Year in Search 2022: Malaysia

365 days. Billions of searches. And three consumer trends that will shape your life and year ahead.

The Year in Search 2022 report uncovers what lies beneath our collective consciousness and how it moves us all to act. From understanding our place in the world to redefining value and looking for joy, we’re turning to Search to answer our questions big and small in uncertain times.

Learn what matters most to us in Malaysia, and how the insights can help you move your marketing forward in 2023.

Theme 1: Soul searching. A clothing store owner passes a customer their purchase in a package.

We’re searching for who we are and who we can be, without being limited by factors such as societal and workplace expectations. As a result, our cultural, personal, and professional identities are evolving.

For one, there’s a dynamic tension between our cultural identity as both global citizens and proud denizens. We’re looking for deep connections with global cultures through music and food. Yet our identity as proud locals has also intensified, with searches for local culture and traditions spiking.

We’re also embracing our diverse individualities and personal brand, whether it’s identifying as a plus-size person or champion of gender equality, or both.

+50% YoY increase in search interest in “gender equality”. +30% YoY increase in search interest in “kuda kepang” (a type of traditional dance).

And we’re defining professional fulfilment on our own terms. This includes finding work arrangements that meet our mental health or financial needs, such as practicing “quiet quitting” or initiating salary negotiations.


Theme 2: Value hunting. A woman with a phone and a man with a laptop using Google Search on the sofa to build trust in a brand before making purchase decisions.

As inflation rises, we are trying to make sense of the reasons and reassess the cost of things. But we’re not only looking at the sticker price.

We’re focused on what we consider to be of greatest value — trust. Where it might’ve once been a factor that influenced our purchase decisions, it’s now the tipping point in our calculations.

We’re searching for clear indications of whether a brand provides quality service and reliable products. And we’re looking for the one that offers the best deal overall rather than the cheapest price. It’s why our searches for “best quality” are higher than those for “most affordable.”

+70% YoY increase in search interest in “money back guarantee”. +30% YoY increase in search interest in “trusted brand” and “best customer service”.

Along the way, we’re discovering an unexpected alliance: purchases which support sustainability can actually help us be savvier about our spending, such as electric cars, which provide a hedge against high petrol prices.


Theme 3: Finding joy. A man with gray hair cooking outdoors during an overseas camping trip.

Enjoying life to its fullest is another way we’ve embraced uncertainty as the norm. Rather than let the possibility of disruption put the brakes on our lifestyle and pursuits, we’re finding our own ways of making hay while the sun shines.

One approach: going for the little luxuries and enjoying cheap thrills. We’re saying “yes” to long-awaited holidays overseas, even if it means fulfilling detailed immigration checklists. And we’re indulging in affordable treats, including massages.

YoY increase in search interest in “massage near me” (+130%) and “cheap hotel” (+130%) in Malaysia.

We’ve also merged our online and offline lives to get the most out of any moment. For instance, we’re turning to digital services like electronic payments to simplify offline activities such as in-store purchases.

And we’re using these online services to free up time for offline activities, especially those best enjoyed in-person, such as live concerts and movie nights at the cinema.

These three consumer trends show what’s top of mind for us in Malaysia and how your brand can meet us in our need as we search for value, trust, and ways to live life to its fullest amid uncertainty.

To learn how you can tap into the trends, come up with a winning marketing strategy for 2023, and unlock growth with Search and marketing innovations, download the full Year in Search 2022: Malaysia


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