Admatik: Malaysian born ‘storytech startup’

This piece was first published in Marketing Weekender Issue 303

‘Storyteching’ is the process of fusing brand storytelling and tech enabled performance optimization, two often disparately treated concepts that businesses use to engage with its customers’.

This is because it activates the part of the brain that controls the way we feel and hence among consumers, it is used to influence the emotions they associate with a specific brand.

Admatik is a homegrown digital media ecosystem for brands that recognize the powerful and evolving roles of technology in collecting and conveying stories in today’s increasingly digital society. According to Tony Kan who founded the company in 2019, Admatik was born out of one simple purpose in mind and that is storyteching.  

admatik tony kan
Tony Kan, Founder & Managing Director of Admatik

After spending years in various leadership roles across media organizations, and global digital outfits, Tony decided to take on the charge to address one real problem underlying digital advertising, which often went unnoticed – the isolation of performance and storytelling or otherwise also seen as the huge divide between data and content ductility.

Admatik was conceived as the solution to this issue. By building an end to end campaign ecosystem, Admatik’s clients can leverage the power of storytelling, fueled and enhanced by technology.

To find out more about the technology behind storyteching and understand how Admatik’s solution has helped advertisers so far, MARKETING Magazine (MM) reached out to Admatik.

The following is the conversation with Tony (TK), who started off by asserting, “The game is changing, welcome to the age of storyteching.”

As the Managing Director of Admatik, how have your experiences over the last two decades helped shape the company’s unique selling proposition as an advertising agency?

I have been a part of this industry for a long time, and working with a few digital startups, I have come to see this gap in the market quite prominently. We always tend to classify campaigns as either ‘branding’ or ‘performance’, designed to serve completely different and disparate brand goals.

This is what has been my bone of contention. Why can’t we do both? Why can’t we merge storytelling and technology into a storyteching approach for all campaigns? Why should a branding campaign not be expected to drive hard business results and a performance campaign not be expected to be storied?

We are using technology widely to do a lot of things, but I felt it was time we used technology to tell better stories for every type of campaign. That was the trigger for starting out with Admatik.

Admatik was launched back in November 2019 which was only a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic caused a nationwide lockdown. How was your experience managing a new business during such precarious times?

Running a startup is a crazy learning experience by itself, but running a startup through the pandemic is like getting a PhD in terms of learning because every learning gets magnified and flexibility is key.

Furthermore, to be able to have a profitable business in Year 1 itself, while COVID is raging, has been somewhat of an unreal ride so far. To be able to think and act quickly, while holding true to the company’s purpose, is a fine balance that we had to master.

Admatik’s Storytech

But I must say, I’m lucky to have worked with amazing peers in my decades of work in the media industry and I am thankful for the support I received from the industry, without which we would not have survived, let alone thrive in conditions like this.

It also helped that we were very confident about having a differentiated product in the market, all we needed was a chance to prove ourselves. Thankfully we were given chances and am happy to say, we delivered on them well.

If you see our client list, more than 70% of them are repeat clients, which gives us immense confidence.

We also have a lean team at the moment in order to manage costs during the pandemic. Hence our market coverage hasn’t been ideal, but we consciously ensured that with limited coverage, we deliver our best to get a repeat business pipeline going.

Thankfully, that has worked well for us and as a startup we have been profitable right from year 1 onwards, despite the fact year 1 was 2020 when Covid ruled our lives and economies.

In Admatik’s website, you are quoted saying, “Ads were being avoided like the plague, while they should be platforms of dialogue and connection” – how does Admatik ensure its clients’ ad is able to penetrate through the crowded digital ad space and achieve this?

At Admatik, we simply follow one rule – Story + Technology for everything we do. These two elements are instrumental for us in breaking clutter with every campaign we run for any brand.

We use technology such as location and movement graphs which provide alternative and deeper insights on audiences, to form very unique approaches towards meeting brand and business objectives.

On the ‘story’ front with our creative automation suite, we ensure our clients have access to more than 350 different kinds of stories to reach their audience with.

In terms of accountability and measurability, we also ensure we keep the right barometer to measure real business outcomes.

So if you end up running a beautiful brand launch campaign with Admatik, on top of reporting how many unique people in your target group the campaign has reached, we also show how many of them got close to your point of sale either in the digital or physical world.

That’s the ecosystem we are looking at, right from tech enabled story-telling, to tech-fueled audience curation and even tech-backed performance measurement.

This is why I emphasise that we don’t just story-tell, we story-tech.

Can you tell us more about Admatik’s premium publisher network and how it helps your clients achieve impactful results from their advertising campaigns?

Our premium publisher network is defined not just a network in the sense of the word we know it as. We are talking about screens across the board, from mobile to laptop to desktop and even digital OOH screens; all singularly planned and managed.

On the ‘story’ front with our creative automation suite, we ensure our clients have access to more than 350 different kinds of stories to reach their audience with.


We have some owned and operated inventory through publisher partnerships in the digital space, but more importantly we have access to more than a thousand digital OOH screens across Malaysia which enhances our network formidably.

While our digital inventory is able to reach 70% of the online Malaysian population on a monthly basis, we are also using a people-first approach by using our access to mobile device ID based tracking, which maps audiences across Malaysia.

Think of it this way, when you have a story to tell, we just use technology in digital and physical spaces to get the right audience, and reach them on our network across physical and digital spaces.

If we really are serious about blurring the lines between story-telling and technology, it needs to be across ‘digital’ and ‘physical’ spaces with the consumer right at the center of it all.

Moving forward, what are some of your hopes and desires for Admatik and are you open to potential partnerships or collaborations?

Thanks to the support we have received from agencies and clients, we are in a very stable position and we are thoroughly enjoying applying our approach to tackle business problems across categories on an ongoing basis, not just in Malaysia but for clients in Indonesia and Philippines too.


While our digital inventory is able to reach 70% of the online Malaysian population on a monthly basis, we are also using a people-first approach by using our access to mobile device ID based tracking, which maps audiences across Malaysia.

We are profitable as a company, very lean and yet delivering well on our clients’ asks. Since we’re a lean team, we don’t have optimal market coverage at the moment.

So, if you ask me – that would be our priority and hope – to have a wider reach in terms of clients and agencies in Malaysia and we hope we generate enough interest and deliver with our work.

To answer your second question, yes. We are always open to collaborate and partner with likeminded people and organizations.

I think for us to turn storyteching into a force, we definitely would be more than happy to explore partnerships. I know for a fact that a lot of organizations believe in the same thing, and if there are like minded ones which want to join forces, we are happy to explore.

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