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Jakarta Post

Companies turn to digital marketing to weather pandemic

  • Eisya A. Eloksari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, May 18, 2020   /   04:17 pm
Companies turn to digital marketing to weather pandemic Indonesian businesses have shifted to digital advertising as the COVID-19 pandemic boosts internet use among consumers, a survey has revealed. (Shutterstock/Georgejmclittle)

Indonesian businesses have shifted to digital advertising as the COVID-19 pandemic boosts internet use among consumers, a survey has revealed.

The survey, conducted by Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and SurveySensum in April, shows that 79 percent of local businesses are focusing on digital media as a means to reach consumers during the health crisis.

“Traditionally, we have been relying on television advertising, but I think digital marketing is here to stay for the long run,” said SurveySensum CEO Rajiv Lamba during a webinar on May 11.

According to the survey, Indonesian business players believe that digital marketing is an effective way to increase brand awareness and recall, especially for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and retail companies.

Financial services players stated that digital marketing helped them build consumer trust in their brand.

A previous MMA survey found that 70 percent of the customers surveyed had tried out a new digital service during the pandemic, including fitness apps, digital entertainment, work-from-home software and online education services.

Rajiv said that companies could also put advertisements in games to reach a younger audience.

A similar trend has also been found in other Asian countries, such as India, Singapore and Vietnam, where 95 percent of the 433 businesses surveyed stated they would prioritize digital platforms above television, radio, billboards and print.

“However, there are still 38 percent of businesses in the surveyed countries that have cut above-the-line and media advertising as a way to control costs and save money,” Lamba said.

Half of the businesses in travel and tourism, the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic, have cut their advertising budgets. A similar decision was made by 44 percent of players in the transportation sector.

A recent survey by data and measurement company Nielsen showed that travel and tourism ticketing platforms such as Tiket.com and Traveloka had cut their advertising spending by 100 percent in the first week of Ramadan compared to the previous year.

“Many companies are no longer advertising because they are not relevant to Ramadan at home,” Nielsen executive director, Hellen Katherina, told The Jakarta Post recently.

The company also found that Indonesia’s overall advertisement spending dropped 25 percent month-to-month to Rp 3.5 trillion (US$235 million) in the third week of April after experiencing a steady increase before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Only four of the 15 major advertisers during last year’s Ramadan raised their advertising spending this year. The four include e-commerce platform Shopee Indonesia, which increased its spending by 18 percent year-on-year (yoy) and syrup brand Marjan Boudoin, which increased spending by 82 percent.