5 Minutes with Lenovo Senior Vice President & CMO David Roman

Lenovo social influencer Paul Tu’ivai (Twitter @paulynesian) was at the latest CES in January, and he caught up with Lenovo’s Global Senior Vice President & CMO David Roman.

PT: Hi David, thanks for your time. It’s been a fabulous CES so far, and it’s great to finally be here with time to enjoy all the products on show. After seeing the different Lenovo Products on display one word comes to mind - “SEXY”.  How’s the show going for you and Lenovo?

DR: Hi Paul - and sexy is I think the right word for CES! We’re pretty proud of the Lenovo contribution, and it’s great to play our part in creating something special!

PT: As you know I’m here with the Australia/New Zealand contingent. How’s that part of the world going for Lenovo right now?

DR: Australia and New Zealand, under the regional marketing direction of Nick Reynolds and his team, have cut through in a real way. The numbers speak for themselves: overall Lenovo share of voice is up over 100% for the year to December. And what’s exciting is the way the ANZ team has driven this through a very dynamic social influencer and digital marketing program. The team won a silver award in last year's Internationalist Awards for Innovative Digital Solutions on the back of this social marketing success, so we’re seeing market validation and commercial results. That’s pretty special.  

PT: What’s different about the strategy in ANZ?

DR: What’s been impressive is that ANZ has focused on high-end Lenovo products. As you probably know, the team has driven marketing and sales over the past couple of years around the YOGA Yoga 2 and YOGA Yoga 3 product lines, the associated tablets, and is now aggressively supporting Lenovo’s high-spec gaming laptops, such as the Lenovo Ideapad Y700, as well. In other regions our product strategy has focused more on low-end and entry-level devices, especially in the consumer space. Australia and New Zealand were the odd-ones out - and the stand-outs, if you like. They went for growth at the high-value end, as we pushed for the first time into the consumer space.

So this was impressive. And driven by an integrated social and digital marketing program, supported by on-line sales and in-store retail partnerships, and working with some outstanding external social experts and social analytics technology, we’ve boosted sales, and made that meaningful impression with our brand.

PT: What excites me about the Lenovo products here at CES is that they look great, but they have real grunt as well.

DR:  We really want to continue to combine great functionality with great product design whenever we can. I guess you might call that great engineering and great marketing brought together.

An example is the Carbon laptop product range - it combines the engineering heritage of the ThinkPad range with the utility and appeal of the YOGA Yoga range - and all of that isit based on market and customer feedback. Our products deliver what our customers and users say they want, so we have a very powerful and positive feedback loop with our customers.

PT: Would Lenovo ever consider joining the QVC/Home Shopping Networks in the USA?  The reason I ask is one of the hosts - posted to me that she was trying to get Lenovo on their channel and tried to see their product line at last years CES but didn’t have access.

DR: That is interesting, we probably should look into it as another outlet reaching an audience that is active in the consumer electronic space. We’re always looking at new ways to get our products into customers; hands. There’s every benefit to them, and of course ourselves, in making this as easy as possible, across as many channels as possible.

PT: What next for Lenovo? What’s here at CES?

DR: It you think the Lenovo products here at CES are sexy, wait until you see what’s next. You’ve seen some of our monitors featuring OLEDs here at CES. And using OLEDS, and in-built sound systems from Bose in some of our premium products, are clear pointers to future options and directions for Lenovo in the consumer space.

And I think you have to be passionate about your products, and be across what they mean to consumers, as brands but also as functional pieces of equipment, as well as being across sales revenue and market share. I’m certainly very excited about Lenovo’s near-future.

As I said earlier, watch this space!

PT: Thank you David.

Click here to check out the latest Lenovo product range.