not the case. The truth is that Singaporeans are savvy consumers that know how to spot a good deal versus products that are ripping them off.
Thus, if you want to do business in Singapore, your businesses needs to demonstrate that your products and services have a higher value than what they are selling for. Singaporeans are not cheap. Promotions are more about value for money.
8. Priority on Customer Experience
When it comes to successful brands in Singapore, exceptional customer experience is key. From the moment a customer first interacts with the brand to the final purchase, the entire journey must be top-notch. They are not just simply selling products and services—they create a continuous relationship with their consumers.
In the digital era, customer experience does not just occur at stores. When consumers discover your brand in forums and articles, they will check out your website and social media feeds, and they may even message you for more information. Today, it is proven that a buying decision is earned before a consumer talks to a salesperson.
This has brought marketers to change positions from the conventional marketing funnel to a more dynamic customer journey plan. The new model reveals how a customer constantly interacts with a brand and reaches out from awareness to after-sales.
Instead of nudging consumers down well-defined steps and concentrating only on a small number of qualified leads, the best brands engage customers in varied stages. These factors have broadened the role of marketing from simply driving a sale to supporting the entire customer experience and journey.
9. Brand Advocacy Programs
There is nothing more powerful than good word-of-mouth. This audience is strongly driven by fellow consumers’ reviews about specific products and brands. Encouraging customers to share their reviews on digital platforms is one of the best strategies. Any discussion about your brand containing relevant keywords can wield essential cues.
Singaporean consumers tend to share their experiences with their family and friends. Customers who feel displeased by a product or are ignored after a sale can easily switch to another brand and share their frustration on social media. On the other hand, those who receive good after-sales support—what marketing calls customer retention and lifetime value—can come to be influential brand advocates.
For example, Marina Bay Sands encourages visitors to post their delightful experience staying at Marina Bay Sands, and to tag them on their Instagram page with the hashtag #thatmbsmoment.
10. The Singaporean Gen Z Consumers
Singapore's Gen Zs are entering the workforce and experiencing the excitement of earning their own money. This new wave of consumers is empowered and looking for products and experiences that reflect their values and interests. Based on 2021 data, when you run marketing on social media, you'll reach Gen Zs and other young generations, from ages 18 to 44 years old.
Gen Z's spending approach is fueled by a need for self-expression and identity, and is expected to have a longer runway. They desire to invest in manners that fit how they shop. For example, something as essential and practical as to how buyers can select to pay for their purchases has evolved to fulfill the new demands of these young and up-and-coming consumers.
A typical Gen Z consumer may notice a brand ad on Instagram, check out its online store, add a product to cart, and head down to its flagship store to try on the item while being fascinated by a specially curated ambiance, and then go home to buy the product online again.
In this post, we’ve explored ten essential things you need to know when marketing in Singapore. From technology usage to the importance of understanding consumer behavior, these factors will undoubtedly affect how you market your business. With these insights, you'll be well-equipped to create successful marketing campaigns that resonate with Singaporean consumers.
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