Rising Costs And Competition

Stuart Tan

STUART TAN

CEO, ZERO1

“2023 has not been a good year for us as a licensed Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) as competitors adopted aggressive red-ocean strategies to gain market share.

This continues to erode margins and limits the ability to invest in products and services for the future.

It has also resulted in a tightening of manpower by freezing headcount and hiring.

Rising Costs

The cost of living is still very high, in my opinion. We seldom eat out in Singapore and my wife cooks almost everyday.

Eating in a restaurant nowadays seems to be a luxurious outing for a family of four. Occasionally, I will travel to Johor Baru during the weekends to give my wife a break.

I have switched to an electric vehicle in 2022 and paid $70,000 for the Certificate of Entitlement. I was lucky with that decision. (The cost of acquiring a certificate of entitlement to buy a car in Singapore crossed S$150,000 this year). It is more a cost saving for me to switch to an electric vehicle with a charger ‘thrown in’ from the car dealer in my home.

I expect the living costs to rise, with the GST going up to 9%. We will have to be mindful of household expenses.”

More travellers will be tapping on data to stay in touch.

Expansion Plans

In 2024, I’m looking forward to better prospects as we leave Covid behind and have more travellers — inbound and outbound.

We are looking to expand into the ASEAN region and investing in new products and services in preparation for the digitalisation of the market.

The potential headwinds in 2024 will be the political situation in the USA and the ongoing issues in Gaza and Ukraine. But overall, I still feel positive for 2024.

Bernard Chan

New Approaches Needed

“IN the ever-evolving realm of marketing, 2023 unfolded against a backdrop of health upheavals and technological leaps, presenting challenges — geopolitical tensions and escalating conflicts, amplifying economic uncertainties and consumer apprehensions.

For marketers, this environment demanded caution, yet boldness, strategies needing swift adjustments to align evolving consumer sentiments with an unpredictable global landscape.

While remote work became a norm, post-pandemic marketing grappled with the demand for more digitally immersive brand experiences to captivate an audience fatigued by virtual contact.

Embrace Technology

In Singapore, rising costs and impending economic changes paint a challenging picture.

Recent cost increases added pressure on consumer spending, forcing marketers to craft more value-driven alternatives.

As 2024 approaches, the evolving landscape requires an even more agile marketing approach, where adaptability and foresight are paramount. Embracing innovative technologies, harnessing data for nuanced insights, and recalibrating strategies to resonate with an evolving consumer base are imperative.

However, amidst the chaos, the year also witnessed a surge in transformative technologies.

Generative AI emerged as the latest game-changer, demanding sharper insights and personalised experiences. For marketers, this translated into an unprecedented requirement to delve deeper into consumer behaviour, enabling hyper-targeted campaigns and enhanced customer journeys. 

Immerse And Upskill

Looking forward, marketers must leverage on the lessons from 2023.

Upskilling in data analytics, investing in immersive technologies, and nurturing agile marketing teams will be critical.

The ability to anticipate and swiftly respond to market shifts will define success in an era characterised by both uncertainty and innovation.

In 2024, the key lies once again in innovation and adaptability, transforming challenges into stepping stones toward a future where marketers and advertising professionals weld technology and empathy to create impactful brand narratives in today’s rapidly evolving world.

Mindset change and retraining are paramount to the AdMarcom Industry players, to be able to keep pace with new waves of technology changes.

The Advertising and Marketing Association of Singapore aims to ride the proverbial tiger’s back by working with AI-based solution providers to develop effective AI solutions and training programmes for agencies, marketers and media owners to adopt and assimilate these solutions as they come into the market.”

WHO ELSE HAS COMMENTED?

STORM-ASIA talks with decision makers from different industries to get a sense of how they have taken the goings-on of 2023 in their stride and what will continue into 2024. What is there to look forward to?

From telcos to automotive, governance to healthcare and media and advertising, the opinions are considered while the expectations for 2024 are different.

Their opinions will be featured in this final week of 2023 and will hopefully present you with some ideas about how to plan the year ahead. Read Awaiting 2024 With Trepidation to see the list of interviews.

Read more opinions in the coming days.

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