To engage consumers, Jakarta needs to improve its communications

As the world attempts to shake loose the shackles of the economic meltdown, competition for tourists from both established and new markets is gathering pace.

But the new environment is an even more competitive one. There are almost 200 countries worldwide and over 100,000 places in Asia alone, actively seeking to attract and retain tourists.

As a result, it is increasingly important that destinations seeking domestic and international visitors have a well researched, structured, long-term strategy for increasing visibility & engaging the right segments to generate arrivals.

One relative newcomer to this tourism marketing battleground is the city of Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, located on the island of Java and the capital of Indonesia. If you haven’t been to Jakarta I recommend you go as soon as possible because it is a fascinatiing destination.

I spotted this ad in a Malaysian daily recently.

Does this ad make you want to get more information on Jakarta?
Does this ad make you want to get more information on Jakarta?

It would appear that the people at the Jakarta tourism and culture department are looking to attract visitors to Jakarta with the promise of great shopping. However, as a consumer, without knowing anything about the rest of this campaign I can tell you that this ad needs work.

Firstly, what is the headline trying to tell us? Is it telling us that time is irrelevant? This is an existential argument and possibly true but in this situation not relevant. Perhaps it is saying, “don’t worry about time when you go shopping in Jakarta”? Or to be more specific, when you go shopping for shoes because after looking at this ad, am I wrong to assume Jakarta is a great place to buy shoes?

There is no call to action, the image of the shoe boxes looks photo shopped onto the main image and there isn’t a website address to gather more information.

So I took it on myself to google (other search engines are available) “Enjoy Jakarta” and arrived at the official Jakarta travel website where I couldn’t find any information on enjoying Jakarta, shopping or even shoe shopping.

Not the best introduction to what Jakarta has to offer
Not the best introduction to what Jakarta has to offer

I spent some time on the site and for what it’s worth, I found the site very slow, difficult to navigate with limited information and English that needs proof reading before pubication. When I clicked on the “Why Jakarta” tab on the drop down menu, the information provided was hardly compelling and unlikely to attract investors. And talking of investors, is this a tourism site or a business site?

Not the most compelling of arguments
Not the most compelling of arguments

Moreover, I found the information above the fold didn’t match the information below the fold and when I clicked on Wine and Dine in the footer, all I got was a list of restaurants which to a first time visitor would mean nothing.

This won't mean much to anyone
This won’t mean much to anyone

Today, audiences rely less on traditional media to source information, making them increasingly hard to reach. Furthermore, consumers are less inclined to see or be interested in a corporate driven message delivered across traditional media.

But as the reliance on traditional media diminishes, opportunities arise in new and social media. Where before, companies were dependent on content from the media owners, today they can create their own content that resonates with specific consumers and their interests.

Consumers too are developing their own content and it’s important that destination brands such as Jakarta understand this and provide channels for consumers to create and share content.

It is good to see Jakarta looking to encourage visitors to this exciting city but it will take more than the print campaign and website reviewed in this article to be successful.


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