Global viewpoint from Hong Kong
A view from Matt Champion

Global viewpoint from Hong Kong

Once home to fishermen and farmers, modern Hong Kong is a teeming, commercially vibrant metropolis where Chinese and Western influences fuse. It is a small place and the people are very sensitive to new trends. In the past decade, Hong Kong has had to grapple with major political change, severe economic difficulties, significant structural reform and the growth of technology. Asia-Pacific hosts just under half of the world’s internet users and 52.2 per cent of the world’s active social media users.

Right now, the digital landscape in Hong Kong is dynamic and constantly evolving. Social media is rapidly gaining popularity among citizens and sites such as Facebook and YouTube are gaining their share of visits. Yahoo is the most-visited website in Hong Kong for news and information and 60 per cent of the online audience are over 35, indicating that users are relatively mature compared with those in China.

Marketers in Hong Kong are positive about the immediate future, most of them expecting to increase advertising budgets next year. It is a widely held view that Hong Kong’s marketers have had higher advertising budgets than those in the likes of Singapore and Malaysia, but faster growth in these regions is expected in 2015, narrowing the gap.

Today’s consumers and companies in Hong Kong eagerly embrace new technology. Take mobile phone coverage, for example. When I leave for work in Central, I can take the bus and underground to our new office and happily speak without losing signal.

As the mobile industry continues to grow, it is crucial that marketers remain ahead of the game

Asia-Pacific is at the forefront of mobile innovation, with the number of unique mobile subscribers having outpaced the rest of the world over the past decade. In 2017, it is expected that the region will reach 1.9 billion unique mobile subscribers, accounting for almost half of the predicted global total of 3.9 billion. This is a staggering statistic and, as the mobile industry continues to grow and develop, with the emergence of new technologies such as programmatic buying on mobile providing new and improved ways to effectively target audiences, it is crucial that marketers stay up to date to remain ahead of the game.

The ability of agencies and brands to be agile in light of new mobile marketing tools and methodologies will be essential for their survival in this increasingly competitive marketplace. Mobile has allowed individuals, companies and governments in Asian markets to innovate like never before.

From a land of fisherman and farmers, Hong Kong today has metamorphosed but some things have stayed the same. To quote an unexpected source, Jackie Chan: "In Hong Kong, we don’t know how to count. Everything we do is a guess. If you’ve got the guts, you do it."

Matt Champion is the global client services director at Fetch