Is Hong Kong future digital?

The recent release of a whitepaper by Google in Hong Kong on their Smart City Development revealed that 42% of the respondents surveyed considered themselves genuinely ‘digital’. Despite efforts that this nation has made in channelling immense resources to digitise its city, including transportation, information and communications’ initiatives, less than half surveyed considered themselves digitally savvy.

Given the government’s perserverance to transform its cityscape to a digital economy in an attempt to drive sustainable growth and success, the corporate dissonance between the recognition and execution of digitalisation must be considered for digital transformation to occur. This has resulted from the diversity of views towards digitalisation as only a minority at best, are gradually embracing technology despite agreeing that it is critical to success.

The good news is most companies are actually spending on digital marketing, website and content development, e-commerce, and CRM as seen in the data retrieved from the recent release of Google Hong Kong’s “Think 2020: Smarter Digital City Whitepaper”.
With digital marketing activities being the top initiative to be pursued at 86%, below are some of the trends within this area that can potentially catalyse greater smart city developments in Hong Kong.

1. Digital marketing through mobile technology remains top of the list

70% of all internet traffic in Hong Kong originates from a mobile device. This is a growing trend where mobile devices become the primary device to access information on the go and even at home, despite easy access to a computer.

According to the Office of the Communications Authority, Hong Kong’s mobile subscriber penetration rate is over 230% as of June 2017. And out of this 17 million mobile subscribers, over 90% are subscribed to a 2.5G or 3G/4G mobile network. Mobile has made desktop a ‘secondary touch point’ as it now represents more than 50% of digital media time for an increasing number of digital users. This suggests great opportunities for digital marketers to tap onto these platforms for greater content coverage and engagement on targeted audiences. Additionally, the development of mobile technologies, such as e-commerce transactions have resulted in the rise of “on-the-go” media consumption content being consumed at record speeds. This represents the huge amount of content and engagement that can occur in a short amount of time.

Recent technological advancements have resulted in the development of rich media formats which make static and performance driven ads from the past obsolete. Mobile native ads now include active engagement tools such as chat bots, in-feed videos and content listing ads that enable advertisers to incorporate rich media into native ad formats. This enables advertisers to use mobile native for both performance and brand campaigns.

2. Integrated customer engagement

The launch of Adobe Sensei, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning framework, aims to further enhance customer engagement through targeting precision, optimising experiences and automating the delivery of personalised offers.

Functions that are set to improve digital marketing efforts include:

• Open Data Science Capabilities: Adobe plans to open its data science and algorithmic optimisation capabilities in Adobe Target so that brands are able to insert their own algorithms onto the platform. This will enable brands to combine their industry expertise with Adobe’s machine learning and AI capabilities to deliver individualised customer experiences on a massive scale. More details can be found in the blog post here.

• One-Click Personalisation: New Auto-Target capability enables brands to automate personalised experiences across their digital properties with one click. Auto-Target uses machine learning in Adobe Sensei to determine the best experience for each consumer and continuously optimises those experiences as the consumer undertakes additional actions.

• Personalised Recommendations: A new recommendation technology in Adobe Target enables brands to leverage on a consumer’s intent to better predict what content and products customers might be interested in.

• Automated Offers: With the enhanced decisioning power in Adobe Target, brands can ensure the best offer—out of potentially hundreds—is automatically shown to the right person at the right moment. Adobe Target now provides automated offers for mobile apps and IoT experiences.

• Precision Targeting: The enhanced integration between Adobe Target and Adobe Analytics Cloud allows marketers to target more precisely by using behavioural analytics and audience data to perform deeper segmentation.

3. Influx of digital campaigns

A report by research firm eMarketer earlier this month had forecast digital campaigns to make up 20.4% of total advertising expenditure in Hong Kong this year. This is worth US$616.8 million and is an increase from last year’s 18.4% share, estimated at a value of US$560.8 million.

For greater marketing coverage, companies should adopt integrated marketing campaigns in order to improve effectiveness and increase the value of both traditional and digital marketing techniques. The integrated marketing approach should evolve around customer-centric solutions in order to achieve optimal advertising impact, and maximum customer engagement with the brand.

One of the challenges mentioned in the report is the fear of trying something new as well as a mind-set of complacency by traditional marketers in Hong Kong. Hong Kong will only be able to reap the benefits of digitisation, improve its levels of innovation as well as creativity if it is able to fully comprehend and overcome these cultural barriers.

With the above trends, individuals within digital marketing will also start to increase in demand. If you will like to find out more about the talent in this industry or if your organisation is looking to jump onto the bandwagon on one of the above trends, please feel free to connect with the Huxley team in Hong Kong at [email protected] for more information on talent strategies that organisations are undertaking.

Be the first to hear about the upcoming trends in the area of digital marketing by following us on our LinkedIn page for more industry-related insights.

Sources: Hong Kong Business, South China Morning Post, Which-50, HKDMA

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