Insights into Malaysia’s Marketing Evolution

Previously, we published a series of articles exploring customer behaviour in South East Asian countries. Now, we aim to delve into the specifics of the marketing industry in each country, encompassing common characteristics, trends, and challenges that are crucial for anyone working in these markets.

Given that our team originates from Malaysia, we have chosen to commence our new series of posts by summarising the marketing landscape in this country.

Digital Dominance

Did you know?

6% growth of advertising revenues is expected to be reached In 2024 (with total advertising revenues of MYR 8.8 billion ($2.0 billion).

Source: Marketing Magazine, 2023.

The advent of digital technology has revolutionised the marketing landscape in Malaysia. With a rapidly growing internet penetration rate and a tech-savvy population, digital marketing has become the cornerstone of brand strategies. Consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Zs, increasingly seek connection and immersion in digital spaces. Therefore, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are powerful tools for reaching and engaging with the Malaysian audience. Companies are increasingly investing in online advertising, influencer marketing, and e-commerce to capitalise on the digital boom.

Rise of E-commerce

Did you know?

20.7% was the increase in e-commerce sales, driven by the pandemic-induced surge in online shopping in 2020.

Source: SEGi College, 2023.

E-commerce has witnessed an unprecedented surge in Malaysia, fueled by changing consumer preferences and the convenience of online shopping. As a result, marketers are re-evaluating their strategies to establish a strong online presence. From traditional brick-and-mortar stores to digital marketplaces, businesses are adopting a multi-channel approach to reach consumers wherever they are. Mobile commerce is particularly booming, with a surge in mobile app usage for shopping.

Read more on efforts of Malaysian government to support SMEs digital transformation.

Cultural Diversity and Localisation

The marketing landscape in Malaysia is significantly influenced by the country’s cultural diversity and multilingual population. To reach higher efficiency it became imperative for marketers to tailor their messages to resonate with diverse target audiences in Malaysia. In a nation where Malays, Chinese, Indians, and indigenous communities peacefully coexist, brands must embrace multiculturalism. Recognising the inadequacy of one-size-fits-all approaches, multinational companies venturing into the Malaysian market are increasingly incorporating local nuances into their marketing strategies.

Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Did you know?

65.64% of surveyed Malaysian respondents strongly agreed that companies or brands should be transparent and proactive in addressing environmental and social problems.

Sources: Statista, 2023

In recent years, Malaysians have become more environmentally conscious and socially aware. This shift in consumer mindset has prompted businesses to integrate sustainability and CSR into their marketing strategies. Companies are aligning themselves with social and environmental causes, not only to build a positive brand image but also to appeal to the growing number of socially responsible consumers. 

Data-Driven Decision Making

Did you know?

Malaysia’s big data analytics market is projected to grow from USD 1.1 billion to USD 1.9 billion, an increase of 72.7% by 2025.

Source: Monash University, 2023.

Data analytics is increasingly playing a pivotal role in shaping marketing strategies in Malaysia. Marketers are leveraging data to gain insights into consumer behaviour, preferences, and trends. This data-driven approach enables businesses to create targeted and personalised campaigns, ultimately enhancing the overall customer experience. However, the challenge lies in fully adopting data-driven technologies, as companies need to invest into training their staff to truly maximise its potential.

Read about the role of innovation in the current marketing trends.


The state of marketing in Malaysia is a dynamic and ever-evolving mix of digital innovation, cultural diversity, and strategic adaptation. As businesses continue to embrace digital channels, prioritise sustainability, and leverage data analytics, the marketing landscape in Malaysia is set to witness further transformation. Navigating this landscape requires agility, cultural sensitivity, and a deep understanding of the diverse Malaysian market. Marketers who can strike the right balance between tradition and innovation are likely to thrive in this exciting era of Malaysian marketing.

What's next for you?

As some marketers in Malaysia face the challenge of digitalisation, it is good to have a local partner that has the ability to implement digital marketing software tools such as Marketing Automation and CRM. Our team at “Lead Gen and CRM” is a group of seasoned marketing and sales professionals in the SEA market who can design lead generation campaigns or support your team on this journey. Contact us now for the free consultation about adopting Marketing Automation software and customised demonstration of our tool – considering specific of your business.

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