The emergence of ‘I’ in Indonesia

How market research mapped the changing societal norms and its impact on advertising, marketing and brands

By DEKA, a marketing research company in Indonesia.


Assessing the impact of social media advertising

Indonesia, the largest market in South-East Asia is defined by one of the most affiliative and conformist societies that cherishes collectivism. Thus the family and the community take precedence over the self in almost all choices and decision-making. This permeates behavior and attitudes in daily life as well as attitudes towards brands and advertising. However, did this continue to be true given the significant growth in advertising spends and the highest adoption rates of social media in the region?


Qualitative and quantitative techniques

The project involved meta-analysis covering in-depth literature review, expert interviews, scan of social media, conventional media and advertising in the last few decades. Primary research involved expert interviews, a large-scale nationwide profiling survey and qualitative Focus Group discussions among segments of interest to understand deeper and validate the hypotheses.

So what?

New marketing strategies

The research helped uncover the fact that 22% of the market was Individualistic in nature compared to the rest who were largely conformist and affiliative. This change, was driven mainly by social media, rising incomes and education levels.

The study highlighted the opportunities for brands to move up the ladder towards more advanced marketing, including symbolic and iconic advertising, as well as offering and addressing the individualistic aspirations of this emerging segment. This new segment were actively interested in new products and marketing initiatives offering an opportunity to engage in a dialogue with them.

Brands through their communication should also cherish this new dynamic, of changing values and culture within the society, moving slowly to a more symbolic advertising and promote individual expression. We encouraged marketers, especially of local brands to adopt newer styles to communicate their brands for this new segment.

We also carried out a roadshow meeting client teams across the region and within Indonesia, and the response was enthusiastic. It helped Indonesia be more prominent in the minds of the regional hubs and get its due recognition for the immense opportunities it offered.