Insights from Popular Panels @ BLOCK71: Marketing in a World of Fake News

On 25 October 2018, BLOCK71 Singapore was proud to host Partipost for the first in the series of Popular Panels @ BLOCK71. Popular Panels @ BLOCK71 is a three-part series of panels organised by Partipost and NUS Enterprise, focusing on different aspect of innovation and startups. The panel, titled Marketing in a World of Fake News, discussed marketing strategies including the importance of brand authenticity and brand safety.

From left to right: Ng Kai Yuan (Our Grandfather Story), Petrina Yuen (Partipost), Mark Tan (Rice Media), Derek Tan (Viddsee), Kuo Lumpur (Guava Pass)

Here are some key takeaways from the panel discussion:

1. High profile influences are losing effectiveness.

In a world where the threat of fake news is real, audiences have become more skeptical about messages that they receive online. Marketing is not exempted from this change in attitudes of consumers. Traditional big-name influencers are starting to lose their effectiveness in marketing as audiences become more wary of the genuineness of sponsored posts.

In turn, audiences turn toward their peers as a more reliable source of information due to the trust in their character. Partipost’s model of a community-based advertising platform follows this principle to engage its users to advertise for companies. Users are given the freedom to choose which company to advertise for, which gives them a sense of credibility as opposed to a large influencer being hired to advertise a product.

2. Consumers tend to favour brands that share their values.

In the light of the political climate in the world today, consumers have a preference for brands which take a firm stand on social issues. An example of such a brand is Nike and their use of Colin Kaepernick in their most recent campaign. Using Kaepernick as part of Nike’s campaign signifies Nike’s stance against racial discrimination in line with Kaepernick’s values. While it may have seemed like such a campaign would create division and exclusivity, the campaign turned out to be quite successful and Nike saw an increase in sales among the younger liberal audience that resonated with Nike and Kaepernick’s values. To take advantage of such an effect, it is important for a brand to be able to represent certain values or convictions.

3. Building trust is essential for user retention.

Building a brand to foster trust among consumers would ensure the success of a brand in the long-run. In this vein, brands might want to have a good tactical mix to meet KPI oriented goals and at the same time, build a following worthy brand.  As mentioned earlier, peers are deemed as a reliable source of information. Peer recommendation through generating content using the product contributes greatly to brand sentiment, an essential component for user retention. However, early-stage companies should still focus on user acquisition instead of retention, but that is not to say that it should be completely ignored.

4. Storytelling is an important part of advertising and video is the key.

Video has been around for a long time, starting with television. In Singapore, the marketing budget has been shifting from traditional to digital media and the mix is slowly moving towards digital marketing. However, video still plays a heavy part in advertising today. Storytelling is ingrained in human nature and is the best way to appeal to audiences. Video has proven that it is the most effective platform thus far, even on digital platforms to capture the audience and build brand recall.

5. Consistency is key in user retention.

Consistency is important in marketing to engage audiences digitally. A lack of consistency and irregularity can drive audiences away. For marketing to be effective and to retain audiences, it is recommended to provide audiences with regular content to portray the image of consistency in the brand. This can be achieved with proper scheduling of marketing content when planning marketing strategies.


With the landscape of marketing shifting toward a more community-based system, marketing experts need to adapt their strategies accordingly for their brand to stand out and be present in the minds of consumers. Authencity and trust in a brand come easier with consistency and when it reflects values that consumers believe in.

Watch the full video of the panel discussion here streamed on Peeqr Mobile Livestream.


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