Kung hei fat choi! As the year of the dog ends, so begins the year of the pig. And though many will be visiting fortune tellers and astrologers to gain advice for the coming new year, Marketing has gathered its own set of wise sages to ask what this year should hold for the industry.Giving us their outlook for 2019 are:Stephen Li - CEO APAC at OMD WorldwideBen Poole - managing director APAC at Reprise DigitalEric Thain - general manager at Hong Kong ExpressJoe Wong - general Manager, integrated marketing services at George P Johnson Experience MarketingAntony Yiu - managing director at Digitas APAC What bad habits should the marketing industry give up in this new year?LiStop talking a good talk about the importance of smart, creative thinking being desired of agencies, and then allow procurement to take over the process (esp in pitches) and reduce the conversation down to a purely lowest common denominator comparison of who is cheapest.Poole Measuring what’s not important. Emails.ThainHands down, assumptions. For the longest time, marketers have made decisions based on assumptions or ‘experience’. This was ok back in the day but in today’s data-driven world, there is really no excuse to do so. Data is in abundance and is everywhere for brand marketers to tap into. A responsible marketeer should dive into the internal & external data that is available to him/her, and derive insights that fuels the strategy & approach for any given marketing campaigns.WongDeploying too many tactical performance boosters, which are gimmicky or not aligned with the brand can be dangerous. Some mistakes can be hard to recover from, and are not worth the small one-off gains.YiuNot all impressions are equal We need to go beyond just looking at clicks and impressions as KPI metrics. We also need greater adoption of attribution modelling beyond last view/last click. What industry-related goals would you set for yourself this year?LiThere is so much to both be optimistic and utterly depressed by when we look forward in our industry. However, after so much talk and sabre-rattling – 2019 has to be the year when, as an industry, we really begin to put our money where our mouths are and make deliberate diversity a matter of course, and not just discourse. This will definitely be one of my prime objectives.PooleHelp clean up the industry. Remove bad ads, improve experiences. Make things faster. Take waste out of the supply chain.ThainTo build a brand that is consumer-centric. Easier said than done. Most brand marketers think so, but most miss the mark, too indulgent in internal factors. As I have always, said, ‘it’s not your brand, it’s their brand’. The moment you put your brand out there, you are catering to the needs of the consumers you hope to reach. Be relevant, build love, the business will follow. This is how brand value builds stakeholder & financial value. We are already seeing some positive movements for the HK Express brand, reflected in the recent efforts & strategic direction in brand/marketing/digital/social/ PR that have been put in place.Wong‘Talent and culture’ are the wealth of the industry. I have benefited greatly from learning from my senior colleagues, the gods of the business and my fiercest competitors. While the business continues to be demanding, I hope my industry peers (because I will too) continue to inspire the next generation of brilliant minds.YiuWe should go beyond just placing a QR code/URL/FB address on an OOH medium. Create truly integrated campaigns that leverage the full potential of OOH channels as direct response channels. What are you looking forward to in the new year?LiI am really looking forward to the countries of SE Asia continuing to stand up and be counted, and really giving everyone more reason to believe that our business is not just delivered by China, India and Australia – some of the most exciting new brands are now coming out of SE Asia, and they deserve much better work from all agencies.I am also looking forward to everyone making a deliberate call to stop looking back, being cynical and indulging in the schadenfreude which agency-folk seem to adore – “look at all the issues in all those legacy agency groups” – and instead focusing on doing great work for clients…ultimately, the only thing which stands the test of time.PoolePeople enjoying themselves and having fun. More efficient ways of working so that people spend their evenings with friends and family.ThainSo much! But in essence, to see bad habits die. One of which is marketing for the sake of marketing. Too many marketers are platform driven; meaning marketing driven by platforms rather than consumers & of ‘why’ there is a need for it. This is easy and is ‘lazy marketing’. We need to ask the hard questions, the right questions and most often than not, the answers will follow. I hope this doesn’t just remain a hope. The proliferation of technology has made this harder, as we chase towards ‘the next thing’, the over-reliance of technology and forgetting that technology is an enabler, not the answer.WongIn great darkness, brilliance becomes most vivid. I hope to shine brighter in this time of business uncertainty, so marketers looking for an agency-team focused on delivering results, spots us easily. Our true value is generated through a combination of our creativity and effectiveness in contributing to a larger success, and less about offering a discount.YiuCreating a model that can measure the impact of brand awareness campaigns on driving future conversions., through the use of time series or event history analysis.
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