Dentsu’s Jan Lin talks about her online beginnings and the need for ‘idea architects’ | Advertising

Jane Lane is a member of the grand jury for the upcoming 2022 Geriti Awards, the only global creative award to reward the best advertising from a female perspective, including Campaign Media partner. This interview is one in a series of interviews with members of the Gerety Jury at APAC by Campaign Contributor Barry Lustig.

Being a pioneer in the field of digital advertising, Jane Lin founded one of the first independent digital agencies in Asia in 1999, wwwins Consulting. Following the acquisition of her company, she has since held a variety of senior positions, including Global CEO of Isobar and International CEO of Dentsu for Creative. Last summer, Lin was promoted to CEO of the Dentsu Group. Its mission is to help the agency and its clients adopt innovative and sustainable business solutions in telecom and beyond.

In this interview, Lin argues that passion and strong personal values ​​are essential to success in the creative industry. She also shares how Dentsu plans to help its clients create and realize business growth opportunities that are aligned with doing good.

You started your career at Ogilvy. How did you become an entrepreneur and start your own agency?

The start was actually quite random. I was on maternity leave. If you know Chinese culture, you know that during the first month after the baby is born, you can do nothing. Traditionally, you can’t even wash your hair or take a shower. One of the main things is that you can’t read a book, because if you overuse your eyes, it’s going to be disastrous for the rest of your life, right? My mom was home when I had my daughter, and she was keeping an eye on me. I took all my books. That was killing me. What you didn’t know was that there was something called the Internet and I had a computer in my room. Therefore, I spent a lot of time on the Internet. That was in 1999, when the internet was on its way to take off. I was just saying to myself, “This is cool. This is going to change how companies interact with people, how people interact with people, how commerce is going to take place, how communities are going to be built. I want to do something with this.” This is the starting point when you are on maternity leave.

As an entrepreneur, what are the basic skills you need to run an agency?

You definitely need to have the passion, love, and curiosity for the things you are trying to create. You have a great idea, but you don’t know exactly how you are going to create it. Passion and curiosity, far from all skills, are paramount. These are the things that keep you up at night and wake you up in the morning.

Obviously, there are basic business skills that you need. You need to know how to interact and create opportunities with customers. You need to know how to sell your ideas. You have to be able to perform and see things through. But I feel that curiosity and passion are the ways to bring together different people and points of view. This is the way to innovate and learn. As you learn, other stresses become less important.

If I look back on my own journey, I will say that my goal was never to make a lot of money. I always believe that if you do something useful, people will buy it. Starting point [for my company and myself] It is knowing how far we can push the boundaries of how we use technology, creativity and innovation. How can we all come together to help a brand create an excessive relationship with its customers or a potential customer?

[When we started wwwins Consulting] We felt like we were going to school every morning. Every day at 5:00 p.m. we’d get together and share new things about what we’ve learned. This group learning was one of the most exciting times for all of us during the day. We’ve been doing this for a long time.

What are you excited about now?

I’m excited about how we can make the world kinder and more sustainable. We have to think smart about how to grow from the good. You should be able to grow your business and do a good job at the same time.

Dentsu has been in business for over 120 years. It has always started with the motto of “innovating well”, i.e. innovating while providing good things to society. It takes a lot of creative thinking and diverse abilities to come together and improve things for the next generation. I feel this is really important.

How will a focus on sustainability benefit Dentsu’s customers, business, and community?

From this perspective, we think about how to build an ecosystem that engages diverse and diverse stakeholders to achieve cultural transformation. We will bring together an ecosystem of NGOs, startups and our clients. We focus on making things work.

Dentsu’s perspective is clear. Our innovation credentials have been built over decades: how we create new business models; How we use technology and ideas to actually try to solve problems. In Japan, not many people inside Dentsu feel that we are just an advertising agency. We feel that we are the client’s growth partner. There are many ways we support businesses outside of advertising.

What are the most important aspects of cultural transformation that agencies should embrace?

I think the creative department needs to change from the old structure of art direction and copywriting. We’ve moved to a place where there are only two types of people. The first is the people who actually come up with ideas. The other is people who have software engineer skills. They can bring any idea to life and connect it to people through technology.

In the new world, if you work for a creative company, almost everyone needs to be an “idea architect”. You must be able to innovate and touch the heart. You also need to know how a good idea can be designed into the customer journey. Technology and data give a creative idea more energy and spirit so it can develop and grow organically.

What do you hope your contribution will be to your new role?

My time is 100% dedicated to focusing on how to create viable and sustainable solutions for our clients. I want to rally our brilliant minds all over the world, aware of the problems our customers are trying to solve. It is essential to create opportunities for how our clients can sustainably grow their business without compromising the needs of future generations.

As a female leader, how do you feel that gender has affected your career?

For me, sex is a strength in my character. It helped me know myself and what kind of leader I want to be.

As a leader, you inevitably carry some of the expectations that come with your gender. I am glad that this is not a barrier for the younger generation. This is important because they [young female leaders] They can face themselves and be confident that they are exactly… full of courage and bravery. Understanding this is the most important thing. Authenticity is more important than perfection.

Embrace yourself – accept yourself.


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