From prayer mats to dates and new clothing, Indonesians will soon start shopping for festive must-haves as Ramadan 2023 approaches. Given the macroeconomic headwinds and dampened consumer confidence, however, you may be wondering what the consumer appetite will be like during this period.
The uncertainty may prompt you to consider adjusting your media spend to protect your bottom line. But the wrong move could pose risks.
Research has found that when brands decreased or eliminated spend during a recession, they risked losing 15% of their revenue as compared with competitors that doubled their spend over the same period. And brands that increased media investment enjoyed a 17% growth in incremental sales.
To help you chart your Ramadan marketing plan confidently, especially in the face of economic uncertainty, we identified two important consumer trends in Indonesia, and a winning strategy to help you engage Indonesians as their festive behaviors and needs evolve.
Indonesians are moving toward intentional spending
With inflation and the cost of living rising, we’ve noticed Indonesians becoming more conscious about their spending and wanting answers to financial questions. For instance, search interest in “harga turun” (price cuts) and “kenapa harga naik" (why prices are increasing) rose by 60% and 120% year over year respectively.1 This begs the question: How will people spend during Ramadan 2023?
What is clear is this — Ramadan has been Indonesia’s biggest retail window of the year, even during the pandemic. In 2021, spending on groceries and gifts during the festive period was about 8% higher than other times of the year.2 And despite rising prices in 2022, Ramadan spending grew 9% over 2021.
These point to a key consumer insight: Indonesians are consciously spending on things they value rather than cutting down on spending.
To help shoppers prioritize your brand for Ramadan 2023, meet their needs through ad automation and personally relevant content.
We found that 48% of shoppers spent their Ramadan 2022 budget on festive necessities like Eid-related fashion and festive cookies. Other items that they valued and bought include consumer packaged goods, telecom devices, and travel-related items.3
More than 50% of shoppers also purchased big-ticket items such as motorcycles, cars, and home appliances early on, in preparation for Ramadan, even before the religious holiday allowance (Tunjangan Hari Raya) was disbursed.4
To help your brand be among those that shoppers prioritize for Ramadan 2023, meet them in their need at speed and scale. You can do this by making ad automation and personally relevant content part of your marketing strategy.
How to stay top of mind with marketing automation
As people become more intentional about their spending, they’re also devoting more time to research before making a purchase.5 So it’s critical that your brand stays top of mind. Marketing automation solutions can help you deliver campaigns with information about your Ramadan offerings to shoppers at speed and scale, cost-efficiently.
For example, a food and beverage brand that combines relevant broad match keywords — say, “break fasting food” — with Performance Max will be able to find more converting customers across all of Google's channels, including YouTube, Display, Maps, and Search. It will also be able to optimize for the desired business goal, whether that’s increasing leads or sales, in a cost-effective way.
How to stand out with personally relevant content
Another way to be among shoppers’ top choice during Ramadan 2023 is to meet them at the right moment, and on the channel with content that is relevant to them. In Indonesia, that’s YouTube.
Indonesia’s Gen Z viewers agree that YouTube is the No. 1 video platform in helping them decide what to purchase, and 92% of viewers in Indonesia are open to advertising or branded content when watching videos that are personally relevant.6
If you want to stand out even more on the platform, work with YouTube creators who are skilled at developing content that resonates with audiences. One brand that collaborated with YouTube creators and unlocked double-digit growth in Ramadan 2022 sales is Nippon Paint.
It tapped YouTube’s Creator Connect program to develop engaging video content with popular Indonesian creators, including actors Raffi Ahmad and Nagita Slavina. The pair, who are married in real life, have over 24 million subscribers to their YouTube channel Rans Entertainment which features light-hearted family content.
By combining entertaining YouTube creator content with Google’s Video, Display, and Search solutions, Nippon Paint’s Ramadan marketing campaign achieved over 896 million impressions between April and June 2022, a 20% year-over-year increase in the volume of paint stock sent to stores, and double-digit sales growth.
Indonesians are traveling to non-metro cities and shopping there
With the pandemic restrictions relaxed, Indonesians are traveling more, and not least for the annual Ramadan homecoming tradition, mudik.
In 2022, the Government estimated that around 31% of the population, or 85 million people, who had moved to metro cities for work would return to their hometowns to celebrate the holiday. In 2019, before the pandemic hit, the number of people performing mudik was around 50 million.
The observance of mudik influences how and where people shop for Ramadan. Our study finds that 60% of Indonesians who are homecoming travelers make their primary festive purchases across both online and offline channels.7
An omnichannel marketing strategy with a hyperlocal approach can help you boost your bottom line for Ramadan 2023.
While 58% of homecoming travelers will look to buy festive essentials including clothing, personal care, telco data packages, and travel tickets in metro cities, people prefer to purchase local treats such as ready-to-eat foods and drinks in their hometowns, and in stores. For Ramadan 2022, mudik destinations such as the non-metro cities of Surabaya, Semarang, and Purwokerto saw real sales grow by between 10% and 25%, as compared with just 3% growth in the capital of Jakarta.
Given that homecoming travelers use multiple channels and platforms to complete their festive purchases, wherever they are, an omnichannel marketing strategy with a hyperlocal approach can help you boost your bottom line for Ramadan 2023.
How to grow your reach online and offline
One way to optimize your conversion goal for online sales or in-store purchases, or both, is to use Performance Max. It finds potential customers for your conversion goal and serves the most appropriate ad, at the optimal bid, to maximize your campaign’s performance.
For example, when food and beverage manufacturer Nutrifood Indonesia went from using Smart Shopping Campaign to Performance Max for Shopping to drive online sales through third-party e-commerce channels, its return on ad spend improved by 93% and its cost per conversion was lowered by 52%.
How to go hyperlocal with online video content
To deepen your engagement with homecoming travelers and Indonesians in non-metro cities, adopt a hyperlocal approach in the content and targeting of your video campaign. Indomilk is one brand that grew its Ramadan 2022 sales significantly by using location targeting and affinity audience targeting to promote its hyperlocal video content.
Typically, the brand, which specializes in condensed milk, runs a nationwide Ramadan campaign like many other brands do. But in 2022, it bucked the trend and went hyperlocal to stand out against the sea of nationwide campaigns. This helped it connect deeply with people in Central Java, one of its most important markets.
Its entertaining Ramadan content showed how its condensed milk products can be used to make the region’s traditional snack, gethuk, as a dessert to break fast. And it used YouTube’s location targeting and affinity audience targeting to reach mothers with an interest in cooking and traditional food content, in the non-metro cities of Central Java and Yogyakarta.
The result: Its hyperlocal Video action campaigns drove a 15% year-over-year growth in sales volume, and a 37% view-through rate, which is more than double the industry benchmark.
While no one can perfectly predict how Ramadan 2023 will pan out, you can make confident media investments that will help your brand achieve business growth, even in uncertain times. With an omnichannel marketing strategy that is hyperlocal, and powered by automation and video content creators, you’ll be able to speak directly to people’s evolving Ramadan behaviors and be spot-on in meeting their festive needs.