Dian Gemiano of KG Media looks for new ways to understand and attract customers

By Paula Felps


Nashville, Tennessee, United States


Editor’s note: In an ongoing series, INMA is profiling our most engaged members — our super fans. We hope this gives members a chance to learn more about each other. Today we profile Dian Gemiano, chief marketing officer for KG Media in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Dian Gemiano said the most important thing he has learned during his career is the value of psychology and economy: “If you put that understanding on the customer’s point of view, you might get much better advantages as a marketer,” said the chief marketing officer for KG Media in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“As our society becomes significantly more digitalised, we’ve seen media consumption behaviour is much more driven by an algorithm,” Gemiano said, adding that as part of KG Media’s digital transformation journey, the company found the digital advertising business model was not a suitable model to sustain journalism or news media in general.  

“For me, the most challenging task in the news media industry is to find a non-advertising business model. There’s a promising avenue in the subscription-based model, but unfortunately for the Indonesian market, there is still a long way to go.”

INMA recently caught up with Gemiano to learn more about him.

As chief marketing officer for KG Media in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dian Gemiano is looking for new ways to reach customers in an increasingly digitalised world.
As chief marketing officer for KG Media in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dian Gemiano is looking for new ways to reach customers in an increasingly digitalised world.

INMA: What big lesson have you learned over the past couple of years that helped shape what you did in 2022?

Gemiano: Flexibility. With financial pressure significantly increasing during 2020-2021, we were forced to get a tight grip on our short-term business plan but, at the same time, open ourselves to find solutions for future growth with so many business explorations. That kind of dynamic (almost paradoxical, actually) gave me a big learning about productive flexibility — how to help keep the books healthy while pushing innovative culture and keeping our team’s spirit alive.

INMA: What makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning?

Gemiano: Besides the smell of freshly ground Indonesian coffee, the fact that I’m doing my job to help ensure the sustainability of journalism is really exciting. It gives me a sense of purpose that really goes beyond generating revenue for a media company.

As a commercial guy working in the world of idealists, I used to feel that I’m on the evil, money-oriented side of the organisation. But when you put meaning and purpose to that money, it makes me feel that I’m part of a bigger movement.

INMA: What is the craziest job or project you’ve ever done in media — and what did you learn from it?

Gemiano: Being involved in more than 20 exploration projects in a year was pretty crazy for me. We learned a lot about corporate agility and the values of failures that actually moved us closer to our goals.

INMA: What success within your company are you most proud of right now?

Gemiano: It sounds like a cliché, but surviving pandemic pressure is a huge relief. KG Media is a multi-platform media company where most of our traditional media is severely disrupted. Our effort to integrate and transform as an organisation has shown positive results. It is a painful and demanding process involving many sacrifices, failures, and mental health pressure, but the result is optimistically satisfying.

INMA: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Gemiano: We have to be relevant all the time. It means we have to understand every change in this world and understand its context to our own field holistically — those require us to be non-stop learners.

INMA: What do you do to relax?

Gemiano: Traveling with my wife and my 9-year-old daughter, and in the past two years, we have been enjoying road trips around Java Island. When I am not travelling, I really enjoy listening to old vinyl records.

INMA: If you hadn’t gone into news media, what was your backup plan?

Gemiano: I might be consulting in an ad agency, but that will be my last option — thank God KG Media was taking me in.

INMA: What is your favourite thing to read?

Gemiano: Any source about history, especially those related to my own cultural roots. Right now, I’m reading several books about behavioural economics.

About Paula Felps

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