Digital Marketing Jakarta: A Chat With Benjamin Tok
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Digital Marketing Jakarta: A Chat With Benjamin Tok

It’s not a stretch to say that each and every one of us will come across some form of marketing every single day while we go about our business. From traditional marketing to digital marketing Jakarta. It manages to crop up everywhere, from pop-up ads, billboards on the road and of course, the work we do.

But what does the word actually mean? Has it always been a part of human life? More to the point, how has it kept up with the times in the form of digital marketing? What does the future hold for this seemingly inseparable aspect of business?

To answer these burning questions, we sat down with Benjamin Tok, the Head of Social Media for Iris Indonesia.

Before we get into digital marketing Jakarta,


tell us more about traditional marketing in general. Paint a picture of its significance in our industry. 

Many times we hear the term “Sales & Marketing” used. And more often than not, it is used to describe a department, or person’s job. The two get lumped together in many occasions, but unfortunately, they are 2 different activities.

A sale, or selling, is the exchanging of a product or service, in return for money. So the selling process is the operations or activities involved in making that happen. (Sales techniques involve getting someone to buy a product, which facilitates occurrence of a sale)

Marketing plays a role in facilitating a sale. However, its objective is to promote a product or service, such that interest in that product and service grows. This obviously involves a completely different skill set, as it uses different methods and mediums. And if it is done right, or rather effectively, the selling process should be eased and simplified.

How has marketing changed throughout the years?

Marketing has been present from the time sellers wanted more of sales and had to be innovative to increase their market share over their competitors.  However, it really became more aggressive when the Industrial Revolution saw production costs drop benefitting consumers, but forcing business owners to work harder to compete for the sale.  From the newspapers, flyers, posters, magazines and billboards of the era, the 20th century saw the introduction of radios, TVs and telephones to the mix.

When did the shift towards digital marketing start to take place? 

Digital Marketing was introduced in the 1990s, when personal computers and mobile phones grew rapidly.  With a new generation that was aggressively scouring the Internet for information, businesses realized the opportunity the digital realm provided.  Not only were they able to do so faster and cheaper, they were able to reach consumers anywhere and everywhere as it is borderless.  The digital explosion basically triggered digital marketing, and as a result changing marketing forever.

What signifies digital marketing? How does it differ from traditional marketing?

As it is termed, digital marketing is the promotion of products and services utilizing various digital technologies and mediums. With the introduction of various technologies that facilitate communications, including the internet, the array of consumer touch-points has increased significantly.  Looking at pure technology, we have seen utilization of SMS & MMS, along with the evolution of Digital Display advertising that keeps improving.

Taking a step further to involve internet, we see various areas that help businesses communicate with the consumers through websites.  SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), SEM (Search Engine Marketing), content automation and e-commerce marketing and some methods employed.  Today, since the introduction of smart phones and new social media applications, we have Social Media Marketing, Social Media Optimization, content marketing, influencer marketing, and many other facets that involve the latest bit, mobile marketing.

So in a nutshell, as technology has advanced, the mediums of communications have changed, altering how organisations reach out to their target audience as the methods and channels utilized today differ from a decades before.

How do you see digital marketing in this country compared to abroad? How does it differ? 

Digital Marketing in Indonesia is no different than around the world.  The tools and platforms utilized here are not significantly different, though some may be the latest in the technology, because of the cost of investment or adoption.  However, Indonesia will catch up with that very quickly as it has a young population, with 50% of them under the age of 30.  The new generation of millennials and Gen Zs are digital natives.  So because they grew up with technology and they are heavily reliant on it, reaching out to them via Digital Marketing will almost be a pre-requisite.

However, the difference of Digital Marketing here in Indonesia, or rather, its effectiveness, will not be determined purely by technology and process, but strategy and content.  Every country is different, with language, culture and religion playing a role in defining that uniqueness.  As such, the defining difference will be the strategies involved in conveying the marketing message, being able to reach out to locals with in contextually identifiable manner.

Are there non-internet related avenues of digital marketing? If so, please tell us more about it. 

In relation to this question, and what was mentioned earlier, digital marketing has been around for awhile, before the internet became so pervasive.  Every has come into contact with Non-internet related digital marketing, but may not have realized it.  It maybe easier to see as online marketing or offline digital marketing.  Beyond Radio & TV marketing because the involve an electronic device but don’t necessarily need to be connected to Internet, phone marketing involving calls, SMS and MMS are examples.  More commonly seen, and easier to notice the evolution is out-of-home marketing, where static print billboards, are now Digital/LED displays and Electronic billboards that display a variety of marketing material, but can do so in different formats.  From there we see various promotional or Point of Sale (POS) material that have evolved, utilizing tablets, digital-LED ticker-tapes, holograms, QR, VR and 360 video renditions,

An important point I’d like to make is that digital marketing will never possibly be complete being online alone.  It works in tandem with various other platforms and touch points, such that consumers are constantly reminded and engaged.  This will raise top-of-mind recall, raising brand awareness, which subsequently encourages consideration and then conversion.

What are the emerging trends in digital marketing over the last couple of years?

Email automation and marketing automation is being utilized more widely now, allowing businesses to engage with their customers faster and with more efficiency.  Chatbots in websites and Social Media platforms are being implemented more extensively as it improves the response time for Customer Service and reducing manpower costs.  But most importantly, the use of Artificial Intelligence in the background for many Digital Marketing platforms. The ability to collect data and analyse it is helping businesses and marketers in their decision-making process. AI is accelerating the process of determining consumer wants, needs, through feedback when consumers engage with the platforms.  From a creative perspective, video marketing is exploding, regardless of platform utilized, as we are aware that people are visually driven. And because of that Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and growing in popularity as well

As digital technology increases at a break-neck speed, how do you see digital marketing transforming in the next 5, 10 and 20 years? 

Unfortunately, I don’t have a crystal ball to look into the future to see how things will transform.  However, what we can already see is that Marketing will no longer be multi-channel, but rather omni-channel.  Marketers don’t just want to make sure their brands are on all communication channels or platforms, but they want to make sure that their brand is in contact with you from the point you wake up and turn on the radio, TV, computer or check your phone, until the point you put down your phone before you sleep.

Digital marketing will be needed to achieve this brand “omni-presence”, as it will facilitate faster and easier consumer contact.  And with the increased use of AI, specific information can be directed to targeted audiences and consumers, such that the message is precise and relevant for them.  Being able to do so will allow agencies to determine the effectiveness of their strategies, which will in-turn help brands to justify their communication and marketing investments and ensure a higher level of ROI.