Emerging Mobile Markets Part 4: A Quiet Giant Emerges in Asia Pacific

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Welcome to the fourth part of our Emerging Markets Series, where we are focusing on the main trends shaping the app economy in the regions of Brazil, India, Indonesia and Russia. For each region, we will elaborate on the main trends in the mobile market as well insights into acquisition costs and growth of app economy. Through this series, we hope our readers will be able to put the trends into perspective to better understand the prospects of growth and challenges, as well as, decode what these trends hold for the future of app advertising both in these regions and globally.

This post is authored by AppLift’s Romi Yandika, Senior Business Development Manager SEA.

When it comes to the mobile market in Asia Pacific, a quiet giant is slowly rising. Indonesia, currently ranking among the three largest smartphone markets in the subcontinent (after India and China), in terms of volume, is becoming a large market to target for mobile ads by businesses globally. Of the country’s 250 million people, around 23% are already smartphone users and mobile-first customers.

In general, the mobile ad tech industry in Indonesia still has much room to grow. Not many brands and business are spending their money on mobile as yet because there is still some skepticism about the performance and ROI that they will get. Another factor is the skill of people about mobile, which makes the marketers still believe on spend their marketing budget on desktop.

But that is slowly, but definitely, changing.

Mobile and internet penetration are key drivers to make mobile ad tech business grow. Mobile penetration in Indonesia per year is about 34% which is likely to grow further in the near future.

Indonesian marketers believe mobile will be the king of advertising in future and they will spend more budget there. But the current challenge remains a lack of knowledge and information about the best practices to do so, such that they can optimize the marketing performance on mobile.

However, few big players in eCommerce, ride-hailing apps, and on-demand services are emerging as mobile-first businesses and reaching out to their customers directly via mobile. For them mobile is everything and they put almost 80% of their budget into it. While they still represent a small number of businesses that are already going mobile first, the opportunities for other businesses to follow the trend are huge.

The Indonesian mobile market needs more education, skills of people in the industry, and also a supportive ecosystem such as regulation, internet infrastructure, and readiness of the marketers to go all out in mobile. There is an upward trend in Indonesia’s mobile ad market and as an industry it will be exciting times to see how the landscape is reshaped in the coming years!

Check out our infographic below to get deeper insights into the mobile marketing landscape in Indonesia and click on the image for a larger view to download.

Check out the Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of the series and come back for the final instalment, where we will take you to yet another region in the world and discuss the trends that are shaping the app market.