Getting personal: Maya Watono, CEO for Dentsu Indonesia, on running marathons and companies
Maya Watono is the CEO for Dentsu Indonesia. In our conversation with her, she shares how future-proofing our brands can ensure that we continue to stay ahead of the curve. From running marathons to running a company, come see Watono’s thoughts on the importance of balancing data-driven insights with creativity and her thoughts on the evolution of marketing.
The future is definitely digital, and if you don't want to move there, you'd never future-proof yourself. You always have to be two, three, four steps ahead of the market, of the curve.
Hi, I'm Maya Watono. I'm the CEO of Dentsu Indonesia.
Okay. So I'm a runner, I'm a marathoner, so I'm always constantly searching about running. My latest Google search, I think, is about running drills. Not terribly exciting, but yeah.
I get a lot of ideas during running. I think about a lot of things. And it teaches me a lot about... Especially marathon, because you want to give up. Marathon, you run and you're in pain and you want to give up. And I think that kind of teaches me how to kind of push through the pain and never giving up. And eventually if you take just one step each time, the finish line will come. So I think that translates back a lot into my work and to the way I run business.
So I think what we found now also the needs from brands have shifted quite a bit from previously. I think now, brands come to us with a problem and we have to provide a solution. And oftentimes, the solution, we cannot work in silo to provide the solution. And it needs so many different eyes, so many different expertise. But often, different expertise work as specialist. And we really need to be able to integrate the different expertise and specialist into a holistic view of what the brands need. And this is where I think this collaboration really works. And Dentsu is actually, in fact, the only agency that works in this one Dentsu philosophy where every unit works together for the holistic solution for the clients. And me, being an Indonesian, I brought in the culture of Gotong royong which is a very Indonesian culture of working together towards a common goal. Usually when we really do have a solid team, that's when I think magic happens.
I guess the top learnings is that I think the future is definitely digital, and if you don't want to move there, you'd never future-proof yourself. You always have to be two, three, four steps ahead of the market, of the curve. And we know that that's where the future is. And in order to future-proof ourselves, we have to go digital. So I think maybe the biggest learning is just future-proof yourself.
I guess a big chunk of my career was, it was kind of that very traditional TV and then print, radio, out of home. But now, the last three years or so, we have seen that acceleration, especially the last one to two years, perhaps, that need of digital. But then also, it's about being data-driven but still idea led. So it's about that balance between understanding that things have to be data-driven, tech-enabled, but then everything has to revolve around creativity and idea. So I think that balancing, that delicate balance of both creativity and data, I think is where we need to go.