Ethereum Boom In Singapore and Globally

ETHUSD 5th Jun 2017 hovering at USD244
ETHUSD 5th Jun 2017 hovering at USD244

Over the past few weeks, Cryptocurrencies made headlines globally and one cryptocurrency that is of huge interest by many would be Ethereum.

Using blockchain technology and also smart contracts, the technology sees many big names adopting it by joining the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. Members such as BP, Microsoft, Samsung, Intel, Toyota, UBS, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, BBVA, Natioanl Bank of Canada, ING, Deloitte, Accenture, Infosys, Wipro and many other Cryptocurrency players in the market and invested in some form or another in it.

Some might think it is a bubble which is not technically wrong, but If you know the technology behind it and the potential behind it and with more organisations backing it, its time to start investing in it IMHO. I’m a noob in this and have only started getting into investing in Ethereum very recently.

If you want to start, there is a startup called Coinhako that makes transferring money from Singapore banks very easy and lets you buy Ethereum quite easily. (Yes I’ve added my referral code and hope you support as you will get SGD$5 and me too).

Some are calling Ethereum the next new internet and i’m inclined to agree. So if you are interested, read up about blockchain technology and what Smart Contracts are. Here are some Videos to start you off with.

I’m no expert, but hope this helps you get started about knowing what the future will bring.

And another video from Vitalik Buterin is the co-founder of Ethereum.

I really think someone should help me get a makeover to look less like a Russian hacker, but a reputable genius which he truly is.

The 4G Ideas Matrix For Planners

In 2016, 43,101 entries were submitted at one of the most coveted advertising awards arena – the Cannes Lions 2016, and out of the submissions, which were an increase of sevenper cent from the previous year, 1,888 actually won something. This figure represents just fourper cent of the entries, an alarming figure indeed. But does this mean the remaining 96 per cent that were not recognised were bad ideas?

Today, in a world where brands are fighting for the attention of consumers, ideas are the ones that make or break businesses. The reality is that ideas are not hard to come by, but many die, making good ideas rare and great ideas even rarer.

In advertising, we constantly chase for good ideas that depart from the status quo, in order to help the brands we work for stand out, meaningfully. Ideas that are interesting and fresh, that have never been executed before. Ideas that are innovative and yet pulls at the heart strings of our audiences.

Despite this oft-stated hunger for creativity, how can we make sure our ideas are actually viable, especially when it is not fully sketched out in the initial stages? Is there a formula to derive good ideas? And is the term “there are no bad ideas” really true when we are brainstorming? There are many articles online sharing best practices on how best to conduct a brainstorm session, but this is not about brainstorming, rather, we need to know what to do with the ideas derived from brainstorms.

A good brainstorm session will get us loads of ideas, but the difficult part is separating the wheat from the chaff. I’ve been to numerous brainstorm sessions and have seen first-hand, the ugly side of people defending their ideas and egos being hurt in the process.

As advertising is notorious for its long hours, I’ve developed a simple yet efficient way to group ideas up and move forward quickly – in hopes that this process can benefit teams everywhere in our industry.

All we need to do is plot two simple axis. One on how interesting the idea is and another on how insightful the idea is.

How Interesting – When something has been done too many times, it’s no longer fresh and can get boring. From Drones, to Vending Machines, and the recent viral Mannequin Challenge, jumping on a trend 6 months later can get way too late. Fresh ideas capture our audiences’ imagination and they want to know more beyond the latest obsession and be entertained.

How Insightful – If an idea lacks insight, it will just be an idea that does not re-examine any existing conventions and thereby fail to deliver any value. As marketers, we always need to ensure that our ideas are founded on powerful human truth so that we will pull at the heartstrings of our audiences and hit their raw nerve.

So with these two axis, we get four quadrants where we can then start bucking our list of ideas.

Out of these two axis we get the 4G quadrants:

Garbage Ideas – Firstly, let’s be brutally honest and call out the garbage ideas. These are uninteresting ideas that most likely have been done to death or are simply outright boring. To make it worse, they are based off absolutely no insight. Toss them out right away.

Gimmicky Ideas – Sometimes an interesting technology comes along and provides new ways to powering our communication objectives. Radio, Television, Internet, Virtual Reality, Bots – the evolution continues. However, if like garbage ideas, they have no real insight, then it’s just purely a gimmicky idea. The temptation to be the first to execute something, or utilise new technology in a fresh way is very real, but usually they get a spike in attention and can’t contribute to long term brand value as people start to forget once the novelty wears off.

Good Ideas – Good ideas are based on powerful human truths, and will be relatable to our audience. They may not speak to everyone, but at least our intended audience will respond positively to it. Even if the idea is not ground-breaking or have been done before in other categories, it is still good business to have an idea that our audience relates to well.

Great Ideas – Now great ideas are what propels businesses and also win awards. These ideas are based on powerful insights and go the extra mile to communicate with audiences in a fresh, new, creative ways. Not only are they very relatable to our audience, they also intrigue those beyond our target audience and become a viral sensation.

So as a planner, being the consumer advocate, whether it is devising campaigns to encourage progressive behaviour, to drive behavioural change, or to champion a social cause, the age old principle of uncovering powerful insight while marrying creativity and technology is what I believe truly brings us great ideas.

Contributed article by Nick Pan originally published onDigital Marketing Asia.


Building Confidence In Your Craft


The advertising agency sector is facing a talent crisis.A joint report by LinkedIn and 4A’sshowed that when compared against competitive industries, the rate of talent turnover at agencies increased 10 per cent year over year, and that there was a 25% net talent loss at ad agencies.

To add to the challenge, ad agencies today operate in a complex advertising landscape, faced with an expanding number of marketing channels. As a result, brands are on the lookout for multiple specialised agencies to help them demystify these complexities – and yet every other agency claims to be full-service, integrated–that they can do it all.

If you are a young executive from an ad agency, are you confident to stand in front of your clients and be the one they can trust, having all the answers to their questions? I’ve seen many young executives in meetings with senior clients and they struggle. They feel they are too junior; they feel intimidated by senior clients. They feel they lack the gravitas. What if they are asked a difficult question and don’t have the answer for it? What if clients don’t believe what they say? What if they are not a good representation of the company? These are just a handful of common apprehensions.

All these fears are very real, and can be crippling for an individual’s professional growth. As marketing folks, we don’t just need to be good at what we do, we also need to be confident in our craft and we need our teams to be confident, too.

We need to be the ones leading the client-agency relationship. After all, clients hired agencies to help solve their challenges. Clients know what they would like to achieve, but rely on their agencies to develop the strategies and guide them into achieving their goals – failing which, the business will be taken to other agencies that will.

We need to be confident in front of our clients if we want to lead the relationship and be a valuable partner. So here are a few things that we can encourage our teams to do to be confident in our craft:

1. Know your stuff

Unsure of something? Read up, Google it, ask around. There is no excuse in not knowing your stuff. If you know your stuff, you can be questioned in anyway and you know you will have the answers.

Do this:

  • Create a learning plan. List out the things you feel you need to learn in three, six, nine, twelve months.
  • Have the discipline to learn at least one thing every week.
  • Ask your seniors out for coffee and learn from them. Ask them any questions you may have within their domain of expertise.

2. Be passionate in your craft

Passion is a loosely used word. For the majority of those who say they have passion for their craft, most of the time they are saying it because it is the right thing to say. At interviews, when questioned, some candidates really have nothing to show for their passions and are only paying lip service.If we say we are passionate about our craft, let’s make sure we have something to show for it. If you are passionate, do what it takes and the enthusiasm will speak for itself. This gives your clients confidence in what you say.

Do this:

  • Register a domain and build a small website of anything you like. It can be a blog, a cause you believe in, or simply a portfolio site.
  • Create a Facebook page, LinkedIn group of anything you are interested in and try to get at least 1000 people on it. It can be a hobby, a sport, anything.
  • Download the latest trendy app and work towards being good at it. It can be Snapchat, or BIGO Live.

3. Don’t think you can’t

Sometimes we lack confidence because we think “I can’t overcome this challenge, it’s just too great.” Instead of harboring second thoughts, focus your energies on thinking of “How can I?” That is a lot more productive and sets you on a path to overcome your challenges, so don’t think “I can’t.”, think “How can I?”

Do this:

  • List out your top career challenge and think of 3 ways of how you can overcome it, then do it. Once you have overcome your top challenge, start working on your next one.

4. Everyone is your age once

Senior clients can be intimidating, but most of the time the only reason they are more senior then you is simply because they were born earlier. They were once your age too. So make sure you are above par when compared with your peers. If you are behind, start becoming better now. Tell yourself that you will be much better than them when at their age. And don’t just think it, do it.

Do this:

  • For each client whom you find intimidating, search their profile on LinkedIn and then make a comparison with what they were doing when they were your age.

In short, we need more driven individuals.People who strive to better understand the client’s business. People who want to try out the latest app that everyone seems to be talking about. People who constantly go out of their comfort zone to learn more about how things work. People who are working towards bringing their client’s brands to meet their stated brand purpose.

In advertising, our people are our greatest asset. Just imagine what a few confident and driven people can do.

Contributed article by Nick Pan originally published on Digital Marketing Asia.