TAPPING THE MALAY MARKET: The Malay market is all about heart

The gentle Godfather of Malay media in Malaysia, and probably the best-kept weapon for marketers is Dato’ (Dr) Hussamuddin Yaacub. Kelantan-born Hussam has made celebrities out of brands, Dato Seri Vida is only the tip of the iceberg.

He does not look at the mass market as one block – he skillfully slices his Malay IPs to the individual needs of brands.

Imagine working with a publisher who has 40 years of Malay content covering women, men, teens, tweens, health, décor, food, lifestyle and religious titles to a diverse reader demographic age group, ranging from 7 to above 40 reaching over 4 million readers.

With four key business groups and over 20 magazine titles, books, novels in its stable Karangkraf is also home to the fastest growing Malay daily, Sinar Harian.

SinarHarian.com.my is the third ranked local web domain accessed from mobile devices in Malaysia.* The news portal has over 45 million page views and 7 million unique visitors a month.

We asked Datuk to debunk 4 myths about the Malay market…

Malays are not affluent

When you look at the designer tudungs, new fashion wear, cosmetics lines, health and wellness brands that we work with, frugality flies out the window.

They have the purchasing owner if you know how to talk to them. BTW, there are many examples of success in the Malay market besides tudungs.

Big brands also work with us and they know the trigger points as we collaborate and explore new content strategies across all our assets, partnering with Astro. It’s about content and targeting.

The best barometer of affluence is when you look at the burgeoning middle-class where Malays form the most affluent ethnic group in terms of income at 38%.**

The road to the Malay market is now well chartered and we know what makes them tick. BTW, they love more than just horror movies!

Malay market is homogenous

Smart media thinkers know otherwise. A consumer insights study by GroupM Malaysia a few years back revealed five distinct Malay audience clusters: Keluarga Rabbani, Pencetus Ummah, Mat Bebas, Generasi Glokal and Orang Bandar.

About 10 years ago, the clusters were called Mak Long, Mat Kool, Moden Klasik, Si Metro, Si ‘Dia’ and Si Ceria in study by the Omnicom Media Group. So the Malay consumer is ever evolving.

Urban Malays love adventure and challenges, new stuff and change. Rural Malays live by a sense of duty.

We know this as we have been serving all of them with our content for 40 years.

Malays are not internet savvy

More than half the Malaysian internet population is Malay. We have 25 million internet users in Malaysia with a household penetration of 81%.***

If Malays are not internet-savvy, how can popular local Tudung brand Naelofar Hijab have more than half a million followers, while fashion diva Dato Seri Vida has 2 million Instagram followers.

Malays are docile and disengaged.

Let me answer through the lens of their shopping behaviour. Shopping is their favourite past time. They are bargain hunters, perhaps because they have large families.

They try out new products more readily than any other race in Malaysia.

The Malay consumer is an observant and discerning player in the marketplace. Yes, they have gentle and tolerant traits, but they are also very forgiving and loyal to brands.

Malays are celebrity-gullible and this applies to celebrities from other ethnic groups too. They are more willing to spend on their favourite celebrities’ products or products endorsed by them.


* comScore Mobile Metrix, December 2017
** Household Expenditure Survey 2016, Department of Statistics, Malaysia (published October 2017)
***Internet Users Survey (IUS) 2017, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission

Read the full story HERE!


BEST OF GLOBAL DIGITAL MARKETING Conference 2018
The Best of Global Digital Marketing returns to Malaysia – showcasing best practices from all over the world!
Feeling a bit puzzled regarding what actually makes your content shine in the digital space?
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