Last week I was invited to speak at the Ad:tech Data Summit in Singapore. I’ve been spending a lot of time in Singapore lately as we have a strategic partner in that market which is leading to client interest in Singapore and more broadly in South East Asia.

While Singaporean consumers are very active on social media and mobile it is interesting to see that mobile advertising and even social media adoption by bigger companies and brands in that market is less mature than a market like Australia.

It’s funny that while the employees themselves in these large companies are highly active on mobile. Many big companies in Singapore don’t respond even to direct questions or complaints via social media channels. Part of my interest in speaking at events like Ad:tech is the opportunity it gives me to talk to marketers about the opportunities that present themselves by engaging and even mining social media data. I’ve had many one on one conversations with marketers in Singapore who are now beginning to understand that social data is one very important piece of the puzzle to create a rich customer profile.

It was interesting timing for the data summit as it was the same day that Formula One kicked off in Singapore and while we were in an air-conditioned paradise, outside workers were rushing to get everything finished for one of Singapore’s premier events. For marketers it is also one of the most important events of the year. With tourists arriving from all over the world advertisers sponsor every patch of Singapore to maximise the impact of their Formula One sponsorships. On the walk to the conference centre alone I must have seen 20 different sponsor brands on signs and flags and billboards. I found it slightly ironic that while we were inside discussing ways marketers could cleverly use data to create campaigns and relationships with clients that really engage them, just outside workers were rushing to put up the last of the old school banners, flags and billboards for some of the worlds biggest brands.