Malaysia is one of Grey's strongest companies in Asia and has had a fantastic new business track record over the past 6-12 months, says its chairman
GREY Group, a global advertising and marketing agency, expects a further boost to the double-digit growth in revenue from its Malaysian business.
According to its chairman and chief executive officer James R. Heekin, the growth will be driven by growing business within the group and winning new ones.
"We expect to see better double-digit growth in the top and bottom line from Grey Group Kuala Lumpur. A strong creative team is essential for achieving this objective and we are currently focused on building our capability here.
"Malaysia is one of our strongest companies in Asia and has had a fantastic new business track record over the past 6-12 months," he said in an interview recently.
Grey Group Kuala Lumpur, formed in April 1986, is the regional hub for South-East Asia.
Year-on year, Grey Group Kuala Lumpur has achieved about a 25 per cent growth in revenue. Among its clients in Kuala Lumpur are DiGi, Prince Court Medical Hospital, Perodua, Ambi Pur and The Curve.
"Our 360-degree approach is expected to contribute to the growth. This is where we combine the specific skills available in the group, such as interactive, experiential and public relations, to present an integrated, holistic campaign for our clients," Heekin said.
He said the Malaysian market is as important as China and India for Grey Group as the country is a regional hub for eight brands under British Amercian Tobacco, Sara Lee, GlaxoSmithKlien (GSK) and Procter & Gamble (P&G).
According to Heekin, Grey Group is looking to acquire digital agencies in Asia, including in Malaysia.
He highlighted that all its acquisitions globally are going to be in Asia.
Heekin said the Asian market, with an over 20 per cent revenue contribution, was the third largest contributor to the group last year and the business would would continue to grow rapidly.
"Asia will continue to be a major growth vehicle for global companies," he said.
On how he viewed Malaysia's marketing and advertisement industry, Heekin said marketers are looking at innovative, cost-effective solutions resulting in opportunities for agencies who can respond to this need creatively.
"Customers on the other hand, are looking for brands that can empathise with their current situation and understand specific needs," he added.
"It is important for brands to reframe the 'value proposition' to re-strategise the communications message to ensure that the product's key strength is made relevant to the customers'' current situation.
"As more people stay home to reduce unnecessary expenditure, brodcasting spending has seen an increase. Digital is also the must-have medium to reach out to the younger generation," Heekin said.
Asked whether Grey Group saw any slowdown in its Malaysian business, Heekin said: "There definitely is a slowdown in spending, but that is generally happening across geographies, not just Kuala Lumpur. However, this is not the first recession that we are going through."
Heekin said there is empirical evidence which showed that advertisers who continued spending in a recession, gained market share.
Hence, the introduction of new tools and being innovative were essential to the group's growth strategies, Heekin said, adding that understanding clients was also important for improving revenue.
The US-based Grey Group operates 432 offices in 96 countries with 10,000 employees globally. Its clients include Canon, Nokia, Wyeth, 3M, British American Tobacco, Volkswagen and P&G. -- Bernama