IAB HK and SCMP launch landmark study showing how brand marketing is taking centre stage, and powering growth across Hong Kong & Asia


Hong Kong, (June 8, 2023) - The Interactive Advertising Bureau of Hong Kong (IAB HK) and the South China Morning Post (SCMP) are proud to unveil an industry white paper, Unlocking Brand Marketing’s Potential in Asia, helping businesses capture the growth opportunities that lie ahead. 


The key takeaways of the whitepaper are as follows:

  • Marketers now favour brand marketing over performance marketing
  • Marketers are diversifying their media channels away from performance so they can capture growth 
  • Storytelling stands front and centre in driving resonance and recognition
  • Today, every business needs to be engaged in brand marketing
  • The focus on marketing effectiveness and strategic business metrics is only set to grow 
  • Successful marketing execution requires confidence and conviction in agile environments 
  • Brand is a uniting force in a divergent world

The full whitepaper is available at iabhongkong.com


The findings of the whitepaper are gathered from qualitative research in the form of round table discussions hosted by SCMP across two groups of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) level representatives in Hong Kong and Singapore respectively (full list of CMO participants surveyed available in the appendix), as well as quantitative research conducted across IAB’s membership database of marketers.

"Marketing is the driving force behind growth and that is being reflected in budgetary allocations. A majority of the IAB HK members surveyed for this whitepaper cite budget increases, with a notable 20% revealing a substantial 20% or higher increase in marketing investment.” Victor Cheng, Executive Committee, IAB HK, says. “At the same time, marketers are under pressure to prove effectiveness, with 73% of those surveyed ranking marketing effectiveness of utmost importance, anticipating its continuous ascent in significance in coming years.”

“Today, we are at a turning point. The last three years have seen too much focus on performance marketing and short-term thinking. Now, brand marketing is taking centre stage, with a focus on storytelling, real-world experiences and partnerships,” Kevin Huang, Chief Operating Officer, SCMP, comments. “Our round table discussions with Chief Marketing Officers validate the prevailing trend of escalating brand engagement. Their collective enthusiasm for branding building and effectively disseminating their business’ narratives underscores the resonating power of storytelling in marketing.” 

“In recent years, there has been a surge in digital products and services. However, as people return to offices, go on vacations, and venture out, marketers must adapt by diversifying their media channels. According to the survey conducted among IAB HK members for the whitepaper, 37% of marketers plan to increase spending on local news media, while 40% intend to invest more in out-of home-advertising,” Paul Phillips, Insights & Strategy Director, SCMP, shares. “With this white paper, we set out to inspire and help businesses capture the growth opportunities ahead.”



Round table participants in Hong Kong:

  • Suresh Balaji, Global Head Of Corporate Affairs, Brand And Marketing For Consumer, Private And Business Banking, Standard Chartered Bank 
  • Bart Buiring, Chief Sales And Marketing Officer – Asia Pacific, Marriott International
  • Hilda Chan, Head Of Marketing, Hong Kong Science And Technology Parks
  • Brian Hui, Head Of Customer Propositions And Marketing, Wealth And Personal Banking, Hong Kong, HSBC
  • Cindy Chee, Communications Director (Hong Kong & Macau), Cartier
  • Justin Bonnett, Regional Head Of Marketing, Jones Lang Lasalle 
  • Fred Ngan, Co-Founder, Co-Ceo, Bowtie Life Insurance

Round table participants in Singapore:

  • Adrian Warr, Vice-Chair Of APAC Practices And Sectors, & APAC Head Of Employee Experience, Edelman
  • Marilyn Yeong, Regional Client Vice-President, Assembly
  • Brenda Bey, Chief Marketing Officer, GOGOX
  • Suren Rastogi, Head Of Marketing, finbots.Ai
  • Elaine Wu, Director, Corporate Brand & Marketing, Alibaba Group
  • Jini Pillai, Head Of Media Relations, Aon
  • Papri Dev, Vice-President Communications APAC, Tinder

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IAB Hong Kong is the 46th national Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) licensee. It is a not-for-profit association that aims to develop standards and best practices on digital marketing to shape the future of digital marketing for Hong Kong’s advertising and marketing community. The founding members of IAB HK, comScore, Google, Meta, South China Morning Post, and Yahoo! all share a common goal to see marketers embrace digital at a level unprecedented in Hong Kong’s advertising and marketing industry. PwC is a supporting partner of the association. Through working with its member companies, IAB HK is committed to talent development, education, and cutting-edge research about the critical role of digital marketing.



The South China Morning Post is a leading global news company that has reported on China and Asia for more than a century. Founded in 1903, SCMP is headquartered in Hong Kong, where it is the city’s newspaper of record, with a growing correspondent staff across Asia and the United States. SCMP’s vision is to “Elevate Thought” and our mission is to “Lead the global conversation on Hong Kong, mainland China and Asia”. It is the recipient of hundreds of awards for its journalistic excellence, from such prestigious organisations as the World Association of News Publishers and the Online News Association. SCMP also publishes a portfolio of premium lifestyle and fashion titles in Hong Kong including Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Esquire and Harper’s BAZAAR. In 2020, SCMP became the first news organisation in Asia to join the Trust Project, a consortium of top news companies developing global transparency standards for credible journalism.



For 120 years, the South China Morning Post has been entrusted by both readers and partners in Hong Kong and Asia to tell their stories to over 35 million readers each month. SCMP Advertising+ connects partners to affluent Asian influencers and business decision-makers through culturally relevant content and events that drive connection and consideration; and its first-party data platform and brand safety tools that deliver impact through insights and context. SCMP Advertising+ is for partners who want to shape the next chapter of Hong Kong and Asia’s story.


For further information, please contact: 
Alvina Chan alvina.chan@iabhongkong.com / (852) 96896628