Translated and compiled by Bing-sheng Lee

The penetration rate of smartphones in Taiwan has reached up to 78%, ranking top ten in the world and top five in Asia. This shows Taiwan has a mature environment for mobile marketing and many opportunities are available to Taiwan’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

At a marketing forum held by Google in Taipei on March 8, Kevin O’Kane, managing director of small business operations at Google Asia Pacific, said, “Taiwan is one of the easiest places in the world to start a business.”

O’Kane said that the focus of the world economy has gradually moved from the west to the east with more than 50% of world mobile devices being purchased in Asia. Taiwan is located at an important position of the Asia-Pacific region and has a great infrastructure for mobile industries, good research and development skills and a mature consumers market. These features are advantages for Taiwan’s SMEs to develop mobile marketing.

The director indicates that as the whole world is following the trend of mobile devices and marketing, Taiwan has to follow the suit and put more emphasis on developing online marketing tools and mobile device applications, which are critical for the growth and development of Taiwan’s SMEs.

Taiwan already has a mature consumer base for online marketing with over 90% of Taiwanese going online every day. Therefore, using the Internet technologies and data analysis skills to target costumers on the Internet or mobile devices should be an integral part of business development.

Google has observed three major trends in Taiwan’s SMEs industry, namely expanding the domestic market, establishing new start-ups and industrial upgrading. The Internet is the best tool for Taiwan’s SMEs to keep up with global trends and communicate effectively with their clients and customers.

Stanley Chen, general manager of Google Taiwan, says that SMEs need online marketing talents to help their business because most consumers these days spend their money on the Internet. These talents should collect and analyze data of online marketing to glean useful information to make the enterprises more familiar with their consumers.

By interacting with and learning from online customers, a business can open up more opportunities to promote its products and services. “If you cannot reach out to the customers on the Internet, they can’t learn about your products,” Chen says.

Chen indicates that many Taiwanese SMEs still have not established official websites and applications for mobile devices. This might cost them global competitiveness as incorporating mobile devices and online marketing into a business model has been a worldwide trend for some years.

IoT predicted to be the next big business trend in the world

Since the first iPhone launched in 2007, the business world has ushered in the movement of mobile for almost ten years. While the movement has created a multitude of start-ups and new enterprises that have made huge success, such as LINE, Uber and WhatsApp, the industry is seeing a decrease of opportunities for new businesses to compete in recent years.

A growing trend of Internet of Things (IoT) thus poses as a new frontier for new start-ups and businesses. IoT is the network of physical objects, such as devices, vehicles, buildings and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data.

In an interview with TNL last September, Jamie Lin, one of the founders of a business accelerator AppWorks, and Martin Talvari, chief strategy officer of Slush, a world leading startup event founded in Finland, shared their viewpoints on the development of the movement of mobile and the growing trend of IoT.

Martin Talvari and Jamie Lin. Photo Credit: The News Lens關鍵評論網

Martin Talvari and Jamie Lin. Photo Credit: The News Lens關鍵評論網

Lin said that his team has noticed that in the US, northeast Asia and China, the movement of mobile is probably coming to the bottom-half of the game and many leading companies have made it very difficult to compete with them. As a result, there are few opportunities these days for start-ups to build success upon iOS and Android systems, the two major mobile platforms for smartphones.

However, Lin stated that the IoT industry presents new chances for businesses to cash in on because of all the enabling technologies the prevalence of mobile has brought to life. People are seeing more companies working on reinvented cars, buses, buildings, trains, and even airplanes and transportation.

Yet, Talvari cautioned that even though IoT is very likely to be the next big movement in the business world, start-ups and enterprises should still hold on to what they are best at and shouldn’t hurry to jump on the bandwagon. There is still a large amount of money in the e-commerce and market places.

He also mentioned if one day IoT becomes mainstream, Taiwan with its manufacturing industries already has some competitive edges to adjust to the trend.

President-elect Tsai calling for changes for the IoT age

On March 8, Taiwan’s president-elect Tsai Ing-wen visited Gorilla Technology Group, an IoT corporation. During the visit, Tsai indicated that being able to integrate different systems and help users organize useful information is the most significant industrial strength in the IoT age that Taiwan is about to move on to.

Tsai stressed that the government should revise provisions and laws that were initiated during the previous industrial age to catch up with the current trend and the IoT age. She also said that In the future the government has to lead the domestic industries to innovate and upgrade their businesses and make policies that are able to maximize the innovative power of the industries.

“Human needs are the basis for technological innovations,” Tsai said. This is the reason that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has brought up the idea of “Digital Nation, Smart Island,” which is going to be the blueprint for Taiwan’s industrial and business development after Tsai’s government takes office.

Tsai said that Taiwan has a great foundation of information and communication technology (ICT) and many adaptive SMEs, which can both be seen as Taiwan’s advantages in developing its IoT industry.

Edited by Olivia Yang

Radio Taiwan International
New Tang Dynasty Television
Apple Daily
Awakening News Network
China Times
Liberty Times
“Worrying About Your Startup? Strategies for Taiwanese Startups from World-leading Startup Event Slush” (TNL)