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Jul-Sept 2019 Issue

Performance Marketing

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19 The Performance Marketer’s Bookshelf 26 The Key Elements of a Direct Response Campaign The Official Publication of the Marketing Institute of Singapore, the National Body for Sales and Marketing


editor’s note

Dear Readers,

the singapore marketer Jul-S ept 2 019 Issue

Editor Gerry Gabriele Seah Guest Editor Genevieve Ng Contributing Writer Ted Chong MIS EXECUTIVE COUNCIL President Mr Roger Wang 2nd Vice President Dr Roger Low Honorary Secretary Ms Gerry Seah Honorary Treasurer Mr Ken Tay Asst Honorary Treasurer Mr Lee Kwok Weng Production, Advertising & Circulation Ivan Koh marketing@mis.org.sg Design & Layout Alfredo Cabaltican Publisher

Marketing Institute of Singapore 51 Anson Centre #03-53 Singapore 079904 Tel: (65) 6327 7580 Fax: (65) 6327 9741 Email: singaporemarketer@mis.org.sg Website: www.mis.org.sg

Marketing, as we all know, is a curious blend of art and science. In this issue, we explore in-depth a marketing strategy that makes heavy use of the latter: Performance Marketing. Harnessing the power of data and increasingly advanced business intelligence tools, performance marketing presents win-win opportunities for both advertisers and agencies. The model provides clients with greater transparency and ROI (Return On Investment) and helps marketers’ foster rapport and higher levels of trust. It is little wonder that performance marketing is seeing marked growth and adoption. Marketers keen on learning more about this model can start off with our Cover Story, for a brief overview of performance marketing, before keeping abreast with the latest developments in Now Trending. In Guru Talk, we approach Ted Chong, the Digital Marketing Director at Ice Cube Marketing, to share his experiences in adopting performance marketing and some advice. For Marketers who enjoy a good read, Learning Site features go-to titles on a performance marketer’s bookshelf. Finally, we wrap up by diving into the digital and taking a look at the key things to pay attention to in any direct response campaign. There’s a lot to learn about performance marketing, and we hope that what you’ll read spurs you on to do a little more exploring of your own. From all of us at the Marketing Institute of Singapore, we wish you a fruitful read.

Gerry Gabriele Seah Editor

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table of contents

disclaimer The Singapore Marketer is a quarterly magazine published by Marketing Institute of Singapore. The views expressed in The Singapore Marketer do not necessarily represent those of the Marketing Institute of Singapore. No responsibility is accepted by the Institute or its staff for the accuracy of any statement, opinion, or advice contained in the text or advertisements, and readers are advised to rely on their judgment or enquiries, and to consult their own advisers in making any decisions which would affect their interest. All materials appearing in The Singapore Marketer is copyright. No part of the publication may be reproduced without prior written permission of the Marketing Institute of Singapore. The Marketing Institute of Singapore welcomes contributions and letters. These might be edited for clarity or length. Articles, letters and requests to reproduce articles appearing in The Singapore Marketer should be sent to the Editor, Marketing Institute of Singapore, 51 Anson Road, #03-53 Anson Centre, Singapore 079904 or write to singaporemarketer@mis.org.sg or marketing@mis.org.sg.

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Cover story Performance Marketing 101: A Brief Primer

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now trending Look Sharp! 3 Things to Keep an Eye On

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Breaking the Ice: Paving the Way for Performance Marketing in Singapore

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guru talk

LEARNING SITE The Performance-Driven Marketer’s Bookshelf

feature The Key Elements of a Digital Marketing Direct Response Campaign


the singapore MARKETER july-sept 2019

PERFORMANCE MARKETING 101:

A BRIEF PRIMER Performance marketing is a costeffective way of reaching a large target audience so that you can scale your campaigns, reach a profitable ROI, and increase your bottom line. 4


cover story In a nutshell, performance marketing is all cost per acquisition. about putting your money into advertising Furthermore, performance marketing also campaigns that give your company, product, offers businesses the chance to brand service, or brand the best results. themselves and get their ads seen until the This is accomplished mainly through required action has taken place. performance marketing campaigns, which give advertisers the ability to measure every part of an ad, from its conversion rate to its brand reach, to help them fully optimize their

Performance Marketing Today Performance marketing can cut down on marketing losses as it gives the company the ability to test the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns, while bringing them low-cost branding, customer data, and a number of optimization options in the process. Apart from low-risk advertising and branding, performance marketing offers 3 other major benefits for businesses that wish to utilize the effectiveness of online marketing platforms, methods, and strategies. PRACTICAL MEASUREMENT A business can gauge their advertising results through actual campaigns and not just base it on theoretical strategies and plans. The measurement of success for performance marketing is rather simple: is a specific advertiser producing the desired result or not? CUSTOMER HABITS

business the ability to optimize their campaigns even further, subsequently increasing their ROI. REAL-TIME ACTION Since performance marketing is measured only through real-life campaign results, a company has the opportunity to act quickly, in real-time, and cut any losses in order to focus their entire marketing efforts only on the outlets (publishers, affiliates, & agencies) getting them the best results.

Through performance marketing, a business can also measure and eventually predict the actual habits and motivations of their customers. Performance-based marketing helps gather customer data such as which specific ad or publisher produced a specific action like a customer filling out a form, adding a product to their basket, or purchasing an item. Such information gives a merchant or 5


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COMPONENTS OF

Performance Marketing Because of its ability to access and gather intricate levels of customer information—information that will help both businesses and performance marketing professionals analyze campaign details in real-time— the term performance marketing is often used in conjunction with digital marketing or online marketing.

NATIVE ADVERTISING

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In fact, performance marketing relies heavily on online paid channels to not only help with quick & instant traffic, but also to optimize and scale winning campaigns almost instantly. There are 5 main online media channels which performance marketers—digital ad agencies, media buyers, publishers, and affiliates—use to bring their clients and customers positive results:

SPONSORED CONTENT

This form of advertising ‘conceals’ This particular performance an ad to make it look like it is a marketing method taps on both regular piece of content. the audience and the content creation expertise that influencers or In other words, the ad naturally publishers have (i.e., content sites). blends in with the site or page it is displayed on usually in the form of In exchange for a post or an article an article, more commonly referred listed on their social media accounts to as an ‘advertorial’. or blog site, a merchant will typically pay an influencer in the form of SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING monetary compensation. This includes both organic traffic AFFILIATE MARKETING and paid traffic using social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram. Affiliate marketing is a term used in conjunction with performance The metrics used to gauge a marketing, as it describes the particular campaign running on a payout given by an advertiser to a social media platform can include publisher after the latter has driven the following: Likes, Reach, Cost Per or brokered a desired result such as Lead and Clicks. a lead or sale. There are a number of other socialCoupon sites, review sites, and based engagement metrics used incentive sites are all prime but it all depends on the particular examples of affiliate marketing in platform the specific metrics they action. use to measure engagement.

SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING Search engine marketing, like social media marketing, relies on both paid and organic methods to drive traffic to a particular site. The paid portion of search engine marketing includes displaying sponsored ads on search engine sites like Google and Bing and getting them to rank as high as possible. Advertisers are charged only when an ad receives clicks. The organic portion of search engine marketing uses online marketing methods like SEO (Search Engine Optimization), to help a site rank higher in organic search results. When search engine marketing is used on a performance basis, a digital advertising agency or search engine marketing agency will be involved and only paid as per their results.


cover story

PERFORMANCE MARKETING

IN ACTION Businesses and marketers operating in Singapore and Southeast Asia might be interested in the following performance marketing case study, namely that of Zuji, an Asian online travel agency. Zuji had no problem getting people to their site through paid traffic and SEM methods. Their paid ads, however, were not converting into sales; visitors were clicking on their ads but not completing any bookings. Zuji’s main goal was to use dynamic display ad retargeting features and metrics to ‘remarket’ to visitors of their site who did not purchase a ticket while visiting their site in hopes of getting them to actually make a purchase during their retargeting campaigns. By using behavioural metrics, provided by dynamic display advertising, Zuji was able to create ads that provided specific price points coinciding with the dates & destinations their visitors had previously searched for on their site. By doing so, Zuji was able to increase its online bookings by 14% and get a 100x return on their display ad spend. In essence, their performance metrics showed them that they could lose money on their initial campaigns and more than make up for their loss during their retargeting campaigns—leaving them with a huge ROI.

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WILL YOU ADOPT PERFORMANCE MARKETING? 8

Using media platforms, digital advertising agencies, publishers, and affiliate managers who use performance marketing strategies and metrics at the core of their advertising endeavours is the closest thing a business can get to ensuring successful marketing campaigns that produce a positive ROI.

If you want to scale your campaigns, increase conversions, and build your brand through a low-risk and low-cost advertising strategy, performance marketing might just be for you.

i http://www.campaignasia.com/agencyportfolio/CaseStudyCampaign/402161,case-study-how-zuji-boosted-bookings-withpersonalised-display-ads.aspx#.XRnXYOgzbIU

About the Writer Before finding himself firmly in the Marketing industry, Ricky Tay was once from Panasonic—where he was in charge of optimizing the website of the Japanese company. An avid runner, he loves to challenge himself by taking part in races and breaking personal records.


now trending

LOOK SHARP!

3 THINGS TO KEEP AN EYE ON The Singapore Marketer shares ongoing developments in the marketing scene that you shouldn’t ignore, and how they help put businesses ahead of the competition.

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I, (CHAT)BOT 10

There seems to be a chatbot present on every page you visit these days, be it a government portal or an ecommerce store. The inbound sales and customer service tool has found its way into many marketing strategies and for good reasons, too. When real-time and on-demand experiences have become the gold standard in our digital era, over a third of consumers are lost when they find sites too hard to navigate or cannot find answers to simple questions—issues chatbots can help solve (State of Chatbots Report, 2018). An estimated 80% of businesses will have incorporated chatbot automation in some form by 2020 (Business Insider, 2016),

with top-performing companies leading the way (Adobe Digital Intelligence Briefing, 2018). For great uses of chatbots, take a look at Sephora’s Virtual Assistant on Facebook Messenger, where users can book appointments, speak to customer service representatives, and even ‘try on’ looks with the help of their cameras. While chatbots definitely won’t be replacing human interactions anytime soon, consider implementing them on thank you pages, event pages, and sales-related pages, to push consumers into the next stage of your marketing funnel!


now trending

HIDING IN

PLAIN SIGHT You could have consumed promotional content recently and not realised it. That’s the power of Native advertising, a paid media strategy ‘where the format of the content matches the form, feel, function, and quality of the content of the media on which it appears.

The allure of Native advertising lies in its unobtrusiveness, ability to circumvent ad-blocking software, and compatibility with multi-channel marketing. In fact, a survey by Sharethrough reveals how effective Native ads can be: consumers look at them 53% more frequently than they would display ads.

’ (Jesper Laursen, CEO of the Native Advertising One example of Native advertising done well Institute) is a video shot by Buzzfeed, a digital media company, for Purina’s Tidy Cats Breeze Litter Comprising In-feed/In-Content Ads, Content System. ‘A Cat’s Guide to Taking Care of Your Recommendation Ads, as well as Branded/ Human’ garnered over 11 million views along Native Content, Native advertising has enjoyed with praise for being—quoting a viewer— tremendous growth in recent years, particularly ‘probably the only 2 minute ad someone would in the digital marketing sphere. Much of this can watch till the end’. Also take a look at The Smart be credited to the emergence of new technoloLocal’s travelogues for Sony Mobile’s Xperia XZ gies like programmatic, dynamic ads and AI/ Premium, which went viral and reached over a machine learning. million local viewers here.

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VIDEO DOMINATES THE SHOW Consumers have always responded well to video marketing, and this won’t be changing anytime soon! According to research firm Media Partners Asia, the online video market in the Asia Pacific region is set to double by 2024, with revenue from online video advertising and subscription increasing from US$26 billion to 52 billion (Asia Pacific Marketing Trends 2019).

Video marketing holds a lot of potential locally, too: Singaporeans lead the pack for online video consumption in the APAC region (Connected Life Study 2017). With such rapid growth and the increased sophistication of conversion tracking technology, there’s no better time to add video to your performance marketing toolbox. The question is what kind?

HERE ARE SOME TRENDS WORTH TAKING NOTE OF:

LIVE VIDEOS BECOMING A NORM

SEARCH-FRIENDLY VIDEOS

Live streaming has gained immense popularity, with platforms like Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Bigo Live leading the way in Singapore. The ability to interact with your audience also encourages a higher engagement rate as compared to pre-recorded videos; the two-way participation fosters a sense of community and lets them ‘create’ content that they want to see.

With the introduction of auto-playing previews for Google searches, videos are now more search-friendly than ever. Be sure to upload accurate closed captions, which increases your chances of ranking on Google and increase video accessibility. Don’t forget to include relevant keywords in the title and description for SEO purposes, too.

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now trending

Want to learn more about these trends? Here are some helpful resources to explore!

1. THE IAB NATIVE ADVERTISING PLAYBOOK 2.0 Published by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, this Playbook was released during late 2018. It gives an introduction to Native ad types, as well as a framework to evaluate if a Native ad unit meets a brand’s expectation and objectives.

2. ASIA PACIFIC ADVERTISING TRENDS (ANNUAL) Published by Media Partners Asia, an independent consulting and research provider, this report assesses and projects key advertising trends across all major media in 14 Asia Pacific markets. This report is a paid publication. For more indepth insights, there is an annual specifically on online video and broadband distribution.

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3. THE 2018 STATE OF CHATBOTS REPORT A collaboration between Drift, SurveyMonkey Audience, Salesforce, and myclever, the report gives insight into consumers’ views about chatbots and what they use them for. While US-centric, it provides a great starting point to understand what your customers want!

About the Writer Genevieve Ng is a Content Specialist passionate about the fields of digital marketing and tertiary education. You can find her hunched over a book or a craft table in her spare time.

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GURU TALK

BREAKING THE ICE:

PAVING THE WAY FOR PERFORMANCE MARKETING IN SINGAPORE Why adopt performance marketing? The Singapore Marketer speaks to Ted Chong, Managing Director of digital marketing agency Ice Cube Marketing, to find out.

We cannot pluck these consumer insights from thin air … The simplest way is to engage the company’s salespeople in conversation. They provide the richest source of consumer insights because they are the primary point of contact with customers.

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Q: We heard that your agency went performance-based from the get-go, at a time when it had yet to gain traction in Singapore. How did this decision come to be, and was the implementation challenging? Ted: Across the board, the performance based arrangement is an increasingly viable model of operation due to its customer-centric approach. For example, in his book “The Ultimate Sales Machine,” Chet Holmes gave an example of a framing company adopting the performance model, where framers are paid based on how many frames they could build with no mistakes. To quote Chet, “Today, it’s all about performance.”

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Right from the beginning, we would hear many SMEs grousing about their negative experiences with digital marketing. They would complain about spending 5-figures and yielding nothing close in financial returns. Some of them even lost faith in marketing. As marketers however, we understand that the problem is not with a particular agency or marketer; digital marketing is all about trial-anderror. Like sales prospecting, 90% of the ad messages you run will probably fail. 90% of your ad campaigns probably target the wrong audiences. You slowly get to the right permutation and “crack the code”, as they call it, through split-testing. When businesses outsource marketing services and creatives, they are not paying for the results but for said 90% of failures. It is like paying for every door knocked instead of sales closed. The problem with this? No one bothers about sales results anymore, or merely pay lip service to it.

Cheryl Goh (Grab’s VP of Marketing) once said, “I didn’t have much regard for marketing to be honest because I thought they were just spending the money we worked so hard to earn.” Being strong proponents of marketing, we had to go on a mission to reverse the negative impression of marketing—especially digital marketing. We then adopted the sales-centric digital marketing approach, which is essentially performance marketing. Implementation definitely has been challenging, mostly in regard to working with the right clients. We have had many more people knock on our doors after we implemented the model but had to, unfortunately, turn a number of them down. We have more things to consider now, such as if the product we are marketing has proven demand and if there’s sufficient proof.


GURU TALK

Q: Please share some advice with agencies and businesses that are looking to adopt a performance-based business-model too: What should they be prepared for? What skills should they polish? Ted: There’s a common saying in digital marketing, “traffic is a commodity”. What this means is that anyone can pay money to buy traffic from Google, Facebook or other media platforms online. There is no lack of traffic source and inventory. Hence, it is not about getting more clicks and impressions to our website—the real question is how we can convert those clicks into leads and sales. Conversion optimization is therefore one of the most important skills to develop.

Q: Let’s talk about your area of expertise: what do you think are the biggest mistakes companies make when it comes to digital marketing? Ted: There are 3 main problems: Lack of Tracking: Businesses are often unable to articulate how much revenue is being generated from their marketing campaigns. Yet they continue investing money into marketing. In order to optimize the campaign, tracking is necessary. These days, it is easy to do so with the use of pixels and conversion codes. Using Discounts: With no idea how to grab the attention of audiences, businesses turn to discounts and promotions to attract buyers. The problem is that we can't do discounts forever. We are training customers to buy only during discounts. At a certain point, they will stop working.

It is not easy because it is beyond the realm of science. It is an art form. Knowing how to fuel people’s desires to take action entails understanding Unappealing Content: One of the most popular of an individual’s psychology—what makes them performance marketing platforms today is tick and triggers them. Facebook, with News Feed Ads widely used. These are native ads that users view alongside organic We cannot pluck these consumer insights from thin posts, such as their friends and relatives' updates. air, and assumptions will not help. We therefore have to conduct research before running the Advertisers using Facebook fail to recognize how campaign, which many marketers do not have challenging it is to grab the attention of Facebook the luxury of time to do so. The simplest way users, and entice them to click on their ad(s) in such we recommend to go about it is to engage the a situation. They often get a low click-through rate company’s salespeople in conversation. They and are 'penalized' with a higher Cost Per Click, provide the richest source of consumer insights resulting in higher advertising costs. because they are the primary point of contact with The problem actually lies with the ad copy, customers. which tends to be cookie-cutter. To craft an ad that resonates and ensure a more successful campaign, advertisers need to devote more time to understanding the desires of their target audience.

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Q: The digital marketing landscape is such a dynamic one -- how does one keep abreast of all the changes? Ted: You can always read things up online. The internet has a boundless supply of information.

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Honestly, you’ll need first-hand experience. There are many claims by various gurus on the internet. Some of them are valid, some of them not. Some of them may be applicable in their own countries, but will be ineffective in Singapore. The best way is to keep testing and trying different things on your own. This way, you know what works and what doesn’t through your own experience.

Q: Any (digital marketing/ performance marketing) tools you cannot do without? Ted: Crazyegg: Heat mapping tools allow us to find flaws in our own landing page and make improvements. Thrive split-tester tool: It allows us to split-test the different elements on the landing page.


GURU TALK

Q: Lastly, where do you see Performance Marketing heading 10 years from now? Ted: I think it will become more prevalent. The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in 2018 estimated that 75% of digital media investment or $20 billion is squandered due to ad fraud, use of vanity metrics and a lack of tracking. As companies tighten their budget and become savvier in marketing technicalities, they will demand more business results from their marketers. Furthermore, marketing will become a huge driver of sales. In a recent survey, Hubspot found that consumers are becoming less dependent on sales for purchase information. Where are they getting their information from, then? Online, of course! As consumer behavior evolves and technology improves, I foresee marketing being a strong driver of sales revenue in the near future, for any company. Furthermore, we can use pixels and retargeting ads to attribute sales and track conversions, Hence, performance marketing is going to be more important. I’m excited to see where things head!

About Ted Chong Ted is the co-founder of Ice Cube Marketing. He speaks and writes about digital marketing regularly. You can find his thoughts featured in publications such as TechinAsia, AsiaOne business, Singapore Business Review and e27.

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learning site

THE PERFORMANCEDRIVEN MARKETER’S BOOKSHELF 20

Thinking about going into performancebased marketing? We took a peek at a few performance marketers’ reading lists so that you can take a leaf out of their books, and learn from the best.


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Marketing 4.0

MOVING FROM

TRADITIONAL TO DIGITAL » Phillip Kotler, Hermawan Kartajaya, Iwan Setiawan

What it’s about: If you studied marketing in university, Phillip Kotler’s texts won’t be unfamiliar to you! Marketing 4.0 looks into the changing nature of customer paths in today’s digital economy, and the ever-increasing importance of omnichannel and humancentric marketing. For active digital marketers, the book is great for a structured overview of the various marketing strategies; while you probably know them like the back of your hand, Dr. Kotler’s pointers and insights might awaken a fresh perspective!

Mantra to live by: “Today, innovation is horizontal; the market supplies the ideas, and companies commercialize the ideas”

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learning site

THE

CREATIVE CURVE

» Allen Gannett .

What it’s about: Data and creativity are a mighty combination, and marketers who feel like they lack the latter will want to pick this up. Gannett (Forbes 30 under 30 2016, founder and CEO of marketing insights platform TrackMaven) overturns the common misconception about creativity being an innate talent through interesting anecdotes and interviews, and shares four ‘laws’ essential for creative success. Here’s a hint: the first is consumption. Read the book to discover the rest!

Mantra to live by: “Today, innovation is horizontal; the market supplies the ideas, and companies commercialize the ideas”

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THIS IS MARKETING

YOU CAN’T BE SEEN UNTIL YOU LEARN TO SEE » Seth Godin .

What it’s about: Seth Godin has made his name as one of the pioneers of inbound marketing and his latest book, This is Marketing, distills all of his ideas and approaches in one place for easy digestion. While Godin’s writing is pithy and might take a while to get used to, read it for a different perspective of what marketing can be (an opportunity to serve people) as well as useful advice on seeking out the audience that really matters—better known as the ‘smallest viable market’.

Mantra to live by: "Online advertising is also the most ignored advertising ever created. It’s not unusual to run an ad in front of a hundred thousand people and get not a single click. It’s not unusual for an entire ad campaign to start, run, and finish without making any impact on the culture”

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learning site

CONFESSIONS OF AN

ADVERTISING MAN » David Ogilvy .

What it’s about: Isaac Newton famously said that if he has seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants. David Ogilvy is one such giant whom marketers know not to ignore. While Confessions of an Advertising Man was published in 1963, many of the principles and fundamentals within still ring true today—and performance marketers, particularly, will appreciate Ogilvy’s reminder that research (preparation and data) must be accompanied by good judgment (execution and innovation) to be effective.

Mantra to live by: “Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving”

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INFLUENCE:

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSUASION » Robert Cialdini

What it’s about: Figuring out what motivates people into saying ‘yes’ is always tough, and Influence might just be your trump card. The book, written by the “Godfather of Persuasion Science”, shares 6 principles derived from decades of research that marketers can apply to boost conversions and write convincing ad copy. Put this book (and its successor, PreSuasion) on your bookshelf within easy reach: it’s easy to follow, and chock full of interesting examples.

Mantra to live by: “People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies.”

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learning site

Now that we’ve snuck you a glimpse of a performance marketer’s reading list, it’s your turn. Knowledge is power: why not pick up a few of these books and see what they can do for you?

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ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GOOGLE ADWORDS:

HOW TO ACCESS 100 MILLION PEOPLE IN 10 MINUTES » Perry Marshall

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What it’s about: Google Ads (formerly Adwords), with its traffic-based metrics, is indispensable to performance marketers. Written by Google Ads guru Perry Marshall, the author of 80/20 Sales and Marketing, this step-by-step guide is great as an introduction to the basics of digital marketing. Apart from demystifying Google Ads in layman terms, Marshall also includes advice on how to write eye-catching sales copy, which is instrumental for ad success.

Mantra to live by: “If you’re not tracking conversions from click, to sales lead, to sale, then odds are 80 percent of your traffic is not converting to sales and you don’t know it.”

About the Writer Genevieve Ng is a Content Specialist passionate about the fields of digital marketing and tertiary education. You can find her hunched over a book or a craft table in her spare time.

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feature

THE KEY ELEMENTS OF A

DIGITAL MARKETING DIRECT RESPONSE CAMPAIGN

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What are the building blocks of a direct response marketing campaign for the web? The Singapore Marketer introduces what you need to run campaigns more effectively.


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In today’s digital world, where consumers have the power of choice, the only way to drive conversions is through a message that compels.

Whether it’s via Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or even email, direct response campaigns shine by offering companies and organisations measurability and convenience.

Present in many performance marketers’ toolkits, here are three important things to pay attention to if you’re thinking of running a direct response campaign of your own.

GOAL SETTING The primary goal of any direct response campaign is to increase sales, so focus all your attention on this! Let the statistics guide your decisions but don’t be distracted by them; at the end of the day, remember that conversions matter more than, for example, maintaining a very low cost per click (CPC). Come up with an attractive offer—a free masterclass, quote, or limitedtime discount being some examples—and make the process to convert as simple as possible, because consumers and prospects want everything to be simple and fast.

How Fast is Fast? 2 seconds or less for site load-time, according to a study by Akamai Technologies, with 50% of dissatisfied users abandoning a site entirely. So, don’t forget to optimise page speed and minimise potential friction with a straightforward callto-action. If your offer requires prospects to leave their details, only ask for what’s absolutely necessary. Do note that direct response campaigns work best when they are as targeted as possible. For greater relevance, make sure to home in on a specific buyer persona per campaign.

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feature

COPYWRITING Miles Young, Ogilvy’s non-executive chairman, constantly urges marketers to return to the fundamentals of advertising. In an interview with The Huffington Post, he shares how “what really matters… [is] what you say to people and how you say it to them”. In short, message over medium.

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This might sound obvious, but its advice that bears repeating. In today’s digital world, where consumers have the power of choice, the only way to drive conversions is through a message that compels. Here are some things to pay attention to:

Great Headlines are Everything

Let Consumer Behaviour be Your Compass

Don’t underestimate the power of a good headline! A staggering 59% of content on social media is shared due to headlines alone , with their content going

In How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market, Harvard professor, Gerald Zaltman, shares how 95% of buying decisions

unread. In fact, only 2 out of 10 people make it past headlines on average, which demonstrates how critical it is to make an impression from the get-go.

consumers make are driven by subconscious urges—the biggest of them being emotion.

For those who need a little inspiration, check out free content/headline generators such as Portent’s.

and your ad copy will be much more effective.

This means that merely highlighting a product or Some headline types popular with the online service’s features won’t be enough. Write to trigger audience are list-types, ‘how-tos’, and resource posts. emotions such as fear, happiness, and sadness, too,

One simple way to do this is to go through everything while asking, ‘so what’? This helps you delve deep and place yourself in a consumer’s shoes.


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TESTING & CONVERSION OPTIMISING

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ometimes, it takes a lot of trial and error to get something right. It’s the same with running direct response campaigns, which require monitoring and periodic testing to maximise their potential. We quote David Ogilvy (Confessions of an Advertising Man): “Test your promise. Test your media. Test your headlines and your illustrations. Test the size of your advertisements. Test your frequency. Test your level of expenditure. Test your commercials. Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving” When one of advertising’s greatest cannot emphasise enough how important testing is, you know it’s one step you shouldn’t miss.

Run a few ad angles at the same time to see which garners the most conversions and responses, and pause the ones that aren’t working. If a landing page is receiving a lot of views but has a low conversion rate, perform A/B split testing by changing one variable at a time—these include everything from choice of images or keywords used, to where the call-to-action is placed. The additional information you gain from testing will help you find your ideal audience, and decide what can be scaled for a greater return on investment. In short, don’t be too quick to dismiss any ideas and hypotheses! Try new things that you think might not work—do back them up with the analytics at hand—and let the results speak for themselves.

About the Writer Genevieve Ng is a Content Specialist passionate about the fields of digital marketing and tertiary education. You can find her hunched over a book or a craft table in her spare time.

i “Akamai Technologies - 2014 Consumer Web Performance Expectations Survey ii Social Clicks: What and Who Gets Read on Twitter? ACM SIGMETRICS / IFIP Performance 2016, Jun 2016

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he Global Brand Planning Competition (GBPC) 2019 saw its 5th run this year. This annual competition is organised by the Global Chinese Marketing Federation, and is joined by Marketing Institute of Singapore and Marketing Institute of Singapore Business School as its co-organisers. The competition aims to actively promote Chinese marketing whilst upholding the standard of excellence in the practice of marketing, through case studies, recognising achievements and fostering innovation and creativity in marketing talents. Apart, the Brand Event Planning Competition (BEPC) was also held this year as part of the competition. It aspires to enhance business trainings and award tourism talents, promoting

the development of the conference and incentive travel industry. Concurrently, it seeks to promote regional communication among college and university students majoring in MICE, hospitality and tourism management. This year’s competition witnessed participation from 19 Chinese GBPC teams, 12 English GBPC teams and 14 BEPC English teams. The teams comprised of college and university students from China, Taiwan, Thailand, Bangladesh and Singapore. With the conscientious effort invested by the teams into their reports and presentations, there was plenty of room for learning. At the same time, many new friendships were forged between participating teams.

WINNERS OF THE COMPETITION INCLUDE: GBPC English Winner – Team Just Win, Thailand [Srinakharinwirot University] 1st Runner Up – Team Killer, Thailand [Srinakharinwirot University] 2nd Runner Up – Team Not Today, Bangladesh [North South University] Best Speaker – Tan Yue Ting, Team CARE, Singapore [NTU] Best Report – Team One Two Tea, Thailand [Chulalongkorn University] Best Performing Team – Team Smart Runners, Singapore [NTU]

BEPC Winner – Team Chili, China [Zhuhai College of Jilin University] 1st Runner Up – Team TechBox, Singapore [Nanyang Polytechnic] 2nd Runner Up – Team NARAS, Singapore [Singapore Institute of Technology] Best Speaker – Huang Yinhong, Team Chili, China [Zhuhai College of Jilin University] Best Report – Team ENDLESS, China [四川旅游学院] Best Performing Team – Team MICE Vocal, China [Central South University of Forestry and Technology]


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The Advanced Diploma in Digital Marketing programme targets to hone individuals’ digital marketing capabilities. It aims to impart specially curated content and skills that will enhance abilities to plan, implement, measure and evaluate digital marketing strategies, whilst showing individuals how these can contribute to building and sustaining successful and integrated digital marketing campaigns.

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