Few agencies match OMD Hong Kong when it comes to delivering hard-hitting,  customer-centric creative messages – thanks to the vision of its CEO, Deric Wong.

As any media professional knows, great creatives are always important, but delivering creative messages to target audiences through integrated media channels is also a huge part of advertising effectiveness and driving ROI for brands.

Understanding media and developing smarter media placement strategies have never been more important in the face of growing media fragmentation and few ad men know this as well as Deric Wong, CEO of OMD in Hong Kong. This year marks OMD’s 20th year in Hong Kong and Wong continues to play a vital role in its growth. 

“As part of a global advertising network, Omnicom, we were one of the first media agencies to establish a footprint in Hong Kong to help advertisers drive greater accountability from their media investment, implementing best practices from our global network and playing an influential role in shaping the industry’s evolution,” says Wong.

Since its launch in 1998, OMD has won over 650 awards for its clients in Hong Kong and was also recently named the “Best Marketing Partner” at the Hong Kong Management Association/TVB Awards 2018.        

Coping with the New Reality   

According to Wong, the economic outlook has finally improved for 2018 and with it, consumer confidence and clients’ forecasted marketing budgets.

“Local marketers predict that online ad spend is expected to significantly overtake offline to reach 60%, according to the 2018 Advertising Spending Projections report conducted by the Hong Kong Advertising Association and Nielsen; this presents many opportunities for media agencies to take a leading role as our clients shift towards a more digitally focused mindset.

“As technology has changed the way consumers behave, as well as their expectations of brands, it has also impacted media agencies’ remits and the expectations from clients. The lines between media, content and creative are continuously blurring, as the communications landscape evolves. Increasing volumes of data are now being mined. They need to be quickly analyzed and deciphered in order to draw out audience insights (as opposed to traditional research methodologies), which can be immediately fed back into the communications or business strategies of clients.”

The traditional media agency model has all but been eradicated, but the industry thrives in the form of different agency models and offerings – making the choice of whom to partner with for clients more complex than ever. We understand that we are now competing with creative agencies, publishers, independents and consultancies alike, so we continue to add value and diversify our unique offering in response to clients’ evolving needs.”

“At OMD, we understand that the future of personal advertising lies at the intersection of content, media, data and marketing technologies. Our Hong Kong office is structured to create valuable synergies between all these marketing solutions to meet clients’ demands for closer integration.

“We appreciate that the needs of our clients are evolving, as they continue to consider and implement digital transformations internally. While they undergo this transition, they rely on our expertise to make sure their media strategies are aligned and that their budgets work harder than ever to deliver ROI across a fragmented channel mix.” He says: “We have achieved this by placing digital at the heart of our agency culture, and by developing our unique growth principle –  Universal Appeal Made Personally Relevant. This means balancing the role of mass media (still a key medium in Hong Kong) to drive universal appeal for a brand, with addressable media (largely digital) targeted towards individuals – taking our clients’ strategies to new heights and achieving tremendous growth.”

People, Products & Processes      

We restructured our existing teams and hired some of the best digital talent to bolster our specialist business units. We also invested in new tools and training initiatives, and developed a new process to foster micro innovations, enabling every part of our services, products and talent to achieve success in Hong Kong’s dynamic business environment.

Throughout the entire communications planning process, OMD business directors drive the integration of our media talent and specialists, working together as one team to develop brilliant integrated solutions that are grounded with execution excellence to achieve our clients’ business goals.

OMD business teams are the integrated solutions drivers. The specialists we have in market are Strategic Planning, Performance Marketing (SEM, SOCIAL & SEO), Audience Programmatic, Data Analytics, Content Marketing (DCO) and Research.

China: Thinking Big  

“We already have a very strong presence in Greater China, with three offices in China, one in Hong Kong and one in Taiwan. For us here in Hong Kong, we learn from and adapt to the vast number of new technologies and innovations coming out of China every day. These are increasingly important for our Hong Kong clients.

With all the technology cross-over into Hong Kong, such as the enablement of Alipay and WeChat Pay, Hong Kong businesses are thinking big. We have been helping our clients to capture bigger business opportunities by targeting not just Hong Kong tourists, but also the non-residents from China. Much of these efforts were driven by our teams, with data analytics and programmatic increasingly taking a leading role.”

He adds: “To keep up with the fast-paced advancements in marketing technologies, we have been actively reviewing potential partnerships with companies who could best service our clients in Hong Kong. Last year, we set up an alliance with a Hong Kong start-up in e-commerce called FUSION to give clients exclusive access to their e-tailing technologies. Besides e-commerce, we are incorporating more advertising technology and content partners into our service mix to raise the game locally and match our mainland counterparts. Our aim is to help local brands globalise and global brands localize their business strategies in the Hong Kong market.”

Staying in the Lead    

“Globally,” Wong says, “we are launching a new proposition of ‘BETTER DECISIONS, FASTER’ to reflect the needs of our clients as well as our ability to use data and technology to drive more effective and efficient communications strategies than ever before.

In Hong Kong, this will be adapted to our own localized proposition, ensuring we remain focused on driving business growth for our clients while placing digital at the heart of our culture and talent’s career development.”

“We play an active part to bring positive development to our industry – judging major awards, speaking at events, training future talent at universities and through internships, and publishing thought-leadership pieces and white papers. As we continue to represent the best of the market in Hong Kong, this approach will remain paramount to our success internally and amongst clients,” Wong says, summing up his view of the industry, market and OMD’s changing role.

For additional information, please visit www.omd.com/hong-kong

Hong Kong’s Business Leaders share market and interest intelligence in the pages of HKMVC 2019