App Marketing: The Challenge and Trends in Indonesia

The Challenge and Trends of App Marketing in Indonesia

The Challenge and Trends of App Marketing in Indonesia

Indonesia is a big country with 250 million people spread out across the county. it is a well-known fact that Indonesia is a growth market for the service app developer. Indonesia presents complex and evolving challenges for App marketing. Our current member at CoHive Coworking Space and Private Office, Angeline Chandraatmadja, the Head of Operation of Airfrov Indonesia who has been developing the business for the past year shared a few unique challenges that service app developers in Indonesia are facing and what they’re doing to address those challenges. Airfrov is a peer-to-peer marketplace that enables Requesters to get any overseas products, with the help of Travellers.

Entering a Fragmented Market

Indonesia Mobile Users are known to be one of the most active in social media usage. The unique thing about the Indonesia market is that many of them are using social media as a means of business, and as the trend keeps on running, more and more people are growing accustomed and comfortable to transacting on private Instagram accounts, Line App, WhatsApp and Facebook Pages (free of admin fees). Albeit the claims that transacting directly with a total stranger on social media is dangerous and the many examples of fraud, the Indonesia market seems to be less wary about the risk and much more concerned about the price.

Now the challenge for app builders like Airfrov is They have to convince price-sensitive users to move from buying directly through the direct sellers and instead use (as you may have claimed) a much more user-friendly and safer alternative. Consecutively,  we also then have to watch out for our app users who may be using our app as a means of marketing tool and directing traffic out of the app! Airfrov has a team of people who constantly watch out for backdooring activities to make sure that we get the ROI for the users we strive hard to obtain.

Battling connectivity

When driving an online marketing campaign in Indonesia, you have to be aware of the network and service plans that the market typically buys. Many of the mobile users in Indonesia do not have unlimited access to the internet and buy limited internet package plans which run out pretty fast if you were to stream videos.

So if you’re marketing an app, be wary of how much data plan your users are going to use up from looking at your ad, because if they become aware of how much it’s going to cost them, they will stop and shut it out pretty quick. However, don’t make that stop you from making videos as a marketing tool, in fact, sometimes videos are the best means to educate your users about your app.

For service apps like Airfrov, we try to make eye-catching ads through GIFs that are low in data usage and only use videos for user tutorials that can be accessed freely by our users when they’re ready to watch it. (P.S. when there’s wi-fi).

Educating a Traditional Market

Whilst many tech investors are eyeing on Indonesia’s population size and their keenness to adapt to new technology as a huge potential market, Indonesia is still a highly traditional market with many of its businesses still conducted offline. So while the market is keen to embrace new trends and download your app, will they know how to use it?

For a non-conventional breakthrough app like Airfrov, activating the user we have already acquired becomes the real challenge. We have to timely educate our new onboarding users and get them familiar to our User Interface and buying process before they drop off.

Through experimenting and constant research, we realized that the Indonesia market could be reached more easily through conventional means. Airfrov has seen a huge increase in our active users when we started guiding our inactive users through phone calls and messaging services. This personal touch gives them a sense of safety and security that you may otherwise see or feel with a traditional retailer.


We don’t want to admit it, but let’s face the fact, with the ease of accessing information in the world wide web and Indonesia’s biggest TV channels frequently streaming the International scene (Hollywood, Bollywood, Kpop, etc), Indonesians are quickly falling head over heels onto the latest product trends, lingo trends, cultural trends and all other trends that you can name from all around the world.

So when you’re thinking of marketing to the Indonesian market, be trendy and infuse a little bit of “international” cause that’s how you’d catch their attention. If you’re not too sure, you can look around at the Instagram accounts of your potential target market and see the kinds of pictures and captions they post on their Instagram profiles. Right now the trends seem to be going towards the use of English with Bahasa, but do watch out for new trends and make sure you keep up with them!

Each market is unique and has its own set of challenges and trends. If you’re able to truly understand your customers and the market you operate, and constantly aim and try to figure out the right response to their problems then you’re bound to succeed in any market.

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