POV: 2016 Digital Marketing Trends In Malaysia


By Justin Murugaya – The thing about putting a list of digital marketing trends that will be big in a new year is that, firstly, trends in this area move too rapidly to even come up with a top 3 list.

Secondly, keeping it realistic to how our own country’s marketeers are willing to shape it (or not). Thirdly, everyone has their own opinion, and this is mine.

Marketing Automation Gets Recognized:

While the mature markets are seeing this as a bigger focus in 2016, Malaysia somehow will only now begin to look into this area more seriously.

And what I feel will spark this is due to the much needed resource efficiencies and lack of specialised talent in the field (e.g. Data Scientists).

What has held us back for the past couple of years, I would say is the unwillingness to invest in automation, be it from a tool or talent perspective.

Admit it, we think hiring interns or freelancers to the grunt work is a cheaper option…but at the back of our minds we know it’s not a sustainable solution.

But as talent in Malaysia is diminishing slowly but surely…this wake up call could lead to a revival of talent and efficiency.

Personalisation will be a Buzzword:

We’ve gotten some good headway in the region (at least) with creativity and innovation in how we personalise ads, eDMs and such across various platforms.

I’ve seen some great work in award entries I’ve judged in and researched on.

An area where I think Malaysia will move in tandem with the rest of the world in 2016 is with the Personalisation of experiences beyond ads; into things like content, CRM, access of information…basically how people interact better with technology.

The ‘multiple-screen’ buzzwords will need order in the system and personalisation would uphold the order.

Agencies will (and should) Acquire or Consolidate:

I’m not referring to acquisition of smaller boutique agencies, no no. What I sense will happen in the later part of 2016 is big agency networks buying up the startups of tech.

Just to be able to fuel a differentiation factor in pitches. It makes a nicer story to tell I suppose.

In the past year or so most of these agencies have been doing so called ‘hackathons’; which I felt was more of a feel good factor and a PR stunt than anything else.

But this time around, the pressure is on! Agencies are feeling it. Only disrupting the market won’t cut it, but disruption and purpose makes a better game play for the agencies.

Wearable Tech gets Serious:

This is gut feel. I believe some digital agencies and media agencies will be cooking up some bright ideas in integrating experiences with wearable technology.

Yup, call it the Internet of Things or whatever, but we all have to remind ourselves, being first is probably great for PR and awards; creating impact in both consumers’ and brands’ lives trumps it all.

Happy New Year dear readers. May 2016 be a beautiful digital year!

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