Hong Kong advertisers are looking to shift more focus from offline to online and mobile in 2017, which appears to be the first time ever for online advertising spending (51%) to surpass that of offline (49%), according to figures from the latest ad spend projection survey conducted by Nielsen in partnership with the Hong Kong Advertisers Association.
Of that 51%, over half is expected to be paid ads, while 28% will go towards content marketing. Advertisers believe that online marketing is more relevant for their target markets (74%) and can improve the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns (74%). Expanding the reach (63%) and adding more touch points (52%) are also key reasons for the shift.
“Amidst the rapidly evolving media landscape, online advertising channels will soon overtake and share center stage with offline media as key marketing channels for business operators. This trend of omni-channel marketing is expected to move forward in the coming years as additional online platforms and channels are expected to emerge. Cross media placement and cross platform measurement are therefore becoming more important than ever to engaging with the consumer across screens and devices,” Cherry Lau, senior director of Media at Nielsen Hong Kong said.
She elaborated that online advertising channels will soon overtake and share centre stage with offline media, and omni-channel marketing is expected to move forward in the coming years. “Cross media placement and cross platform measurement are therefore becoming more important than ever to engaging with the consumer across screens and devices.”
In 2016, overall advertising expenditure declined by 9.1% to HK$41.6 billion (2015: HK$45.8 billion). According to the surveyed advertisers, in 2016, 58% of their advertising expenditure was consumed in offline advertising, while online web advertising and online mobile advertising each accounted for 21%.
The year 2017 is expected to be another year filled with local and global uncertainties. Yet almost half of the advertisers in Hong Kong (48%) believe that the economy has stabilised and will remain the same as the previous year, while 6% of advertisers expect economic conditions to improve.
The survey also shows that advertisers are looking to increase their advertising spending in 2017 as 26% said their budget will increase while 48% said their budget will remain unchanged.
As the media landscape continues to evolve, increasing media fragmentation (45%), difficulty of calculating return on investment (42%) and understanding customer interactions across channels (40%) will be the key marketing challenges.
Raymond Ho, chairman of the Hong Kong Advertisers Association said the past two years have been a testing period for marketers in terms of some of the newly emerging digital marketing platforms.
“In 2017, we are seeing advertisers that are more confident investing in online marketing. Top management is also confident, having seen the massive growth and opportunity of online investment as technology platforms mature.”