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August 15, 2008

Google offers Adwords to Indonesia’s SMEs
Google is providing Indonesian small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) the opportunity to advertise on Google Adwords, a Google product designated for businesses with limited cash flows, a local daily reported Friday.

"The thing we always have problems with in small businesses is cash flow. Sometimes it is a good month. Sometimes it is not a good month. So, many small businesses are very pragmatic and have cost-effective advertising strategies," Google Southeast Asia marketing manager Derek Callow told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

"Indonesia is an important market for us in Asia and it's important for us to help small businesses understand that AdWords is a great platform to advertise their businesses online," Callow said.

Callow said that online advertising, and especially search marketing, could be a powerful driver of business growth for nearly 50 million Indonesian SMEs.

"Google AdWords is one of the most cost-effective and highly-targeted online advertising platforms available today."

The key benefits of Google AdWords is that it can help advertisers target new audiences on the Google advertising network, Callow said. He added that it gives businesses greater control of their budgets, content, time commitment and the geographic target of the advert.

"There's no minimum spending requirement or time commitment. And with the cost-per-click option, you're only charged if people click on your ads. This means every dollar of your budget goes toward bringing new prospects to you."

Internet penetration in the country is relatively low, Callow said, but it is only a matter of time before this changes.

"One thing is for sure, more and more people are coming online. We are lucky because we are not immediately after revenue. This is not about revenue generation. This is about educating the Indonesian market about opportunities.

"With a minimum bid of 90 rupiah per click and where impressions are free, Google AdWords helps small and medium businesses with traditionally small advertising budgets to target and find relevant customers online through our ad network, which reaches 78 percent of Internet users globally."

So far, he said, the most popular Indonesian adverts on Google were adverts from travel companies, import-export companies, professional service companies such as accounting firms, legal firms and health care firms, and financial companies.

Earlier in the day, Callow spoke at a seminar on how Indonesian SMEs can take advantage of targeted online advertising.

The seminar, which was held in cooperation with news portal and market research firm Synovate at the Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place, is the first time Google has promoted online advertising in the country. It attracted over 280 participants representing industries ranging from travel to export and retail.

Synovate research found that there were over 23 million Internet users in Indonesia in 2007, Synovate Indonesia associate director Eva Yusuf said during the seminar. The firm expects that it will grow by over 16 percent to almost 27 million users by the end of the year.

"We've also found that most Indonesians turn to the Internet to search for information before making a purchasing decision.

"This trend implies more business opportunities for small and medium businesses to advertise online to a growing pool of Internet users in Indonesia and overseas," Yusuf said.

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