Salary Report

Malaysia’s Sales & Marketing Salaries to Increase in 2020

Expect a Salary Jump of 15% to 20% When you Switch Jobs in Sales & Marketing in Malaysia

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Sales and marketing professionals in Malaysia expect an average salary increase of 15% to 20% when they switch jobs in 2020. According to the 2020 Salary Survey by Robert Walters Malaysia, the top areas in demand for the sector are brand management, programmatic marketing, export sales, and retail operations. It also highlighted marketing as an area where candidates will need to develop their digital expertise in order to secure good roles.

Hiring activity for professionals in Malaysia was more buoyant and active in 2019 compared to the year before, the latest Salary Survey report by Robert Walters. The professional recruitment consultancy said similar levels of hiring activity are expected to continue into the first half of 2020, with companies likely to become more ambitious with their growth plans and hiring in the second half of the year.

Salary increments expected for 2020 range from 3 per cent to 8 per cent, but professionals who change jobs or get promoted can get between 15 per cent to 20 per cent more pay. Those who have niche skill sets can even expect salary increments of up to 30 per cent, the report stated.

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2020 Salary Survey by Robert Walters Malaysia Sales & Marketing Average Salaries

Marketing directors in the professional services are expected to earn between RM240,000 to RM480,000 per annum in 2020, while those in the consumer sector are expected to earn RM360,000 to RM480,000. Meanwhile, marketing directors in the industrial sector will earn between RM240,000 to RM360,000 per annum next year.


About 56% of employees expect a 7% to 15% annual salary increment, while 37% expect a 0% to 6% increment. Only 7% expect more than a 15% increment. When it comes to staying in a job, 18% of sales and marketing professionals stay less than two years in a role, and the four main motivators to switch jobs are career progression (38%), better compensation and benefits (23%), better company culture (13%), and opportunity to work internationally (9%). Meanwhile, the top three drivers of job satisfaction are good working culture and environment, competitive remuneration and benefits, and good work-life balance.

Big data, AI and cybersecurity skills in demand

Meanwhile in the tech and transformation industry, candidates moving jobs can expect salary increments of 20% to 30%, and the top skills in demand are big data and AI, cybersecurity, and agile and scrum. The top trends in this sector are emerging tech and digital transformation, e-wallets and payments, and digital forensics and cybersecurity.

Like sales and marketing professionals, only 18% of tech and transformation professionals stay less than two years in a role.

About 45% of professionals in this sector expect a 7% to 15% annual salary increment while 43% expect 0% to 6%. Meanwhile, 12% expect an annual salary increment of more than 15%. The top motivators for moving jobs are career progression 931%0, better compensation and benefits (26%), improved work-life balance (14%), and a change in role and responsibilities (11%).




Kimberlyn Lu, country manager Malaysia, Robert Walters, said it expects hiring activity to pick up next year, particularly in the second half of 2020, as the impact of global events and the direction of domestic policies become clearer.

Ongoing digitalisation will drive demand for talent beyond the tech sector, Lu said. She added that companies will seek digitally savvy talent with a progressive mindset across all functions to bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table, accelerating digitalisation efforts.

“Particularly in areas such as marketing, candidates with more traditional backgrounds will need to develop their digital expertise in order to secure good roles, as businesses are seeking digital experience in all their marketers,” she added.

To retain top professionals, hiring managers have to show a commitment to learning and development as well as mapping out how the roles can contribute to the wider organisation.

Lu also said that there will be a high demand for professionals who are not only skilled at what they do, but also possess business acumen and the ability to leverage new technology to effectively innovate and drive the business.

“These professionals are often motivated and ambitious and they want to bring value to the organisation through their work. Employers looking to attract such talent will need to communicate clear career development pathways, as well as demonstrate how their work can bring positive impact to the business. For senior candidates, go a step further by talking about how their work can help build and benefit the nation,” she explained.

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