There was a time when Nokia had achieved phenomenal success in its marketing in Indonesia. In the early 2000s the Finnish mobile phone manufacturer launched the 5110 series which was very popular here in Indonesia and was dubbed as the “Cell phone of One Million Users”.
Another achievement was via its Communicator series which was mostly used by government officials and executives, raising the cell phone’s prestige. At that time Indonesia had the most users of Communicator in the world.
However, recently Nokia’s domination seems to be overshadowed by other brands. At the global level Nokia’s position has been taken over by Apple and the interest of consumers in major cities in this Canadian manufacturer with its smart phones and the onslaught of local mobile phones at the low end segment have also had an impact on Nokia’s domination. Or is that really the case?
Bob McDougall, Country Manager of Nokia Indonesia, denies such an assumption. “In the matter of market shares both in Indonesia and also in the world we are still number one for mobile phones as well as smartphones,” he asserted.
He added that the battle is no longer in the hardware but also in a wide range of supporting services and the use as well as the benefits of such services for the consumers. “In the past we used to have many types of cellulars because the only facilities available were voice and SMS but nowadays consumers always inquire whether Facebook and chatting facilities are available as well.” he emphasized.
In line with the changes in the marketing warfare McDougall explained that on Feb. 11, 2011 Nokia Global announced a new direction for its strategy that includes changes in leadership and operational structure in order to expedite the execution of various decisions within a dynamic and competitive environment.
One of the main elements in the latest strategy of Nokia Global is its strategic collaboration with leading software company Microsoft to develop a new ecosystem for a global mobile phone Windows Phone, which will function as a platform for Nokia’s smart phone.
Next Nokia is also developing new approaches in order to be connected with the Next Billion Consumers via the Internet in its efforts to boost market development. Lastly Nokia is also focusing on investments for the development of future technologies.
There are many logical reasons behind selecting Microsoft as a partner in the collaboration for the development of Nokia’s smart phones.
The partnership with Microsoft, explained McDougall, will make it possible for the creation of a more expansive “Ecosystem” in the future development of smart phones by involving many parties, namely the manufacturer, distributors, operators, applications makers as well as consumers.
Therefore Nokia and Microsoft are planning to provide a combined service portofolio that include applications for locations, searching, entertainment, social media, advertising and trade which will give a new experience to user through an integrated combination of the main service.
Although Nokia is entering into a collaboration with Microsoft for the development of Windows Phone, Nokia, said McDougall, will continue developing the Symbian operation system. “In many markets Symbian is our main platform and Nokia views this fact as an opportunity to grab a larger market share and more segments,” he said.
Nokia, according to McDougall, has not decided the delivery date of the latest Symbian products but will release more products and continue modernizing this platform based on the company’s extensive experience. “We believe Symbian will offer beneficial values for the operators, partners, developers and consumers in the coming years,” he said.
Nokia also sees that there are a lot of opportunities available to provide web and many other application based services to the “Next Billion Consumers” as there are 3.2 billion people in the world who still do not have mobile phones. Apart from that out of 3.7 billion users in the world there are 1.2 billion users who have mobile phones but only use the SMS service and are not yet connected to the web, so the remaining 2.5 billion are not connected to the web at all. About 75 percent of these 3 billion people live in countries with rapid economic growth such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and Indonesia.
McDougall emphasizes this fact as the biggest challenge. “How to make them connected and help remove the obstruction that stops users from getting the maximum advantage in this information era,” he added. He further said that Nokia is making innovations through the existing cell phones like the 40 and 30 series by expanding the data service including browser, applications and map.
He said that Nokia also has another superior application, Nokia Life Tools (NLT). After the company’s success with services in education, farming and entertainment Nokia has again launched a new feature included in Nokia Life Tools: a health service that provides tips on pregnancy, child care and general health and fitness topics. Nokia is working in collaboration with Parents Guide Indonesia magazine, Gama Techno and the Faculty of Medicine of Gadjah Mada University to provide the health feature in its NLT service. Currently in Indonesia two million users have accessed this NLT with most of them accessing the education service while the rest are accessing the information on farming and entertainment.
McDougall becomes very animated when he talks about the mobile phone industry perhaps because he has worked in the field for quite a long time. He joined Nokia in 2003 as Business Development Manager for Southeast Asia. Later he moved up to Business Development Manager for CDMA cellulars in India, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.
In 2004 he led Nokia Thailand and in October 2007 he was appointed as Sales Director for Customer and Market Operations for Nokia India. The experience he obtained in these countries had him well prepared for his appointment as country director of Nokia Indonesia, a position he has held since March, 2009.
He admitted that there are basic differences in marketing Nokia in the three countries, India, Thailand and Indonesia. In India, McDougall said, the influence of Bollywood film industry and cricket are quite dominant, while in Thailand cell phones are inseparable from fashion and lifestyle. In Indonesia communities have a great impact on the way the product is marketed and developed.
This situation plays an important part in how Nokia communicates with its users in Indonesia. Promotional campaigns in the social media now get a large portion next to promotions via conventional media. Nokia has also opened a fun page of Nokia Indonesia in Facebook and is interactive with its followers on Twitter through its account @nokiaindonesia.
In matters of leadership and operations McDougall is glad that Nokia as a global company has values that can be adopted worldwide. In Indonesia one of the things McDougall has done is to lead the employees of Nokia Indonesia to become more responsible in a wide range of fields, not only in sales and marketing but also to foster trust and cooperation between one another.
This is what he has also implemented with the distributors of Nokia in Indonesia. “Every year we hold a mutual business planning meeting to decide our strategy and objectives,” he said. Every six months McDougall and the management staff of Nokia Indonesia evaluate these together with the distributors. “Hence this way we can set our target and focus on our planned strategy,” he explained.
“We must also continuously convince our distributors and our other partners to keep striving and focus on efforts to achieve the set target for intended results” concluded McDougall, who was born in Scotland but raised in Australia.
Name: Bob McDougall
Place and date of birth: Kilwinning, Scotland, 25 November 1961
March 2009 – present: Country Manager Nokia Indonesia
Oct 2007: Sales Director for Customer and Market Operations, Nokia India
Oct 2004: Country Manager for Nokia Mobile Phones Thailand.
April 2003: Business Development Manager of Nokia Mobile Phones, South East Asia.
2002 – 2003: Sendo Mobile Phones Singapore
1998 – 2002: General Manager Philips Consumer Communications, India
1994 – 1998: National Channel Manager Optus Communications