Singapore gained independence in 1965, and since then, the country has undergone tremendous changes in various fields, including the business sector. One such area that has experienced significant changes is the marketing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Let’s look at how marketing for SMEs has evolved over the years since independence.

1960s and 1970s

During the 1960s and 1970s, SMEs in Singapore did not have to do much marketing as there was less competition and an abundance of opportunities. The priority was mainly to establish themselves and meet the country’s growing demand for goods and services. The government provided support to these businesses by implementing policies to boost economic growth, such as offering incentives and allocating funds to SMEs.

1980s and 1990s

In the 1980s and 1990s, Singapore’s economy grew, and the competition among businesses increased. As a result, SMEs needed to have more efficient marketing strategies to stand out from their competitors. SMEs started to recognise the significance of branding and advertising. They started to advertise through different channels such as newspaper ads, flyers, and direct mail.

2000s and 2010s

In the 2000s, the internet changed everything. Consumers began turning to online shopping, forcing SMEs to shift their focus from traditional print media to online marketing channels. SMEs started to capitalise on digital advertising services like Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay-per-Click (PPC), e-mail marketing, and social media marketing to reach their target audience.

The rise of e-commerce platforms like Qoo10 and Lazada also helped SMEs extend their reach beyond the local market. Growing internet penetration rates and active smartphone usage have made digital marketing a staple channel for Singapore SMEs, with spending on social media advertising totaling $35 million in 2019.

Present Day

Today, the marketing of SMEs in Singapore has evolved to a point where online marketing has become necessary for survival. Singapore SMEs are now utilising the latest techniques such as video advertising, influencer marketing, and affiliate marketing, among others. The focus has shifted from only advertising their products or services to cultivating a relationship with their audience, to improve brand loyalty and convince customers to keep coming back.

In conclusion, Singapore’s SME marketing landscape has experienced significant changes since independence. Whilst traditional marketing mediums still have their place, Singapore SMEs have come to realise the power of digital marketing. The marketing world is still evolving, and SMEs must be vigilant to capitalise on the new tools available while continuing to build their brands.

Contact Presence Marketing to discuss your SME’s marketing strategy and stay ahead of your competition!