Marketing Salery

MY marketers can expect a 10% to 20% pay jump in 2022

Malaysia, salary, employee, respondents
Written by publisher team

Malaysian-based companies will continue to accelerate digital transformation and automation in 2022, and employees with digital and eCommerce skill sets will continue to thrive, especially on the sales and marketing front of the FMCG sector. According to Robert Walters Malaysia’s Salary Survey, technology-driven roles, namely AI, eCommerce, and digital marketing are expected to be on an upward trend in the new year.

Robert Walters split its salary survey into two regions – Kuala Lumpur and Northern Malaysia – for both B2B and B2C segments. On the B2B front in Kuala Lumpur, more companies moving towards digitalisation to keep up with economic trends has led to a slow down in traditional sales and marketing positions, Marie Lee, senior manager in Kuala Lumpur said. In 2022, digital marketing exposure is highly sought after by B2B companies, as physical events have been and will continue to be reduced due to lockdowns. With less face to face interaction, Lee said engaging customers virtually and through social will be key.

Marketers in the B2B field can expect a 15% to 20% salary increment next year, with sought after skillsets possessing higher bargaining power.

The skillsets highest in demand among B2B firms are digital and eCommerce. According to Lee, there will be hiring for regional positions in Malaysia as these will no longer be limited to countries where the companies’ headquarters are based in. At the same time, those with digital marketing experience, people management, and exact technical industry experience are also sought after.

“Companies continue to favor hiring for replacement positions rather than expanding their headcount as businesses are still conservative in the uncertain times. There is also a need to maintain stability and manage budgets,” Lee explained. Additionally, Lee also advised companies to be more specific about the niche skillsets they require to avoid time wasted in hiring.

Similarly, the B2C sales and marketing teams will also have a strong focus in eCommerce and digital talent and individuals with these skillsets will remain the highest in demand. According to Hua Choon Gan, Robert Walters associate director based in Kuala Lumpur, this comes as many FMCG companies are setting up digital marketing teams to tap into a wider reach online. There will also be consistent demand for brand managers and digital marketing managers within retail and FMCG.

On the salary front, however, Hua said salaries remain conservative in 2022, with companies adjusting to the recovering economic situation. He added:

Individuals in the B2C sales and marketing sector can expect increments of 10% to 15% if they are looking to change jobs.

What can B2B sales and marketing professionals in Malaysia’s Northern region?

In the Northern region for Malaysia, Robert Walters said sales and marketing in FMCG companies have become passive, as decline in spending power and affected sales have led to anxiety over career moves and a preference for stability. Overall, the market is relatively quiet, especially within pharmaceutical companies, and businesses are also careful about hiring.

Individuals in this field can expect a 15% to 20% salary increase and companies are expected to shift focus from traditional to digital for marketing.

Sher Lynn Lee, head, Northern region, Malaysia, said that creatives who can find opportunities for the company to grow in sales and marketing. Candidates with strong soft skills and experience in virtual conferences and meetings will be highly sought after as building rapport and relationships without physical interaction will continue to pose a challenge. Additionally, companies in this region are expected to priorities creativity and innovation. Tech-related skills also play an important role, hence companies will look beyond academic qualifications. To minimise losses in the past two years, companies prefer talent who are already equipped with the required skills, especially in the pharmaceutical and electronics segment.

ESG-related skills in demand

The importance of increasing environment, social and governance (ESG) among corporates is translating into demand for employees with experience in ESG and sustainability practices. The demand also arises from the need to meet the needs of socially responsible investors, particularly in financial services, commerce and manufacturing, Robert Walters said.

The reopening of the economy in Malaysia has led to a strong rebound in hiring activity in the country across all sectors, from financial services and consumer segments to healthcare and manufacturing. This is echoed by job seekers as well, seeing as 45% of respondents are already looking for a new opportunity in the sectors. The anticipated business recovery also gave rise to a more confident job market scene, with 75% of respondents saying that they are optimism about the job opportunities in their respective sectors.

However, employees in Malaysia are also prioritising work flexibility and work environment over remunerations and performance bonuses, with 44% of respondents saying will decline a new position if no flexibility is offered. At the same time, 54% cited having colleagues and culture that inspire them to do their best is an aspect they value most in an organisation, highlighting the need for employers to proactively nurture open communication and an inspiring workplace culture to retain employees. Lu said that organizations should look into providing work flexibility whenever possible to complement employees’ lifestyle and promote wellbeing, especially in the current climate work-from-home or hybrid work model has become the new norm.

Overall, Robert Walters expects employees across the board to receive a salary increment of 3% to 5% from their current companies next year, while job-movers will potentially see a bump of 15% to 30%, depending on the match of skill sets. Additionally, the Northern region will see a noticeably fiercer recruitment market, fueled by the arrival of investors. The manufacturing industry is expected to thrive due to good infrastructure and government initiatives to attract foreign investors for business expansions. The emergence of new players will result in high demand for employees across all semiconductor functions, from test development and functional testing to operations and process engineering.

On a regional level, there will be an increasing scarcity of professionals with skillsets to support companies looking to grow in fields such as technology, automation and analytics. Professionals in top demand across the region include those with financial services, with skillsets in the areas of digital transformation, customer engagement, virtual banking and front office roles. Those with specific skillsets in 5G rollouts, data analytics and blockchain, as well as those who are able to support edtech, health tech, and automation in manufacturing will also be highly sought after. Candidates looking to upskill are advised to look into relevant courses such as in data analytics.

Photo courtesy: 123RF

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