Q&A: Digital Marketing for Pharma – Merck Indonesia

What’s it like to do digital marketing in a country where the concept wasn’t even in place?

Andy Prabowo, digital marketing manager for Merck in Indonesia, has more than seven years experience in digital marketing across different industries, from TV media to consumer electronics at Panasonic and in his current role at one of the largest pharmaceutical companies worldwide.

Andy PrabowoHe shared his anecdotal perspectives with ClickZ on digital marketing in Indonesia before it became popular.

Excerpt of the interview below:

ClickZ: How has digital marketing evolved in Indonesia?

Andy Prabowo: Digital marketing was only becoming popular in the past four to five years in Indonesia. When I started my career in 2007, there was no such term as “Digital Marketing.” People knew about the Internet, Google, Facebook, and the website, and so on but only a few of them utilized them for marketing purposes. In fact, Internet users in Indonesia were just around 18 million people. Back in 2007, nobody thought about the mobile Internet or localizing ad targeting.

Today, Indonesia has close to 80 million active Internet users and almost everybody uses the Internet, from marketers to government and politicians. The Internet touches every aspect of our lives and created huge opportunities and challenges. It has delivered new ways to do business for digital marketing. For marketers like me, digital marketing has promised new tools to shift traditional promotional media. It’s accountable, relatively cheaper, and highly targeted. And it is creating new business opportunities for e-commerce.

ClickZ: How is digital marketing localized at Merck?

Andy Prabowo: Most pharmaceutical companies in Indonesia have just started to use digital marketing. My main role as digital marketing manager at Merck is to translate marketing objectives from the branding team into digital marketing strategy and execute it on digital platforms. Integrating digital, mobile, social, and big data is a matter of execution and it depends on how we develop the strategy. The real challenge is how to integrate digital marketing with traditional marketing strategies.

Let me share a success story: Sangobion is an iron supplement for one of Merck’s biggest consumer health brands. Its market share has grown double digits for last year from single-digit in 2012. This was because of a successful integrated campaign called Tanya Anemia Center. We launched it in-store, in public spaces, and amplified in social media and websites, including heavy digital advertising in both desktop and mobile through localized SMS and targeted mobile banner ads in partnership with the local telecommunications operator. Its not just about increased market share; our campaign also received a top brand award in Indonesia recently.

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