Making Tech Talk Exciting - Lessons from the GovTech's marketing team
Most people might know GovTech for our tech projects and the wonderful teams who develop them. You know, the new and improved Singpass and Life.sg apps, OpenDoc, Parking.Sg.
What might be less apparent, though, is the team of people who manage comms and ensure the word actually gets out to the public.
That’s right – we’re talking about our award-winning marketing team.
For two years now, our marketing team has been silently picking up a steady stream of awards. Or more specifically, seven awards, punching above their weight to beat strong corporate brands in marketing, media relations, product launch, mobile marketing, and more!
We spoke to the team to find out the lessons learnt from their experience, as well as some of their challenges.
Here’s what they had to say about their winning formula.
Before the awards, comes the hardwork. Photo by GovTech
Don’t purely rely on news coverage
Many communications teams depend heavily on mainstream and digital media publications to publicise their products and services.
However, this approach can be ad-hoc and heavily dependent on variables such as the journalist’s ability to simplify the technical content, media news cycle and agenda.
To drive sustained engagement and increase understanding of GovTech products and services, the team expanded its “business as usual” scope of work beyond the traditional “media relations” duties, where we already are intensifying candid engagement with media stakeholders.
On top of that, in-house content (including this blog!) is an increasingly important part of our communication strategy to put out information such as:
- tech tips such as the usefulness of VPN
- Behind the scenes look to see how everyday tools like the OneService chatbot works
- Interviews with GovTechies on how the government uses tech to better our lives
Marketing is important – even for government organisations!
People from all backgrounds and at different stages of their lives use government e-services. Moreover, these users are also comparing their government e-service experience with services from big tech companies like Google and Netflix.
Hence, GovTech’s products must appeal to as wide an audience as possible and be comparable to the best tech products.
To meet these high standards, platforms such as the Tech Kaki Community and GovTech’s Telegram channel are invaluable in getting feedback and soliciting for user testing right from the start. Feedback is then rapidly incorporated as we develop our products using agile principles that iterate through different versions quickly.
The agile ethos extends to communications as we constantly test fresh marketing approaches, use data to make better decisions, and regularly review and do away with methods that don’t work. These guidelines enable us to come up with the most effective ways of:
Highlighting the benefits of a product
Explaining how it will create convenience in interacting with the Government
Convincing people that it will improve their lives.
If you’re interested in helping to shape the government e-services, sign up to be part of theTech Kaki community where you may be invited to co-create some of GovTech’s products!
Overcoming the challenges of a wide target audience
Typically, brands get to tailor fit their messages or products to specific or niche audiences – based on factors such as age, interest, or gender.
However, as mentioned earlier, government digital services generally do not get to choose the audience demographic segment they would like to serve.
Adding to the challenge is that people don’t use government services because it’s trending, fun, entertaining or cool to do so – it’s because they have to transact with the government. Which…well may not always rank highly on their ‘favourite things to do’ list.
Well, the audience might be broad, but the comms doesn’t have to be. To get around this, we cater communications efforts to speak to the needs, preferences, biases, lingo, and widely varying levels of familiarity with our products.
This often means creating different campaigns for each key audience segment, be they students, people just entering the workforce, mid-careerists, parents with babies, parents with school-going children, people with disabilities or seniors.
Through specific communications catered to their needs, audiences can then appreciate how a digital service is relevant to them at their particular stage in life.
Tech cannot replace good communication
With today’s focus on technology, technical expertise might receive most of the attention, however there is a lot of merit in involving comms and marketing personnel, because the communication of the product IS part of the product.
For example, the TraceTogether system is only useful when there’s widespread use, and widespread use can only be achieved when the benefits TraceTogether are effectively communicated to the public. Today, TraceTogether is a key pillar in the fight against Covid-19.
Lim Keng Soon, Head of Communications and Marketing Group, GovTech, said, “We are constantly reimagining modes of marketing and challenging status quo to better tell our stories ex amino. Everyone is content-inundated, we want people to feel something when they see our content - happy or sad regardless - and hopefully remember that we are here to make lives better through technology.”
In the end, both the product teams and comms teams have the same goal: Adoption by the greater public.
By translating policy and technical jargon into layman terms, the public are more likely to relate better to the product, and understand the benefits!
It’s a win-win!
Enjoyed this article? Check out this article to find out how internet in Singapore came about or this article where we chronicle the way parking evolved here in Singapore.https://www.tech.gov.sg/media/technews/making-tech-talk-exciting