How to Successfully Penetrate Indonesian Market?


Marketing approach in a business can be done through both online and offline channels. However, we often wonder which one is more suitable to penetrate the Indonesian market. You have to firstly note that the archipelago is somewhat very difficult to cope with newcomers because there are various types of consumer to be engaged.

Our current member at CoHive Coworking Space, Steve Sutanto, the country manager of Glints Indonesia who has been developing the business for the past year has admitted that offline approach is more effective compared to the online. Glints was initiated in Singapore three years ago, trying to tackle employment issues for fresh graduates. Last year they came to Indonesia without any market database and recognitions. Today, 6 out of 10 people have acknowledged Glints. Online approach considered to have limited coverage towards Indonesian market because some people and places in Indonesia are still lacking of access to the Internet. Hence, Glints need to down to the market and research for the problems as well as insights, aiming to find the best solutions. However, it does not mean that this market is uncrackable.

There are smart ways for startups to be recognized,but let’s begin with understanding what our fellows did wrong. Why is it so difficult for Uber to grow compared to GrabTaxi? Why Kaskus is so popular when eBay has to step out of the game? Simply because they didn’t dive enough to learn the consumers’ behavior. Uber was kept on forcing on the online payment while eBay forgot the fact that Indonesia is community based market. Join in the market accommodated with good PR and marketing, interact with the community influencer followed by creative social media campaigns, then you will follow the successful path of Zalora and Lazada. Lastly to keep in mind:

Face your future leads

Be humble and stay focus to meet face-to-face the potential customer. Consult with them regarding their needs and problems in order to offer them your best products.

Join a coworking space or at least visit

Meeting new like-minded people will give plenty of inspirations and fruitful ideas. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas and looking for feedbacks.

Understand the social media

Out of 255.5 million populations, 72.2 million of them are classified as active internet user. Indeed, online approach matters, but do you know how to utilize and maximize the potential well?

Word of mouth

People talk. No matter it is good or bad, they just talk. Not only through their mouth, but as well as Facebook, twitter, and other social medias. So don’t underestimate this power.

Viral videos

It is a great weapon to approach middle-class of Indonesia. 1CAK, Indonesian 9Gag, has reached 9 million monthly page views. Indeed, this is an easy and economical way to be acknowledged.


Beyond word of mouth, influencers could promote our business as they are speaking the good out of it. However, this is not free of charge.

We love giveaways

Giveaways, promotions and good deals somehow just catch Indonesian attention and increase the brand awareness so you should try it out.

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