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  My4AsNews {December 2009}

Advertising for SMEs – A Total Waste of Money, Right?

In conjunction with the Singapore Design Festival 2009, Design for Enterprises (DFE) and the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Singapore (4As) jointly organised a seminar titled “Advertising for SMEs – A Total Waste of Money, Right?” on 26 November that is aimed at helping Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) discover how smart advertising spending can effectively help grow their business.

The seminar started off with James Mortimer, Concept Manager from Catapult Marketing using the analogy of a toolkit to illustrate the key marketing tools that SMEs should equip themselves with. He highlighted that with the advent of the Internet and social media, there is a shift in consumer expectations as they have instant access to information. Thus there is a need for more engagement, in his words, “it is more about fans, less about customers.”

The second speaker Pat Lim, Managing Director from PHD Network presented the case study of the “Miracle Tonic” advertising campaign for Health Promotion Board to exemplify how creativity and a good understanding of the target group can help to deliver effective results with minimal budget.

A panel discussion session was then held; the panellists were Anthony Kang, President of the 4As and President of Dentsu Singapore, Pat Lim and James Mortimer with Ted Choo, 1st Vice President of the 4As and Founder of Gosh Advertising as the moderator. The audience, consisting of business owners and marketers from a wide range of industries participated in the discourse as they posed questions such as how do they measure effectiveness of a campaign and what are the pitfalls of social media.

To wrap up the seminar, a representation from DFE delivered a presentation on their programme, which aims to help SMEs leverage on good design to set them apart from their competitors.

Design for Enterprises is a national strategy created by a multi-agency cross-Ministry taskforce set up between DesignSingapore Council, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and SPRING Singapore since Aug 2007, to synergise efforts to drive the adoption of design as a strategic differentiator and competitive enabler for Singapore-based enterprises to be more competitive. Government funding support of up to 70% of qualifying costs can be obtained under the Design Engage Programme from Spring Singapore.

The seminar concludes with a note to SMEs that advertising is more than just spending money to buy ads; it is more about understanding your customers and arriving at the best mix of marketing means. On top of that, they can tap on the DFE programmes and enlist the help of agencies to find out what design can do for their business.

More information on Design for Enterprises can be found here.

More information on Design Engage programme can be found here.



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