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From BBM to WhatsApp, LINE, FB & Beyond: The potential of mobile mktg in Indonesia

Not too long ago, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Asia Pacific, organised its first-ever Mobile Marketing Association Forum (MMAF) in Indonesia. Attended by an overwhelming 450 marketing experts in the country, one aspect was evident – mobile marketing has arrived in this part of the world, and the potential is enormous.

Indonesia’s mobile market has been on a high-growth trajectory over the last few years, spearheaded by the changing consumer landscape. According to a recent report by IDC, mobile penetration in the country stands at 128 percent, with 28 percent of internet users in the country accessing the web exclusively through their mobile devices. This has given birth to new ways of engagement and the country has moved from being known for its high BBM penetration rate, to one that has integrated with the rest of the world and has adopted tools to communicate and consume content via other means. This is opportunity enough for brands to get closer and more engaged with their consumers.

The mobile marketing industry in Indonesia is worth over USD 25 million and pegged to grow over 100 per cent in 2015.

However, to further the cause, a mindset change is required, and that is for brands to consider adopting a ‘mobile-enabled, mobile-first and mobile-must’ approach at the earliest.

Brands such as multi-national Unilever, as well as home-grown hero, Garuda Indonesia have understood its importance and are well on their way to establish long-lasting relationships with their consumers. They presented a number of cases and strategies to the audience at the Forum and wowed many of the capabilities of the medium, in the country.

But for more brands to get on board, the industry agrees that there is an urgent need for focus on increased investment, better-quality insights and enhanced infrastructure. There also needs to be increased leadership in the industry. Marketers familiar with the mobile must take the initiative to act as advocates for the medium in their respective organisations, for the simple reason that it works.

These, I too believe, will give the industry the boost it requires, and enable Indonesia to live up to its true potential.

Collaboration – in this instance – is key. Everyone is playing a different role in the mobile marketing eco-system and it is, thus, important for them to come together and share resource, insights and best practices, where possible. Working together and collaborating with key stakeholders creates a powerful knowledge base that can be tapped by other players in the industry. This will enable the industry to really take-off.

But more importantly, while obstacles exist, what is required to overcome them, is a willingness to ‘do big things’ and push boundaries.

I do believe that this Forum has set a precedent for bigger and better things to come and going into 2015, I do hope to see more brands adopt the medium to reach out to their customers.

Rohit Dadwal

The author, Rohit Dadwal, is the Managing Director of Mobile Marketing Association APAC.