3 Principles of Mobile Digital Marketing in Indonesia

by | Apr 24, 2015 | Marketing with Empathy, Mobile and IT | 0 comments

Oh, yes, we marketers have such penchant for drama and hyperbole. Like naming Google’s latest algorithm update “mobilegeddon” for example.  This flair for the dramatic is one of those endearing qualities we marketers have. Kind of like the cute high pitch laugh your lover has that you only found annoying after you got married.

You must have buried your head pretty deep in the sand if you claimed you didn’t see this coming.  Mobile Digital Marketing was the future, but it has been the status quo for some time.  It has at least, from the perspective of the consumers.  From corporate perspective, well, some markets are still playing catch up.  In Indonesia, it’s projected that by 2016, 1 out of every 10 dollar spent on marketing will go to digital channels.  By 2019, that percentage goes up to 25%.  That doesn’t sound too bad until you compare it to which channels Indonesians are paying attention to now.  The average Indonesians spend 9 hours a day facing a glowing screen (highest in the world) but only a quarter of that time is spent watching tv. More than half is spent looking at their mobile/tablet.  And if you’re asking millennials, half of the time the tv’s on, they’re actually looking at their mobile.  A bigger budget for mobile digital channels has long been overdue.

Indonesian screen time.001

But, nobody likes a sourpuss.  So, instead of going on an “I told you so” rant, here’s a free resource to check whether your site is mobile optimised (click here) plus the principles mentioned in the title:

3 Principles of Mobile Digital Marketing

1. Think Video, Think Visual

Indonesia’s most popular social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) are increasingly designed to share and consume visual content. More than 48% of Indonesian Path users (a highly popular social app in Indonesia) said their most favourite activity on the app is photo sharing.  We just prefer to consume, create and share visual content over text-based ones.

Concerns about the effectiveness of mobile video as a marketing vehicle are usually centred around low bandwidth and “the screens are too small”.  Smart brands easily get the first concern out of the way (only show video to people on wi-fi, for example).  As to whether screen size makes a difference, consider this recent study: compared to television viewers, smartphone video viewers are twice as likely to feel a sense of personal connection to brands that show video content on their devices.  It’s your emotional connection with the device that matters, not the size of the screen.

A caveat: It’s tempting to splurge by hiring a famous international director and send him around the world to create your next video campaign (as some local cigarette companies are known to do).  Realise however that for some products, unboxing, how-to, and hauling videos are much more effective in helping customers make a purchase decision.

We just prefer to consume, create and share visual content (tweet this)

Unboxing, how-to, and hauling videos help consumers predict the experience of ownership – not sexy like creative ads but works (tweet this)

2. Focus On Offline Experiences

What you say about you matters less than what your customers say about you.  Oh, and trust me, they’re saying a lot more than you think.  Open Networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have a positive bias when it comes to sharing brand experiences.  In other words, Indonesians are less likely to bitch about their horrible experience using Open Networks than they are to share the fun times.  After all, we want to create the ideal persona on these networks.  You know, the guy who travels to exotic places, has genius kids, and run marathons on weekends—that persona. 

So, if your customers are saying great things about you on these Open Networks, good for you.  But alas, even if they are, that doesn’t mean they’re not talking smack about you in the Closed Networks.  Think about WhatsApp Groups, Line Groups, BB Groups, and Path.  Smaller, harder to measure, and highly influential, these networks have no positivity bias.  Closed Networks are less about sharing selfies and more about sharing honest life experiences.

Seeding these Closed Networks with positive sentiments is no walk in the park (we can help) but it basically comes down to enabling positive offline experiences.  It’s like making a proper affogato.  You need a decent shot of hot espresso in the form of consistently good service.  And then, add a dollop vanilla gelato in the form unexpected extra touch during delivery/execution.  That extra touch could be something as simple as using fancy wrapping paper to deliver your customer’s orders, or attaching a little story to the chocolates you put on your customer’s pillows, or serving a proper cup of cappuccino to the customers of your bicycle shop.  It’s these little touches that nudge customers to pull out their mobile, snap a pic, and do a little cross-platform sharing of just how awesome you are.

Caveat: The little extras only count if you already get the basics right.  It’s not an affogato without the espresso.

What you say about you matters less than what your customers say about you.  Oh, and trust me, they’re saying a lot more than you think. (tweet this)

3. Wear Your Customer’s Shoes

Have you ever jumped for joy when you receive an unsolicited push notification on your phone as you enter a mall saying “Buy 2 cups of yoghurt, get a free cup”? No? Yeah, me neither.

Why do we push ads onto our customer’s phones when we ourselves hate getting them?  Why do we insist on putting ads on YouTube with no SKIP button if we ourselves hate seeing them?  We marketers often behave like internet trolls who hide behind the anonymity of the brand and do anything and everything to get a rise out of people, just because we crave attention.

This third principle is rallying cry to start using an empathic-based approach to our mobile marketing  Follow the Golden Rule of only doing unto others as you would have them unto you.  Paraphrasing the Cherokee saying, don’t create a campaign before you’ve walked a mile in your customers shoes.  And that is only possible if you first take off yours.

To walk a mile in your customer’s shoes, you gotta take yours off first (tweet this) 


The TLDR Version:

  • Make sure the content you create are visually stunning.  In video format if possible.
  • Make sure you make it easier for customers to create positive content about you.
  • Use empathy as your guide in designing your mobile digital strategy

featured image courtesy of Nisa yeh

Ghani Kunto

Ghani Kunto

Director at empathic.MARKETING
Author & speaker on consumer behaviour and empathic marketing. Experienced in mobile and financial industry. Specialised in Southeast Asian culture, youth marketing and fandoms.
Ghani Kunto

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