Paul Soon, CEO, XM-Asia is a happy man because XM Asia Pacific remains the digital agency of record for the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). Despite a competitive pitch, XM Asia Pacific won the account again for the fourth time. Soon sums up the reason for the win in two words — ‘Heart & Soul’ – the differentiating factor. Then there is the strong understanding of the digital landscape and successful implementation of digital campaigns.
“We have gone through the thick and thin with STB and together we have built a relationship that is transparent and honest. We clearly stood out as being an agency that understood the power of human behavior and the use of appropriate technology to deliver that desired experience and innovation,” says Soon on the reason that possibly got XM Asia the contract again.
As the appointed digital and digital production agency, XM Asia will lead in all aspects of digital marketing for STB, working together with the creative and media agencies. Under the new mandate it will lead the conceptualisation, consultancy, development and maintenance of STB’s digital assets such as YourSingapore destination website.
Now that STB has picked XM Asia again, how does it plan to push the tourism board’s digital story? “The next few years will see us continuously improving the way we connect with consumers and how we better extend into platforms that will continually optimise how the brand experience can be more immersive and provide a virtuous circle of ‘engagement & conversion’,” explains Soon.
Now XM is focussing on building the base that will enable STB to offer better connected experience to the target audience. There is going to be heavy use of technology that will offer a more personalised and relevant tool to help the visitors to Singapore make the right decision pre or post arrival. Even before the win, in February 2013, the tourism board had already given XM Asia the GEMS UP project, which is an initiative to improve the quality of service in Singapore. For that XM created integrated campaigns, including print, radio, digital, mobile and activation, for this project.
This was an upgrade to what XM Asia has already done for STB. Over the last four years, XM Asia revamped the STB’s portal to the new YourSingapore portal, and created additional local language versions of the site to target travellers from Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Indonesia and China. Says Soon of the earlier success with STB project, “By connecting the dots (consumer touch-points) and clearly defining the role of each channel through the decision-making process of a potential visitor. We implemented strong re-engagement thinking and execution especially with our key Asian markets.” He and his team also developed the user experience, content strategy and creative application of the brand in the digital space, and expanded STB’s digital brand presence from its website to a variety of assets, including Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn and Flickr channels, to improve its ability to engage travelers online and on social media. The agency has also worked on integrated campaigns for the STB’s key markets, including Australia, China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.