Indonesia has been the sleeping beast of Asia in terms of digital for many years. Although the ad market is the largest in the region (South East Asia) with over US$4 billion last year, the online market has been hampered with poor infrastructure, low bandwidth, and high cost of internet.
2009 is proving to be a foundation year for growth, with the government outlining many measures to improve usage, and accessibility.
We have been part of this market for the last 2.5 years. In that time a lot has changed and at the same time a lot has not changed.
Disappointingly, 95 percent of agencies and direct clients are still in a traditional media mode, and haven't even considered or planned out an online campaign. This is despite the fact that internet penetration is booming and there are already over 30 million Indonesians online.
The 5 percent that are doing or considering online are doing so in an ad-hoc manner. A typical process for launching an ATL campaign in Indonesia is:
1. Make traditional creatives
2. Launch traditional media
3. Oops what about online, better make some creatives, microsite and launch in seven days (no joking)
For real growth to occur, a shift needs to take place where digital becomes part of the primary marketing mix, rather than an afterthought.
Many digital businesses looking to set up office here, are dumfounded by the lack of information (digital ad spend, penetration, and user behaviour). Hence as I have done for them, I would like to do for you now, and provide the top seven learnings and insights from the Indonesian market, to assist you with your planning.
1. Local language is prominent
The most successful campaigns are those that adopt Bahasa Indonesia language sites, and creatives. Depending on target audience we will also run English versions.
2. Make sure you get what you pay for
Our regional team in Singapore has experienced many setbacks when buying on Indonesian "fixed monthly buys". Many top portals will quote an inflated number of impressions to get the client, then only deliver half the number. We have also seen it the other way where they over deliver, which becomes difficult when factoring in ad serving costs that are often bought on CPM.
3. Promotions, prizes and new product launches
The audience in general responds well to games, quizzes, and interactive campaigns. Good traction is always had for a trendy new product launch, especially considering Indonesian's update gadgets and accessories such as mobile phones every six months on average, and usually carry two handsets around with them.
4. Most advertise online already
Telcos and consumer electronics are the two major verticals that are spending in Indonesia. Hence there is a massive opportunity for auto, finance, FMCG and travel to capture an audience that hasn't been 'bombarded' yet.
5. Average cost per thousand
Even though most local sites don't sell on a CPM basis yet, we can give you range of the average cost for the ECPM in Indonesia, which is between US$2 and $4.
6. The rise of social networking
7. Watch out for clutter
Although the local portals are popular, they often jam pack each homepage with 20+ banners. So it ends up looking more like Las Vegas than an effective advertising medium.
For anybody with interest in the Indonesian market, feel free to contact me for more specific data you may require.