People In Research – Adhistya Febriani.

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In our latest feature for the People in Research series at Kadence International, we’re thrilled to present an insightful conversation with Adhistya Febriani, Associate Research Director at our Indonesia office.

Adhistya Febriani is the driving force behind many of Kadence International’s successes in Indonesia. Her journey in market research began in 2012 when she joined Kadence. 

What started as a leap of faith transformed into a remarkable career marked by dedication, passion for learning, and a commitment to delivering results. Adhistya’s story shows the power of hands-on experience and continuous growth, making her an invaluable asset to the world of market research.

Here’s an in-depth discussion about her career, the future of market research, and working at Kadence International. 

How did your journey in market research begin, and what led you to Kadence International?

Joining Kadence marked the beginning of my career in market research in 2012. Kadence caught my eye as a company that could help me bridge the gap between theory and practice. 

I learned the ropes of market research from scratch. This hands-on experience gave me insights into data collection, analysis, and strategic thinking. Kadence has been more than just a workplace; it’s been the foundation of my career growth.

You’ve had a swift progression at Kadence. What do you attribute this rapid advancement to, and what have been the key milestones in your career here?

My success can be attributed to:

  1. A combination of dedication.
  2. A passion for continuous learning.
  3. A commitment to delivering results.

Critical milestones in my career at Kadence International include:

  1. Achieving success in fostering repeated business with clients.
  2. Actively mentoring the team to excel as outstanding consultants.
  3. Overseeing the expansion into social media listening—an area beyond traditional surveys.

Additionally, I actively pursued professional development opportunities, such as Data Science and Analytics, which enhanced my skills and contributed to my growth within the company.

What aspects of market research do you find most fulfilling, and how has this passion evolved over your career?

I’ve had the opportunity to engage in diverse studies across various industries. What keeps me excited is that I’ve never worked on the same research or within the same industry year after year. This variation keeps the work engaging and allows me to approach each project with a fresh perspective. 

This continuous exposure to variety ensures that my work remains dynamic, and there’s always something new to discover and master in market research.

Can you share an example of an exciting or challenging project you’ve worked on at Kadence?

We had this exciting project at Kadence, where the client wanted to understand how consumers use this popular pay-later payment method in Indonesia. Pay-later is similar to a unique version of a credit card.

We employed qualitative and quantitative research across various cities in Indonesia, followed by workshops with the brand team to craft targeted messages for each customer segment.

The qualitative phase established a baseline, while the quantitative survey validated and quantified insights gained, supplying statistically significant data for segmentation analysis.

The results provided our clients with detailed segmentation of their target audience and offered actionable recommendations for tailored marketing strategies, product features, and customer communication to better address the specific needs of each identified segment.

In your role, how do you approach troubleshooting and problem-solving in complex projects?

I follow a systematic and collaborative approach. This involves breaking down the problem into smaller parts, identifying key variables, and assessing potential root causes. 

Once the problem is well-defined, I collaborate with team members. Brainstorming sessions are valuable tools in this phase. We assess each solution’s feasibility and potential impact, prioritizing those with the highest likelihood of success and the most significant positive impact on the project.

Communication is essential throughout this process. Keeping stakeholders informed about progress, challenges, and proposed solutions fosters transparency and ensures alignment. 

Additionally, I remain adaptable and open to refining the approach as new information emerges during troubleshooting.

What advice would you give those new to market research, particularly in Indonesia?

Market research is a dynamic field. Stay curious and commit to continuous learning. Keep yourself updated on trends and developments by following industry news and reading market reports. 

Also, explore training programs and workshops focused on market research. I saw many organizations offer courses that provide practical skills and insights specific to the industry in Indonesia. 

Lastly, familiarize yourself with the technological tools commonly used in market research. This includes survey platforms, data analysis software, and other digital tools that streamline research processes. Being tech-savvy will enhance your efficiency and effectiveness in the field.


How does conducting market research in Indonesia differ from other regions, and what unique challenges does it present?

The urban-rural divide in Indonesia is pronounced. With over 17,000 islands comprising the Indonesian archipelago, each with distinct socio-economic dynamics, research strategies must account for the different lifestyles, preferences, and access to technology between urban and rural populations. 

While Indonesia has a rapidly growing digital landscape, there are still challenges related to internet penetration and technology accessibility, especially in rural areas. Researchers must adapt their methodologies to accommodate these digital literacy and access variations.

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, and religious considerations play a significant role in daily life. Researchers must be sensitive to religious norms and values, ensuring that research approaches and topics align with cultural and religious sensitivities.

What should foreign brands know or consider when entering the Indonesian market based on your research experience?

Based on my research experience, foreign brands require a holistic approach that acknowledges Indonesia’s cultural diversity, regional nuances, and linguistic variations.

As a result of Indonesia’s rich cultural diversity, we see varying consumer behaviors and preferences. Brands should tailor their strategies to accommodate these regional variations, recognizing each market’s unique characteristics. 

For instance, cooking behavior differs between Java and Sumatra, with Java Island leaning towards sweeter flavors, while in Sumatra, spiciness is more prevalent.

While Bahasa Indonesia is the official language, the archipelago’s linguistic diversity is vast. Localization efforts, including language adaptation, are crucial for effective communication. Consideration of regional languages can enhance the brand’s reach and impact.

How have technological advancements influenced your approach to market research?

Technology advancements have significantly enhanced the efficiency of data collection and analysis. 

The shift towards digital surveys and online platforms has played a pivotal role in streamlining data collection processes. These tools not only facilitate quicker response times but also ensure a broader reach and more efficient organization of survey data.

Integrating survey data and social media listening tools has also become integral to our research approach. Social media listening lets us gauge public sentiment, track trends, and understand online conversations about brands or products in real-time.

Kadence Indonesia is currently in the process of developing capabilities in AI and machine learning. We look forward to leveraging these advancements to gain deeper insights and deliver even more impactful research outcomes.


Can you discuss any innovative methods or technologies that Kadence has adopted under your leadership?

Recognizing the growing significance of online conversations, I’ve been selected to lead the development of advanced social media listening tools. 

These tools help us track what people say online about brands and products in real time. They’ve added a new layer to our research, giving us a deeper understanding of what consumers think and like.

How do you stay updated with the latest trends and developments in market research?

I keep up with the latest trends in market research by following critical influencers on LinkedIn, subscribing to the Harvard Business Review, and reading Kadence’s newsletter every month. Additionally, I find professional growth and development by reading 1 to 2 books per month. 

I also enjoy listening to our podcast, ‘The Elusive Consumer,’ which gives me valuable insights from the CEO of Kadence America. This mix helps me stay on top of what’s happening in our industry.

How do you balance the demands of your role with personal time and hobbies?

Balancing the demands of my role with personal time and hobbies is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Integrating my hobbies, like running, into my routine helps create a sense of balance. 

It has become a habit for me to run in the early mornings before the official working hours begin. 

This ritual helps me recharge and sets a positive tone for the rest of the day, keeping me energized and focused.

You’ve been involved in social services, like the orphanage buddy program. How do these experiences influence your professional perspective?

It has significantly shaped my professional perspective. Engaging with the orphanage buddy program, where I had the opportunity to mentor and support young individuals, taught me the importance of effective communication, patience, and the ability to tailor my approach to meet individual needs. This hands-on experience has enhanced my interpersonal skills, enabling me to collaborate more effectively with colleagues and clients from various backgrounds.

What are your professional goals for the next few years at Kadence International?

My goals at Kadence International for the next few years are all about growing and making a positive impact. Firstly, I want to take on more leadership roles, using my experience to help with important decisions and managing projects.

I also want to improve in new market research areas, like data analytics, data science, and artificial intelligence. This way, I can bring fresh and smart solutions to our clients.

I’m excited about creating a teamwork environment where everyone works well together. I want to help the team members learn and do their best in their jobs.

Overall, I’m eager to help Kadence succeed, keep learning, and adapt to the fast changes in our industry.

Where do you see the market research industry in Indonesia heading in the near future?

I’m optimistic about the significant changes happening in the market research industry in Indonesia, but these changes may take some time, especially considering Indonesia’s diverse regions and populations. 

Adopting advanced technologies like data analytics and artificial intelligence might be gradual due to these regional variations. Overall, I see a positive direction as most of the market research firms in Indonesia embrace new ideas and figure out how to handle the unique challenges in different parts of Indonesia.

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