Proto sees a bright future ahead

Malaysia – In August 2011, MTM Multimedia, publisher of titles including Motor TraderBike Trader and Autocar ASEAN, was acquired by Proto Corp of Japan.

The result, according to Proto Malaysia managing director Mark Cooke (pictured), has been a boon for the company which is now looking to expand its Malaysian footprint.

Today, Proto Malaysia has increased its online activity and plans are underway for new titles and additional staff, including a new marketing director to join in March.

Also in the pipeline are plans for its online platform, with a focus on social media.

“Since the acquisition, we have had increased online content with the huge resources our Japanese counterpart has introduced,” Cooke said.

“People today come to us for not only bringing buyers and sellers together, but providing the right information,” he added.

Cooke said it is moving relationships from what has been strong transactional relationships to relationships that have people coming back for more.

It recently got the licence to locally host Facebook car game Car Town EX, a social game where players collect and customise cars, race friends and complete activities.

“Within the game, you get a basic car and as you carry out functions with the game, you gain credits and use that to upgrade the car.

“The game also allows for virtual road trips, which can then be shared on Facebook.

“This makes it constantly engaging, in a good way, and allows for sharing what the advertiser hopes to promote,” he said.

While Proto Malaysia is working on localising it, it also carries in-game advertising opportunities.

Some of the other opportunities within the app are virtual goods, in-game billboard, custom showroom, sponsored activities and integrated videos.

When asked what his investment looks like for the year, Cooke says it has RM2 million under its belt.

Come April, Proto Malaysia will also makes its presence in Penang known to partners.

“We’ve been in Johor Bahru for years. The population in Penang and the amount of business we carry there led to the decision,” he said.

Moving forward, he shares that he would want to be in East Malaysia.

“We know we are good at what we do. We are also launching two new automotive magazines in the next three months, which are still in the launch process.

“Our commitment is to understand the audience and keep giving them what they want. We’ve done it the past 15 years, and we hope for another 15. There are exciting times for the business.”

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