Why EDB is focusing on the digital ad market

Earlier Marketing reported on the Economic Development Board (EDB) commissioning an industry wide quantitative study of the marketing and communications industry, a first for the government agency.

The study is part of a bigger initiative by the government to raise the country's standards as a digital marketing hub.

But what exactly is its game plan? We asked EDB.

As the government sees more MNCs and Asian companies bringing into Singapore regional marketing and communications roles, it is expecting a stronger demand for regional services from communication agencies as well, explained Kelvin Wong, executive director, logistics, professional services and international organisation programme office.

And it is mapping out a plan to prep the local industry for it, in terms of raising standards and grooming local talent.

"EDB hopes to quantify the marketing & communications industry in Asia, find out where Singapore stands in digital marketing expertise, and understand the talent requirements of the industry. The study seeks to delve deeper into the current and anticipated capabilities of agencies in Singapore," Wong said.

Wong told Marketing: "The insights could advise EDB in the development of Singapore into a central hub for marketing in Asia."

Thus far, Singapore has held a competitive advantage in the region because of its digital infrastructure and uptake of emerging technology. However, emerging countries such as Indonesia and Philippines will pose a threat ahead with their immense potential for growth and digital uptake.

To ensure it remains ahead of the game, EDB has said it will take a closer look at the digital marketing communications industry to ramp up its technological offerings.

The EDB has stated it is also particularly interested in learning about capabilities such as data analytics, media optimisation, digital strategy, and campaign conceptualisation which could potentially position Singapore well in integrating the planning and ideation functions in the region.

Through the study, which studies both local and global agencies, EDB hopes to understand and map out where Singapore stands in digital marketing expertise, and understand the talent requirements of the industry, Wong added.

This will translate into efforts in building local talent in agencies and universities as well.

"Our strong ICT infrastructure coupled with a digitally advanced and well-educated population place us well to be such a hub," Wong said adding that these strengths are what the nation hopes to play on to ensure its survival in Asia's competitive digital landscape.

And while  EDB is interested in both digital and integrated agencies, it is focusing more on the latter as of now.

"Given that digital marketing is still an emerging space in Asia, we felt that the current scoping of the survey would give us the granularity and insights for our efforts in future," Wong said.