Sun, 06 Feb 2000

Targeting the local market

JAKARTA (JP): Some people do not buy certain types of cellular phones because they considered the models either too feminine, too masculine or too commonplace.

Handset producers also realize this and have gradually changed their marketing strategies.

Private surveyor AC Nielsen disclosed in its recent annual Media and Marketing Index Survey that different genders prefer different brands.

The survey was conducted in seven locations: the greater Jakarta area, the greater Surabaya area, Bandung, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Medan and Palembang.

Total sample was 290, with a projection of 854,000 population in the surveyed areas. The margin for error is estimated at some 1 percent.

The survey had an interesting finding in that women prefer Nokia while men prefer Ericsson.

The poll found that Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola are the most popular brands in Indonesia. Of those polled, Nokia was used by 334 people (39 percent), Ericsson 314 (37 percent) and Motorola 112 (13 percent). The other brands were Siemens (45 users or 5 percent), Philips (21 users or 2 percent), Samsung (16 users or 2 percent) and Bosch (five users or 1 percent). The only virtually unknown brand included in the survey was Alcatel.

Out of the 334 Nokia users, 189 were women, while Ericsson was used by 196 men. Motorola was the chosen cell phone of 77 women and 36 men.

The data show that 3 percent of urban adults have their own cell phone, 4 percent of the male population has one and 3 percent of women.

It discloses that 56 percent of users have had their phones for less than a year, suggesting that cell phones are fast becoming popular.

Fifty-nine percent of users said they used cellular phones mostly for personal purposes as opposed to business purposes.

"Given a low penetration of 3 percent of adults in the major areas, we still expect strong growth in the next few years in cellular phone sales. Even in the relatively affluent A-Class, the majority of Indonesian consumers do not have a phone," said Farquhar Stirling, managing director of AC Nielsen Indonesia.

There are currently some 2,050,000 cellular phone subscribers in Indonesia, up from 1.2 million in the previous year. The figure is estimated to reach three million by the end of this year.

Cellular phone producers consider Indonesia a promising market, as users regard mobiles as a fashion accessory. Some producers have refashioned their marketing around the style of their new products rather than adapted systems.

Ericsson, for instance, places customers in categories: A category for first timer users, R for professionals interested in the technology, and T for users who buy phones for image.

Motorola's Husni Erwinn said that the company categorized customers into four segments: Acomply for those seeking the best and the latest, Time Port for those looking for the technology, V. for those into image, and Talk About for those interested in a cell phone as a communications tool only.

The cellular phone market has indeed broaden in Indonesia, from the conventional to the more stylish. It's now the job of the producers to not only match the targeted segments with more innovative types but also with `qualified ones. (icn)