By: Dipta Darmesti
What is marketed? Philip Kotler said that the answers are almost everything can be marketed: goods, persons, experiences, information, idea, and even a country. I am Indonesian, but I live in Malaysia for a couple of months. This is my second time. I’ve been in Malaysia last year, for holiday.
Well, related to the title, a country can be marketed. When I go to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, I can see a huge banner of Malaysia promotional ads, said that “Malaysia is truly Asia”. Even a country put such an ads in another country’s capital. Malaysia is very aggressive in promoting their country. Few months ago, my friends attended a blog competition, held by Selangor State Tourism Board. They were selected to enjoy tourism things in Selangor. In the Malaysian Embassy, Jakarta, I can take free booklets and Malaysia maps.
I live in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. I go around the city and I can’t find any country’s advertisement like I found in Jakarta before. I had an experience as a tourist in Malaysia. They have Hop-On-Hop-Off (HOHO) buses that go around the tourism objects in KL. The important thing is the low budget airline AirAsia is headquartered Malaysia, and they make Kuala Lumpur as a “gate” to go around Asia. Malaysia introduced their country well, and set good perceptions in foreigners’ mind. That’s what marketing for.
Marketing is not only about promotions. In the earlier marketing mix, there is “4P” which consists of Product, Price, Place, and Promotions. Those Ps should be met to obtain a successful marketing. Indonesia has many incredible tourism objects, but it’s hard to access those objects, poor transportation, and it is a big problem. The “Place” element does not match. Poor transportation will cause higher price to go to the location, and only few people can afford it. Then, the “Price” element also does not match. And now, the “Promotion” element. One of my job is news-media monitoring. Almost everyday, I see bad news in Indonesian media: corruption case, violence, sexual harassment in the public transportation, etc. Indonesia is not that bad, many beautiful things inside. Those will cause some bad image about Indonesia. That’s why Indonesia need to do “country marketing”. Not only about tourism, but also in investment.
Recently, World Bank conducted a survey about the most interesting and friendly city for investment in Indonesia. The results are:
5. Banda Aceh
Yogyakarta is #1 :) This survey has good impact in Indonesia’s country marketing. Hopefully it will reduce the bad image and attract more investors to go to Indonesia. Maybe we have to show up and promote the country aggressively, just like Malaysia do.