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[Masters of Marketing] 5 "New Normal" Paradigm Shifts in Creating Effective Campaigns Today

What are some of the key elements to create a successful digital marketing campaign especially during these unprecedented times?

Parames Dorai, Group Chief Business Officer from FOREFRONT, shares how businesses can adapt to changing consumer behaviour and survive beyond the impact of the current economic situation.

Here are five ideas that businesses can adopt to launch successful campaigns:

1. Strike the right balance between business growth and human impact

Build your brand by empathizing with your audience and keep the messages relevant to

them, because during this time, people seek for brands that are more compassionate and

warm, with deeper human values.

One way of doing this is to raise funds for vulnerable communities, use your reach to educate and show the public that you care.

Source: DBS

To support communities during these COVID-19 times, DBS has stepped up to launch a campaign – DBS Stronger Together Fund which is a $10.5 million fund established to provide medical and food supplies to assist communities that include India, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. In Singapore, DBS partnered with The Food Bank Singapore and ItsRainingcoats, non-profits organizations to distribute up to 700,000 meals to the elderly, low-income and migrant worker communities. They also urged the public to play a part by donating to sponsor a meal for two food distribution programmes of Feed The City for donation towards the elderly and the low-income and Project Belanja, donations made towards the migrant workers. DBS will match dollar-for-dollar raised for the two food distribution programmes of up to a total of $500,000.

You do not have to necessarily create a new campaign around this and risk being the same as other companies, merely for short-term recognition. You can build these values into your existing brand campaign framework and let it build for a long-term basis.

2. Scale your services towards future business needs, not for today’s gain.

You have the holding power, do not start with cutting off your marketing spend as

means of being prudent. Some clients may go to the extreme when it comes to this, but when everyone else is pulling out, we need to use this opportunity to build stronger brand connections where the noise level from competitor’s brand drop.

You could even use this opportunity to introduce a new product or services relevant to the

current situation. Invest in long term branding and continue your share of voice.

Source: Apple

During the current pandemic, Apple released a new second-generation low-cost iPhone SE to increase its company’s market share, attract consumers who are cutting expenses at a time of economic instability, and to compete against other low-cost Chinese Smartphone brands.

3. Insights-driven, data-backed marketing campaigns are important.

Looking at the business transformation to digital platforms, many businesses find opportunities that they can now scale bigger than themselves, due to the surging demands rising from the work from home norm. Most of us can agree that digitally, we are very accurate in targeting by using real-time results and data. We must note that consumer’s behaviour will continue to change but, we can capture data at different junctures of our campaigns to know exactly what our customers want and what they are not interested in.

Monitor what your competitors are doing and be fast in adapting. Better yet, make your competitors adapt to what you are doing.

Source: Koi

Source: Gongcha

Due to Singapore’s implementation of the circuit breaker, only essential stalls are to remain operating. Bubble tea shops are to be closed temporarily. Thus, Koi a famous bubble tea shop collaborated with Grain, a food merchant, and Grab food to deliver bubble tea consist of a set meal to customers during the circuit breaker period. Shortly after Koi, Gongcha, a bubble tea shop from Taiwan monitored its competitor's strategy and adopted it quickly.

Information about consumers is everywhere, know where to look for the ones relevant to you, analyze them, and use them to be at the forefront for a targeted campaign.

4. Establish more collaborative partnerships with other industry players.

It is very important to seek out collaborative opportunities with other brands, share resources and ideas, leverage on combined expertise, and establish a support system. Banding together with other brands at this time can boost your campaign, and build credibility and trust from consumers.

Source: Tonkotsu Kazan

As only take-aways and delivery are available in Singapore for a short period, in order to meet customers’ demands and to boost sales, a ramen store, Tonkotsu Kazan has partnered with Taiwan Shilin’s Fresh Milk Brown Sugar boba innovator, Truedan Singapore to deliver food and drinks to their customers.

5. Personalize at scale.

Communication is everything, especially if you are competing with a whole host of brands in a saturated space. In order to make your target audience linger on your social media post longer, you want them to click on your ad.

Tailor your campaign messages differently towards different subsets of your audiences.

Source: Standard Chartered

The Jumpstart card is for customers from 18 years old to 26 years old, young adults who may have just started on their career path and looking for savings plan to guide them through adulting.

Listen to the signals your existing customers have sent out so far. Measure your campaign results consistently, reevaluate your strategy and messaging, and tweak it according to what works. In conclusion, never jeopardize long term branding for short term sales results, as the monetary investment to gain the market share later will be much higher and is expected to take around five years to achieve.


FOREFRONT International (FOREFRONT) is a full-fledged creative group founded in Kuala Lumpur by four team members. Today, FOREFRONT is an over 140-strong, award-winning team with footprint spanning across Europe and Southeast Asia, specialising in advertising and marketing of premium products and services. Constantly innovating, FOREFRONT extends its experience via solution-based subsidiaries including Aforemention (performance marketing), REignite (real-estate marketing), Foreward Realty (licensed real-estate agency), FourbyFORE (food and beverages), Leap Frontier (emerging technology), DM-F (Jakarta-based creative agency), and Terrafore (alternative creative solutions).

If you are an experienced senior marketer from a brand, agency or tech company willing to share your marketing secrets and would like to contribute to the Masters of Marketing series, click here to get in touch.


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