Social media is definitely one channel that brands cannot overlook these days. According to the Digital 2022 Global Overview Report by We Are Social and Hootsuite, social media users in Malaysia increased by over 8% between 2021 and 2022. Platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Snap are also constantly releasing new features for creators and users to one-up competitors and offer a more exciting experience on their platforms.
In fact, TikTok saw a surge in brand loyalty in the past year, according to the 2022 annual Loyalty Leaders List by brand research consultancy Brand Keys. It edged out rivals Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. Meanwhile, Emplifi's report found that brands post more often on Instagram (68%) than on TikTok (32%) in relative posting frequency.
In an era where social media is crucial in grabbing consumers' attention, the team at A+M looked at our results from the Agency of the Year Awards 2022 in Malaysia to find out which agencies were ranked high in their ability to offer out of the box suggestions and executions for the space. Here are the five agencies listed in alphabetical order and selected by our independent panel of leading, client-side marketers.
Established in 2013, Be Strategic started out as a PR agency and has since rebranded into a creative communications agency, offering services such as branding, PR, communications, digital and social media, and experiential event. However, in 2021, the agency further expanded its product offerings to incorporate personal branding and communications consulting.
Ranging from over 26 industries, the agency’s clientele includes the Ministry of Finance Malaysia, Malaysia Rail Link, Spritzer and Proton. Be Strategic also worked with Porshe previously to roll out a campaign comprising influencers, AR technology and user-generated content, in celebration of the automobile company and Shell in June last year. The campaign, which was launched to raise awareness of Porsche’s EV chargers installed in Shell station, had successfully met its objective with a reach of 1 million and 550 campaign participants.
Be Strategic’s successes do not end there. The year 2021 served as a record award season for the agency as it managed to secure eight award wins. These awards consisted of Bronze for Most Effective Use – government sector / non-profit marketing at A+M Markies Awards, Silver for Boutique Agency of the Year at A+M Agency of the Year Awards, and Gold for Best Use of Virtual Platforms, B2B at A+M PR Awards.
A strong advocate for continuous upskilling, the agency has invested over RM60,000 into the team to cultivate them with new digital marketing skills. In a span of a year, the agency managed to equip its team with updated skills such as UX / UI development, lead generation, mobile video production and even writing for public relations.
A familiar name in the advertising industry, Edelman Malaysia has over 30 years of experience in marketing and advertising. The agency offers varied expertise in public relations, digital communications, social media marketing, strategic communications and more. Having worked with big local brands such as Telekom Malaysia, MyDIGITAL, HSBC Malaysia and Unilever Malaysia, Edelman accumulated various accolades over the years comprising PR Champion of the Year (Gold) at A+M's PR Awards Asia 2021 and Gold for PR Agency of the Year at A+M's Agency of the Year Awards Malaysia 2020.
The agency has also led a major campaign for Telekom Malaysia in building a hyperlocal content and commerce platform called JIRAN. The platform features popular eateries, new lifestyles, exciting stories, tips for local businesses, and many other neighbourhood happenings.
Believing in providing the best work environment for its employees, Edelman Malaysia launched various wellness and upskilling initiatives including a work-from-home care kit consisting of up to US$250 of home-office equipment, a COVID-19 fund to provide anyone who faced challenges during the extended lockdowns, and Protégé Mentoring Programme 2021.
Formerly known as FCB Malaysia, the agency rebranded to FCB SHOUT in April 2022. The agency offers specialised services including direct marketing, CRM, data analytics, social media as well as retail and shopper marketing.
FCB SHOUT has executed various successful campaigns for its clientele which includes RHB, Marigold, Sun Life Malaysia, and Spritzer. In particular, its campaign for RHB called “Ally Against Adversity” which features stories of resilience during the adversity of COVID-19, had won five golds and three silvers at A+M’s Marketing Excellence Awards Malaysia 2021.
The agency is a strong advocate for purposeful brand building which can be seen in its launch of what it claims “Asia’s first recycled plastic bankcard” called “OCEAN HARMONY” created in collaboration with WWF. The debit card aims to provide Malaysians with an opportunity to not only remove plastic waste from oceans but also fund efforts on restoring marine life. The initiative saw over 61,000 new accounts and received recognition at A+M’s Marketing Excellence Awards Malaysia where it won two Golds, a Silver and a Bronze.
Founded in 2013, GO Communications is an integrated PR and communications agency that aims to provide out-of-the-box approaches to media relations, as well as traditional and digital PR for its clients. The agency boasts a diverse clientele consisting of brands such as Lego, Coway Malaysia, Sun Life, and Sony.
GO has also worked with Eastern and Oriental (Conlay) in launching a social media campaign to highlight the brand’s new address. The agency involved a well-known photographer, Eric Peris to shoot in Sepia colour, conducted live tours via social media, and led to the increase of both the brand’s following and engagement by over 27%. 2021 served as an important milestone for GO as it managed to secure a whopping 18 awards at A+M Agency of the Year Awards Malaysia 2021.
GO claims it owes its successes to its people. The agency believes in a people-first mentality providing a positive and dynamic environment such as a four-and-a-half work day week as well as regular training and forum programmes in digital and social media skills.
Lion & Lion Malaysia
Lion & Lion Malaysia, a digital-first agency founded in 2012, focuses on delivering impact to its clients’ businesses through an integrated, data-driven, and strategically led approach to digital marketing. The services it offers consist of SEO, SEM, social media marketing, integrated campaigns, and performance marketing.
The big names that the agency has recently secured as clients are bigpay, Guardian, Kellogg's, and Kodak Lens. It has also created an immersive digital social and gamification platform called “Status-K” for event management company Livescape Group. In a short three-month campaign, the agency managed to garner 670,000 engagements, 10 million impressions on social media, and 3,255 sign-ups.
As a fervent supporter of giving back to the community, Lion & Lion Malaysia had partnered with international youth organisation AIESEC to set up an e-commerce store and raise funds for the less fortunate. The funds raised were donated to their social outreach programmes with the disabled and underprivileged communities in Malaysia.