Beyond our members and the participants to our Women Talent Pool programme, other great women are doing a fantastic work. At only 28, the brilliant Chloe Jones, EMEA Brand Advocacy Manager at Lenovo (UK), has already made her mark. Chloe is the finalist of the PCR Women of the Year 2015, an award recognizing the contribution of women in the UK PC & Technology industry. A “writer, creator and thinker”, in her own words, Chloe is also particularly active on social networks where she shares her views on a wide range of interests such as environment, education and equality.
A great support of WIL, Chloe participated to our annual gathering in London on May 15th and 16th 2017, where we had the chance to meet her and learn about her already impressive credentials.
Want to know where Chloe gets her inspiration from and how she uses it as Brand Advocacy Manager? Read our interview!
You graduated in English literature and drama and describe yourself as a “writer”. What prompted you to then specialize in marketing? How does your literary background help you in your current position?
The skills that I had developed during my degree like self-presentation, analytics, creativity and writing really lend themselves to the world of marketing. I was keen to further these skills and use my creativity and my passion for people to create connections between a brand and consumers and really understand what makes people engage and react.
Relationships with our “super fans” are important for improving customer loyalty, which helps add muscle to our brand’s customer acquisition and retention efforts.
I started at Lenovo by managing and writing the EMEA email marketing campaigns and was recognized for my abilities to write engaging copy. This was a fantastic starting block from which to learn about the different audiences around Europe and how to engage with them. At the same time, our Vice President of Marketing was looking for new ways for Lenovo to have one to one relationships with our customers, and that led me to launching our first brand advocacy program, designed to create meaningful relationships with our brand’s “super fans”. These relationships are important for improving customer loyalty, which helps add muscle to our brand’s customer acquisition and retention efforts.
Is there any English author that you particularly appreciate or that you consider to be a great inspiration?
There are a lot of remarkable English authors. I could list some classic inspirations, such as William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, J.R.R. Tolkien and Virginia Woolf. A modern day role-model has to be J.K. Rowling : she has inspired a whole generation to love reading and has written strong and independent female characters in her books. She embodies that having both passion and an idea can transform your life. Currently, I am reading ’Swing Time’ by Zadie Smith, she’s an amazing inspiration, who won prizes for her first book at just 25 years old. She writes beautifully and comes across as a very well-grounded woman. For example, she has no social media accounts because as she says, it gives her “the right to be wrong.”
For more than two years, you have been the owner of Lenovo EMEA’s first Brand Advocacy Program, an online community aiming at turning customers into brand advocates. Why do brands need advocacy programmes?
In a really crowded market like technology, where companies are producing similar products, brands and relationships are keys to ensuring we can move beyond a one-time purchase. Social brand advocates are incredibly influential. As brands like Lenovo seek to reach new and wider audiences it’s imperative they engage their advocates and nurture those relationships. Brand advocates add a depth to brand marketing; due to their loyalty and their satisfaction in a brand they go deeper with their networks to share their positive brand experience. This helps to create and increase brand awareness.
Sometimes, a positive experience with a brand can simply be a successful customer service experience. Going a step further, dedicated advocacy programs help build trust and loyalty, foster valuable relationships and develop online and offline engagement. Providing this positive brand experience, in any capacity, is essential for brands who want to be customer centric.
What makes a good advocacy programme? Could you tell us more about the actions you are implementing?
There are two key points for a good advocacy program : first, a good advocacy program should empower the customer by being a dialogue between a brand and its advocates. Secondly, advocacy starts inside the company. Thus brands who want to make a significant impact should have employee advocacy programs as well as super fan programs.
A good advocacy program should empower the customer by being a dialogue between a brand and its advocates.
Bringing the brand story to life in a relevant and meaningful way is important to do both online and offline. I run hosted programs for top advocates and influencers at European trade shows to give them ‘insider’ experiences with our brand and products. These face to face interactions and experiential activities really help to foster lasting relationships and they complement our efforts to create online social engagement. Giving our fans these experiences also shows them how we value them and how we want to have their feedback so we can improve what we do and how we do it.
Steve Jobs had predicted a post-PC era due to the rise of smartphones and tablets and it’s true that the PC market has been going through a few years of declining sales. Where do you see it heading over the next few years?
Tablets haven’t really evolved since they first hit the market, but consumers want more and more from them, but the form factor doesn’t always support. There are more and more apps developed to support productivity, but the form factor of tablets doesn’t make it a pleasurable experience. At Lenovo, we spent time watching people using their devices, using pen, detachable keyboard etc and decided to bring something revolutionary to the market: ourYoga Book. The Yoga Book gives the user the same paper-like writing experience but also has a fully functioning and responsive keyboard. In terms of forward thinking and innovation, this “PC plus design” is where we need to focus our strengths and keep ahead of the declining PC area.
Coming back to your love for literature and passion for education, do you think that the digital transformation of the classroom has a real ability to improve student learning outcomes?
The education sector is on a trajectory to reducing the digital divide. The continuation of compulsory computing skills within the curriculum has opened up a range of digital careers for students that were previously inaccessible. Today’s students require more than textbook learning and memorization. They need digital tools that allow them to do more than ever before. Lenovo has pioneered the way in purpose-built educational devices : we recently launched the updated Thinkpad 11e family and Lenovo N23 Chromebooks.
Allowing these new methods of teaching represents a lot of capability and potential for improving student learning outcomes.
Although many classrooms feature tech, most are still teaching from the front of the class with an electric board – it’s not that different from how we’ve taught for hundreds of years. Technology can bring new possibilities to the classrooms such as flipped and blended learning, and over the next 6 to 8 months we are likely to see an increase in the adoption of augmented reality and virtual reality within education- technologies such as Google Tango on the Lenovo Phab 2 have a range of use cases in the classroom. Technology allows the gamification of the teaching experience such as manipulating objects in a virtual environment, allowing pupils to try out future careers or test themselves in virtual scenarios. The new generation of 2-in-1 devices gives teachers more versatility within the classroom. Allowing these new methods of teaching represents a lot of capability and potential for improving student learning outcomes.
However, when it comes to literature and reading, I am still an old-fashioned advocate of picking up a good old book and turning real paper pages!