JP Salustiano: Charting Strategic Success with Two Decades of Industry Expertise

JP Salustiano: Charting Strategic Success with Two Decades of Industry Expertise

JP Salustiano , Chief Strategy Officer

JP Salustiano

Chief Strategy Officer

In the ever-evolving landscape of the corporate world, leadership is a crucial beacon that guides organizations towards their goals and aspirations. Among the myriad positions that have emerged to steer businesses through this dynamic environment, the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) stands as a linchpin for success. With a mandate to envision, plan, and execute strategies that define the path to growth, the CSO plays a pivotal role in shaping the destiny of a company. JP Salustiano, the Chief Strategy Officer at Dentsu Philippines, began his professional journey in 2003 as a market researcher at TNS, despite having minimal prior knowledge or interest in the discipline. This role laid the groundwork for his understanding of consumer behavior and the rigor required for strategic thinking. Transitioning after four years to media and advertising at UM offered him a new perspective, focusing on using strategic thinking to craft campaigns resonating deeply with audiences.

Moving to Zenith Optimedia, JP assumed a dual role leading a media team and overseeing insights and analytics. Here, he honed his skills in developing effective marketing strategies, contributing to the agency's success in winning new accounts. His career took an exciting turn in 2015 when JP joined IPG Mediabrands Philippines, a start-up where he played a pivotal role in growing the agency through extensive involvement in over 120 pitches, winning an impressive 86 percent of them.

Elevated to Chief Strategy Officer in 2017, JP’s focus remained on leveraging his expertise in strategy, creativity, and winning. His journey extended internationally when he served as CSO and Head of Media Strategy at Dentsu Vietnam from 2018 to 2022, contributing to significant account wins across Southeast Asian markets. Returning to the Philippines this year, JP brought his wealth of experience, expertise, and passion to Dentsu Philippines.

Motivated by the opportunity to elevate agency output through strategic thinking, JP finds inspiration in the challenge of connecting with audiences innovatively. His professional drive stems from the belief that every project holds the potential for a positive impact. JP actively seeks new angles, challenges conventional thinking, and consistently aims for excellence in his work.

Grateful for a career that aligns with his curiosity and passion, JP values the daily opportunities for creativity and innovation. He is motivated by the potential to make a meaningful difference in others' lives through his work. Collaborating with a diverse team allows him to continually learn and expand the boundaries of what's achievable. Let’s hear more from him.

Define Dentsu Philippines as an organization and its position in the market.

We are the agency designed for what's next, and we strive to deliver the ‘never before’ to our client brands. At Dentsu, we specialize in crafting top-tier solutions and services that open up fresh possibilities for business growth and transformation throughout the entire customer journey. Specifically within the Media Service Line, we focus on designing, crafting, and optimizing media experiences that bridge the gap between people and brands.

Currently, we can be described as a challenger brand within the Philippine media industry. Nevertheless, I am optimistic about our trajectory. While I can't disclose too much, I have confidence that we are making the necessary strategic shifts and are well-prepared for substantial growth in the upcoming years.

How do you lead your team in the discovery of growth prospects within the market to ensure Dentsu Philippines maintains a steady progress?

In my approach, it's crucial to cultivate a culture marked by curiosity, collaboration, and innovative thinking. I consistently urge the team to remain well-informed, whether it pertains to industry updates, emerging trends, customer insights, or even identifying client challenges that could be transformed into opportunities for growth. Additionally, we actively seek out market gaps and unexplored potential, whether it involves acquiring fresh expertise and tools to enhance our capabilities, presenting non-media solutions to augment organic growth, or even exploring opportunities for new client partnerships.

At Dentsu, we firmly endorse the concept of radical collaboration, harnessing the collective strength of our people within the network. While I technically belong to Dentsu's Media Service Line, I still have access to a vast pool of specialized talents from various disciplines, both locally and globally. This empowers our team to craft tailor-made solutions for our clients whenever the need arises.

How do you address the ongoing shifts in market dynamics?

I don't have a fixed method for handling market changes, but I believe that curiosity plays a significant role in staying adaptable and remaining ahead of the curve.

My curiosity is a key factor in navigating these changes. I make an effort to read, learn, and absorb knowledge extensively. I continuously seek ways to enhance my understanding, looking at issues from diverse perspectives, and maintain an open mindset. My approach involves exploration and experimentation with novel concepts, allowing me to consistently evolve and fine-tune my strategies in a practical context as I progress.

Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines or methodologies you follow as a leader?

My approach to leadership is shaped by a set of guiding principles that underscore my style. These principles have been instrumental in steering my leadership style towards effectiveness and fostering a conducive work environment. They revolve around positivity, fairness, recognition, accountability, and leading by example.

Firstly, maintaining a positive outlook is fundamental to my leadership approach. I firmly believe in the power of a positive attitude to inspire and motivate others. Demonstrating unwavering support for my team and their success is crucial. Instilling this belief creates a sense of trust and encouragement among team members.

Secondly, fairness and objectivity are cornerstones of my leadership. I strive to treat everyone with respect and make decisions based on merit, ensuring equal opportunities for all team members. This extends beyond internal interactions to how I engage with clients and external collaborators.

Moreover, acknowledging and celebrating the team's achievements is pivotal. I place great emphasis on giving credit where it is due and never appropriating the team's accomplishments as my own. Elevating deserving individuals is a practice I embrace wholeheartedly.

In terms of accountability, I create an environment where individuals feel safe to take ownership of their actions. Internally, I hold team members accountable, but I willingly shoulder external responsibility for any missteps or errors made by the team. This approach fosters trust and a culture of learning from experiences.

Furthermore, leading by example is a principle I hold dear. I firmly believe in being a practitioner and engaging in tasks I expect my team to undertake. By being actively involved, I gain a deeper understanding of challenges and can provide better guidance. I aim to inspire and motivate my team through my commitment, dedication, and integrity.

Finally, my leadership approach has been shaped by the mentorship I've received. I endeavor to create a supportive and high-performing team environment, drawing from the lessons learned and experiences gained under exceptional mentors. Ultimately, my goal is to nurture an environment where every team member can thrive and realize their full potential.

What is the future destination you are headed towards?

Generally, I am driven by my passion to achieve bigger goals and make a positive impact in my field. Having recently returned home after a five-year stint abroad, I am brimming with enthusiasm and excited to do whatever it takes to help Dentsu win and grow here in the Philippines.

JP Salustiano, Chief Strategy Officer, Dentsu Philippines

JP Salustiano, the Chief Strategy Officer at Dentsu Philippines, boasts a twenty-year tenure in the marketing communications sector, exhibiting an extensive and profound expertise in various facets, including strategy, new business development, client relations, advertising, and media. In his current role, he serves as the Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Client Director for the Dentsu Media Service Line in the Philippines.

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