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#AsiaeCommerceAwards 2021 spills: SISTIC SG on raising the bar for customer engagement

#AsiaeCommerceAwards 2021 spills: SISTIC SG on raising the bar for customer engagement

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SISTIC is a Singapore-based ticketing agency and eCommerce player. It also helps event organisers and content creators grow by enabling consumers to discover, engage and consume its digital and live experiences via SISTIC and its partner networks. During the pandemic, SISTIC launched its live streaming platform, SISTIC Live, to facilitate virtual and hybrid events. It was also finalist for Best in eCommerce (Marketplace / eRetailer) – Entertainment and won silver for Best Response to COVID-19 at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's Asia eCommerce Awards 2021. 

In an interview, Joe Ow (pictured), CEO of SISTIC Singapore, told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that it helped bridge the gap between live performances and virtual streaming for local promoters through the launch of SISTIC Live. He also shared how it plans to raise the bar for customer engagement by providing a dynamic experience for our patrons based on real-time, actionable user data.

This interview is done as part of MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s winners and finalists’ interview series for Asia eCommerce Awards 2021. To find out more about the awards, click here.

What have the past two years been like for you given the sudden pivot to eCommerce?

Ow: During the COVID-19 pandemic, we embraced digital transformation more than ever while having to adapt to constantly changing virtual and hybrid business landscapes. We have embarked on eCommerce solutions for ticketing, such as having relaunched our new web offerings, offering e-tickets, and increasing our digital distribution partners via API. The pandemic also accelerated our digital transformation towards live streaming and virtual events. 

What was one challenge that took you by surprise and how did you pivot?

Ow: Due to COVID-19, capacity restrictions were implemented for safety measures. However, as a result, they also inevitably led to the mass cancellation of events, leaving the industry in limbo. In a short span of time, the livelihoods of many event organisers, freelancers, performers and crew were affected significantly. Promoters had little opportunity to engage with their audience, donors and sponsors, aside from posting free content on social media platforms. While such initiatives kept people engaged for a while, they do not make up for significant revenue and income losses for peers who depend on events and gigs to make a living. 

The pandemic accelerated long-term trends overnight. As the biggest events and experiences marketplace, we had to support our arts and entertainment clients in keeping communities connected and keeping the industry afloat. SISTIC needed to step up to help bridge the gap between live performances and virtual streaming for local promoters. With the challenges and objectives in mind, we developed SISTIC Live, the first live stream platform to launch in Singapore, that helped our struggling promoters pivot and offer their products and services online quickly.

With markets opening up, what are some trends you have your eyes on?

Ow: As physical events are returning, we believe that the culture of hybrid event built by event organisers during the past 24 months will still remain intact as the economy gears up for recovery. The potential for hybrid shows and events is boundless and there remains a unique opportunity for promoters to use that format to engage their audiences. SISTIC will continue to refine and build on our SISTIC Live platform to address the ever-evolving industry. As markets open up, what SISTIC also hopes to bring to the table is providing our clients with more data-driven decisions from the insights harnessed.

What do you think makes for great marketing these days?

Ow: With consumers expecting customisation in every aspect of their life, customers now have higher expectations. Businesses that are quick to respond to changes and place focus on enriching and personalising customer journeys will be able to build closer relationships with the audience and create a lasting impact on the successes of events.

Through our recent onboarding of the multi-channel customer-engagement platform Braze, SISTIC hopes to raise the bar for customer engagement by providing a dynamic experience for our patrons based on their preferences and real-time, actionable user data.

Our in-house data team has also, through a combination of data and machine learning technology, completed a recommendation engine to present patrons with more relevant product recommendations. Such a solution led to an increase in click-through rates and conversions, which also serves as a testament to customer satisfaction.

How do you feel about your win?

Ow: It is a huge honour for us to have been awarded Silver for the Best Response to COVID-19 category in the Asia eCommerce Awards 2021 and we are incredibly humbled. We would like to thank our clients and our wonderful team; without them this would not have been possible. We remain laser-focused in providing the best of hybrid experiences to cater to the needs of our audience and seek to work with partners to bring across solutions that meet the evolving needs of the arts, entertainment, sports and MICE industries.

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