This excerpt is featured in an article originally published by Marketing Interactive.

Kung hei fat choi! As the year of the dog ends, so begins the year of the pig. And though many will be visiting fortune tellers and astrologers to gain advice for the coming new year, Marketing has gathered its own set of wise sages to ask what this year should hold for the industry.

Giving us their outlook for 2019 are:

  • Stephen Li – CEO APAC at OMD Worldwide
  • Ben Poole – Managing Director APAC at Reprise Digital
  • Eric Thain – General Manager at Hong Kong Express
  • Joe Wong – General Manager, Integrated Marketing Services at George P Johnson Experience Marketing
  • Antony Yiu – Managing Director at Digitas APAC

What bad habits should the marketing industry give up in this new year?

Li: Stop talking a good talk about the importance of smart, creative thinking being desired of agencies, and then allow procurement to take over the process (esp in pitches) and reduce the conversation down to a purely lowest common denominator comparison of who is cheapest.

What industry-related goals would you set for yourself this year?

Li: There is so much to both be optimistic and utterly depressed by when we look forward in our industry. However, after so much talk and sabre-rattling – 2019 has to be the year when, as an industry, we really begin to put our money where our mouths are and make deliberate diversity a matter of course, and not just discourse. This will definitely be one of my prime objectives.

What are you looking forward to in the new year?

Li: I am really looking forward to the countries of SE Asia continuing to stand up and be counted, and really giving everyone more reason to believe that our business is not just delivered by China, India and Australia – some of the most exciting new brands are now coming out of SE Asia, and they deserve much better work from all agencies.

I am also looking forward to everyone making a deliberate call to stop looking back, being cynical and indulging in the schadenfreude which agency-folk seem to adore – “look at all the issues in all those legacy agency groups” – and instead focusing on doing great work for clients…ultimately, the only thing which stands the test of time.

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