Blis | Spotlight on Hong Kong and Taiwan: Q&A with Jimmy Poon, Head of Sales

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Spotlight on Hong Kong and Taiwan: Q&A with Jimmy Poon, Head of Sales
Patricia Reyes
Patricia Reyes
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Last week, Jimmy Poon gave us a peek into life in a day as Head of Sales for Blis Hong Kong and Taiwan. Today he shares insights on these bustling markets where mobile advertising is cited to drive digital ad spending and lead internet advertising growth by 2020.

What are the cultural attitudes in the Hong Kong market that make your job easier, and conversely, more difficult?

JP: The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude to me can be the biggest hurdle and it applies to Hong Kong more so than to China or Taiwan, in my region. The percentage of digital spend in Hong Kong is still much smaller than its equivalent in China, for example.

What is the state of mobile and location technology? What aspects are still in nascent stage and what trends are you seeing that are picking up?

JP: In terms of using mobile for marketing, I would say Hong Kong is at a four out of 10, whereas China is at an eight out of 10, with 10 being the stage when mobile is the default channel through which most services and messages are being delivered.

One area where mobile, as a channel, is really picking up is payment. Thanks to the likes of WeChat Pay and AliPay entering the Hong Kong market, local players need to compete and are gearing up in this arena. Marketing follows people’s wallets, and mobile is now our wallets, literally.

Another tipping point is mobile location technology. When you really think about it, the TRULY unique selling proposition of mobile is really location. As a screen, it is inferior to TV. As an interface, it is less optimal to a computer with a nice big screen and a full-sized keyboard. As a medium for text, newspaper is as barrier-free as it comes. Location is the one USP that distinguishes mobile.

Location is the key that binds everything that we have been building in our digital world, to our native analogue one. Payment and location are the duos, tipping us over to the next phase of mobile, and our world, for that matter.

For an advertiser to resonate effectively with the Hong Kong market, what kind of mindset or approach do they need to adopt?

JP: I guess working with new technology is like working with people. The trick is to uncover what each person, and in this case technology, can best contribute and put them in the proper role. I find marketers sometimes take on one technology and want it to do all things, however being Jack of all trades, master of none sometimes isn’t very efficient.

Recently, your portfolio has been expanded to cover Taiwan. What is the growth potential you see here and what are you looking forward to at the frontier of location data?

Taiwan has the highest smartphone penetration in Asia-Pacific, and the second highest in the world, according to estimates from eMarketer. But strangely enough, Taiwan is just entering the tipping point of mobile payment; currently only 13 percent of the Taiwanese population is using mobile payments.

We see a window of opportunity to enter Taiwan when mobile payment is just about to take off, leading the market into a new era of mobile marketing that is more data centric and ROI-driven, something that is right up our alley,frankly speaking.

Let’s end the session with this: What is your earliest memory of mobile?

JP: “When I graduated from my MBA school in 1993, mobile phones were still a relatively nouveau phenomenon. Being attracted to new things, I was the first in my class to have one. It rang in the middle of my graduation ceremony and disrupted the program. I’ll never forget the looks I got from people in the convocation hall as I sheepishly extended my hand into my bag to turn the damn thing off.”

Thanks, Jimmy!

Read the first part of this interview here. Interested in learning more about location? Get in touch here or sign up for our weekly blog digest here.

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Patricia Reyes

Patricia Reyes

Senior Marketing Executive APAC | Blis Patricia is part of the marketing team and operates out of Singapore helping to oversee SEA and ANZ marketing and communications. Prior to Blis, she's worked at both sides of the coin as editorial, project and account management before finding her sweetspot in marketing and adtech.