Google is targeting Indonesia's small and medium enterprises to boost its expansion in the region.
The Silicon Valley giant is providing an opportunity for Indonesian SMEs to develop their businesses and find new customers by advertising on Google Adwords, a Google product aimed at businesses with limited cash flow.
"The thing we always have problems with in small businesses is cash flow. Sometimes it is a good month, sometimes not, so many small businesses are very pragmatic and adopt very 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 online advertising, especially search marketing, could be a powerful driver of business growth for nearly 50 million Indonesian small and medium businesses, adding "Google AdWords is one of the most cost-effective and highly targeted online advertising platforms available today."
The key benefit of Google AdWords, said Callow, was it could help advertisers target new audiences on the Google advertising network, provide greater control of budget, content and geographic targeting of adverts, as well as control over time commitments.
"There's no minimum spending requirement or time commitment. And with the cost-per-click option, you're only charged if people click your ads. This means every dollar of your budget goes toward bringing you new prospects," Callow said.
"With a minimum bid of Rp 90 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."
To date, he said, the most popular Indonesian adverts in Google were those from travel, import-export and professional service companies, including accounting, legal, healthcare and financial companies.
Callow was speaking at a seminar on how Indonesian small and medium businesses could take advantage of targeted online advertising.
The seminar, held in cooperation with news portal detik.com and market research firm Synovate at the Ritz-Carlton Pacific Place Hotel, is Google's first-ever foray in promoting online advertising in the country.
Eva Yusuf, associate director of Synovate Indonesia, said her company's research showed there were more than 23 million Internet users in Indonesia in 2007, projected to grow by more than 16 percent to almost 27 million users by the end of this year.
"We also found most Indonesians turn to the Internet to search for information before making a purchasing decision," Eva said.
"These trends imply more business opportunities for small and medium businesses to advertise online to a growing pool of Internet users in Indonesia as well as to overseas customers."