BGA's Marketing & Communication Manager Qu Lu
Hi, my name's Qu Lu. Qu is my surname and Lu my first name.
I'm the Marketing & Communication Manager of Genelec China, which is referred to as BGA (Beijing Genelec Audio) by our international colleagues. This is my tenth year with Genelec, and I can honestly say that before arriving for my first workday, I didn't expect to last this long at the company, so my fruitful career here has been a wonderful surprise. Due to my educational background, I had originally been expecting to build a career in studios, doing audio production.
Back in 2012, I graduated from the Communication University of China with a Master of Recording Arts degree. I experienced studio recording, live concert recording, sound reinforcement, audiovisual post-production, and outside broadcasting during my internship, and that taught me that Genelec monitors are very popular in professional recording studios - the only thing I knew about the company before meeting my future colleagues!
I told my interviewers at Genelec China, Feng Hanying (Chinese National Director) and Helle Yang (Office and Logistics Supervisor), that frankly, I knew very little about the company and the field of sales and marketing. I clearly remember asking them if they were sure they wanted to hire me, and Feng kindly said, "Have a try." Just like that, I became the third member of the team. My own arrival was quickly followed by that of Jack Wu and Sophia Deng, and later, by an amazing growth as our team expanded to more than ten people - something I didn't imagine possible when I first joined.
I took a little time to grow into my role here, initially assisting with customer service and technical support, before spreading my wings and focussing on marketing to a subset of our pro audio segment. From that moment, it felt as if my colleagues and I were constantly breaking through boundaries, opening one door after another. In 2013, we really started to utilise online and social media marketing, keeping up with its rapidly increasing impact.
Three years later, we were filming documentaries to spotlight some key figures in China's great audio industry and revealing some of their incredible stories - each video has attracted tens of thousands of views. Among some of our other team projects, I have a couple of personal highlights, which are the iconic launch of 'The Ones' Smart Active Monitors at UCCA, the most influential contemporary art gallery in China, and our well-received Immersive Audio Seminar, which was attended by more than 500 audio professionals.
Our work is both challenging and interesting, and I like it that way, yet I still feel nervous from time to time when I venture into the unknown. After we get things done, I often say to myself, "Wow, we really did it.", and honestly, I feel at that moment that our team has very many positive attributes.
When we were new to China's home-audio market, we often faced questions such as "What's good about active loudspeakers?" or "Do designs based on studio monitors really sound good at home?" To truly satisfy this natural curiosity, we decided to open our Genelec Experience Centre at the China World Mall in Beijing. As with Genelec's other global showrooms, our welcoming listening environment has enabled people to simply audition the loudspeakers and hear the quality for themselves.
Recently, we've levelled up our already cherished user experience even further by developing our customer relationship management (CRM) system and introducing a handy mobile app. The system provides support to a quickly growing base of tens of thousands of Genelec owners in China, and it's a great source of pride for our team.
Every year we like to honour our VIP users and partners with a special New Year's gift. This year it was an attractive desk calendar with a different abbreviated English pro-audio term for each day, such as SPL, DSP or LUFS. We had the idea during a lunch break, and we all wanted to make it happen, however, it was November and time was running out. Eight colleagues worked tirelessly together to find hundreds of abbreviations and create perfect translations for them. What seemed like an impossible task, was completed in a couple of days. Our finished calendar became more than just a gift - it was a hot topic on social media!
I have to say that our local team in China is unique and talented - a group of people who are willing to learn, chase improvement and approach challenges with much enthusiasm. My colleagues inspire me, and they give me the trust and freedom I need to experiment with new ideas like documentaries, podcasts, and our customer service app - I feel extremely lucky and have a lot of great memories with them.
After starting at Genelec, I realised that people here communicate with each other on a very equal level, whether they're a CEO, Director, or Assembly Technician, it seems that age and position rarely if ever affect the value of your words. I still remember the first time I met the company's founder Ilpo Martikainen when he sat down opposite me in the cafeteria at Genelec's Finnish factory. In that moment, I thought to myself, "How is it that I, a new employee, have this honour?", and I was surprised how he wanted to discuss with me in depth about the company's early days, fluctuating European economics, and his business philosophy. He took me for an enjoyable tour of the Genelec Museum, showing me many of the old prototype loudspeakers. His tone was incredibly calm like the vast lake outside the factory window, and I tried my best to follow with my newly developing English.
At Genelec, I feel that everyone's ideas are valued. One of many stories I can tell that attest to this is one about my experience with a senior technical expert at Genelec. He's a veritable industry guru whose papers I've read and lectures I've attended while studying at university. During a coffee break he turned to me and asked, "What do you think I should focus on in my upcoming speech in Beijing?" I hesitantly shared my thoughts and he listened and discussed them with me willingly, revealing that he truly hoped to meet the needs of Chinese customers and support Genelec China's business.
Over the years, I have come to really admire the R&D team at Genelec, because they continue to make huge contributions towards audio reproduction as a scientific field. Some of Genelec's most modern and unique technologies can be the result of them discovering and acting upon completely new ideas, perhaps a decade or so earlier than the product launches. Those can be the result of truly ground-breaking and challenging work. Many of those fresh ideas go on to influence the wider development of the studio monitoring industry, and I feel very privileged to be a part of the company's overall story.
This company, in all its global iterations, is incredibly respectful towards the natural world. Nowhere can it be felt more than at the company's headquarters in Iisalmi, Finland, which I thought was like a scene from a fairy tale. As our plane was about to land, I almost cried because of the beauty of Finland's lakes and islands, and as our bus cut through the dense woodland towards Genelec's lakeside base, I was amazed - "Is this really a factory?"
The first time I attended a company meeting, I found out that the people in this company are truly concerned about climate change, and that all efforts are made to reduce, reuse and recycle materials, and they strive to power everything using renewable power sources, including the factory's own solar power installation. I found this philosophy to be heartfelt and equally shared by absolutely everyone at the company. Since that experience, I've filled my balcony in Beijing with more and more plants every year. When I next visit the Finnish factory at summertime, I wish to take a walk in the midnight sun, no matter how many mosquitos are chasing me!
Genelec is one of a kind, and its marketing is too, remaining truthful and humble in a world where gimmicks and hyperbole are commonplace. Therefore, in my eyes, marketing at Genelec is the creative use of truth, the sharing of insight, a great understanding of customer needs and a gracious enjoyment of communication. In many ways, I find marketing to be like recording and mixing. You need to have a perfect grasp of the materials and circumstances you're working with, and then keep a strong interest in the story of your customers. You may even need to help the customer see what they need when they're unsure of it themselves, so the result is even better than they expected, just like a perfect work of musical art from the studio.
A decade ago, I knew very little about anything I just explained in my story, yet I think I predicted one thing correctly all those years ago. The day I decided to accept Genelec's job offer, I called Feng and told him that "I want to grow with this company as it grows".
Looking back now, I think that's exactly what happened.
Greetings from a colleague:
When I first met Lu, she'd just finished her post-graduate studies and was passionate about music, recording and everything audio, yet she remained uncertain about her future career. After ten years of exploring that uncertainty with great passion, Genelec and Lu have weaved a brilliant and everlasting tale together. She's become a natural brand ambassador in China with her fantastic combination of knowledge and an easy-going personality.
Lu is very practical in her work, always getting hands-on when developing or trying something new, and paying a lot of attention to detail. She has a very big heart, never backs down from challenges and setbacks, and she shows amazing patience when coaching her teammates. To me, she's like a gentle, refreshing breeze, bringing serenity to everyone around her, and sharing joy with an infectious love of plants, cats and music.
Your colleague, Jack Wu