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Marketing a Business in Malaysia

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Marketing a Business in Malaysia

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Marketing a Business in Malaysia

Starting a business in Malaysia is more than just costs and procedures. It's more cultural acclimatisation than calculatory acumen. It's making sure your product or service fits the inclinations and idiosyncrasies of a nation; finding a way to culturalise your business in order to reap the same results your business has achieved domestically. This is accomplished through one simple step: effective marketing.

Marketing your business on indigenous soil is an art-form in itself; attempting to do it in Malaysia is nigh-on miraculous. Countries may be becoming more heterogeneous, but the foundations of a culture rarely budge for anything: their sensitivities, traditions, humour, discourses, protocols are essentially unchanging and stubbornly unaccommodating. Therefore, the identity of your product or service needs to seamlessly fashion itself upon a nation, not the other way around, shoehorned in, hoping for the best.

Advertising and Sales promotions in Malaysia

Malaysias broadcast media is largely controlled and regulated by the government. If you are expanding your business to Malaysia, the governments advertising code is something you must adhere to before you can market your product. The aim of the legislation is to protect Malaysian culture and tradition from foreign influence. From the way women must be covered below the neck, to how advertisements must not project an excessively aspirational lifestyle, comprehensive guidelines exist for foreign businesses. Printed media also has to follow government guidelines and there are numerous publications, with several English language titles.

Cultural Sensitivity

Cultural sensitivity and understanding of protocol is paramount to effective marketing. The intricacies of a nation its beliefs, even its superstitions can make or break your business. Know the market; immerse yourself in it. Never assume your marketing strategy will be transplantable to a foreign country. There is only a slim chance language will translate well. Anglophonic countries may be susceptible, but if your product or service plays on a quintessentially British characteristic or joke the chances are, it will not be well received.

As for other countries, don't bank on using the same strap-lines or gimmicks. Unless they are perfectly transitional, your product or service could suffer especially if it relies on humour.

Unless you are certain your product or service can sell itself on indigenous merits, it is probably wise to revise its selling-points for a foreign market. As always, however, only your own fastidious research can conclude this.

Malaysia has a large Muslim population and consequently there are rules in place, which advertisers must abide by, to avoid offending the population. The rules are extensive and examples of sensitivities include:

  • No liquor or alcoholic drinks advertising

  • No scenes of an amorous, intimate or suggestive nature

  • No kissing between adults

  • No depiction of a disco scene.

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