Content marketing, especially branded content, is becoming even more important in the eyes of advertisers' this year. A report by market research firm Advertiser Perceptions found that more than half of advertisers using paid branded content say doing so is more critical than it was a year ago. More than a third of respondents (32%) increased spending on branded content. There was also an increase in spending for influencer marketing. The top three reasons for using branded content are increase product consideration, drive sales and reach new target consumers.
Meanwhile, on the B2B front, Forrester found that firms risk losing 19% of their annual revenue when Millennials (ages 18 to 35) find their marketing content useless. This means that a theoretical US$10 billion company can risk losing US$1.9 billion of revenue as a result of their content marketing messages, format choices, and spend missing the mark, Forrester said. Also, 57% of Millennials say much of the content marketing material they receive from B2B firms is useless. The majority of them (69%) also say the material from B2B firms is extraneous and they obtain most of their information from other sources.
Be it B2C or B2B, content marketing undoubtedly is an important aspect of marketing for many companies.
We looked at our 2021 Agency of the Year awards results, which was unveiled during a virtual ceremony held on 8 July 2021, and listed who our judges thought were the five best content marketing agencies in Singapore below alphabetically.
Our list of agencies won over our independent panel of high-calibre, client-side marketers not only by displaying the work they have done for clients but also through their desire to nurture talent and create proprietary products for the execution of world-class campaigns.
Mashwire started its operations in Singapore in 2013 with the mission to connect to light up relationships and the vision to celebrate meaningful relationships with its clients. It adopts a framework that integrates the brand into the consumer’s journey, connecting them with the brand with a robust content ecosystem, and encouraging advocacy.
In 2020, the agency successfully executed campaigns that span from audio marketing to AR filters, to a differentiated influencer programme for notable brands such as Pokka and Nestle Group. The agency also won the accounts for secured additional accounts for new clients, including Yeo Hiap Seng, Reckitt Benckiser and Auric Pacific. It has also invested in different digital tools such as Isentia’s Mediaportal to unearth consumer insights to reinforce its consumer-centric proposals. According to the agency, this highly complements its lean and small team.
With small numbers, the company also encourages “cross-pollination” of its employees’ skill sets, which allows most individuals to multi-hat. Designers and developers were exposed to marketing techniques and frameworks to help them appreciate the content, while the marketing team is exposed to design thinking, basic design theories and UX principles to aid in strategising and content curating. With the focus on digital transformation during the pandemic. Mashwire also invested in training programmes to equip its team with new knowledge to meet the demands of the industry.
Established in 2014, Meet Isaac has evolved into a full-service digital agency from a digital marketing agency. It is part of the Ascentis Group of Companies, a leading local CRM provider in Singapore since 2003, providing loyalty and CRM solutions for retail, F&B brands in Singapore and the region.
Being an integrated marketing agency, Meet Isaac is able to get a bird’s eye view of client’s campaign objectives and get involved in every stage from conceptualisation to the utilisation of creatives to meet said objectives. Its portfolio of clients include brands such as Starbucks, NTUC Income, Crystal Jade and Guardian.
Aside from digital and social media duties, Meet Isaac also provides loyalty programme services as one of its niches, and is, therefore, able to effectively integrate gamification into its clients’ loyalty programmes. The agency has even dabbled in AR in its efforts to become a leader in the industry.
As part of its employment development initiatives, Meet Isaac has taken steps to make sure that most of its team is Facebook Blueprint certified and that the account servicing team Google Specialists. The team has also attended LinkedIn courses as well as internal leadership boot camps. To encourage work-life balance, Meet Isaac also has designated no meetings Fridays as well as flexible working arrangements such as unlimited flexible leaves and staggered working hours.
Originally a PR agency in 2012, Mutant is now a regional agency with offices in Singapore and Malaysia, servicing clients across Asia Pacific and globally for their PR, content marketing and branding needs. With heavy client investment in the integrated PR and content framework, Mutant has branched out into offering new services, including digital marketing, as well as its own Mutant Branding and Mutant Specialisations which focus on media training, crisis communications and employer branding.
Notable brands that Mutant works with include Facebook, LinkedIn and M1, to name a few. On top of that, Mutant also won a string of big brands such as Disney SEA, Singapore Sports Hub and PayPal APAC, among others, and boasts a win rate of 60%.
Mutant’s pride lies in its people and culture, which it quotes as the key to its success. It has a team of 30 Mutants and has a retention rate of 85% despite the pandemic in the past year. Aside from providing mental health support, deliberately focusing on gender equality, and expanding its flexi-work options, Mutant’s other stand out effort is its progressive maternity policy, where it established a gradual return policy to ensure that all new mothers can find the balance they need, while working closely with their immediate team members and managers to ease back into the fold. It has also shown its support for the LGBTQ+ community by hosting events to champion rights, such as Singapore’s first Queer Media Mixer for Pink Dot 2019.
Under new global leadership, Ogilvy repositioned itself in hopes to be the world's best agency partner and platform for growth for its clients in 2020 by transforming its predominantly social content production studio into a full-service content marketing capability.
With lines becoming blurred between advertising and content, Ogilvy Singapore made a leap forward to create a Content as a Service (CaaS) offering for clients last year. Its CaaS offering leverages a combination of social, technology, data and creative expertise. Ogilvy has also created a new director of content role in June 2021, appointing Anggie Aprilla to leverage its creative talent, partnerships and delivery framework to help clients respond to changing market forces and consumer needs at speed. Regional chief delivery officer Amir Mireskandari said Aprilla represents one of the first of many critical roles it is looking to establish in this space as it continues to see tremendous growth in its content services offering.
In addition to the brands that it currently works with, such as HSBC, OCBC, MCCY and National Arts Council, the agency managed to bag a slew of new clients in 2020. They include Google, Facebook, National Crime Prevention Council, Dairy Farm and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, among others. Ogilvy firmly believes in a racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse workforce, where all perspectives are valued. The agency touts a diverse leadership group of 25, comprising nine different nationalities and 11 female leaders, with an average of 10 years with the agency across the group.
Wild is a creative agency driven by data and deep consumer insight. Harnessing the power of content, digital and social media to engage and move people emotionally towards brands, Wild aims to create work that is persuasive, authentic and memorable.
The agency creates ideas and solutions based on discovering consumers’ motivations, through the use of innovative research tools such as Jobs-To-Be-Done. The agency also distills consumer micro-moments to understand their consumer journeys and use it as an integral part to drive content planning. Wild touts a win rate of 75%, bagging new clients in 2020 such as Singapore Art Museum, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Jurong Town Corporation and Malay Heritage Council, National Heritage Board. They joined Wild’s existing portfolio of clients, which include notable names such as CPF, LTA, MSIG and SMU, among others.
The agency is 40 strong with a 20% talent count who has been with the agency for over five years leading the team. Wild also joined Japanese network Prap Group earlier this year in February to grow its regional footprint, as well as to tap on Prap's network and capabilities to further strengthen its offering to clients, fulfilling the common vision of building a leading digital agency network in Southeast Asia, said Wild in an interview with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE.
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