SINGAPORE: Formula One is using localization, customer feedback and ‘drive to web’ strategies to bring the annual Grand Prix to life in Singapore, according to the event’s head of marketing.

Sasha Rafi, Marketing Director at F1 Singapore Grand Prix, explained that the initial marketing strategy for the marquee event had focused on raising awareness of both motorsports and Singapore as a tourist destination.

Fast forward ten years, and Singapore’s annual street night race in Marina Bay had an all-time high turnout of 260,000 in 2017. Attendance for three nights of Formula One action was up by 18.7% on 2016, compared to an overall 8% global increase for all F1 races.

As the event became more popular, the focus shifted to localized messages for each specific market. (For more details read, WARC’s report: Behind Formula One’s marketing success in Singapore.)

Localizing across multiple markets has led to a shift in how the marketing team works internally and with agencies, Rafi said at the Mumbrella Asia’s Travel Marketing Summit in Singapore recently.

“We have had to shift quite a lot of things in-house versus the agency because we see a day-to-day need for it,” she explained. “We are changing the creative, we are changing messages every minute for different markets, and it just makes sense to bring it in-house.”.

Rafi also emphasized the importance of listening to customer feedback and engaging with all type of attendees.

“If you want to listen, you have to be able to listen and make a change,” she stated. “There is no point getting all of this data and information, and then going: ‘70% of our people like our race, 30% like entertainment, we are good’.”

Rafi cited an example of how the team gets feedback from company representatives, who act as key decision makers for purchases of corporate hospitality packages (a category in itself that generates significant revenue beyond general ticket sales).

“We listen to what they say: ‘Last year we were here, however you didn’t provide these pockets of opportunities for us to communicate or to meet new people’. Then we start implementing business lounges, we start implementing networking events, and lifestyle events.”

“We make sure that we listen, we implement, and we see it through.”

Sourced from WARC