Press Release – Google
Google has named Auckland as one of New Zealand’s top eTowns- the towns and cities whose small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are outpacing those from other areas in embracing the web to grow their business.
Auckland, Nelson, Queenstown, Tauranga and Wellington were today named as New Zealand’s top five eTowns in the inaugural New Zealand eTown awards. A national eTown winner will be named from the five regional winners in May.
The awards are designed to celebrate the towns and cities making the best use of the web to connect with customers and grow their market presence. Towns were assessed based on their business’s use of websites, social media, online directory listings, and online marketing. The overall national winner will be announced in early May.
Tony Keusgen, Country Manager, Google New Zealand, said it was gratifying to see small and large towns alike featuring in the awards—with some smaller towns and cities outpacing larger neighbours.
“The web has always been great at levelling the playing field, and the New Zealand eTown winners prove this,” said Mr Keusgen.
“The awards highlight the power of the web to help businesses—and towns—pivot into new areas based on economic conditions. Many towns known in New Zealand for tourism have made the most of the web to raise their virtual visitor numbers as real-world visitor numbers dropped after the global financial crisis.
International research has established the strong links between digital engagement and commercial success.
A report published on Monday by Deloitte Access Economics in Australia found that small businesses with high digital engagement are twice as likely to be growing revenue, and earn twice as much revenue per employee. They are also four times more likely to be hiring additional staff.
The Google eTown Awards have previously been held in Europe, Australia and Canada.
Working with Ipsos MORI, Google created the eTown award list by breaking New Zealand into all its different towns and cities. Google then worked out how many Google AdWords (online advertising) customers there were in each town and using population data created a list of towns and their AdWords penetration levels. A shortlist of the top AdWords penetration towns were then sent to Ipsos MORI for further analysis. Ipsos MORI identified a random and representative sample of 50 small and medium sized businesses from each of the shortlist towns and allocated scores for whether those businesses were listed in an online directory, had their own website, had a social network presence, allowed ecommerce on their website, had a blog and had a mobile-friendly website. Those towns with the highest scores in each region were awarded eTown status.