#MarketingEventsAwards spills: Mercury PR founder on evolving the agency for the future

Mercury PR has made a name for itself for knowing how to have the right conversations to influence decisions. Coupled with industry insight and results-driven campaigns, the team at Mercury strives to generate persuasive conversations and recruit brand advocates.

The team is led by Tjin Lee who is the managing director and founder. In 2009, she founded the Audi Fashion Festival, known today as the Singapore Fashion Week, bringing in shows by international designers. Lee started her career in fashion and luxury lifestyle as part of the marketing team of Club 21, Singapore’s leading fashion retailer.

In 2001, she decided to branch out on her own and started Mercury Marketing & Communications. Lee speaks to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE on her plans for the agency.

This interview is done as part of MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s winners and finalists’ interview series for Marketing Events Awards 2020. To find out more about the awards, click here

What are some of the expectations your clients now have for your brand?

Lee: Client needs have changed drastically in 2020. There’s now a greater focus on sales conversion, driving traffic in the local market, as all of the retail spend will have to depend largely, if not entirely, on the local market in the foreseeable months to come.

How has your marketing/your clients marketing plans shifted this year?

Lee: While online has been exciting and very much in demand for the first half of 2020, consumers are getting fatigued of online and virtual events. It’s also a fast-paced, fast-changing environment for marketers; what worked a month ago may not work next month.  Clients are looking for online-offline solutions, to drive more sales traffic and store footfall, and we have to innovate month to month to constantly deliver new, fresh, relevant concepts.

What are some of the trends you see carrying on post-pandemic, and how are you readying your workforce to be ready with these trends?

Lee: We are evolving the team to be more multi-faceted. We can no longer be viewed as a PR agency, or an events agency, but an integrated 360 solution provider which understands holistically how it all functions. For example, consumer events are now designed to deliver traction on social media, and it’s no longer about building sets and creating experiences, but about storytelling, and winning over both new customers and retaining existing ones. The events industry has faced massive disruption for 2020, and we are well-poised to pivot by integrating the existing strengths of the PR and Social divisions more holistically with our Events arm.

What do you think makes for great marketing these days?

Lee: Great storytelling and relevance, strong engagement - to do this, you need to really understand your client’s core target audience, and dig deep into the psychology of what makes the brand relevant and resonate with them, then craft around that and amplify it.

How are you planning for 2021?

Lee: 2021 will be an exciting year for agencies who are willing to adapt, learn and evolve. Mercury has invested in staff training, where our entire team took an immersive digital transformation course in December, so that each and every member is equipped to understand the tools of the new marketing economy, and we can think, create and move forward as one dynamic and integrated team.