Jakarta, 31 October 2016 – Happy Halloween!! This year MicroAd Indonesia held Halloween Party called “MAILOWEEN” with so many scared galore, gruesome surprises and plenty of screams. The MAILOWEEN team began preparing the event from two weeks before the D-day. The event provided lots of hilarious fights.
Today, MicroAd Indonesia officially entered a new phase. Our slogan for Q4 is “1 Breakthrough Step!” – signaling a new step, in fact, a big leap in our corporate history.
Let’s begin from the market condition. For many of us in the Indonesian digital marketing world, we all no doubt wonder sometimes, are we on the right track? Are we in the right industry? We are a tiny droplet in the ocean of traditional, conventional multinational agencies. Spending in digital is, in fact, a tiny speck within the big pie of budget spent on TV ads, printed media and radio.
Now here comes the awesome data from eMarketer. True, digital ad spending in Indonesia, as of last year, was only US$140 million – less than 1/50th of Japan’s digital ad spend that stood at US$9.6 billion. BUT notice the next part of the news. Digital ad spending growth in Indonesia is projected to grow y-o-y 70+% consistently until 2015!! By far, Indonesia will outshine the growth of the entire Asia-Pacific region, which means our digital market in Indonesia will more than triple the current size. (Read the complete article here.)
So what does that mean for us digital marketing players? And what does that mean for us Maizen?
First off, to avoid confusion, in MicroAd Indonesia, we proudly address ourselves as MAIZEN. (Read the philosophy behind our name here.)
The fact that the digital marketing industry in Indonesia has such a brilliant prospect should comfort all of us struggling and tackling fierce competitors now. If you own a digital agency, you probably know exactly how it feels to squint your eyes through when checking your financial statements. The business is not so profitable now–frankly speaking. Yet again, with such bright future soon to come, you ARE in the right industry.
As Maizen (yes y’all, I’m talkin’ to ya!), this news comes as a JOLT & BOOST right when it’s needed. Two years have passed since MicroAd was established in Indonesia. From a team of two, it’s now a team of thirty-two. All thirty diligent Maizen, you ARE in the right industry, at the right timing. Imagine if MicroAd were to start this year, from zero, in Indonesia. Luckily at this point we have track record of handling over 30 clients in the past two years, ranging from giant retail companies (brand clients) to fast-paced Internet companies (performance-based clients). This rightly equips us to fight in fierce competition against giant traditional agencies and players, which for the first time, jumped right through the ‘blue ocean’ of digital ad market.
Now we know that the market is good. The prospect is there. But how to win, then?
One of the major advantages of MicroAd Indonesia is that our COO, Enohara-san, had over 13 years of experience in digital marketing at CyberAgent, and he knew right from the beginning that a digital agency could only succeed if we offered ‘full course menu’. At this stage when the market is immature, clients quite naive about Internet, and digital marketers still learning, we cannot afford to focus on just one service and hope that will kick off. Had we focused only to PPC or ad platform (original products by MicroAd), for example, we probably would have never obtained 30 clients over the past two years. We would bleed longer, too.
Hence we are happy, dearest Maizen, to reaffirm our point across that we are on the RIGHT TRACK. We have so far chosen the right strategy to offer holistic approach to digital services. We were right. Man, doesn’t that feel good? 🙂
Of course, now is just the beginning of the battle. In order for MicroAd Indonesia to grow larger and tougher, we need more than just a foundation. We need strong builders. For that, we need to start with a strong management.
As announced in our Quarterly Meeting, here comes our historic hallmark: For the first time, we are adding the third pillar in the Board of MicroAd Indonesia. Please meet Alex, who has been in digital marketing for 9 years, specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and graduated with a degree in Computer Sciences.
We believe that the three executive pillars of the Board –Enohara-san, Elisa, and Alex– have personality traits and comparative skill advantages that cover each other to create a balanced synergy. Just about the right amount.
With the new Board, we are excited to press forward with our new slogan: “1 Breakthrough Step!”
Together, we can! Happy cruising in to Q4 of 2013!
For our special Anniversary Day, we have compiled a two-part chronology to MicroAd Indonesia’s early beginning. The first part records important events that spans June-Dec 2011, while the second part spans Jan-Jun 2012.
Sit back and please, join our festive reminiscing and time travel. This chronology is a tribute to our beloved MicroAd crews.
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 – MicroAd Indonesia (MAI) was officially born
It was honestly a very modest launching day — we called a few press reporters to a meeting room in Grand Hyatt. Then our Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) was signed between Mr.Kentaro Watanabe (CEO of MicroAd, Inc. Japan) and Mr.Suryanto Wijaya (CEO of PT MicroAd Indonesia and Corfina Group). The next day, news about MicroAd was on printed and online media, including Jakarta Shimbun, Seputar Indonesia newspaper, Okezone.com, as well as tech blogs such ad DailySocial and Penn Olson.
Monday, 27 June 2011 – MicroAd Indonesia was a speaker at MobileMonday
Just two working days after our JVA, before we officially launched operations, we were already speaking at MobileMonday (MoMo). Was this amazing, or what?
Mr.Yoshiki Enohara (aka Enohara-san, COO of MAI) led as the speaker, discussing advertising industry in Japan and MicroAd’s launch as an ad network in Indonesia. Elisa Yoshigoe (CMO of MAI) translated next to Enohara-san as he was speaking in Japanese. Fortunately, at that timing, foreign speakers were still rare at MoMo; therefore our presentation particularly caught attention and was even claimed as the first presentation in non-English language for MoMo Indonesia.
What we learned from MoMo was that speaking at an event is crucial for recruiting process. We immediately received applications from students who wanted to become our interns. It’s time for baby MicroAd to start kicking off its operations!
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 – Green logo of MicroAd Indonesia was created
Instead of using the original orange MicroAd Japan logo, we localized the logo into a green MicroAd Indonesia logo. Aside from symbolizing the lush green tropical Indonesia, the green color represents our strong roots to our holding company, CyberAgent, Inc.. We are indeed a digital marketing company like CyberAgent. Since more than 10 years ago, our COO Enohara-san had been the Head of CyberAgent for West Japan (Osaka, Fukuoka, etc). Yes, he was one of the elite early members who worked closely with Mr.Susumu Fujita, CEO of CyberAgent, in growing their digital agency business. Mr.Watanabe (CEO of MicroAd Japan) was an even earlier and also elite team member of CyberAgent.
Today, CyberAgent has grown to a publicly listed Internet giant, with more than 2,000 employees worldwide. For 5 years in a row, CyberAgent has won the prestigious “Great Place to Work” Award, top ranked together with Google and Microsoft Japan (for 2011, CyberAgent ranked higher than Morgan Stanley!). Indeed, for the young generation of Japanese engineers, CyberAgent has the equivalent of liberal culture as Google.
This brings us back to MicroAd Indonesia. We share similar passion and culture with CyberAgent. We are not a boxed in corporate – we are a transparent, open team who work hard very closely with each other. We watch movies together, play Kinect at the office on late nights, and cram proposal from cafes to cafes on some weekends (we know how to play and work hard, don’t worry). No matter how large MicroAd Indonesia grows, we will stick closely; togetherness is one of our prized values.
Tuesday, 12 July 2012 – First day for our 2 interns
We started from two – our COO and CMO. Soon enough, the team grew to 4 people, as the 2 interns who saw us at MoMo started their first day at the office. From compiling database to designing our letterheads, our interns helped baby MicroAd to have its first steps.
We owe both our precious interns for being there on our crucial beginning. We extend thanks especially to one of them, Hubertus, who has since stayed with us and become our full-time SEM & SEO Specialist. He is certainly one of our best-performing crews, and, inclusive of this internship period, officially our No.1 Employee!
Wednesday, 3 August 2011 – Company stamp of MicroAd Indonesia was first created
As with any legitimate companies, when sealing partnerships with publishers (we were still an ad network back then), we needed our company stamp. Hence our first ever company stamp was created – it was a truly symbolic start of our business.
Thursday, 11 August 2011 – Our first full-time employee was hired
Quite naturally but unplanned, our first full-time crew member is the CMO’s university peer at UC Berkeley. Both Elisa and Rania were officers -Treasurer and Vice President, respectively- at Berkeley Indonesian Student Association. Even though Rania majored in Chemical Engineering, MicroAd soon became a warm home for her learning experience. Rania is currently in our Research & Analysis Team, as well as working hard in her newfound talent – logical and persistent sales calls!
Monday, 22 August 2011 – Our second full-time employee was hired
Our key team member joined from previously working in a digital media buying agency and TV station. Out of hundreds of applicants in our local job listing, our CMO, Elisa, miraculously picked one of the most talented sales person. Despite of her young age, Lidya is one of our sales leaders, known for her sharp cognitive skills when interacting with clients. We are proud to have such strong team at MicroAd Indonesia.
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 – First visit to MicroAd and CyberAgent Japan headquarter
For our MicroAd Indonesia CEO & CMO, the day began with their first visit to MicroAd Japan headquarter, with speech by our CMO at the morning company-wide meeting. Impressions? We were impressed with the two-sided TVs with real-time sales ranking. It was definitely a handy way to keep up spirit for all sales teams in MicroAd Japan.
We also love the photos on the wall with faces of MicroAd crews and their goals written on a piece of paper held up by each person. In fact, it was so inspiring that we applied the same concept to MicroAd Indonesia’s team and took similar photo sessions.
From MicroAd Japan headquarter, we walked several blocks away in Shibuya’s busy streets to CyberAgent building. There, we met firsthand with CyberAgent CEO, Mr.Susumu Fujita. He was dressing so casually that we were taken back – you see, we were so used to seeing his iconic photo with a sleek, black suit in the Annual Report. Mr.Fujita was very friendly and made a joke of how Enohara-san looked ever younger and more fresh. The power of Indonesia, indeed
We also met Mr.Toshi Namba, top person in charge of Ameba Pico, social avatar game by CyberAgent. Since US is the world’s third largest user base for Ameba Pico, Mr.Namba is stationed both in Tokyo and San Francisco, where CyberAgent America is headquartered. One interesting fact about Mr.Namba is that he attended courses in UGM (Universitas Gajah Mada), top university in Yogyakarta, and then did internship at Jakarta Shimbun, the only Japanese newspaper in Indonesia. Thus Mr.Namba speaks Indonesian, and yes, with Ameba Pico expanding to Indonesia, there may be even a chance that Mr.Namba will be stationed in Jakarta. When we met Mr.Namba at that time, we had no idea yet that MicroAd will be in full charge of Ameba Pico’s promotions in Indonesia. What a long way since then!
The next day, we also attended ad:tech Tokyo, where MicroAd and CyberAgent were both speakers, along with GREE, mixi, DeNA, Dentsu, Hakuhodo, and many other top digital and advertising players.
Wednesday, 2 November 2011 – MicroAd Indonesia was one of the judges at JKT48 girls band audition
JKT48 is the first overseas sister group of AKB48, the number one girls band in Japan. Thanks to our close relationship with Dentsu, added with our deep knowledge in both Indonesian and Japanese cultures, we were asked to send our CMO, Elisa, as one of the 16 judges at the audition. Together with Mr.Akimoto, the infamous creator behind AKB48, the judges chose 28 girls out of 51 girls as the starting members of JKT48. It was one of the most unique stories we share with our Japanese partners and clients; and of course, we receive tickets for JKT48 concerts up until today (bingo!).
Tuesday, 29 November 2011 – Historic pitching was won
After our business model pivoted to digital marketing (while our advanced Ad platform was undergoing localization), Enohara-san guided us in full scale about digital agency business. With long -few times until midnight- overtime hours, MicroAd team managed to prepare a proposal to one of the largest retail clients in Indonesia. The result?
We won, and won again and again on our next ones!
But the cycle was certainly initiated on this date, and therefore we would like to mark it as our humble beginning. Special, very special thanks to everyone involved in this historic pitching – you are awesome.
Monday, 5 December 2011 – First business trip outside Jakarta
In respect to more business trips for MicroAd team, we would like to remember this date for our first business trip to Surabaya. Though a day trip, it was a sweet and memorable visit to agencies there. We have since targeted a company goal to bring MicroAd team to Japan – let’s hope that we could achieve our sales targets!!
Monday, 26 December 2011 – First year-end holiday
With this holiday, we are closing the first part of our chronology at MicroAd Indonesia. Please stay in tune for the second part, as we gathered many unique and outstanding crew members since the beginning of 2012 up to mid 2012.
We grow, but we stick together. For once and for all, best of wishes to all MicroAd Indonesia crews!!
Happy 1st Year Anniversary ♥