Singapore firms outpace Hong Kong rivals in Internet marketing

The study reveals that Hong Kong firms are being left in the digital dust.

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The skyline of the central business district in Singapore Reuters

Singapore businesses turn out to be three times more likely to be switched on to Internet Marketing that their Hong Kong counterparts, a new research by WL Media HKshowed. The study revealed that Hong Kong firms are being left in the digital dust as Singapore-listed firms become more digital savvy in promoting their businesses online.

More so, a number of Hong Kong businesses fell short on even the most basic of marketing activities despite holding the digital prowess, the study furthered.

For instance, firms in Hong Kong were less likely to have claimed their free Google My Business listing, which is vital for Google local search visibility. Over 7 per cent of listed Hong Kong businesses do not even have a phone registered with Google. This is in contrast to only 1.2 per cent of Singapore firms not having their phone contacts in Google's database.

"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," Raymond Lowe, the main author of the study, said in a statement.

Whilst internet marketing has boomed in Hong Kong for the last ten years, Singapore still has the upper hand and has continually made bigger footsteps in the digital marketplace despite its small stature.

Digital Marketing Consultant at WL Media Winnie Tsoi believes the higher level of English skills in Singapore is a big factor behind its lead in the digital war.

"Even with internationalisation much of the technical documentation for Internet Marketing standards currently only exist in English," she noted in a press statement.

Meanwhile, despites Google's dominance of search traffic, the study found out that some firms prefer other tools such as social media and directory sites. With Facebook also banned in Chinese, Hong Kong companies appear to be more interested in optimising their Baidu listing. This raises a problem, as Baidu is rarely used by European and American marketplaces.