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#AOTYAwards Indonesia judges’ corner: It is not about budget

Our second judge in the Agency of the Year Indonesia 2019 hot seat is David Lim, VP, marketing, HappyFresh. Lim, who leads the HappyFresh marketing division across Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, has had experience working across both Singapore and Indonesia. Currently HappyFresh’s focus ranges from performance marketing to organic marketing, including campaign executions to brand awareness building.

When asked what is a stark difference in consumers in Singapore and Indonesia, the two markets Lim has spent a significant amount of time in, he said, Singaporean consumers tend to have a mind of their own, knowing exactly what they want and exactly how they want the final product to be. On the other hand, the Indonesian consumers present a collective of diverse requirements across the country. This is heightened as a crucial insight given the scale of 250million population.

“For example, a brand can seek to convince 25 million Jakartans with message A but has to create a message B for the other 2.9million individuals in Surabaya. End of the day, the massive scale of the Indonesian market place demands a very different marketing strategy as compared to Singapore,” he said. Currently, with HappyFresh being a young brand in Southeast Asia, it gives the team a lot of creative freedom to explore the nuances in all three market places.

“It is very exciting to be leading marketing teams across the SEA region simply because every single market is extremely different. This requires the understanding and appreciation of cultures, audience preference and even marketing channel mix for each of the country we operate in,” he says.

Given Marketing Interactive is bringing its flagship award show Agency of the Year to Indonesia for the first time this year after 11 successful editions in Singapore and nine in Malaysia, we find out from Lim, what he is looking forward to when analysing the submissions for the Indonesia agency scene.

Marketing Interactive: What do you find unique to Indonesia that surprises you?

There are so many things that are unique to Indonesia and if I may choose two, they have to be:

  • Indonesia as a cashless society

While being here in Jakarta, I have enjoyed the convenience of payment for most of my daily sustenance through either GoPay or OVO. The ease of payment at scale without physical cash is simply impressive. The reasons why this is made possible is due to several social factors that include a mobile-first (sometimes regarded as mobile-only) society and low credit card penetration.

  • Innovation around national pride

As many would have known, Indonesia is the home ground of multiple successful startups, almost everyone I have spoken to have either founded a startup or are working in a startup. What’s even more amazing is that most of them have tied in technical innovation to serve a national issue. In addition, the high level of national pride can be observed in the solutions the startups provide; solving traffic issues, livelihood of the less fortunate and shaping and molding the next generation of leaders.

Marketing Interactive: What will you be looking out for in the award submissions?

A combination of creativity, innovation, performance effectiveness and executional perfection would be the main elements I always look out for in an award-winning campaign.

It’s not about how big or small the budget is, it’s whether the objective has been achieved.

[We have 20 categories available for entry this year and you have until Wednesday 13 March 2019 to complete and submit your entries.]

Marketing Interactive: Given you worked on the agency side before, what do you think an agency of the future needs to possess?

An agency of the future shouldn’t be much different from how an agency should be currently. Essentially, agencies should definitely understand the clients’ businesses better. More often than not, agencies have very strong creative and media specialisations but a lack of the deeper business objectives. Having been to both the agency and client side of the game, I have realised that there are many more details than just CPA, CPL, CPI and all that jazz.

Seeking to find out more about what the client’s business is going after in each market, and in each stage is ever more crucial in a time we operate in. That said, implementing AI, machine learning, dynamic creative optimization together with multi-touch attribution and programmatic display buying to a business that simply requires reach would be an overkill and most likely end up as a waste of resources. In short, understanding the business at a deeper level is what an agency of the future (and present) needs to possess.

Marketing Interactive: How has the marketing function evolved over the years?

From the basic 4Ps of marketing in the early days, the marketing function has evolved to become more and more complex and fragmented. With digital marketing constantly innovating itself, marketers must admit that we are learning new things everyday. Over the years, I have seen how successful marketing channels become outdated and underutilised overnight while the media giants in the likes of Facebook and Google becoming more and more influential in the business of perception shaping.

The art of marketing has not changed much as the basic principle of selling the impossible still stands but the same can’t be said about the science of marketing when we have more and more advance adtech coming onto the scene every now and then.