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Weathering the storm: An end of 2019 letter from the Hong Kong editor of Marketing

Got cold out there fast, didn’t it?

No, I’m actually not talking about the weather (though, my it did get nippy quick!) I mean that Hong Kong’s business world is frozen. Like Han Solo in Carbonite, it remains in a contorted expression of intense, but immobile panic.

Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, and whether or not you’re for or against, all, some, or none of what’s going on, all of us acknowledge the powerful hammer hits that protest actions have had on the city’s backbone industries.

And just like the weather, it’s now just another accepted, expected, and mildly tedious part of our networking dialogues. We recite decreased sales figures and hotel occupancy rates like temperatures and humidities.

Bigger issues are at play and it’s a selfish consideration, but this is a chilly time for the city’s marketing community. Creatives are made miserable as their big campaign ideas get shelved, planners see their events postponed in desperation before cancellation, and buyers are finding the budget just isn’t there for…well, anything.

But please allow me to bring you some cheer, for tis the season!

You need to know that you’re all champions. Despite six months of dodging teargas, adapting commutes to irregular transport, and hearing bad news on the reg, you’ve kept going and produced amazing work. What’s happening weighs heavy on us all and you’re carrying it better than you think.

More importantly, as we reach the end of 2019, we should appreciate that we aren’t just adding a digit and getting our year of the rat memes ready, we are closing off a decade of incredible and unparalleled technological acceleration.

And we have barely exposed the tip of potential those new digital opportunities present. Opportunities our Futurist panel discussed I suggest you check out. Hong Kong may be facing a winter of discontent currently, but when it thaws the summer we can look forward to will indeed be glorious.

From all of us at Marketing, stay warm, stay safe, and have a very happy holiday. We look forward to seeing you in the roaring 20s to come.

This article was produced for the December/January Futurist issue of Marketing Magazine Hong Kong. For more features and other magazine-exclusive content from this and upcoming issues, you can subscribe to receive your free monthly print copy here or you can read the digital version in its entirety here.