7 Best Tips for Marketing in Malaysia

The Best Marketing Strategies in Malaysia

Are you looking to expand your business in Malaysia? No wonder. The Malaysian market is a lucrative one to be in, especially since its economic recovery from the pandemic by the fourth quarter of 2021. This market comes with its advantages, however it's also highly-competitive. Thus, brands wanting to penetrate this market must choose the best marketing strategies apt for the country.

There are hundreds of advertising and marketing strategies, but only a few work best. Specifically for Malaysia, using social media is at the forefront of modern-day marketing techniques. The population's main channels for brand research are social networks, blogs, vlogs, and product reviews. This makes social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram the best avenues for promoting one's brand.


Naturally, marketing in Malaysia has its own nuances and complexities. The strategies you implement in other nations may not be as effective in Malaysia. Using social media for marketing is also not as simple as making a brand account and posting your products. In order for your campaign to see success in this market, you must do your homework and read on the specific demographics, needs, and wants of this audience.

To make your job easier, we already compiled the 7 best tips we could think of to help your brand gain exposure, sales, and achieve ROI. Most of these tips are focused on digital, social media, and internet marketing, very much applicable in Malaysia's current setting.

7 Best Marketing Tips in Malaysia ⬇️

  1. Aim for the bullseye: Set your goals and objectives

  2. The magnifying glass: Get a good grasp of your prospective customers

  3. Keep your enemies closer: Check and track your competitors

  4. Numbers don't lie: Begin your strategy with data-driven marketing

  5. Like, follow, subscribe: Utilize social media ads

  6. Use the power of influence: Implement influencer marketing strategies

  7. From screen to home: Ride with Malaysia's e-commerce trends

1. Aim for the bullseye

Set your goals and objectives

Set Your Goals & Objectives in marketing campaigns

You can't start a journey without knowing exactly where you want to go. In marketing, you can't achieve great heights if you don't set your goals and objectives prior to creating a campaign. Thus, the first thing to do is know what you're aiming for.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that your goals must be achievable and measurable. This will allow you to set specific and challenging objectives that will eliminate vagueness. Furthermore, it sets a clear deadline, so you understand when things need to be done.

To easily calculate a goal, you should begin with SMART goal setting. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. These help you stay on course with long-term objectives.

Here are some guidelines in developing your goals:

  • Specific: Your goals must be specific. Your goals should be narrow for more effective planning. It must also have a specific outcome. For example, your campaign goal is to achieve a 200% increase in brand awareness online. With this goal in mind, you're clear on platform, numbers, and results.

  • Measurable: Define the exact data that is verifying your progress and reevaluate if it is needed. Evaluating a key metric and quantifying your goals will help track your progress. It will also specify the mark at which you have completed your task.

  • Attainable: Make sure you can reasonably acquire your goal within a specific time frame.

  • Relevant: Make sure your goals are aligned with your values and long-term objectives.

  • Timely: Set an ambitious yet realistic end-date for motivation and mission prioritization.

2. The magnifying glass

Get a good grasp of your prospective customers

Get A Good Grasp of Your Prospective Customers

Malaysia is a complex country, housing different ethnicities while also quickly adapting to international opportunities. For an effective marketing campaign, you must know the nuances of this audience from the heart.

For example, it is crucial to point out that the traditional values of this country are not to be dismissed. Malaysians are proud of their mixed heritage, and they will persist in integrating these to new international influences to maintain familiarity.

With its large Muslim population, Islamic values remain vital drivers of products in Malaysia. It is expected that the halal market will sustain its growth beyond the food sector and further into the non-food sector. As the government concentrates on Islamic funding through foreign direct investment, the Malaysian halal market could open more doors to the Islamic world.

Urbanization persists in forming how Malaysians shop, as they keep looking for quality and convenience. Furthermore, with high life expectancy, it is to be expected that demand will rise for healthy products and products intended for the older population.

3. Keep your enemies closer

Check and track your competitors

Check and Track Your Competitors and Prospective Customers

It is recommended to analyze competitors’ products, pricing, and how they manage their business in Malaysia. You can simply visit the different marketplaces and see what other brands offer, looking at their pricing as the first step. This will give you a good overview on how business is run in the country.

The best way to keep your competitors within sight is by performing customer research. It can be time-consuming and costly, but it is more effective and accurate. If you are pressed for time and money, there are many resources on the internet that can still help you understand more about Malaysian consumer behavior. These resources often point out why people chose a competing brand, and what makes them most appealing to the market.

4. Numbers don't lie

Begin your strategy with data-driven marketing

Begin  Your Strategy with Data-driven Marketing

Data-driven marketing is the utilization of customer data to develop powerful promotion campaigns. It uses customer data through data mining and analysis to boost response rates and conversions.

Data-driven marketing facilitates marketers to comprehend who their customers are, how they behave, what they prefer to buy, and their habits. Data-driven marketing is considered most effective when applied to smaller and medium-sized businesses with a large customer base in which they can retain enough data and information to create successful strategies. It allows businesses to identify and understand their customers in the best possible way.

5. Like, follow, subscribe

Utilize social media ads

Social media can save you time, money, and other resources, because it is such a powerful tool in Malaysia. Malaysian social media users spend an average of 3 hours and 2 minutes a day across all platforms. WhatsApp is the most used platform in Malaysia, followed by Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, and TikTok.

Some data shows that Malaysians’ primary motivations for going on social media are finding new products to purchase, finding content from brands, and watching celebrities and influencers. Thus, you must utilize social media platforms to engage with the consumers, effectively introduce your brand, and also drive website traffic.

The most effective social media marketing technique today would be influencer marketing. This leads us to tip #6.

6. Use the power of influence

Implement influencer marketing strategies

Being risk-averse, Malaysian consumers are increasingly counting on influencers and word-of-mouth to decide on their purchases. This should be seen as a chance to leverage the accessible influencers to generate more sales through social media platforms. Influencer marketing gives a form of reassurance to the consumers, because influencers extend to brands the trust they've already built with the audience.

Influencer marketing would be a great platform to reach out to the Malaysian market, particularly the young Malaysians who always look online for reviews. Influencers are unlike any other endorser, as influencers have more intimate connections with their loyal followers. This means that an influencer's opinion is given heavy weight, and are considerably strong in persuading a target audience into buying a product. This is because influencers don't usually do hard-sell techniques, rather they give honest reviews of products.

Today, social media and customer reviews are among the top sources of brand discovery of the Malaysian population. This amplifies even more the effectiveness of influencer marketing. If you need the help of a local influencer marketing agency, check this list of 11 best influencer and social media marketing agencies in Malaysia.

7. From screen to home

Ride with Malaysia's e-commerce trends

Ride with Malaysia's e-commerce trends

The e-commerce business in Malaysia is fast-growing and becoming a competitive business. This is due to the recent global pandemic, fueled by the improvement of smartphone penetration in the country.

Major e-commerce companies like Lazada and Zalora entered the Malaysian market in 2012 and Shopee in 2015. Today, online shopping in Malaysia is the new benchmark. Local consumers frequently strive for attractive deals and compare in-store and online prices.

Malaysians are primarily motivated to purchase online by the quality of products, price benefits, product range, and the availability of reviews. They are also influenced by limited deals, free shipping, and convenience.

E-wallet adaptations also assisted the move to cashless payments and online shopping, further improving the e-commerce economy in Malaysia. Thus, Malaysia Digital Economic Corporation (MDEC) has declared that the Malaysian e-commerce market will continue to dominate Southeast Asia.


If you’re looking to run a marketing campaign in Malaysia, you need to test the waters first and see if the marketing strategies you're used to are likewise effective in this market. It is important to set your goals, study your market, look into your competitors, and utilize internet, specifically social media, influencers, and e-commerce.

If this sounds like a lot of work, don't worry. Another pro tip is to connect with a local marketing agency in Malaysia who can help you jumpstart your campaign. You can check this list of Top 17 marketing and advertising companies in Malaysia.

We hope this article has been helpful in your prospective business expansion in Malaysia. To know more about advertising and marketing in this country, check the AJ Marketing Blog.

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