By CMO Innovation editors

 Image credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images


Singapore Internet marketing is much savvier than Hong Kong. This, according to research by WL Media HK, which helps Hong Kong businesses to maximize their online presence.

“Hong Kong firms are being left in the digital dust by Singapore Exchange listed companies, who seem to be more digital savvy and better able to promote their firms online,” according to a report titled “Hong Kong an Internet Marketing Leader?”.

For example, the firm noted that a simple and free tool like Google My Business (which the report highlighted as one of “the most basic of marketing activities”) remains underutilized in the territory.

The research showed that more than 7% of listed Hong Kong companies do not even have a phone number registered with Google. This means potential customers cannot use click-to-dial function on mobile phones to connect. In Singapore, only 1.2% of Singapore firms face the same issue.

“Companies who neglect to claim their listing from Google Business are not taking advantage of one of the most basic ways to promote their business and improve their interaction with their online customers and stakeholders,” said Raymond Lowe, from WL Media HK who led the study.

However, the same study found that Hong Kong companies are looking to other means of Internet marketing rather than maximizing their presence on Google, “despite Google’s dominance of the search traffic.”

One reason is that Google’s products, like the Google Business Directory, has “little or no relevance” to China as the search giant’s services fail behind the Great Firewall of China.

However, this approach reduces Hong Kong company’s international presence and brand equity. In Europe and the US where Google has a dominating presence, Hong Kong companies fall behind both local companies and Singapore’s.

“Hong Kong companies are missing out on a lot of revenue by ignoring the opportunity offered by Google My Business listings. It is one of the hidden treasures of online marketing in Hong Kong right now, and the local businesses that move first to optimize their listings are going to have a significant advantage over their slower moving competitors,” said Josh Steimle, CEO of digital marketing agency MWI.