Racheal Lee
Aug 15, 2013

Online offers transparency, challenge, opportunity: SingTel's Buse

SINGAPORE - The online workd creates transparency, which simultaneouslty challenges brands and creates an opportunity to engage with customers in a direct and interactive manner, according to John Buse, vice president (consumer marketing) at SingTel.

File photo from Appies 2012
File photo from Appies 2012

Speaking at the keynote presentation at The Asia Pacific Marketing Congress 2013 (The Appies 2013) this morning, he added that online allows people to give feedback anytime from their mobile, and brands have to prepare themselves to respond, rather than to ignore them.

“In SingTel, we train personnel to respond to these feedbacks one-to-one,” he said. “We also did research on the perception of customers towards SingTel and work towards engaging these people to be a brand they love.”

Banking on the result showing three main interests of Singaporeans (music, food, sports), SingTel plans a series of campaigns to engage the online community.

Among the campaigns it implemented recently are the most recent ‘Singapore vs. Ramsay’ in ‘Hawker Heroes’ and the ‘Need4Gspeed’ campaign in March.

The ‘Hawker Heroes’ campaign saw 386,400 visits to the campaign site in 17 days, as well as 288,500 unique visitors to the site. It is worth noting that one out of two visitors to SingTel.com to view the campaign had never been to the website before.

The ‘Need4Gspeed’ campaign, meanwhile, received 32,000 engagements on Twitter, with 17 times the daily brand mentions and 500 incremental followers on its Twitter page. It also saw 39 per cent increased traffic to SingTel 4G website, and 6,923-video minutes watched.

Buse also talked about how the telco handled a situation at the end of last year where inadequate infrastructure led to users not being able to use its data service.

“What we do is we came out with a feedback form and told the customers to tell us their problems,” he added. “We promised them that we would look into the problems and fix them. After that, we took all the feedbacks and improved on the service.”

Held for the fourth year in Singapore starting today, The Appies is a two-day event that awards the 10 most outstanding marketing campaigns in the region, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysian, New Zealand, The Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore.

Organised by the Institute of Advertising, this year’s event has seen a 20 per cent increase in entries from 34 agencies for 65 brands. The 100 shortlisted integrated marketing campaigns cover a range of six product/service categories and will be presented in the live 4-6-10 format.

Goh Shu Fen, chairman of The Appies 2013 and principal/co-founder for R3, noted that this year has seen more entries from markets outside Singapore, and India continues to form a bulk of the entries.

Also, she announced that the chairperson for The Appies 2014 would be Rene de Monchy, assistant general manager, marketing at Asia Pacific Breweries, while the chief judge for next year would be CMO at Parkway Health International Singapore Alvin Neo.

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