HONG KONG, 12 NOVEMBER 2009 - Google announced Wednesday an investment plan of HK$100 million for search engine marketing offerings to SMBs in Hong Kong.
Named "Google Online Marketing: Exploring New Business Opportunities" Program, the HK$ 100 million pledge to 270,000 SMBs, which will be rolled out in the next 12 months, said Google, adding that it will partner with local SMBs to address their urgent needs to explore growth potentials and achieve business success through the use of search engine marketing (SEM).
"We believe the Hong Kong economy has reached a turning point and the city has climbed out of a year-long recession. SMBs should take advantage of this opportunity to look for innovative, cost-effective and flexible ways to market themselves and their product offerings," said John Liu, vice president of Sales, Greater China Region, Google.
An integral part of the HK$100 million investment is the SEM and online marketing training that Google will provide to registered local SMBs in the next few months, said Google.
The firm added that it will offer one-stop services to help businesses upgrade their web sites, select search keywords, track web traffic and analyze consumer behavior. Besides, it will provide free AdWords trials to every new registered AdWords customer, Google noted.
According to the US Department of Commerce, eMarketer and Collins Stewart LLC estimates, Asia Pacific contributes US$145 billion or 24 per cent of the total e-commerce market, Google said.
Japan, Australia and South Korea are the leading markets by 2011, while China and India will have the highest growth rate of 42.1 per cent and 49.8 per cent, Google quoted those sources as saying, adding that e-Commerce is growing at 12.7 per cent CAGR while traditional retails drops year over year.
According to Google, the investment plan is part the company's greater China stimulus program for SMBs that aims to encourage more Chinese businesses to use the Internet for tapping business opportunities.
The program also includes the "Win with Google -- 2009 Google SEM Roadshow", which was held in 27 cities in the country including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu starting on September 2009. So far, thousands of SMBs in different cities have already registered, Google noted.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.