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MarketingPulse and eTailingPulse come to a close


Parallel marketing, e-tailing conference draws 1,600 industry professionals


Rapid advances in technology, especially AI, are transforming the marketing universe. Industry players gathered in Hong Kong this week to find out about the latest developments.

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) held the concurrent MarketingPulse and eTailingPulse conference at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this week. Themed Envision the Next Level, it featured over 30 sessions, InnoTalks and digital marketing and e-tailing workshops, attracting more than 1,600 industry professionals from 20 countries and regions.

In her elcoming remarks, HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong said: “The marketing and e-tailing industries are in constant search of innovative strategies that can reinforce those treasured connections between brands and their consumer base. And that is what MarketingPulse and eTailingPulse are about.”

Some 80 speakers from across the globe addressed topics, ranging from AI marketing, purpose marketing, national trends and K-Pop for marketing. On targeting age groups, speakers discussed tactics and strategies for the Gen Alpha and silver markets.

Having radically changed the world, AI plays a growing role in marketing. AI futurist Zack Kass, former Head of Go To Market at OpenAI, said AI adoption created more powerful, efficient agents in the industry. “It’s no longer when you should adopt, but what you should adopt,” Mr Kass said, emphasising the urgency. On public concerns that AI agents would replace human beings, Mr Kass said: “We get to decide what is the line between human and machine, and we want to be very clear about it.” He urged his audience to “embrace the change with optimism”.  

Karen Cheng, Head of Social at 9GAG, discussed the transformative impact of memes on brand engagement and content creation in the Web3 era. She said that using memes involved a long-term strategy, which impacted business, and pointed out that technology impacted all age groups.  “Business should constantly create value for these holders and influence people to create a community.”

The national trends discussion combined Chinese elements with contemporary cultural trends. Yinan Wang, Director of the Digital and Information Management Centre and iMoutai Department of Kweichow Moutai, described how the brand brought the national beverage Moutai to the younger generation. He said the firm established a Maoxiaoling brand of liquor infused chocolates with a trendy image to target customers aged 25 to 50. Mr Wang said: “Youth easily change their tastes, the focus is how to keep them with you, this is the challenge.” 

Purpose marketing has received significant attention. Ibby Abutarboush, former Brand Defining & Purpose Marketing Director of Nike, emphasised the importance of brand-building and consumer experiences: “It is very important to understand your consumer and your community. Change is ever constant, and our community is becoming more global than ever.” On the experience of Nike brand building, he believed the power of sport was underpinned by the power of people. He emphasised the importance of staying committed and working with the right partners. 

At the conference, 40 marketing services and e-commerce solutions suppliers presented diverse and quality marketing services. At the event to find service providers, Trai Sasatavadhana, Business Development Director of Ananda Development Public Company, welcomed the exhibition: “The event exceeded my expectations, and I can really feel that the city is ready to restart. There were a lot of interesting solutions, great speakers and topics discussed.”

More than 150 business matching sessions facilitated collaboration between brand and marketing company representatives.

Industry professionals can access the MarketingPulse & eTailingPulse online platformuntil 13 April to re-watch the events.

Helping Hong Kong firms reach Southeast Asian markets, the HKTDC’s Digital Academy, which provides training and information sessions for SMEs in Hong Kong, will run a seminar on 10 May, at which DoDo Kwong, Head of Partipost Hong Kong, will discuss using social media strategies, including X, Instagram and Lemon8, to reach six leading Southeast Asian markets –  Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. She will outline trends and features of the markets to help SMEs  reach a wider audience and explain popular social media strategies used in the region.

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