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One Dentsu: Inspiring a great future

Remaining agile and keeping long-term growth potential top of mind is essential to future success, says CEO of DAN sub-Saharan Africa, Dawn Rowlands
One Dentsu: Inspiring a great future

Before we begin looking ahead, let’s look back: the Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) was born out of the acquisition of Aegis Media by Dentsu. Dentsu placed the control of all its entities outside of Japan under the DAN banner and empowered a team of very agile and ambitious leaders globally to drive its growth agenda – one which included new areas of the business not previously focused on by Aegis Media. DAN now contributes 60% of Dentsu revenue. The industry has changed, and while we have largely built our business during this change cycle and have fewer “legacy issues” than our competitors, we still need to remain agile. More importantly now, we also need look to our long-term growth potential.

As simple as... 3-5-1

To drive an efficient long-term growth strategy, we need to be single-mindedly focused on being an ideas-led, data-driven and tech-enabled business. The solutions that we provide to clients and how we build teams needs to be focused on these 3 areas under the “One Dentsu” banner. Every investment we make in our future will be viewed through this lens. This lens dictates how we behave as a solutions company, with 5 lines of business and 1 P&L.

Our five lines of business, namely creative, commerce and consumer experience, media and performance, CRM and sport/entertainment will continue to be driven by our brand agencies. We believe strongly that insights into real people will create brilliant ideas. Those ideas will be experienced via technology or in person and they can and will change how people behave at scale.

But how?

Our insight engine needs to deliver audiences that match our ideas. Our ideas need to be plentiful because new audiences are going to appear daily. Our systems need to join dots that we did not even know existed. This is not so simple. And it’s where “One Dentsu” thinking needs to be applied.

At Dentsu we always begin with the client’s challenges – current and foreseeable ones. We look at these challenges holistically. We partner to provide solutions. We cannot own every part of the execution project – it’s too complex and our solutions will change daily. What is imperative is the protection of our intellectual property and consumer data, and the ongoing investment in our people.

What does “One Dentsu” mean?

It means we need to focus on transformative ideas that deliver results for clients, beyond the parts that we can execute ourselves. This means collaboration. I do believe that partnerships should be measured and tracked rigorously and in a 360-degree manner on every project. Let’s be accountable.

We are also a One Dentsu region. Our collaboration levels in this regard surpass those of our competitors, but there is more that we can do to drive effectiveness in our business and outcomes for our clients. Our talent needs to be more liquid regionally. Our skills used more widely to enhance our product. Centres of excellence need to be used as opposed to competed with. While creativity is not a production line, we need to think more widely about talent and the opportunity that this cross-pollination will provide.

Africa is going to be the growth region over the next 50 years. It stands to reason then that by working together we can enhance results for everyone, in a way that no one has seen before.

One Dentsu = 3-5-1

26 Jul 2019 12:58


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