Jingjing Ma
Mar 6, 2019

HK advertisers cautious in 2019 amid economic uncertainty: Nielsen

Online and offline spend predicted to be 50/50 with an ever-increasing focus on advertising ROI

HK advertisers cautious in 2019 amid economic uncertainty: Nielsen

Hong Kong’s advertisers are expected to spend cautiously in 2019, as marketing budgets stay flat or slow down slightly overall amid economic downturn concerns, a report predicted.

Advertisers polled predict a tough year ahead, with 59% expecting an economic downturn in the region, according to a report from Nielsen and the Hong Kong Advertisers Association.

Against this backdrop, however, ad budgets are expected to remain stable, “as advertising is seen as a essential tool to protect and defend market share,” said Helena Sze, director of media with Nielsen Hong Kong.

“We can also see that the lessons from the previous economic downturn have been learnt, with the expectation that advertisers will be cautious about future investment, and will use programmatic tools on targeting to optimise budget effectiveness towards the right customers,” Sze added.

Data from the report showed that 36% of marketers expect an increase in marketing budget, while 25% expect a decrease. But it’s a mixed picture, with advertisers predicting growth in the health and personal care categories, such as pharmaceutical, healthcare, cosmetics and infant products, in contrast to a decline across the property, financial services and retail segments.

“ROI remains a major challenge for the advertisers, especially at times when the marketing budget is stretched,” said David Yeung, chairman of the Hong Kong Advertisers Association.

But 38% of advertisers say converting advertising into sales remains a challenge, and 28% say they continue to struggle with cross channel audience optimisation.

In response, advertisers are adopting new technology. The report said 56% are investing in new applications, such as programmatic tools, artificial intelligence and automation, while 54% are using big data management services to address the challenge of cross platform targeting. Moreover, 41% are integrating mobile payments and fintech applications into ads themselves.

The report also showed that advertising budget distribution between offline (TV, print and outdoor) and online (social and online video) is forecast to be 50/50 in 2019, continuing the budget shift from offline to online but at a lower rate than previous years.

Related Articles

Just Published

6 hours ago

10 things agencies can do to end long hours

The long hours culture is created by things that are both in and out of an agency’s control. Here are some suggestions of what they can change.

6 hours ago

Five of the best ads from Campaign's Global ...

From Uber Eats to the New Zealand election, here is the work that puts Special Group at the top of the game.

7 hours ago

DDB reveals global 'Unexpected Works' repositioning

The global network revealed the new positioning on a billboard in a sheep farm in New Zealand.

7 hours ago

Cannes Lions 2021: Microsoft wins Creative Marketer ...

Award is given annually to an advertiser with a body of creative and Lion-winning work over a sustained period of time