Feature Stories


Google Makes Mobile Marketing Available for All

As consumers around the world increasingly turn to the mobile for information, entertainment, and beyond, Google aims to help businesses of all sizes deliver on the promise of mobile for their customers.

Ben Wong, Chief Marketing Officer of Google Greater China (HKUST MBA graduate)Ben Wong, Chief Marketing Officer of Google Greater China (HKUST MBA graduate)

That, of course, is no simple task. On the one hand, it means meeting the mobile consumer’s ever higher expectations for speed, security and personalization. On the other, it involves giving businesses the tools not just to supply relevant messages in formats suited to multiple channels and devices, but also to understand, analyze and anticipate new needs and different customer preferences.

Digital ads can help businesses reach audiences in ways that other mediums cannot match. But digital can also act as a kind of real-time “feedback loop,” helping businesses of all sizes become far more adept at identifying sales opportunities and making intelligent choices. Based on analysis of consumer trends, marketing teams will also be in a much better position to plan and react in order to boost sales, improve interactions and feedback — to ultimately deliver better products and experiences to consumers.

A digital “toolbox”

What Google offers marketers is a kind of a digital marketing “toolbox” bringing together audience insights and data analytics, and the ability to run ads on Search, Maps, YouTube, or websites and apps to attract potential customers.

“We have built a suite of digital marketing solutions to help marketers achieve their objectives, both in customer acquisition and efficiency,” said Ben Wong, Chief Marketing Officer for Google Greater China. “Well-run digital campaigns also mean a relevant and useful experience for consumers.”

With around 90 percent of Hongkongers now spending some time online every day, around 50 per cent of Hong Kong online shopping searches happening on mobile devices as well as YouTube watch time on mobile growing at 50 per cent a year, it’s clear that the digital is one that marketers cannot afford to ignore.

A seismic shift for marketers

“This represents a seismic shift for marketers and content creators,” Wong says. “The internet is driving opportunity for millions of local businesses – from brick and mortar companies; to small and medium businesses; to entrepreneurs; to app developers and content providers. Google is committed to helping all these succeed and, at the same time, boosting the city’s digital economy.”

Another exciting opportunity is the growth in automated technology such as “programmatic” video and search solutions. Google’s technology is able to take the heavy lifting out of analyzing large data sets, allowing marketers to identify prospective customers more quickly and accurately and save time on number crunching to work on more creative tasks.

“Using digital ads, marketers can move beyond old proxies like demographics and zero in on what consumers actually want. Brands that communicate during ‘intent-rich’ moments will stay front of mind with consumers,” Wong says. “Such moments represent a huge opportunity for marketers to make a connection with potential buyers. This approach can also greatly reduce wastage, helping advertisers to achieve their objectives cost effectively.” 

Measurement makes all the difference

But none of this matters if you can’t measure it. That’s where tools like Google Analytics and Firebase come in. Both help to analyze site and app and marketing campaign performance. And with data-driven attribution, it is possible to model the path customers take before making a purchase.

“With digital insights, marketers can improve the Return On Investment (ROI) of their marketing campaigns over time,” Wong added. “These advances can help play a part in Hong Kong’s stated ambition of becoming a “smart city” over the course of the next decade.”

Wong noted that realizing this goal will also depend on overcoming certain obstacles, most notably the significant gap that still exists between perceived and actual levels of digital know-how.

“Hong Kong continues to be a vibrant and innovative city, but it does face some hurdles from the standpoint of digital adoption,” Wong says. “For instance, our Smarter Digital City Whitepaper showed that, while 79 per cent of companies are managing digital projects, only one in five consumers are highly satisfied with their digital experience.”