Ad:Tech 2012 at Suntec Convention Centre (13 – 14 June 2012)

After a long hiatus in blogging, I was pleasantly surprised to still be invited to the Ad:Tech Singapore 2012 conference to cover the event as a blogger. While my schedule did not permit me to stay for the entire conference, I managed to attend the press conference.

But before we go into that, I feel this year’s conference lineup is exciting! The theme of the event is about Driving Asia’s Digital Development and there were tracks of breakout sessions covering from Fundamentals of Digital Marketing, Digital Trends, Tools and Technologies, and Digital Adoption And Execution Trends of Emerging and Developed Markets, as well as an Exhibition Seminar Theatre in the Expo Hall.

The topics which the speakers are covering are really close to the ground. With breakout sessions like “Integrating Mobile Marketing Into Your Overall Business Strategy”, and interactive workshops like “Optimising Your Social Media Marketing”, I really see how the attendees can walk away with actionable insights that can be applied immediately in their digital marketing.

Ad Tech Press Conference

The press conference this morning featured a panel of 6 speakers to share their insights. Here are my insights!

  1. Enrique Baizas – Digital Marketing Champion, Zone AOA for Nestle touched on the idea that the strategy for marketing in social media needs to be different from one for the regular traditional media. The key difference in that, even when brands stop advertising or promoting online, conversation will still continue on the various platforms. It is therefore important for companies not only to have their content grid and marketing plan, but also be flexible enough to adapt, remix and engage with the responses they get from the different social platforms.
  2. Michael Lazerow, CEO and Founder of Buddy Media emphasised that it is the content that powers the connections, and it is in the human networks where the power lies. With right idea and great story to tell, digital marketing need not be complicated.
  3. Greg Dale, COO of Comscore Inc talked about the the trends and evolutions in Digital Advertising. Mobile is big, especially in Singapore. In fact, Singapore leads the world in terms of non-computer traffic! E-commerce, while slower to pick up in Singapore, are also still seeing positive trends.
  4. Jeffery Cole, Director, Centre for the Digital Future, USC Annenberg School touched on a point that is near and dear to almost everyone connected to the Internet – that nobody really wants to give up the Internet! But, many of us are tired of having it define our lives. The lines between and work and personal time have blurred and even though the Internet is supposed to make us more productive, we end up working more hours, working late at night and on weekends. There is a need to find a balance.
  5. Ranji David, Executive Director for Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Singapore told us how IAB has been doing to educate, enable, inspire and elevate digital marketing in Singapore. She also touched on some very important statistics – that as of the 1st half of 2011, only 8% of the advertising budget is spent online in Singapore, comparatively, the mature markets like US and the UK are seeing figures in the 30-odd percentile. More talents are hired today than ever, and Singapore is also getting a lot of support from the government in this industry
  6. Loren I. Shuster, Country Director, Singapore and Emerging Markets at Google spoke about the acceleration of everything! Soon everyone and everything can and will be online, and with the availability of the Internet on mobile and other platforms, consumers are becoming hyper-informed and they do a lot of their research online before they make purchasing decisions.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to drop in for some sessions tomorrow so I’ll be able to provide you with more insights!

Mass Blog Commenting Services by a Singapore SEO Company

Today when I checked my mail in the morning I was surprised to see more than the usual number in my inbox, only to realise that a huge bunch of the mails are due to spam comments on this blog.

Blog Comment Spamming

All these comments came in within 2 minutes last night. And they all went into the spam folder. SEO effect? Zero – at least for my blog. Of course, they have probably spammed a thousand other blogs in the same fifteen minutes, and been lucky enough to have hit one or two that didn’t have their spam filter on.

Another surprise came when I realized that many of these spammy comments had URLs pointing to Singapore related domains or .sg domains. A couple of them were horrid looking “made for Adsense” splogs (they still exist!), and some were legitimate company websites.

What was common was that all these sites pointed to one SEO company in Singapore – one that sold packages of “5000 Facebook Invites for USD$39.90” and “100 Facebook Fans for $49.90”!

Frankly, I feel sorry for the legitimate companies who probably paid good money to this SEO consultant to market their website. On the other hand, I think there is a need to educate some business owners and marketing professionals on how to choose a proper SEO company – what do you think?

Blog Commenting for SEO

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that blog commenting does not work for SEO. In fact, from my own observations and experience, these blog comments still work very well, despite the fact that most blogs still have the rel=”nofollow” attribute for their comment links.

However, for the comments to go through and SEO to really take effect, the comments need to be insightful and valuable to the blog owner, not random phrases submitted by a piece of software. Like many things in life, its not what you do, but how you do it that matters.

IT Show 2011 at Suntec Singapore

The Singapore IT Show 2011 is just a few days away, from 10th – 13th March (Next Thursday to Sunday)! Like many other computer shows in Singapore like the PC Show (June) and Comex Show (September), this IT show is held at the Suntec Exhibition Halls in Singapore.

IT Show Singapore 2011

These IT shows are getting bigger with each exhibition – this time, there is over 350,000 square feet of exhibit space, taking up 5 entire show floors in Suntec! I guess I will be visiting this the exhibition this year early – first to find out about my much needed home broadband Internet connection plans (I heard from a friend that they will be giving out MacBook Airs for 2 year contract broadband plans!), as well as to get myself updated with the latest gadgets!

During the previous SITEX show in 2010 which was held in Expo, I bought a Canon MG5270 Multifunction Printer for $299 – it was not cheaper than what you could find at the retail stores, but at the IT fair, they give out more freebies like a pack of 4″x6″ photo paper. Maybe its time for me to head back and check out the price of the ink tanks.

Challenger Matches IT Show 2011 Pricing

As a member of Challenger member, I receive their regular emailing – and this year they are really going all out to grab the market share!

Exclusively for Challenger members only, they will match any show pricing for the products they have, as long as you present a valid IT show flyer! Of course, like everything else in the world, there are “terms and conditions”, but I think this would be a good alternative location for shopping for people who don’t like to shop in the sardine packed Suntec city mall or wait hours in the traffic jam.

Challenger Matches IT Show 2011 Pricing

So, what are the deals you are waiting to get at the IT Show 2011? Or are you going hold your horses (and wallets!) and wait for the next IT trade show in Singapore – PC Show Singapore 2011, from 9 to 12 June 2011?

Is the Global Economy Still in Crisis?

Come 13th January 2011, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) will be inviting Dr Jacques Attali – a French economist, professor, author of over 50 books, and Honorary Member of the Council of State, to share his thoughts on the recovery of the Global Economy.

Dr Jacques Attali is the founder and the first President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and named by the US Foreign Policy magazine as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the World.

This topic is near and dear to many of us, whether you own a business, or you are employed – even though the the Asian countries were less affected by the international crisis.

So, what of the future, in a world where there is little prospect of growth in the large economies of the US and major European countries? Can Europe provide economic leadership for the future?

Come pose your questions and get them answered by Dr Jacques Attali, at this public talk organised by ASEF! Registration details can be found on the ASEF website.

Choosing a Social Media Marketing Workshop

About a month back, I have had the opportunity to attend Finggle’s first Social Media Marketing Workshop.

The one day workshop opens the doors and takes you into the world of social media, and how your business can leverage on it for marketing and outreach.

What I really loved about the course is that is a good balance between the platform specific techniques and the strategic concepts. Some of the concepts are potentially very powerful, like changing your “instructions” to “conversations”, identifying to leading social tribes, learning the 6 keys to writing content for social media, and the 3 key phases (and what activity to focus on in each phase) when marketing on any social platform.

Afterall, while Facebook and Twitter are now the hottest platforms where everybody is clamoring to put their business on, it is hard to say if this will stay the same 2 years from now. The social media and web community scene, in just the past decade, has seen many usurpations – since the good old days where we were still forming eCircles and the Friendster logo was still blue.

If you are reading the inside stories, you will know that many of these huge communities died or got bought over not because people didn’t like them, but because they didn’t make enough profit to sustain! So the platforms are always going to change, whether you like it or not!

Having a good social media marketing master plan is essential.

You need to go where your target audience is, and learn the technical stuff quickly so you can focus on building your tribe, rather than spend time beautifying your profile.

So if you are looking to get your business started on social media, you need to choose a social media workshop that gets you to think about your master plan and has enough material on the strategic concepts, rather and one that just teaches you how to set up a Facebook account and fan page.

Makes sense?