EP #40: Personalization and Growth Marketing Lessons From Indonesia’s Top Media Conglomerate, Kompas Gramedia

EP #40: Personalization and Growth Marketing Lessons From Indonesia’s Top Media Conglomerate, Kompas Gramedia

About this Podcast

COVID-19 has had a major impact on most industries around the world, with conglomerates having to deal with a hit in multiple businesses. Kompas Gramedia, one of the largest conglomerates and media pioneers in Indonesia, since 1963, has also had to deal with this crisis with caution. Yet they’ve combated this situation effectively by strengthening their presence across digital platforms. To understand how Kompas Gramedia is leveraging personalization and data-driven marketing to uplift business performance, we caught up with Omar Abdillah, Head of Data at Kompas Gramedia. Omar highlights the following:

  • The genesis and growth story of Kompas Gramedia, as one of the major conglomerates in Indonesia
  • How their different businesses have tackled the Covid-19 crisis
  • The importance of personalization
  • Actionable growth tips: How to align and track marketing efforts to measure business growth
  • Thoughts on the future of marketing: Personalisation and Scalability

Tune in to learn how an industry-pioneer like Kompas Gramedia is acing growth with personalization as an important catalyst!

Episode Transcripts

Pradeep (Host): Welcome to another insightful episode of the Martechno beat, a specially curated podcast series powered by Netcore Smartech. So here’s where you hear cutting-edge insights from the leading marketers and the market influencers across the globe and today I am your host speaking Pradeep Thangaraju and I had the customer success for the Emerging Markets. Joining me is your co-host Miss Chelsea who is again the CSM from Indonesia. Chelsea, say hi.

Chelsea(Co-Host): Good morning Pradeep. Good morning, Omar.

Pradeep: Joining me is our very special guest Omar Abdullah who’s the head of data at Kompas Gramedia. So, to introduce Omar, he has six years of extensive experience in the field of data analysis and has been serving across multiple Industries across e-commerce and Retail. Omar, how are you doing?

Omar: I’m good,  how are you Pradeep?

Pradeep: Doing fine Omar, thank you so much for asking, and great to have you join us today. Thank you so much for your time.

Omar: My pleasure.

Pradeep: So before we start to introduce, Kompas Gramedia is one of the Gramedia pioneers in Indonesia since 1963. The Kompas Gramedia company’s been focused on several businesses such as mass Gramedia as well as hospitality, manufacturing, and event organizing. So it’s going to be a great episode and thank you so much for Omar. So my first question to you Omar would be you know, clearly speaking about Kompas Gramedia itself, I mean, it’s been a great history. I know it’s been spanning across five decades and you’ve been involved in multiple divisions. We have four we have Santikra. We have a Kompas, we have that the gramedia bookstores, gramedia digital. Everybody in Indonesian knows Gramedia and Kompas right? So just wanted to know, speak a bit more about how is being the company’s Genesis right from the beginning and how has been the growth of the company has over the last five decades? How do you see this from your perspective?

Omar: Okay. Thank you for the first question. I will like to explain a little bit about the Kompas Gramedia. So I  actually Kompas Gramedia is in my perspective almost like a miniature of Indonesia. Indonesia Mini we call it because Kompas Gramedia has a lot of not only media congruency but we also have another unit like Hospitality. We have Sun dica, I think all the Innovation also know it and then we have Gramedia store and then we also have like d’andra for the event organizer and then all the digital product that we have like gramedia.com, gramedia digital and so on. So basically gramedia something like this one of the biggest companies in Malaysia and we know that in the technology and disruption era some are such kind of things like now we realize that we as a Kompas Gramedia, I do believe that we have to realize that the technology disruption is there so currently the Kompas gramedia is facing how to make or to run digital animation inside Kompas Gramedia. So then we can have fun and then add up the other adaptive with the condition with current condition. I think that’s about Kompas gramedia. We are not only about the Gramedia but we also have another business unit and then currently we are running for digital transformation that we are currently doing. I think that’s a little bit about Kompas Gramedia.

Pradeep: Sound very exciting. Thank you so much Omar for sharing that. So Omar, now we all know that you know 2020 with all the covid-19 crisis has kind of affected multiple Industries across the online, retail, also travel, transportation, delivery and a lot of companies have adapted to various measures to ensure continuity and profitability and I’m sure even you had to undergo a lot of transition like work from home and at least over the last few weeks, certain brands have also started working again from their office with a limited work capacity. So how has been the whole transition at your end and the other end, for how are you managing your workforce?

Omar: Okay in Kompas Gramedia, especially in my team, we already have a team discussion. The one thing I know about is my team only so for the Kompas company, actually, we have decided since the beginning of this pandemic. We have decided to make a policy to encourage all the teams working from home. So especially all the team members are working from home and then we create some policy and we create some procedure so for having an operational working environment to be friendly for working from home. So actually we realized that the safety of our employee the health of our employee is also very important. So then we currently we are working from home and then because we already experience working from home before the pandemic, so we have a culture of work from home like twice in a month. So basically there is no problem with that kind of thing for the deliverability of the team. Yeah, I think that’s all.

Pradeep: Sounds like a very good initiative actually. Yes, employee safety comes first and I’m glad to you know,  that Kompas Gramedia has been extensively focusing on employee safety. So stay home stay safe and improve your productivity and I guess that mantra Kompas is following.

Omar: Yeah. Yeah. 

Chelsea: So Omar, we talked earlier about the team and in terms of Kompas Gramedia friends themselves.  Now, if from the customer, how can it be shared? Are currently the island’s customers from Kompas Gramedia itself get a lot of changes that are disturbed by focusing more on the side of the group or for example, even retention from the customer so maybe you can share it where you are from there.

Omar: Ok, according to google, the weather here is wet and currently they want to be more concrete so they don’t leave the house, which in the end, some of our businesses are affected, like we have researchers, namely the hotel is the easiest, who has the most hit and we also have it like the Gramedia Store like we open and close the shop. There are 112  more or less 112 across Indonesia stores and we have to if in March or April we have to close. Look at the end 2017/18 we see. Look, see credit like this folder game online channel, there is gramedia.com, we have a digital book Gramedia store. We realize that from 2018, we have done what is called catering data where the existing data comes here then how do we do business already then by the way we convert these data into something. What’s the point is when entering a pandemic period, in the end, everyone is curious about what becomes a transit, how do you do diving, driving to make a purchase order in a way that. We communicate with them to keep a record of their name, remember the taste, for example to  Gramedia stores, we can’t tell them to go to the store. In the end, we really want our gramedia.com to have our customers in the area, not only those who had to go to the store to buy. We made it Hospitality online travel Fair, we already wrote it before, later you will call in June or May June so now we are also people from there enthusiastic, they are willing, they are like we arrived yesterday. In terms of revenue, in terms of what is it called, the transaction from seeing you share to the place is also quite high. So, because we have prepared the data correctly from 2018, then we have loved thugs who ended up during this pandemic.  we can see from what we have digital, among others, what we have. 

Chelsea: In fact, it’s really good, I mean Kompas Gramedia. It’s already started to go digital. Why for today, the term in this state for printing files is also high, like just now there are many things that can be done by yourself through many things, such as the application website and email, according to marketing industry?

Omar:  Okay interesting question. The thing about England is given the same meal on our channel so if for example talking about the channel how do we communicate. It means that there is something mentioned earlier.  Then we have a website, then there is an application, for example, we are here, we also have ours, so again I want to hear when we have our email as our communication.  Then on the website we also use push notification or in the website application, it’s actually there. If you ask to be ordered from the highest, what is certain is because that’s a side notification that we can directly know about what our name is, when our people visit then we give notifications. The last one is Gmail, but in my opinion, the Friends like Al channel complement each other, so we are at Kompas Gramedia for all our products there is gramedia.com, Santikra, and friends, etc. we really like that our channel to communicate to users Of course in ways that are more suitable because we also have what we buy for the room and there is data that we are after.  Then from there, we have this deck of this channel like that.

Pradeep: Thank you very much, Omar. We, Omar, are as a person who is spending a lot of time in understanding the customer, who stresses on the data analysis and ultimately be focused is about how you can personalize each customer base is, what he wants and offering the most relevant product. So that way I really am truly inspired by you, Omar. So again Kompas gramedia has been using netcore for personalization of its search engine on the website. So in your opinion, Omar how important is it for a digital marketer today to get the personalization engines or to personalize the experience for a customer?

Omar: Okay. Yeah for sure currently we are using netcore smartech to perform all the Marketing activities and we are certainly doing right. So basically the personal reason is really important. It’s really important in having communication to our customers because for example for the email marketing efforts, for every man we have we send likes more than 20 million emails. So this is very huge in terms of the amount of the email sent. Right. So the question is, is it something that effective to communicate with our customer or not. Now the one thing that based on our experience, is the one thing that Divine the performance of our email marketing or all the marketing activities that we are currently doing is our capability to treat our customers in a very personal way. So for example in gramedia.com we can increase like we have proven that by giving personalized content for every single user, it increases the conversion by three or four times. So I think it’s a very great achievement for our team, especially in working with the netcore to have a capability to make a personalization in our marketing activities. So and then another example is like in gramedia.com, for example, we also put like marketing automation lab. So for every free user that visits gramedia..com and then they click our product and then they do not make any transaction we can and then if they leave our website, we can send them a recommendation based on the product that they click. So I think that kind of thing because we can give them like a recommendation of the product that very relevant or based on the needs of our visitor or our users. It will increase the performance of the response rates of our customers towards our email marketing or their marketing and their marketing visit that we did to our customers. So my conclusion is like personalization is the key to having a good performance in having communication to our customers. That’s the thing.

Pradeep: Yes, certainly yes and great point made. One to one personalized marketing strategy is the need of the hour and definitely, while most of the marketers are spending a lot of energy on ads and you know other channels to bring the customers to the website and app like you highlighted, definitely we should also focus on personalization. So Omar I’ll just add to the question, what is your advice to our listeners and the upcoming marketers as well from other Industries on how they should correctly measure and improve the growth with respect to the app and the website because today while we are looking at a lot of options with respect to email marketing and where their nap and personalization. What is the right way to measure and improve You’ve all these results and you know, try to connect the progress? 

Omar: Okay, basically all the things that we have started in having good marketing activities, so our channels like email or web or app is the first thing that we have to make sure that we give to our customer is that there are no one size fits. All right, so there is no one-size-fits-all. So then for all the marketing activities that we want to do with our customer, it’s it should have to be based on the preference or the needs of our customer. How can we do that? The first thing that we have to do is like we have to capture all the activities of our customers. Well, so for example when the visitor or Smart visit our website or a product or apps we have to capture all the activities. So then based on the ton of the activities we can make a conclusion about their needs or their preference. So then we can have a proper personalized Market. It is to 1 of our customer measured the growth and something like that. It’s like yeah, we are for every single initiative we have to know that what is the goal of every single Initiative? For example, We have a problem as the retention rate is very low, for example, so we have to know that okay, we have to define what’s kind of the marketing activities. The one that we want to go for something that’s kind of the problem. And then once we have runs our initiative, we have to measure the right API. The right metric to measure is there is any growth in our attention or not? So we can exactly know that’s our initiative or our effort is working or not something like that. See, so we have to capture the data first so we can understand our customer and then we can make a personalized marketing initiative and then over every single initiative that we have, we will do or we are running, we have to know that what’s coming the metric that’s suitable with this kind of initiative. So we know is it working or not? I think that’s the thing we have to note in doing your marketing activities. 

Pradeep: Thank you very much for sharing those insights for I think that’s a very interesting and excellent and organized approach. So you track then you measure and then you optimize right? That’s a very organized way of how you can measure and improve growth. I think it’s very useful for all the marketers out there. Thank you very much for sharing that. 

Omar: Nice, welcome.

Chelsea: Thank you, Mr. Omar, I continued to ask in Indonesian, that how to actually sell and also for How to distribute using tools for those targeted below, which means that if possible, one might actually be valuable tips for us to see that the customer is from those who contribute then they become sluggish. The first level is that they have to divide then give the right response according to what they need and want.

Omar: So what is it called wanting, and one thing that is important in acting initiative or marketing activities is how can we provide something relevant and useful to customers, right? If we, for example, return to weekends like email, it will be annoying. How do I measure it is useful or not is in what way are they interested in the content or information.  What we give as for example for in marketing, we can see the development of the open read tradition from the excretion or from the conversion from the market, that’s what will be our reference in marketing. What We do is if we see a friend o and make an effort. Whatever we do to our customer is something that is relevant and useful to make it in such a way that in the end my printing place will also be good and his friends will also be happy

Chelsea: If from Kompas Gramedia itself, there are a lot of customers, of course, there are various backgrounds, so you can tell the truth that it’s like the generation that is actually biggest or for example, there are no friends from where to go to.  Kompas Gramedia has the most dominant market as the best market in terms of gross and loyalty that we can get.

Omar: For this product, we have different techniques for working with the most 4G, SanDisk, debit cards, each of these products is different. The most dominant thing is that we have Amaris, have Santika, and friends for Amaris Hotel, that means the people here are  People who are relatively young and they are checking in can be rich but for Santika or Santika Premiere or why I think they are more likely for people who already have a fairly new to e-economy. The economy is quite high and they send a Mini made  From Gramedia retail, for example, our retail Gramedia is mostly to mothers who buy for their children to be like books, textbooks, schoolbooks. In Gramedia, there are also a lot of novels or comics lovers, so if in Gramedia retail, maybe the ones that can be classified there are mothers who happened to come and then and also some lovers books what they are willing to read more on gramedia.com, gramedia.com, online. You know, what is the name, which tends to be identical to that, yes, millennials and they are thinking for the promotion So if you ask gramedia.com  Indeed they are the ones they are relatively easy-going. young students, school children, until college at the beginning they were like that, so it’s like they deleted the promotion. If there was no weekend promo they didn’t really want to be willing to make up so  Like how do you make the right thing promote for colleagues to shop that but we also have a lot more for each product.  We have friends with each and every person, namely each segment. Yes, we accept thematically, how do we get them to us like that.

Pradeep: Omar, So I have another question for you here now with this year being a bit, you know unplanned with all the pandemics. I’m sure a lot of marketers were expecting a lot of Technologies to take over 2020. A few are saying this is going to be the year of AI assume were telling this one of the years we are they so now I’m sure even you had great expectations of 2020 s. So what do you think, you know which technology you have been better at this year or which technology you think is going to take over the next coming year. 

Omar: Okay. Thank you for the question. So basically about the what’s kind of the technology that way there will be a break apart Privateer is that after this pandemic we have realized as the company that facing the customer, we have to realize, we have what I think that we have to build is how to build an Empire, how to build a digital environment. So then we can we as a company it can connect to our customers in the digital world. So it’s not deep and on we have to open the store. We have to open the physical touchpoint or something like that. So I think the one thing the one thing that we will focus on is the companies like we will build and grow our digital informant currently. We have started like five years ago. We have built gramedia.com, we have their grammar digital, we also have a combustor command other online Gramedia and then we also have like – Santikra and our loyalty so basically all those digital environments we have, we will have a priority on this kind of things. So this is the first one, so we will build or grow this an informant. So then the, for example, the customer or the user on Santikra or others product is increasing significantly and then the second one is like we will have a priority in technology in doing understanding our customers. So I think the technology that they can help us in our understanding our customers will help us in both our Gramedia industry and also all the transactional products that we have. So for example for professional products like gramedia or Santikra, we already get a personalization, right? So basically the one thing that be our homework is like we want to have also the capability for having personalization in our online Gramedia. I can say like in serving ads. So for example currently it is everyone visits the Kompas outcome or treatment or Grid or something like that. We have not personalized yet about the ads that we exposed to our customers. So the one thing that we want to focus on is how to manage or how to capture the prevalence or the needs of our  visitors in our online Gramedia and then how to build a capability in AI to understand the customers and then we can give or expose the app and that the most relevant and process went to our customer. I think that kind of technology or that’s kind of the priority that we will have in current and then in the future in the future. So then we can have the capability in the physical touchpoint and also in a digital board. Also, I think that’s  the thing us after this pandemic.

Pradeep: Brilliantly focused, that you have Omar that the short and the long term wishing. Well, definitely. Yes personalization is a key and what you’re looking at is increasing the scale itself. We are offering relevance across all the channels that are possible. Fantastic insight. For all the marketers and the listeners of this podcast. So before I let you go about more I definitely have ask you this one question since you’ve come from composite. Here, which is that one book that you would advise the marketers or anybody to you know, definitely can read for business reason or it can also be for personal growth reason for which is at one book that you have enjoyed and you would recommend.

Omar: Okay, actually I think because I do like to read the novel or something like a fiction, I think maybe you can enjoy the book of from the outer side thoroughly or  kurniawan. This is one thing there. I’m very interested in having in my spare time, picking an open or editing a fiction books. I think that’s you can thrive in Kompas campaign. And then if you want to if you cannot go to our store, you can buy in our grammar error come or Gramma digital for the e-book. I think that things for the audience.

Pradeep: Classic but definitely, you know, even I’m a big fan of fiction. So I’m definitely going to check out that book so much for the situation. Thank you very much for your time. Today session was definitely very insightful and I’m sure the marketers and the listeners of this podcast we have had a lot of insightful points to work upon and great. Thank you so much for your time Omar.

Omar: Okay, most welcome as well. Thank you Pradeep and tell to Chelsea also this time and the discussion. 

Pradeep: Thank you all listeners for staying tuned to our podcast. Please do watch out for our podcast section and thank you very much.


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