The Rise of Digital Marketing in COVID-19 ridden Indonesia

The COVID-19 pandemic that has taken the world by storm over the past year has undoubtedly transformed Indonesia’s business landscape. CNN Indonesia (2020) reported that over 3 million people of the Indonesian workforce have been dismissed due to businesses’ inability to sustain them. Not to mention, CNBC Indonesia (2021) stated that around 30 million small to medium-sized businesses have closed down due to the pandemic. Whether it is the fact that many jobs have been lost, or countless businesses have closed down, it is undeniable that the pandemic has brought down its fair share of negative impacts. However, the pandemic has seemed to brought up many possibilities and opportunities as well, the most apparent in the form of ‘Digital Marketing’.

It is clear that the term ‘Marketing” has been around for a long time and that it is nowhere near an unfamiliar term to anybody. However, ‘Digital Marketing’ has only recently been heard of in the past decade or so, at least here in Indonesia. With the emergence of technological advancements and breakthroughs such as the smartphone and virtual reality, the business landscape was sure to be impacted. Especially with the addition of the pandemic, it is fair to say that digital marketing was to take over and change how Indonesian businesses would market themselves.

The pandemic has caused lots of people to stay home and visit stores less. And similarly, businesses have struggled to carry out their business processes due to the many restrictions brought on by the pandemic. And rightfully so, it has presented a golden opportunity for digital marketing in which businesses and their fellow customers had a direct line to each other not limited by distance, cost, and time. Customers and businesses could literally communicate as they see fit, and businesses were allowed the ability to creatively advertise themselves in a way they probably never have done before. This has been observed from the use of such digital marketing tools such as social media platforms and web sites. According to a study performed by Hootsuite (2020), it is estimated that an approximate 175 million Indonesians are active internet users and that 160 million of those users are active on social media. This provides businesses with the ability to market their products and services at an exponential scale that they previously would not have thought of if it was not for the pandemic

Because digital marketing is growing larger and larger by the minute, it can be safe to assume that Indonesia’s business landscape will never be the same again. With the vaccination program underway for the past few months and the number of COVID-19 cases expected to drop, who knows what digital marketing can help businesses achieve in the next year or so.