On the innovations in marketing, changes in customer behavior, and the rise of micro-entrepreneurs during the pandemic. The first article in a series of visionary conversations between professionals.
Ferdi Anggriawan works full-time as the Head of Digital Marketing in Gojek. At the same time, he helps BRIGHT Indonesia as a partner since its establishment alongside founder Primadi Soerjosoemanto.
For 7 years, his day-to-day job involves managing the digital marketing end of a company and for the past two and a half years, he has expanded to CRM, analytics, and research. He explained that his scope is “pretty much a full-stack of an online-based ecosystem” at the moment.
Can you tell us what you think are the biggest changes in marketing over the years due to technology?
Ferdi: Well, digital transformation for the last five years has been always about making it more customer-driven and self-serve-driven. So back then, when we were kick-starting any campaigns, we always reached out to representatives from Facebook or Google to have a better understanding of what we should do for the campaign itself. But right now, these companies have created a way so that any person with a decent understanding of digital marketing can utilize it for their business. As a result, many SMEs started using digital marketing platforms by themselves without having, for example, a major account manager assigned to them.
“Well, digital transformation for the last five years has been always about making it more customer-driven and self-serve driven… As a result, many SMEs started using digital marketing platforms by themselves without having, for example, a major account manager assigned to them.”
Other than that (because of digital transformation), TV is losing its grip. Previously, TV was pretty much the primary media, but in the last couple of years we have seen that traditional media are declining and moving somewhere else. So to maintain their presence, TV now bundles their offering with their digital services. So for example, if you want to buy placement in, let’s say Metro TV or RCTI in Indonesia, they will probably offer you a package with their social media content at the same time.
“Previously, TV was pretty much the primary media, but the last couple of years we have seen that traditional media are declining and moving somewhere else. So to maintain their presence, TV now bundles their offering with their digital services.”
The third point will be in terms of marketing itself. Viral marketing still remains a hot discussion but there has yet to be a certain formula or strategy that works. So companies are still experimenting on this.
And fourth, every time a media platform gets too many advertisement placements, it immediately loses its grip on its customer, and when this happens, people shift away from these platforms. For example, back then, people were using Path. And after they got acquired by a local company here in Indonesia, the company shifted towards more of an advertising-ribbon-medium. It really moved away from its core values.
This is the trend in the last three years in Indonesia but also in Asia generally. People stick to a medium not because it is advanced, but because it provides them with a personalized and safe place for them to talk to the relevant stakeholders.
Do you think there is an average time of how long these mediums last?
Ferdi: I think the app-based ecosystem will last for a while. But for offline, for TV I think it will last for a long time. I mean, it has been surviving for a long time, but I think the way they survive right now, if you don’t mind me being a bit sarcastic, they put more product placement in places where there shouldn’t be a placement instead of improving the overall content of what they are offering. But I think that’s how the businesses survive right now; instead of putting the placement outside during commercial breaks, they try to put built-in-placement inside TV content. It’s not something that would appeal to most people, but for the sake of reaching those who have very minimal access to the internet and premium TV, that would be their only option.
Offline media like magazines, I think they are shifting towards what Radio has been doing for a while which is staying true to their community and being published in a very limited amount. So that’s probably what’s happening for all the old guys.
There was research saying that our attention span has actually decreased over the years. What do you think about that?
Ferdi: I think there has been a lot of research about how people are getting easily distracted. I think that we rely most on notifications, we almost crave them. The response from the market? I think that advertisements nowadays have to be more concise and direct; almost like an elevator pitch.
“I think there has been a lot of research about how people are getting easily distracted. I think that we rely most on notifications, we almost crave for it. The response from the market? I think that advertisements nowadays have to be more concise and direct; almost like an elevator pitch.”
You have won several big media pitches and pioneered the retail market brand for big brands. For these projects, did digitalization play a big role in the marketing strategies you created?
Ferdi: Yes it does. Back then, marketing was more limited, and right now there has been a lot of ramifications, modification and variations. I think the media pitch these days, compared to the last four or five years ago, puts more emphasis on YouTube and Facebook optimization, and on content marketing in the media page itself.
Actually, I didn’t have to invest that much in offline media anymore except for maybe non-static outdoor advertisements. So like the moving trucks with a billboard. This is still being developed in Indonesia. I think some of the investments that used to go to the traditional outdoor static advertising is going there.
Can you make predictions on what you think will be the biggest digital changes in Indonesia’s business over the next five years?
Ferdi: I think it would be something related to touching the middle to lower segment of the market. Right now innovation has been very much at the higher levels, like online payment options and all the FinTech stuff. Only a few organizations have invested time in investigating the SMEs and micro merchant segment.
You see that with the pandemic right now, there has been a surge in micro-entrepreneurs selling foods, basic craft and merchandise; things that you would rarely find in retail stores. So people who do a full-time job, but at the same time, sell goods to their close community. This micro-entrepreneur segment is going to be quadrupled by next year. Now, their size is actually five times the size of the SMEs. There are around 24 million SMEs in Indonesia, times that by 4 and that is the minimum number of micro-entrepreneurs here in Indonesia.
The size is amazing. I think that if anyone wants to grow their business, this is an opportunity that people would want to take a look at.
“Right now innovation has been very much at the higher levels, like online payment options and all the FinTech stuff. Only a few organizations have invested time in investigating the SMEs and micro merchant segment. You see that with the pandemic right now, there has been a surge in micro-entrepreneurs… This segment is going to be quadrupled by next year.”
Do you think that Indonesia is behind compared to our neighboring countries in digital transformation?
Ferdi: I think in terms of advancements it’s not that far. I think we are ahead of the game in some aspects. For example, if you visit the Philippines right now, the number of mobile payment options they have are not as many and as advanced as Indonesia. The reason being that their regulations are very strict. So any mobile payment options would be harshly audited. That is why for financial inclusion in ASEAN, Indonesia would be on top.
Also, the second thing would be, if we use the logic that demand drives people and people drives changes, then we can see that Indonesia holds almost 60% of the market potential in ASEAN right? So if people drive changes, then the drive would be coming from Indonesia.
“If we use the logic that demand drives people and people drives changes, then we can see that Indonesia holds almost 60% of the market potential in ASEAN. So if people drive (technological) changes, then the drive would be coming from Indonesia.”
Do you have any remarks about your hopes for Indonesia regarding digital transformation? Or do you think Indonesia should prepare better for something?
Ferdi: Probably, to think: how do we want to include people in the digital transformation?
Because right now, you can see that everything is trying to move toward automation, right? Everything is trying to move towards improving the process and eliminating the human part of it. What happened afterwards would be, all those people who lose their jobs would create a mass protest or something like that. I think the idea is not about automating everything, but only certain parts of the process while leaving the rest to human capital.
BRIGHT Indonesia as a Perfect Local Partner
There are also a lot of opportunities to absorb human talents in other sectors. For digital marketing for example, now you don’t need someone with a five-year experience, you just need someone with a good amount of patience and understanding on the basics of digital marketing. There was an initiative in a village in East Java called the “Kampung Marketer” where they create workshops for people in the area that want to work. After they graduated from the program, they would be offered jobs for marketing campaigns for many clients outside of the area. Imagine if this program can be scaled for the entire nation! It means that we have people who do not have a university degree becoming full-time workers for a company in let’s say New York or Singapore. This is something that we should give more attention to.
That’s how you help the community. You don’t feed a man a fish, you tell him how to fish. However, despite with so many of the opportunities, to register in Indonesia Digital Transformation and Marketing there is one thing to note. Having the right local partner can be really helpful and so important.
BRIGHT Indonesia is a perfect partner for your company. BRIGHT Indonesia will assist you on the ground, including virtual assistant during the mission, logistic arrangement, and communication of every detail. It can make your company focus on developing partnership cooperation without thinking further about the hassle during the business trip.
BRIGHT Indonesia provides several services such as Business Partnership Engagement, Management and Strategy Consulting, and Foreign Direct Investment Promotion services that can help you in expanding and developing your business, register and establish your products and company, as well as obtain the work and stay permit in Indonesia ((expatriates utilization plan (RPTKA), expatriates utilization permit (IMTA), limited stay permit (KITAS)) easier.
BRIGHT Indonesia always strives to give excellent services designed only to fulfill your company’s needs with experiences in assisting multiple global clients in entering Indonesia and Southeast Asia Market. These collaborations are proof of our unrivaled service.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“That’s how you help the community. You don’t feed a man a fish, you tell him how to fish.”