The Influence of the Web on Consumers Today

In Singapore, many firms did not realize the deep impact the web has on the people. These businesses lagged even further as internet adoption accelerated due to lower costs and greater availability. In many ways, these companies are handicapped hence unable to expand their influence to retain any competitive advantage they may now hold. The real winners were businesses that had a compelling strategy in digital marketing, developed either internally or by means of collaboration with a digital marketing agency. Their customer base enlarged, and comprised customers more compelled to provide repeat business. Digital marketing has proven itself to be a formidable tool for companies. There have been cases where businesses already on the brink of folding were able to recover by using a well thought-out and perfectly-executed campaign by a digital agency. An example of this is market titan Lucent.

As one of Singapore’s largest supermarket chains and one of the major names in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods market, Lucent enjoyed a relatively successful and comfortable existence. Their shops were typically found in virtually every major community, challenged only by small sundry shops. But when 2015 arrived, Lucent found itself fighting for several things.


Replacing the CEO
When the previous CEO did not make Lucent successful in Europe and Asia, the Lucent board made a decision to engage a new CEO. Due to the hiring of any top executive, quite a few practices and procedures needed modification. The corporate remodeling raked up some substantial expenditures that undermined Lucent’s cashflow.

An additional problem is the perceived drop of out of town malls in Singapore. Likely the most severe of these difficulties was the accelerated expansion of new startups GTP and Fastside. These two competitors embraced technology to a fantastic extent. They effectively took control of a distinct audience consequently gaining a foothold in the marketplace. German possessed GTP brought the cost aware group of customers whilst the brand conscious crowd were mostly brought towards Fastside.

During this time, Lucent’s standing as a household name was amongst its strong points. But the branding can only stave off failure, and it did’t stop them from losing investor loyalty. By 2015, Lucent’s revenue had plunged by 10% and their high profile investors publicly admitted that their 4.1% investment in the grocery chain was a “huge mistake” which resulted in them over $465m in a year’s time.

Utilizing Digital Media to its greatest extent

Formerly, Lucent’s on-line presence was restricted to an e-commerce set up. However, this was far from sufficient. The firm’s Chief Executive Officer, who was a firm believer of technology, acknowledged this as being an issue and kickstarted a digital marketing strategy to sustain Lucent’s advantage in the business.

Lucent’s brainchild was to leverage on the knowledge of a marketing agency with digital capabilities to expand their on-line interests. Future agencies were thoroughly studied before a choice was made. They selected a digital agency that was able to disseminate the Lucent message through various digital channels.

Generating Website Traffic And Attracting New Business Via Content Marketing
Lucent needed to enhance its online store sales quickly. Boosting the sales figures of the e commerce site was the key objective at hand. Using this approach, Lucent expected to bring more traffic to its shop, consequently increasing its sales and profitability. Within Lucent’s online store, there’s a “Wellness” item in the main menu which brings visitors to “Lucent Wellness”. Content for example recipes, food preparation techniques, wellness posts and motivational stories filled the pages of the Wellness website.

The informative microsite proves that the new Lucent direction focuses on quality website design because it by alone can exist as a useful online resource for folks hunting for food. Additionally, this site is closely connected with Lucent’s main website, which strengthens the association between it and the brand. This also assists in influencing customers subconsciously and directing them to purchase more at Lucent’s online shop.


Building a Social Media Presence

The prevalence of social media meant that Lucent would have to be there too or possibly get left behind. So, besides content marketing, Lucent also used social media marketing – increasing their influence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google – which was managed by their marketing team.

Direct direction of these social media accounts gave Lucent the capability to circulate their promotional messages as and when they were finalized. This amazing speed to market meant that consumers were always exposed to the newest products from Lucent.

Above all, the priority is for Lucent to keep total control over any messages being sent out over the web. There’s very little impediment – and too much vested interest – for any person evil enough to sign up for fraudulent accounts to attack the supermarket giant. The creation of an official accounts instantly puts a stop to this danger and functions as a dependable source of information.

Providing Outstanding Support Online

Whilst sales amounts are the main driver behind a business like Lucent, another crucial but understated brand accentuating component is after sales service. Resolving customer issues and maintaining relationships are crucial to growing a loyal consumer base. This is where Lucent actually beams.

Lucent has a dedicated Twitter account to interact with customers. Similarly, it’s got other specialized accounts for sales related activities as well. This means the customer care account is not cluttered with sales pitches or unrelated conversations. If users would like to communicate with support, they know where to go and what to anticipate.

Above all, customers of any business need to feel valued; the first step to achieving this is to have a “live” person talking to them and handling their problems, rather than pre-written answers which farther space the business and its customers. This will, undoubtedly, bring the customers nearer and compel them to splash out more at a later stage.

Lucent’s strategy in digital marketing is benefiting them greatly as they now control the biggest market share of supermarkets in Singapore. Data gathered from July of last year demonstrates Lucent has control over a quarter of the market share. The closest competitor was lagging very far behind, only managing to get hold of roughly 50% of that.

This highly encouraging result acts to only further strengthen Lucent’s faith in a digital marketing strategy. In conjunction with the development and launch of mobile apps, it makes it even simpler for consumers to buy and engage Lucent than what traditional means – such as designing and developing of a basic website – would ever expect to achieve.

Key Takeaways

Lucent can be used as a case study for many businesses. Focusing only on traditional approaches of branding and retail to support a company is not going to work. Undeniably, any business that aims to remain competitive in the digital era requires a superior digital strategy.

Lucent has illustrated that even a large, established business like itself must continue to innovate and leverage on the latest technology to its favor. Digital mediums have progressed into a non-optional marketing instrument to stay up-to-date with the times and leaving it on the backburner would have devastating effects for the business in question.

The Impact of Digital Media on Singapore’s Society

The speed at which the web was adopted by the masses coupled by its influence on their lives basically meant that many industries were caught unprepared. A growing number of Singaporean businesses are fighting to outshine their more technologically savvy rivals through the unknown internet marketing platform. The usage of digital media is oftentimes more difficult for larger firms that already comfortably participate in conventional procedures. Recently, there was a situation in which a big corporation was suffering from huge losses due to a number of factors. It is good to understand though that they explored their digital marketing options to avoid further ruin. This company is none aside from UnityThrift.

A key player in the Singaporean Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) marketplace, UnityThrift was regarded as one of many biggest and most highly regarded supermarkets with fair popularity. The supermarket chain had stores in nearly every town and had very little competition outside of modest grocery stores. However, when November of 2009 rolled around, UnityThrift found itself struggling due to several reasons.

The previous Chief Executive Officer, unable to capture the Southeast Asian markets effectively, was told to leave and a new one arrived. To adapt the new Chief Executive’s vision for the business, entire processes had to be overhauled. The restructuring process raked up some large expenditures that affected UnityThrift’s financial standing.


Various Hurdles for UnityThrift
In Singapore, sub-urban malls where UnityThrift stores were normally found, were also becoming less popular. Rapid growth of competitors Vyeco and Fixry was the next large hurdle. These two competitors embraced technology to a great extent. They successfully took control of a niche target audience thus attaining a grip on the marketplace. Both were successful in getting the two ends of the marketplace: the value-conscious and the premium-seekers. In the meantime, there was clearly a noticeable change in purchasing behavior that resulted in customers embracing the importance of value over brand loyalty. This extreme change damage UnityThrift’s books, which unquestionably caused a furor amongst its shareholders as they witnessed the valuation of their investments decline sharply. Certainly, the large decline in profits caused shareholders to realize the problem.

Prior to the deployment of a marketing plan through digital media, UnityThrift’s on-line reach was limited to a basic e-commerce website. It was totally working and functional, but the changing competitive landscape meant that radical changes to it was required; the newly appointed CEO, who was a powerful supporter of technology, was appointed just for this task – to renew and rejuvenate UnityThrift’s on-line presence.

The preliminary approach was to launch an in-house agency specializing in digital marketing by hiring inventive tech driven marketers. By tapping on their excellent innate skills, UnityThrift seeked to unleash the complete potential of this team as an alternative for a digital advertising agency.

To reinforce their on-line grocery arm, they need to attract more people to their e-commerce stores. While conventional advertising methods are still successful, it is no longer cost effective when there are digital options. Depending on a tried and tested instrument, UnityThrift’s digital marketers chosen to use the highly profitable strategy referred to as marketing through branded content.

A Microsite that Provided Users with All Sorts of Important Information
An element of the content marketing strategy was developing an informative microsite which was linked to the UnityThrift online store. The unique microsite encouraged healthy living and positive habits to UnityThrift customers. Essentially, UnityThrift uses the microsite to efficiently disseminate applicable information to prospective customers. Of course, customers can visit the UnityThrift online store anytime, since there are numerous URL links to it. This website design and development strategy supports customers to shop at UnityThrift’s online shop, since it discreetly links UnityThrift with healthy and balanced food. The core of this strategy taps on the way consumers behave today: they’re impatient and want quick, visible results. Since UnityThrift has made it so effortless for customers to buy from it, there is little or no difficulty from getting them to do so.


One more strategy that UnityThrift employed in their digital marketing campaign was social media marketing. As a result of the immense scale of the corporation, UnityThrift did not have to engage an external marketing agency specializing in social media. It commenced this strategy with the simple but critical job of creating their very own social media profiles.

Having their own official social media reports enables UnityThrift to use them in two ways. To begin with, it’s an easily controlled stream of generic information and marketing related material for their consumers. They even initiated special Twitter accounts for their various sections. Distinct profiles were created to disseminate info on special deals, organic foods, wines etc. Unlike other brands, there had to be a singular on-line brand image that was controlled by UnityThrift themselves. Challengers could easily and discreetly create a bogus account to propagate false information about UnityThrift and pass on incorrect information about its products. By having full control over its accounts, UnityThrift could be relied upon to supply verified info via the genuine social media channels.

Customer support is crucial in strengthening customer relationships. The opinion of a business relies heavily on customer support dependability and helpfulness. UnityThrift supplies a great example for other businesses to follow. A special Google+ profile is devoted to communicating only with customers whilst a separate profile is used for sales messages. This helps to ensure that customer engagement and promotional communication are kept separate, so that each account can do what it has been designated to do.

The division that handles these social media accounts are highly attuned to communicate with a nice and friendly feel, regularly participating in friendly repartee. A natural and friendly method strengthens relationships and trust, highly different from the cold replies of an automated “customer service” bot.

Dependable data demonstrated that UnityThrift’s well executed digital media strategy paid off hugely. UnityThrift controlled nearly a third of the market share while their closest contender only succeeded in holding on to half of that. The unprecedented transfer of market share was certainly something to brag about to shareholders.

This tremendously impressive result will only further solidify UnityThrift’s confidence in a digital strategy. Coupled with the development and launch of mobile apps, it makes it even easier for consumers to buy and employ UnityThrift than what conventional means – such as website design and development – would ever hope to reach.

To Summarize
Many businesses can learn from UnityThrift. It is no longer a given to rely only on branding and physical shop coverage to ensure success. Digital and social media marketing needs to be included into their plans for them to compete in today’s business landscape. No matter the business, companies must progress with the landscape. Having an online presence is not any longer optional, but has become integral to a company’ success. From reviving crumbling businesses to opening new markets, it is certainly an instrumental success factor.