What’s On

As technology rewrites the Indonesia media landscape

Bali played home to over 700 professionals from media, marketing and advertising on September 19-20, 2014, for the sixth edition of the Asia Pacific Media Forum (APMF) 2014. The highlight of the conference, needless to say, was the evolving media landscape in Indonesia and the factors that are contributing to this growth. Global, regional and business leaders from Indonesia took stage to remind audiences of some of the factors that are shaping up not just Indonesia’s media scenario but the general economy and the mood of its consumers.

Evolving media consumption in Indonesia
Faris Abouhamad, Chairman and World President of IAA Global and President of Interone Resonance Middle East reiterated that at 15 per cent, even if the Indonesian ad market was calling itself to be in slowdown, the pace of growth was the fastest in the region. “We are expecting more talent to come in, expecting digital play a higher role and we are expecting professionals and experts of other businesses like stock traders to come in and teach how to make better use of our resources. The industry is heading up for some exciting times,” he said.

In an on-stage conversation with Bharat Avalani, Regional IBC Director of Unilever AMET, Mr Abouhamad reiterated that the power is in the hands of the consumer, who is connecting selectively. “If consumers don’t accept a platform, it’s over. The business has shifted to targeting community and doing so in relevant context,” he stated.

Multiscreen consumption in a family is becoming a clear trend in Indonesia too. For the new media consumers in Southeast Asia, one screen is not enough. Nielsen’s MD for APAC, Paul Fisher reiterated that two to three screen is a norm in SE Asia, which while is the highest in markets such as Vietnam and Philippines, but is also significantly prevalent in Indonesia.

Another area that is exploding in markets such as Indonesia is video consumption, where according to Nielsen, the 16-24 year olds are watching more content online than traditional and it is only growing. “The industry must revisit terms like CTR (click through rates) since they are not an effective measurement. Video advertising is one of the most effective forms of advertising and mobile devices drive up time spent on watching videos online. The trend is higher in markets like Indonesia and Philippines than the rest of SE Asia. Social TV is also picking up and driving video views,” pointed out Mr Fisher.

Getting the tech right
Where the proliferation of media is giving marketers more opportunities to reach, influence and engage consumers, the key advice from market leaders is to utilise this space to adapt and follow consumers. While all agree that consumer trends are headed in the direction that keeps pace with the growth in technology, there still appears to be an immense disconnect between industry’s adoption of technology in its communication exercise.

“The consumer has become much more proactive in the way they are interacting with media. We are dealing with a ‘prosumer’ engaging with multiple touch points – talking to such a person is not a linear process. Technology makes things simple. It allows us today to follow the user and have a single view of the consumer from awareness, intent and purchase triggers viewpoint. Market automation lets you customise the message for this journey,” explained Rohit Kumar, MD, Sociomantic APAC.

Mr Kumar admits that even as the industry has surrounded itself with complicated terminology, it has not changed the fundamentals of the business. If you still focus on this, technology is a friend.

The role of technology is make marketing more effective. Mobile traffic has already surpassed desktop and the same will reflect in mobile spending. “Mobile will accelerate the spending on digital media,” added Nellie Chan, Director of Marketing Solutions, South East Asia and North Asia, LinkedIn.

The other importance of technology was discussed in areas such as measurement, where there is scope to now bring in more sophisticated systems in place that use real people and not just samples.

The key takeaway for the Indonesia ad business was that consumers are already creating new trends for the industry. The industry needs to collectively work to bridge the gap with consumers on the back of embracing and smart deployment of technology led solutions.

Noor Fathima Warsia

A veteran journalist in the Indian marketing, media and advertising fraternity, Noor Fathima Warsia took on the role of Group Editor -– APAC for Digital Market Asia in May 2013. Noor has focussed on tracking trends and developments in the Indian media industry.