Salim Colmanhandoko
What I do
Head of Creative Marketing
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About Me

How would you describe your current role and the biggest challenges you face?

As Head of Creative Marketing, I'm the conductor of our brand's creative orchestra. I lead the team, craft compelling content, and keep us on top of trends. The biggest challenge? Cutting through the digital noise and making magic with sometimes limited resources. It's a juggling act, but incredibly rewarding!

What is a common misconception about the work you do?

"Coming up with creative ideas is easy."  While brainstorming it can be fun, but consistently generating fresh and effective concepts is a challenge. It requires staying on top of trends, understanding our audience, and sometimes even a good dose of trial and error. But the best part? Seeing those ideas come to life and resonate with our customers!

How did you get started in your marketing career?

I started as a junior copywriter in an advertising agency, worked my way up to Creative Group Head, then I was offered an in-house Creative Manager position.

Describe the most impactful marketing campaign/project you've personally worked on.

Mitra Bukalapak's English for Mitra. Most Indonesian mom-and-pop store owners don't understand English. Unfortunately, this reality prevents them from selling game vouchers because popular mobile game names and terms are written in English. This means they miss out on additional income needed for the upcoming economic downturn.

Mitra Bukalapak, Indonesia's biggest online-to-offline platform, wanted to help by teaching English to these store owners using mobile game-related terms. Introducing English for Mitra, the first program of its kind.

It all started with a viral TikTok post that highlighted this issue. In response, we collaborated with an Indonesian musical legend to create a song about the English words used in mobile games, called Lagu Games. This song taught the pronunciation of different mobile game titles and provided their translations in Bahasa Indonesia. The song was then released as a social media video. We also went offline to assist the owners in selling game vouchers. Furthermore, we provided free online English classes for them.

The result was overwhelming. Most importantly, these mom-and-pop store owners now have a chance to gain extra income to face the difficult times ahead. Mobile games are truly a game changer for their future."

What is one marketing trend or change you're not convinced will work for SEA tech brands?

Over-reliance on influencers with western appeal. While influencer marketing is undeniably powerful, relying solely on influencers with a strong western presence might not resonate as well with SEA audiences.

What is one marketing trend or change that you hope to see more of at SEA tech brands? And, why?

One marketing trend I'm excited to see more of in SEA tech brands is the adoption of hyper-personalized marketing experiences. Here's why:

SEA's Diverse Audience: Southeast Asia is a region with a huge and diverse population, with varying needs and preferences across countries and demographics.

Tech Savvy Consumers: SEA boasts a highly tech-savvy population comfortable with online interactions and personalization.

Data Advantage: The increasing availability of data allows brands to understand their customers better and tailor experiences accordingly.

What is your favourite marketing resource that you would recommend to this community? And, why?

Due to my background in creative, I'd recommend marketing resources with a strong creative focus:

The Drum: - a global hub for all things marketing and media. They offer a strong focus on creative campaigns, with sections dedicated to awards, creative works, and case studies.

Ads of the World: This resource is a treasure trove of award-winning advertising from around the world. It allows you to search by category, region, brand, and even awards won. Perfect for getting inspiration and seeing the latest trends in creative advertising.

Campaign Brief Asia: This website focuses on marketing and advertising news specific to the Asia Pacific region. They feature articles, case studies, and interviews with industry leaders, all with a strong emphasis on creative campaigns.

Muse by Clio: an online platform showcasing award-winning creative work from agencies around the globe. It allows you to filter by category, industry, and award show. Great for staying inspired and seeing the best creative work out there.

Lastly, where are you based, and where would you take friends visiting your city for the first time?

Being based in Jakarta, I'd definitely take them to experience a few things: indulging in the delicious street food scene at Jalan Sabang, enjoying the stunning Jakarta skyline from a rooftop restaurant (Jakarta has amazing views at night!), and soaking up Jakarta's colonial past in Old Batavia.

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Join a small, but mighty, meeting point for SEA startup builders and share ideas, sharpen skills and co-create with new peers across the region.