Brands and Agencies Must Adapt as Technology Shakes the Foundations of Advertising

Technology, the media, and content are the three most influential aspects affecting Indonesia’s advertising landscape according to Dentsu Strat CEO Janoe Arijanto. To be able to harness the emerging consumer patterns and preferences, agencies must understand the shift and pay attention to market behavior when addressing the needs of their clients. Television and print may still rule the majority but people are no longer as responsive to traditional ads as they used to.

User generated content and media have been taking over audience interest and time and with the rapid growth of smartphone adoption along with internet usage, effectiveness of traditional media is being tested. Facebook is now the second largest media in the country head of printed media with more than 60% audience share. The Internet is still far behind television, which is being watched by more than 90% of Indonesians, but it raced past print media in 2012 with no signs of slowing down. The Internet’s trajectory as illustrated by Redwing Asia may take over or match television audience by 2020.

Janoe said that television content is being tested against the onslaught of user generated content. Television audience now have their attention shared with smartphones, tablets, and computers at the same time. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean brands are abandoning television. Far from it, because even internet-based companies whose customers are primarily accessing them from mobile devices are producing television ads.

Messaging services Line and KakaoTalk, travel booking site Traveloka, and dating application Paktor are just a few examples of Internet companies reaching to consumers through television. Several years ago, even Google advertised its services and applications on television. It may seem funny but television is exactly what these Internet companies need to tap into to draw consumers to their services, because after all, the majority of their potential audience are not yet on mobile devices, even if a large portion of them are.

Brands are used to having only three major media options by which they can deliver their message to their audience; print, radio, and television. The Internet’s ascendance has essentially blown the doors wide open to endless alternatives thanks to its versatility as a media platform. There are now blogs, news portals, recorded video, podcast, livestream video, social networks, ephemeral media, mobile applications, games, and so on, all of which present different types of consumers which exhibit different behaviors, attitudes, and preferences in accepting external or non-peer messages.

The complexity has risen significantly and the costs of crafting and delivering messages have also gone up, but the rewards have become more difficult to achieve. Brands and agencies however, may take heart in the fact that a well crafted and well delivered message that hit the audience the right way will create a much bigger impact and place them much deeper in the minds of the consumers.

Although user generated content may be seen as competing against brand generated content, the landscape doesn’t necessarily suggest a zero sum game as brands are still driving conversations in a lot of situations. The most astute agencies and brands would be able to find the right mix and implement the proper strategies to fit each of the different media channels and reach their audience effectively.