Business Environment

Thinking about Indonesia from an innovator's perspective



Innovator Theory and the Indonesian Presidential Election

The innovator theory is a famous analytical method of marketing theory, but it was already systematized in 1962, more than 50 years ago in the United States.

The year 1962 is right in the middle of Japan's rapid growth period (1955-1973), and I believe that Indonesia is now in the middle of this period.

Originally, technological innovations were categorized into five categories based on their attitudes towards purchasing new products, in order of how quickly they were purchased.

The key is how to spread information to the 16% of the market that is actively using digital gadgets such as smartphones and tablets as an information gathering tool, from innovators who actively embrace the latest technology to early adopters.

In particular, it is important in social media marketing strategy to "cross the chasm" by using the spreading power of early adopters, who gather a large number of followers on Facebook and Twitter and play an influencer role.

  1. Innovators: : People who like new things 2.5% of the total market.
  2. Early Adopters : Influencers  13.5% of the total market.
  3. Early Majority : Cautious potential buyers who are interested in taking in relatively new things but are cautious. 34.0% of the total market.
  4. Late Majority : Followers. 34.0% of the total market.
  5. Laggards : The Most Conservative Traditionalist 16.0% of the total market.

However, it is questionable whether the buzz on the Internet will translate into actual results.

The last Indonesian presidential election was also a good example of this, in which Jokowi's supporters were overwhelmingly positive online, but in reality the margin was relatively small, 53.16% for Jokowi and 46.84% for Prabowo.

The fact that even though the company's website rises to the top of the search rankings, its offline visibility is not so great. These may mean that the late-majority and laggard demographics that don't gather information online were thicker than the theory in reality.

Indonesian smartphone users and the logic of 16% penetration

This is just before the chasm of 16%, but if you limit it to internet users and smartphone users, the percentage will become even thinner.

In Indonesia, smartphones are overwhelmingly used as a communication tool through social media, LINE, BBM, What's up, etc., and are not used in a proactive way to collect information.

In the case of Indonesia, this is due to the lack of content in Indonesian language, and the dissemination of information through blogs and curated media has been slow to spread.

On the other hand, Facebook is used more openly in Indonesia than in Japan, and I think the potential for social marketing is very high because it goes beyond "communication among friends" and is a public one.

Jakarta Japanese Restaurant and Chasm Theory

There is a chasm between the 16% of early adopters and the 84% of early adopters and beyond, which is known as a chasm. Chasm theory suggests that success in web marketing is about crossing the chasm, and to do so, you need to market not only to early adopters, but also to the early majority.

This is very easy to understand if you think about the Japanese restaurants in Jakarta. It does not necessarily mean that restaurants with good food will be popular, but that the early majority and the late majority of Indonesians who have an understanding of Japanese food and information about Japanese restaurants will be able to overcome the chasm.

The gap between the buzz on the Internet, especially in social media, and the real world is smaller in Indonesia than in Japan.

That's how influential Facebook is. This may indicate that the potential for social marketing in Indonesia is huge, but there is also a risk that it will have a huge impact if it is used for political purposes.