Why You Should be Optimistic about Marketing in Malaysia


Malaysian marketing is enjoying something of a golden age. An increasingly connected population means an increasingly connected opportunity for our marketing efforts.

While it’s still essential to make sure what you do stands out, there’s no doubt that marketing and advertising professionals can embrace even more marketing channels to interact with their audience. But it’s not just all about connectivity, it’s about marketing opportunity. But what do the facts themselves tell us?

There’s no fake news here people, so lace up your boots and get ready for some optimistic facts about Malaysia’s marketing landscape.

Exploring demographics

Population: 32.4 million

National GDP: RM1.353 trillion

We’ve got lots of people, and a generally well-performing economy. But it’s not just about demographic snapshots, it’s about just how connected we are as a nation. When you get down to it, the demographics of Malaysia’s connected landscape speak for themselves.

Internet users: 25.08 million

Internet penetration: 79%

Active social media users: 24 million

Smartphone penetration: 93%

As if all this connected excitement wasn’t enough, the new government has made several very promising commitments to the future of expanded connectivity. First they announced an aim to reduce broadband prices by 25% by the end of the year. Then they opened up the broadband market for competition. Broadband for everyone! Digital marketing for all!

Our digital addiction

Malaysians are increasingly spending time connected, and increasingly exposed to the potential of digital marketing. In fact, the time we spend online is truly harrowing. It this because there’s too much on Netflix? Or maybe it’s just a case of digital addiction.

We spend on average 8 hours 27 minutes online each day? Not sure how the nation’s economy is performing so well in the face of this digital monstrosity, but let’s stay positive and call it what it is – a big old digital marketing opportunity.

More money to buy stuff

Sure, arguments about GST vs. SST are unlikely to go away soon, and challenges of cost of living can be truly painful. But if we take an objective look at Malaysia’s economic statistics over recent years, it’s undoubtedly a thriving economy to enjoy for consumers and marketers alike.

GDP 2006: US$162.7 billion

GDP 2016: US$296.4 billion

GDP Per Capita 2006: US$7,777

GDP Per Capita 2016: US$10,714

What does all this mean for marketing? Well let’s face it, the better our economy is performing, and more money individuals have, the more likely it is that we can engage an audience that is truly able to benefit from our products and services. It’s not rocket science – unless you’re an actual rocket scientist benefiting from the continued market growth in the rockets industry. Then it is rocket science.

Encouraging days for e-commerce

Despite our digitally connected landscape, Malaysia’s e-commerce sector still has some catching up to do when compared to the digital-driven retail economies of some western nations. That is rapidly changing, with e-commerce growth showing some hugely encouraging figures over the last few years. That makes for a powerful opportunity for marketers.

E-commerce market value 2015: RM68.3 billion

E-commerce market value 2016: RM74.6 billion

Ecommerce (projected) 2020: RM211 billion

Let’s face it, great marketing isn’t just about producing some outstanding content. It’s about outstanding content that produces outstanding business results. In many cases that means converting interest into sales.

The more actively engaged with e-commerce the population is, the more channels (and indeed traceable channels) we have for successful marketing, and demonstrating our marketing success.  Malaysia’s SMEs are increasingly adopting e-commerce and digital opportunities to provide new business opportunity. As that market progresses, and our continuing desire for more convenient shopping solutions grows, so too does our marketing opportunity.

We’re overflowing with talent

It’s not just the market size that contributes to outstanding marketing, it’s the amazing individuals who create and deliver it every day. Malaysia has a young, creative and exciting community of talent.

Don’t just take our word for it though, you can see the figures by yourself. Malaysia’s talent landscape incorporates a working population of 15 million citizens, with over 28% of them having a tertiary education. But it’s the younger generations that really spark optimism.

Workforce talent under the age of 24 makes up ~18% of Malaysia’s workforce. That’s an entire generation essentially born with an iPhone in their hand (exaggeration) and brought up with digital connectivity as a way of life (not exaggeration). When you expand that analysis further, Malaysian millennials make up about 40%-50% of the total workforce, with studies showing that this is a generation focused on innovation, collaboration and creativity. That all sounds rather a lot like marketing to us.

If you’re looking for more optimism in your marketing, get in touch with us, and see what talent and creativity can deliver for your brand

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