In Conversation with Danielle Uskovic
Lenovo Asia Pacific’s Head of Digital & Social Weighs in on the Convergence of Technology, Sales and Marketing
September 3, 2017
There is no doubt that technology is disrupting the foundations of marketing today. With change happening at the speed of light, however, what does the future hold for marketers? In this installment of our In Conversation series, we sit down with Danielle Uskovic, Head of Digital & Social at Lenovo Asia Pacific, to get her take on digital disruption and how marketers can prepare themselves for tomorrow.
As a marketer, how do you define success for yourself and your organisation?
To me, marketers are futurists. The marketing function today is very much technology driven. With digital transformation upending almost every industry, it’s imperative that marketers look externally, see the trends and technologies that are impacting businesses, and bring these back to their own organisation. Marketers need to stay at the forefront of change and keep their eyes peeled for opportunities to drive the business forward. I believe it’s our job to constantly test and learn, because what worked yesterday may not work today, and what works today isn’t going to work tomorrow.
You’ve had an interesting career trajectory that began in sales before landing in marketing. Has this influenced the way you work with your sales teams today?
That’s right, I started in sales for a company that was selling the Internet in Australia many, many years ago. My job was to convince businesses that they needed a 56k modem because they needed to be connected to the Internet. After progressing into sales leadership, I decided to change tracks because the marketing team looked like they were having much more fun.
Having lived and breathed what a salesperson goes through, I think I’m more driven to grow the business, to help put my sales team in front of their customers as much as possible. I’m also better placed, you could say, to navigate the blurring lines between sales and marketing.
Let’s talk a little more about that. What do you think is causing this blurring of the lines between sales and marketing?
Technology, for sure. Everything is being digitised now. Customers have access to more information than ever before, which means many of them are doing their research and comparisons online. Technology is reconfiguring the customer journey and, as a result, marketing needs to learn to map the customer journey from end to end while sales needs to go social, using content to position themselves as a thought leader. We each have our own tools to help us (sales has salestech and marketing has martech and adtech), but if we want to really put the customer first, we need to connect it all.
How does this impact the way Lenovo uses LinkedIn as a content distribution platform?
For starters, both our sales and marketing teams regard LinkedIn as a strategic partner. There’s a lot of synergy, really. We’ve rolled out the LinkedIn Sales Navigator across our teams in Asia Pacific. For marketing, much of our focus is on developing content for our target audience of IT decision makers. As part of our advocacy programme, we also work closely with our sales and leadership teams to produce and post content personally on LinkedIn. We then amplify these pieces to make sure that they reach the right audience. This is one way in which marketers can control some of the content that their customers read.
While we do work with influencers who are passionate about our brand, I believe an organisation’s real brand advocates are its own employees. The more we can get our people to talk positively about our brand, the better our position.
You said that marketers are futurists, so let’s try a little future gazing. What are some of the big disruptors that you foresee in the next two to three years?
I’m definitely excited about blockchain technology. I think it has the potential to make a massive impact on many industries. Given the issues around programmatic advertising today, I’m hopeful that blockchain technology can make the digital supply chain more transparent by cutting out the middleman and giving me, as an advertiser, the assurance that my ads are being posted on a real website and viewed by real people. I’m also looking forward to virtual and augmented reality becoming more mainstream. Applying these technologies to market will be pretty fascinating.
Watch the full video of In Conversation with Danielle Uskovic here: