2013 was an exciting year of personal and professional challenge and change. In February, I climbed Kilimanjaro via the Western Breach, a route that turned out to be considerably harder than the guide books let on. In June, I moved from Canada to Singapore to discover what it’s like to work and live in one of the world’s most dynamic regions. In between, I found the time to work on a few writing projects. Some focused on social media, others on mobile, but all came back to the challenge of building brands in a rapidly changing society.
Just in time for the launch of Social Media Week in New York, Singapore Milan, Tokyo, and other major centres, I released a white paper that takes stock of how brands are faring in our always-on, multi-channel, multi-device marketing world. Given today’s fragmented media landscape, I show why it’s more important than ever before that all marketing efforts be unified under a powerful brand idea.
A couple months after moving to Singapore, I published this column in Canada’s Marketing Magazine that examined the most remarkable feature of this small but influential city-state: the staggering number of people, no matter the age or socio-economic status, who own smartphones. Mobile is the channel that seems perpetually acknowledged as the next big thing for marketers. In Singapore, it seems, the channel’s potential could finally be realized.
Inspired by Singapore’s 88% smartphone penetration, I took a closer look at the gap between what today’s mobile brand experiences look like and what consumers actually expect. In Campaign’s Asia-Pacific edition, I suggested that it’s time for marketers to say goodbye to partially functioning mobile sites and gimmicky apps. Instead, marketers should shift their focus – and budgets – to strategies that truly add value to the lives of consumers.
Capping off the year, I shared why I find it exciting to be working in Asia, on the frontlines of a region in transition. Marketing in Singapore rarely means targeting a local audience. Instead, a marketing plan could extend across the region, potentially reaching affluent, media-savvy audiences in markets like Taiwan and South Korea through to new consumers in emerging economies like Sri Lanka and Vietnam.