KUALA LUMPUR - Digital marketing agency VML has officially launched its first office in Malaysia, with Lee Chin Chuan leading the outfit as head of digital.
In response to queries from Campaign Asia-Pacific, Lee said work with a handful of Malaysian brands began in 2014. Clients include Sun Life Malaysia, Tune Talk, CIMB, Revlon and Resorts World Genting.
“Opportunities started rolling in, and that’s when we decided that it was time to set up a team dedicated to working with brands in Malaysia on a more long-term, strategic basis,” Lee said. “We set up the VML Malaysia office earlier in the year in March, and I came on board shortly after. Some of our first wins were in May.”
The agency shared that it now works with a number of local brands, such as Castrol Carama, OCBC Malaysia, Sony Pictures Malaysia and Marigold for its Marigold Peel Fresh, Marigold Yogurt and Marigold HL Milk brands.
Lee cited the agency's ability to drive value at every point of the customer journey and “the ability to bring strategic thought to the table when achieving this” as success factors.
The team numbers seven, across client servicing, projects, social and strategic planning functions.
Asked about challenges, Lee said the Malaysian market faces issues similar to other Asian markets, such as Indonesia and India.
“The first being the recognition that digital is not just another channel, but can in fact be a game changer for brands," he said. "There is an opportunity to educate the industry about that. The second is in finding the best talent and creating a strong team of digital practitioners.”
In a statement, Tripti Lochan, VML's CEO for Southeast Asia and India, said Malaysia, with its burgeoning digital needs, is a logical next step for the agency in its regional growth.
“Having worked with clients in this market before, we are very excited about the possibilities this market presents,” she said. “Our service offerings and capabilities will be an extension of us regionally, and include digital transformation, digital advertising, including social media and content; as well as a strong technology focus.”
The agency also serves brands such as Ford, Kellogg’s, INSEAD, Danone, Mattel, OCBC & Kraft Heinz from its regional headquarters in Singapore.