HONG KONG: Digital advertising expenditure in Hong Kong is expected to surpass traditional media for the first time in 2017, according to a survey of some of the top advertisers in the territory.

The latest AdSpend Projection survey, conducted by research firm Nielsen in partnership with the Hong Kong Advertisers Association, has revealed that advertisers plan to spend about 51% of their budgets on digital advertising this year compared with 49% offline.

Of the 51% of the budgets dedicated to online spend, more than half is expected to be paid ads, while 28% will be spent on content marketing.

According to the survey, it appears Hong Kong advertisers believe that online marketing is more relevant for their target markets (74%) and can improve the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns (74%).

Expanding reach (63%) and adding more touch points (52%) are also some of the key reasons for the shift towards online campaigns.

"Amidst the rapidly evolving media landscape, online advertising channels will soon overtake and share centre stage with offline media as key marketing channels for business operators," commented Cherry Lau, Senior Director, Media, Nielsen Hong Kong.

"This trend of omni-channel marketing is expected to move forward in the coming years as additional online platforms and channels are expected to emerge," she added.

"Cross media placement and cross platform measurement are therefore becoming more important than ever to engaging with the consumer across screens and devices."

The survey also revealed that advertisers are looking to increase their spending in 2017, with 26% reporting that their budgets will increase, while 48% said they will remain unchanged.

And regarding the outlook for the broader economy, almost half of advertisers in Hong Kong (48%) believe the economy has stabilised and will remain the same as the previous year, although just 6% of expect economic conditions to improve.

Data sourced from Nielsen, Hong Kong Advertisers Association; additional content by Warc staff