HONG KONG: Seven leading companies have joined forces to form the Digital Marketing Association of Hong Kong (DMA), which was formally launched at an event on Wednesday.

Founding members of the non-profit industry body include internet giants Facebook, Google and Yahoo!, as well as digital agency Pixels, multi-media group Next Digital, comScore, the measurement firm, and the South China Morning Post.

"Our goal is to make digital marketing useful to more advertisers in Hong Kong, especially the local and international brands," explained Kevin Huang, CEO of Pixels.

"We want advertisers to better understand the digital ecosystem and cultivate new talent to further develop the industry," he told the South China Morning Post.

He went on to tell Campaign Asia that there will be consultation within the industry to establish guidelines that will be rolled out next year. But training programmes could be rolled out sooner, he added, possibly within the first quarter of 2017.

"Without very clear standards, we are all measuring different types of segments," he said. "That is not the way forward if we want to be the biggest section of advertising."

Leonie Valentine, Managing Director of Sales and Operations at Google Hong Kong, said the territory has tended to lag behind other mature markets in terms of digital adspend and explained the DMA would be able to benefit from Google's insights into consumer behaviour.

"At Google, we have all the comparable information that we can link, and we do very deep analysis on which particular verticals consumers are in and what are their behaviours," she said.

As for Next Digital, the company's Group CIO/CTO said its information on readers, such as saved stories on its websites, could help digital advertisers with their targeting.

"Most of the time advertisers want to find their target users and increase engagement to their brands," said Mai Wah Cheung. "We can be the matchmaker to help the advertisers reach the right audience."

Data sourced from South China Morning Post, Campaign Asia; additional content by Warc staff