The Landscape of Digital Marketing in Malaysia and Stats — 2019

5 min readMar 10, 2019

Every brand and business look for ways to grow their business via digital marketing. I believe digital channels going to make the biggest performance based impact. When we want to do marketing, each of us has a different understanding of what digital marketing means and the expected outcome. Also, the geography of Malaysia needs a unique mix of digital marketing approaches as the behavior of Malaysia users are different from the rest of the world. Let’s go through all of these and finally set the right expectation when you are planning a digital marketing strategy for your business.

Different business objective while marketing on digital channels

Just a refresher before going into the landscape. First things first understand the objective of your business. Whether it’s training the marketing team or preparing the digital marketing strategy, I believe the first thing we need to do is understanding the stages of business and then the plan the action steps.

Mostly in the digital journey or business expansion, the target audience will fall under this first 4 major stages.

1. Awareness > 2. Acquisition > 3. Activation > 4. Retention(Loyalty/Referral/Revenue)

Just to give a short background about these stages

Consider a brand like Deliveroo — a food delivery service which is going to expand the business in a different geography. Its major markets like SG and the UK, the business is already matured. Australia and the Middle East, it’s an emerging market. Malaysia could be assumed as a new market in an example here we going to see…

Awareness: In this stage, the user doesn’t know the brand Deliveroo in Malaysia and the service/product it has. so they may not search for this brand on Google or may not be aware when their friends/others speak about it.

Acquisition: People in Australia may already know what is Deliveroo and their service offering like food delivery when they have seen their advertisement or through any other channel. But may not be downloaded their app or opened an account in the website

Activation: People in the Middle East could have already aware of the brand, their service offering, downloaded their apps and website. but may not engaging their products or considering to buy their product and still continue to visit restaurants to have their food.

Retention: People in the UK and SG know the brand Deliveroo, visit their apps, order food via their app once in a while but may not be loyal enough to keep ordering frequently which impacts retention of the service, higher revenue, and referral of the service.

Understand where your brand is currently at the geographic location you are trying to market your brand. That’s the first step

After you identified the market situation and the objective of all your efforts, then you can plan the next stages of real marketing

The landscape of Digital Marketing in Malaysia

Ok now you have identified your objectives, so before you launch an attack on a location, you need to identify the landscape of the market. You cannot bring cannons without a warship when you want to attack a country which is majorly situated on different islands and water zone. Each landscape needs its own digital marketing strategy

Mobile and Social Media Penetration
The online commerce industry insight

Planning budgets for digital marketing

Looking for digital marketing for government and tourism/travel based business, Here is an experience post from my travel?

Major Digital Marketing Channels in Malaysia

Users from Countries like Thailand, China, Korea, and Japan has different social and digital channels like Line, wechat, etc but Malaysia has similar nature of western countries where Facebook Inc dominated platforms are prevalent

Understanding the audience of Malaysia

Each brand would have done it’s user persona analysis where they would be clear about their user’s age, gender, geographic, interested and other set of data. So knowing this insight will help you to understand the market share, competition and other competitor analysis.

Mobile vs Web vs Other Platforms — Penetration and usage, App usage in Malaysia

Creative/Media usage in Malaysia

As we seen before, each landscape has it’s unique way of consuming data. Some consume more videos than reading, some listens more music, some even like outdoor activities and entertainment activities. So based on where we people spend time, the brands need to be there to promote their product/service.

Malaysian use social media to the core, they share everything on social media
So from here you could see how much time they spend every day

E-Commerce/Online Commerce Specific Insights

Data source: Wearesocial




I help myself and companies to grow in Digital world through digital marketing, digital transformation initiatives, product management. Traveled 15% of 🌏