Claudia Ruth Selvakumar
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Founder & Head of Marketing
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About Me
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About Me

How would you describe your current role and the biggest challenges you face?

As a 22-year-old fresh graduate heading marketing at a startup, building credibility can be one of my biggest challenges.

Gaining the trust and respect of more experienced team members, stakeholders, and potential clients often requires me to go above and beyond to prove my capabilities. Additionally, working within the constraints of a limited budget and resources demands creativity and innovative thinking to implement cost-effective marketing solutions.

Staying updated with the rapidly evolving marketing landscape is also crucial, as new tools, trends, and platforms emerge regularly. This continuous learning process is essential to keep our strategies relevant and effective. Moreover, managing a marketing team at such a young age involves balancing different personalities, resolving conflicts, and maintaining motivation, all of which can be particularly challenging without extensive prior management experience.

What is a common misconception about the work you do?

A common misconception about the work I do as the head of marketing at a startup is that it's all about creativity and coming up with catchy slogans or flashy campaigns. While creativity is undoubtedly a significant aspect, the reality is that much of my work involves data analysis, strategic planning, and constant iteration.

Effective marketing requires understanding and leveraging metrics, conducting market research, and developing detailed plans that align with the company's goals. It's about balancing creativity with analytical skills to create campaigns that not only capture attention but also drive measurable results. Additionally, there's often a belief that marketing success happens overnight, but in truth, it involves a lot of trial and error, persistence, and adaptability to ever-changing market conditions.

How did you get started in your marketing career?

I took up a Marketing Internship at an agency at 19 years old as I was fascinated with the art of storytelling through graphics. And the rest is history!

Describe the most impactful marketing campaign/project you've personally worked on.

The most impactful marketing campaign I’ve personally worked on was #WeWriteOurRules, a campaign that sought to redefine the definition of success in Singapore. Having the opportunity to spearhead this campaign, I focused on both onsite guerrilla marketing activations and an engaging social media strategy.

Our onsite activities were designed to create immediate impact and spark conversations, breaking away from traditional marketing methods. We utilized unexpected, high-traffic locations to capture attention and encourage public interaction. Complementing these efforts, our social media campaign aimed to foster a community around the idea of success beyond conventional measures.

Through compelling storytelling, user-generated content, and strategic partnerships, we created a vibrant, supportive space where individuals felt empowered to share their unique success stories. This integrated approach not only amplified our message but also drove meaningful engagement and lasting change in how success is perceived in Singapore.

What is one marketing trend or change you're not convinced will work for SEA tech brands?

One marketing trend I’m not entirely convinced will work for SEA tech brands is the overreliance on influencer marketing. While influencers can certainly boost brand visibility and engagement, the SEA market is incredibly diverse, and consumer preferences can vary widely across different countries and even within regions.

Many influencers might not have the broad appeal or deep trust required to drive conversions in such a varied market.Additionally, the authenticity of influencer endorsements is increasingly being questioned by consumers, who are becoming more skeptical of paid promotions. This skepticism can lead to diminishing returns on influencer marketing investments.

For SEA tech brands, a more nuanced approach that combines localized content, community engagement, and leveraging micro-influencers or industry experts who have genuine influence within specific niches might prove to be more effective.

What is one marketing trend or change that you hope to see more of at SEA tech brands? And, why?

One marketing trend I hope to see more of at SEA tech brands is the adoption of community marketing through forums and groups. This approach fosters genuine connections between brands and their audiences, creating spaces for meaningful interactions and feedback.By building and nurturing these communities, brands can cultivate a loyal customer base that feels valued and heard.

These forums and groups provide platforms for users to share their experiences, ask questions, and offer suggestions, creating a rich ecosystem of user-generated content and peer support.Moreover, community marketing helps in gaining deeper insights into customer needs and preferences, allowing brands to tailor their offerings more precisely. It also enhances brand credibility and trust, as recommendations from fellow community members often carry more weight than traditional advertising.

In the diverse and dynamic SEA market, leveraging community marketing can lead to stronger brand affinity, increased customer retention, and ultimately, sustainable growth.

What is your favourite marketing resource that you would recommend to this community? And, why?

Pinterest and TikTok are my holy grail platforms for accessing free, helpful how-to resources in marketing.

They have been incredibly valuable in the beginner stages of my marketing career, providing me with practical tips, creative ideas, and step-by-step guides to enhance my skills and strategies.

Lastly, where are you based, and where would you take friends visiting your city for the first time?

Singapore! I would take them to Newton Food Centra and Lau Pa Sat to try our local hawker and street food :D

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Join a small, but mighty, meeting point for SEA startup builders and share ideas, sharpen skills and co-create with new peers across the region.