Q: What is your new position, and what does it entail?
A: Vice president of Sales and Marketing for Roland U.S. Professional A/V division. I recently took on responsibility for all aspects of the division, adding marketing and product management to my existing sales management role. My position entails coordinating our strategies for our pro audio and pro video products, and making sure our team’s resources are aligned with meeting our goals. Another important element of my position is communicating the U.S. market’s needs back to our factory and engineers in Japan and keeping in sync with the global Roland Pro A/V team.
Q: How has your background prepared you for your new role?
A: In many ways, I’ve been headed in this direction from an early age. My very first job in sales was in home A/V retail, and I quickly learned that I loved the sales and management side as well as the technical product part of the business. I enjoyed installing the equipment for the customers as much as selling it to them. I saved up and built my first studio as a teenager and later studied business and marketing in college. When the opportunity with Roland came along, it was a perfect way to marry my personal passion for music and audio with my education in business. Over the past 16 years with Roland, I’ve worked for four different divisions and have been very fortunate to work with several mentors in the company who have continuously challenged me and helped me further develop my skills.
Q: What new marketing initiatives are we likely to see from the company?
A: With our pro audio products, we have a unique story of backwards compatibility with REAC (Roland Ethernet Audio Communications protocol) for our new M-5000 Live Mixing Console. We didn’t abandon those customers who bought our V-Mixers, Digital Snakes, personal mixers or other REAC products over the last 10 years, and we are now marketing to our existing customers in a whole new way than we have never done before – showing them the value proposition of investing in something that is both backwards-compatible and future-proof. And with our expansion cards for the M-5000, we are now able to address customers who are employing Dante, MADI or Waves SoundGrid.
The M-5000 is now getting in front of leading engineers in the industry and is making a really positive impression, so there will definitely be more stories in the media, providing a whole new set of references for Roland. Social media has become so much more than a place to post cool photos, and we are engaging with customers in conversations in a whole new way. We also just launched a long-awaited update to our website, http://proav.roland.com, that gives it a fresh new look and updated intuitive navigation.
Q:What are your short-and long-term goals?
A: We’ve recently achieved our short term goals for pro audio by establishing a strong support structure with dedicated sales engineers for the M-5000, added a very knowledgeable frontline tech support person and introduced new service policies to support both the most demanding touring professionals and systems integrators. Over the long term, we will introduce industry-leading training, including CTS-certified courses for systems integrators, and will continue to develop relationships within the pro-audio community to make the M-5000 a trusted name.
Q:What is the greatest challenge that you face?
A: Developing a solid reputation with the professional sound community is something you must earn. Fortunately for us, when sound professionals use the M-5000, they are impressed. Our biggest challenge is keeping up with the demand for trials and evaluations that aren’t conducted over a simple meeting; they can require a weekend, a week or more. It takes a lot of work, logistics and planning. Somehow we make it happen, and all while developing an awesome pro video business at the same time!