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Indosat Ooredoo has been a telecommunications provider in Indonesia for over 53 years. The Drum finds out how Indosat aims to be the digital telco customers can trust, and how it can empower them through technology.

As the Covid-19 pandemic hit Indonesia in 2020, most consumers stayed at home, like many other countries in Asia Pacific.

This resulted in Indonesian telco Indosat Ooredoo seeing the accelerated use of digital technology, especially on mobile devices – leading the telco to realize the importance of having a strong network infrastructure and offering an accessible customer experience.

In 2019, the total number of subscribers at Indosat stood at 59 million, an increase from approximately 58 million in 2018, according to Statista. In 2020, Indosat’s operating revenue amounted to just below 28tn Indonesian rupiah (USD $1.9bn), down from almost 30tn rupiah in 2017.

Ritesh Singh, chief commercial officer at Indosat Ooredoo, claims total recharges made via digital channels jumped from 20% to 40% within the last year.

“During 2020 we saw our customers transition to online lifestyles and we supported our customers through new products and services,” explains Singh.

“Within weeks of the start of social distancing and working from home, our customers learned how to use cloud and AI-based services such as video call and online chats. This has led to an increase in the use of customer engagement platforms like WhatsApp and digital agents.”

Offering an accessible customer experience also means Indosat follows a playbook to target non-subscribers and drive conversions in Indonesia for online sign-ups for mobile plans and devices across its multiple brands.

“When we think about consumers we start with the ‘what’ and the ‘how’. What makes them happy and what needs do they have, and then we identify how we can meet those needs through the application of technology. We apply this principle to our existing subscribers and to help attract new subscribers,” he says.

“For non-subscribers, the world of digital services in IM3 Ooredoo includes access to music, sports and entertainment. For subscribers, our products offer value for money.”

To do this, audience segmentation is very important for Indosat, says Singh, and the telco pays special attention to this before starting a campaign.

He explains a detailed understanding of audience segmentation by demographics or interest area enables Indosat to target the right people, on the right device and at the right moment.

“With audience segmentation targeting, it helps to ensure we reach the consumers most interested in Indosat products and deliver relevant messaging. This decreases wasted advertising spend on uninterested audiences and increases advertising effectiveness at moving audiences down the funnel towards purchase intent,” he explains.

“The approach is to increase efficiency and transparency for both Indosat and our media agency. With regards to efficiency, programmatic ads have more specific targeting capabilities. They can help to reduce wasted clicks and impressions – the reason being that the platform allocates less money spent on ads in front of people who are not interested.”

The focus on targeting the right audience has seen Indosat previously join forces with Snapchat’s owner Snap to explore how to create innovative engagement for consumers with augmented reality and new ways to work with brands in Indonesia.

Snapchat and Indosat will create programs like an AR Creator Fund to help brands and creators who are keen to work with AR. These programs will include webinars, competitions and potential job opportunities for participants.

Indosat’s users will be able to use new AR lenses every week and enjoy data offers when they use Snapchat. Indosat also will represent Snap when dealing with brands in Indonesia.

“Our ads follow the consumer journey and are different depending on the phase of the audience. For example, we start with exploration, which is the parameter focus more into media reach of ads because the ads need to reach as large an audience as possible,” explains Singh.

“Then we move on to decision making, where the parameter can be measured in clicks, mobile visits and landing page views. This audience is exploring and interacting with the brand. Finally, we try to convert the audience that has purchase intent. Parameters that can be measured included website conversion, revenue and ROAS.”

For more in-depth coverage on the present and future of mobile marketing, dial in to The Drum’s Mobile hub.