Pushing into New Markets
Hong Kong is the test bed for international expansion for Korean digital marketing firm humuson.
15 October 2014
Korean mobile and email marketing technology and services company humuson International has expanded into Hong Kong, opening an Asia-Pacific headquarters to spearhead targeted growth in new markets.
“Hong Kong is unique because it is very international, and very connected to China,” said Joon Ho Yoon, CEO of humuson International. “We wanted to hire people with international background. We wanted to have a headquarters where we could base our management and marketing teams for Asia-Pacific, and it’s easy to attract experienced talent in Hong Kong.”
The city’s large concentration of international headquarters is another factor that makes Hong Kong a “very attractive market” for humuson. “Hong Kong is the test bed for our international expansion,” he said.
Founded in 1998, humuson is South Korea’s leading marketing technology and services company. With more than 90 per cent market share for mobile push messaging, and 70 per cent market share for email marketing, humuson is dominant in providing the tools that brands and developers need to strengthen relationships with their customers.
Hong Kong’s strategic location will help the company manage its markets throughout the region, including the Chinese mainland. In a phased roll-out following the Hong Kong launch, the company also plans to set up offices in Singapore and Tokyo, plus other locations in Southeast Asia, in the coming months. The company also has offices in Seoul, Shanghai and Beijing.
“We are very excited about the opening of our Asia-Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong, a strategic location for our expansion in this region,” said Tony Lo, Chief Operations Officer, at the official opening last month. “The launch signifies our commitment to the region, which is a vital part of our global strategy.”
Mr Lo added that, as a leader in mobile marketing technology and services in South Korea for 15 years, humuson believes it is “strongly positioned” to extend its success at home throughout the region. “We are confident in our ability to set a new paradigm for customer experience and engagement for enterprises in Hong Kong and the region.”
While mobile marketing in Hong Kong now accounts for a small percentage of most companies’ overall digital marketing budget, Mr Joon points to strong growth over the past year. Starting from a low base, he expects overall growth of 10 per cent for the sector within a few years.
Despite the prevalence of mobile devices, companies still spend more on television advertising. But Mr Joon believes that’s bound to change.
“Mobile [spending] is around one per cent now overall, so that has to grow. It’s a matter of whether companies are comfortable enough, and have the tools that they can trust, to spend more money.”
He cited spending on mobile banner ads, which in Hong Kong experienced triple-digit growth from 2012 to 2013, and he believes it will continue to grow this year. “You need to spend money where people are; it’s all related,” Mr Joon said.
humuson International entered Hong Kong with the assistance of InvestHK, a Hong Kong government department supporting overseas and Chinese mainland businesses to set up in Hong Kong.
Charles Ng, Invest HK’s Associate Director-General of Investment Promotion, said that Hong Kong’s sophisticated information and communications technology infrastructure, with its fast and reliable broadband networks, would help facilitate humuson’s goals. “Also, it is strategically located in the centre of Asia and its proximity to mainland China provides an excellent platform for overseas companies to manage their regional information technology projects in the city.”
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