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Your 2019 Marketing Budget

S & M: Sales & Mktg

Your 2019 Marketing Budget

2018 has been quite a year for most brands in Malaysia – and it’s going to be harder in 2019. Here’s how to overcome this.


In my view, 2 key things are going to happen in 2019 for Small and Medium Enterprises.

Firstly, brands that have no value they can offer to consumers will start going extinct. And secondly, the ones that remain will be the ones that consumers use every day in their day-to-day lives.

The reason is quite simple, really.


Most small and medium brands tend to make a huge mistake by providing greater budgets or rather allocate budgets in areas other than marketing. For them, marketing is just a department that does not promise any real benefits to the company except for the mere cost.

Whereas for the innovative, more easily accepted and popular brands, marketing is viewed as a very important team to encourage consumers out there to notice, recognize, try, use and be loyal to the products offered. Even though these brands understand that the marketing process is quite old, the wait and investment given are worth it.

Personally, I see strong brands providing greater financial allocation for marketing this coming year. Their purpose is easy – strengthen their brand position in the hearts and minds of users.

Even you would notice this by now – buyers nowadays are rarely making a decision to buy on the day of purchase. They come into the store informed, with decisions made much earlier. Their decisions are influenced by the result of ‘homework’ done before, such as feedback through videos uploaded on social media, people’s opinions, articles written and so on. They will extract every material available on the internet first before the decision is made.

All of these materials in essence, are marketing materials. And these are the investments the brands that stay will be doing for their marketing for 2019:

  • Content. Their messages need to be communicated quickly, easily and directly to the user’s heart and mind. To ensure that they are being reached, they will provide content in the form of videos, articles, infographics, graphics, posters as well as user generated content. One ingredient, one message.
  • Advertisement. Although consumers are increasingly ignoring ads that are on social media, the internet and other platforms, it is still a very important tool to attract users. These companies will be spending more on creative and highly competitive ads especially for short video production and unique posters. They know that visuals and catchphrases are far more effective in sticking to the brain rather than just writing.
  • Sweet experiences. Greater investment will also be channeled to initiatives capable of providing sweet, memorable experience when customers deal with companies, as well as when their products are used. One example is to provide some employees who are only focused on solving problems, questions, queries and comments on social media. These people must be fun and able to solve any problems as quickly as possible.
  • Public relations. Without public relations, marketing will not be able to go far. Relations with mass media such as newspapers, magazines and other publications are essential because these platforms also have their great followers. It also includes media activists such as bloggers, vloggers and influential individuals in social media or social media influencers.
  • Community Enlargement. Introduction of initiatives that enable users to become part of their community, and stay within it will be embraced. Examples include virtual wallet or e-wallet programs, vouchers, collaboration with other brands that allow the community to use collected points for redeeming products or services from other brands, and so on.
  • Expanding territories. These brands are aware that they will not be able to survive only in one country. Cooperation in collaboration will continue with companies from various countries in the region to expand their ‘territory’. The keyword here is cooperation.

The reality is that for a lot of brands, 2018 was really hard – there’s no reason to make 2019 harder. So emulating these brands that intend to stay in the coming year would be your best investment for 2019 yet.

Azleen Abdul Rahim is the co-founder and editor of Marketing in Asia, a resource centre for all things marketing. Our peers in the online magazine world, the site hosts experts in marketing who have influenced and inspired powerful marketing concepts and ideas that are both shareable and immediately applicable. SME Assist is proud to collaborate with Azleen in bringing you thought pieces of experts in their field as well as the best approaches you can take to upgrade your marketing. You can visit the Marketing in Asia site at, and follow Azleen on LinkedIn (

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