Indonesian adland veteran Anne Ridwan has joined independent global marketing consultancy R3 as country director for Indonesia. In this role, Ridwan (pictured) will work closely with R3 co-founders Shufen Goh and Greg Paull to grow the consultancy’s presence in Indonesia and develop R3’s existing relationships with global brands and local clients such as Telkomsel.
Prior to R3, Ridwan worked for Gojek, leading on commercial and agency partnership. A well-known figure in Indonesia's adland, Ridwan has served in CEO, management, and advisory roles at Ogilvy Group, Publicis Groupe, Leo Burnett, DDB, FAB, and previously J. Walter Thompson. She is also CEO of the genetic interpretation company InofitBio.
Ridwan told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that during her time as an agency leader, she engaged closely with Goh and R3. Throughout those years, she felt the positive impact that R3 has made in providing guidance and advice for both clients and agencies in many aspects of their relationships, including efficiency, with the aim to make the relationship stronger and better.
"My passion for the industry has not stopped, I want to continue being a part of it and make a positive impact not just to one brand or one agency, but to a larger audience in the industry. I believe in what Goh and Paull have built and will continue to build through R3," she said. Her vision is to make R3 the strategic consultant partner for the top 20 brands in Indonesia by the end of 2022 and to bring an influential voice to the marketing industry. Separately, Ridwan also shared her thoughts on her life after advertising in a previous podcast episode with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE.
"Looking at Indonesia’s market dynamics right now, I believe there is room for R3 to deliver positive impact. The pandemic has expedited digitalisation, and brands are demanding more real measurement and ROI," she added.
Meanwhile, Goh said Ridwan's industry experience and reputation in Indonesia's marketing community is incomparable and R3 is incredibly fortunate to have her leading the consultancy locally. R3 has been working with local giants such as Telkomsel for the last 13 years. Hence, Goh said it has a track record of transforming marketing to be more efficient and effective for its clients.
"With a strong team of senior local professionals who have cut their teeth on the brand side, such as Unilever and Coca-Cola and extensive agency-side experience, under Ridwan’s leadership, we will be even more compelling as brands seek external advisory and benchmarking on their marketing," Goh added.
Like many other industries, the marketing and advertising scene has also evolved in the new normal. According to Ridwan, expediting digital transformation, improving efficiency, pushing sales conversions, integration of offline and online, and content that improves engagement and drives preference are some areas of concern for Indonesian marketers today.
She added that COVID-19 has expedited digital penetration and consumption of online content by Indonesian consumers, hence there is a greater shift in strengthening brands’ presence in digital as well as driving purchases through eCommerce. Citing Nielsen, Ridwan said there has been a four times increase in digital spend compared to 2019. This has pushed brands to create more engaging content, connect with consumers on relevant platforms and look for more collaboration, as well as integration to offline.
"Clients will expect more from their agencies during this digital transformation, from the strategic approach to the consumer journey to offline and online integration, all while pushing for efficiency in budgets as well as ways of working," Ridwan said.
Similarly, as the pandemic has changed consumers' behaviours and preferences, Ridwan said the marketing formula of old may not be as effective today. However, the right formula might not have been found as of yet. Hence, it is a good time to experiment with new thinking and approaches.
Agreeing with Ridwan, Goh said the industry should use this crisis to innovate and drive efficiency from business model to ways of working. "Be prepared for a marathon of sprints," Goh added. According to her, the pandemic has not only changed consumers' shopping habits towards online buying, but also caused them to turn to alternative sources in their quest for truth. This is especially so in countries where there is low trust in government institutions.
"This correlates with the growing desire for purpose-led brands, especially amongst the younger audience. Being authentic is more important than ever, as consumers are as quick to endorse you as they are to cancel you. This means that companies need to seriously rethink the integration of corporate communications and marketing in their overall consumer engagement model," Goh explained.