Singapore's fastest-growing companies

Zion Global Marketing: Staying on their toes to thrive in the digital space

Ms Patricia Lin and Mr Calvin Woon, directors and co-founders of Zion Global Marketing, which is ranked 14th on the list of the fastest-growing enterprises compiled by The Straits Times and Statista.
Ms Patricia Lin and Mr Calvin Woon, directors and co-founders of Zion Global Marketing, which is ranked 14th on the list of the fastest-growing enterprises compiled by The Straits Times and Statista.ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

Keeping abreast of ever-changing technology is the cornerstone of digital marketing business Zion Global Marketing.

This ability to move with the times enabled the company to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 86 per cent from 2014 to 2017.

That stellar growth put the firm at 14th place on a list of fastest-growing enterprises compiled by The Straits Times and global research company Statista.

Director and co-founder Patricia Lin said: "The landscape of the digital marketing industry is ever-changing, and what used to work before may not work today. Just think about how platforms like MySpace and Friendster have been phased out in just a matter of a few years.

"We find ourselves needing to keep up with the phase of industry changes in order to be aware of the changes in consumer behaviours in the market."

The firm specialises in helping small businesses to gain exposure and leads through digital marketing strategies that are customised to a client's needs.

Ms Lin started the company with co-founder and director Calvin Woon back in 2009, when digital marketing was still rather uncommon. She said: "At that time, digital marketing wasn't a popular marketing strategy, and platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter were just gaining traction.

KEEPING UP WITH CHANGE

We find ourselves needing to keep up with the phase of industry changes in order to be aware of the changes in consumer behaviours in the market.

ZION GLOBAL MARKETING DIRECTOR AND CO-FOUNDER PATRICIA LIN

"But we happened to get exposed to the concept of creating and selling digital products such as e-books, audio courses and videos on the Internet, and started our company in the area of digital publishing.

"As we delved deeper into the industry, we realised how powerful the Internet was in helping businesses to market and reach out to millions of people throughout the world."

This forward-looking mindset has helped Ms Lin grow the company: Starting with just the two founders, there are now around 30 staff to help them.

Annual revenue is around $7 million, with the goal of surpassing $10 million this year.

The company also provides services in event marketing and organisation together with a training arm that teaches other business owners to market themselves in a digital world.

 
 

However, Ms Lin acknowledged that it has not been an easy road, noting: "Just like any business, the starting phase was extremely difficult and we went through several ups and downs along the way.

"As we were fresh out of university with zero corporate experience, we had to learn from scratch through making mistakes."

Her advice to other small businesses is: "Turn business into a game and ensure everyone knows how to keep the score."

She added: "We all love playing games as it is fun and people love the thrill of winning. So, if you can think of how to 'gamify' the various aspects of business, it will make work more fun and exciting for everyone on your team. And of course, it will help you accelerate your growth as well.

"Lastly, never stop learning."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2019, with the headline 'Staying on their toes to thrive in the digital space'. Print Edition | Subscribe