With the on-going Movement Control Order (MCO) in place, consumer concerns continues to rise as the Covid-19 outbreak reaches 1,306 and more than 10 related deaths reported in Malaysia as of 22 March 2020. Consumer concerns surrounding the outbreak have impacted most brands and industries in Malaysia. While some have the experience and seen successes in the past with crisis management in place, others might be less prepared with the oncoming global economic impact for the remaining year ahead.
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In Trapper Media Group, an independent homegrown Malaysian media agency group, we have established marketing teams that provide our clients with media, marketing consultancy and adtech services. We have been working closely with our clients on the outbreak’s effect across different industries, providing expert advice regarding overall strategy and marketing activities in Malaysia and Singapore.

While Malaysia has seen some level of success in suppressing the spread of the outbreak, it has not achieved a 100% effectiveness with the surge in panic buying and crowds of people rushing back to their hometowns for the partial lockdown. With a daily increase in confirmed cases averaging 13% since the MCO, the Malaysian Armed Forces has also been deployed to join the MCO enforcement. Many Malaysian companies are now preparing themselves in anticipation that the MCO might be further expanded beyond 31 March 2020.

Since the MCO, the advertising industry in Malaysia has responded immediately by kicking their business continuity plan into action and continue to maintain close communications with clients, business and media partners via calls, emails, online chats, virtual meetings and cloud services. Brand marketers have been swift in re-examining their communication and channel strategies to minimize the effect across their campaigns.

With lowered sales forecast plus cancellation of marketing and sales events, brands will need to skew their media mix towards media that are most consumed given that Malaysians will likely be staying home more often well after the MCO has ended. As anticipated, there has been 30-60% spikes in traffic and viewership across some medias and online categories including e-commerce, news, entertainment, social media, forums and chatgroups and business applications. The advertising industry is now gearing for higher skew towards digital, TV and radio while lowering print, OOH and event spends during this period.
Recommended Media Budget Skew In 2020
As consumers are more active across online channels for their food, grocery, shopping and entertainment, the change in online landscape in Malaysia is creating more opportunities for brands to capture new audiences and reach extended customers. Besides increasing digital marketing budgets for 2020, brands are looking at establishing e-commerce channels and running their consumer events virtually. In Trapper Media Group, we have been working closely with digital platforms such as Facebook Live, YouTube Live Stream, Adform and more to enable clients to both establish a stronger e-commerce presence and switch their physical events to be hosted on virtual platforms.

As Malaysia and the world sails into a new era in 2020 with choppy waters ahead, the advertising industry can emerge stronger as we seek new opportunities and positive sways on branding and find true meaning to our understanding of consumer insights, data and technology.