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BtoB's Best Marketers: Kevin Peters, AT&T Business Solutions

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AT&T's Kevin Peters, with the company since 1986, has the daunting task of serving a broad customer base, from small entrepreneurs to CIOs of the biggest companies. His division takes what were traditionally telecom, computing and IT networks, with a smattering of mobile, and assembles them for large and small companies to help advance their businesses. A big initiative for Peters last year was promoting AT&T's consumer and enterprise services through “Rethink Possible,” a global campaign created by BBDO New York. The upbeat commercials show how AT&T's solutions address a variety of customer needs, such as its 3G network, wireless coverage and the integration of back- office applications. “Last year the message was, "Hey, we have this aspiration to transform our business, taking the best of what we formerly were and jumping into new, innovative areas,' ” Peters said. “The theme this year is about scaling the business against that message, and starting to pull it through to better things in the future.” Peters added that AT&T's reputation for reliability and trust is being augmented this year with a shift to solutions and nimbleness, which the “Rethink Possible” campaign will continue to reinforce. Case studies are being weaved into the mix. He also wants to perfect what he calls “cash-register advertising,” with strong calls-to-action prompting customer conversations and sales. “We want to trigger reactions in all our segments,” Peters said. “We want them to know we have the full package to offset their problems—all the things that are the guts of what a company needs to do to be successful.” For the future, Peters said AT&T will continue to beat the drum through traditional channels, such as analyst relations and events—particularly those that build what he calls a “bandwagon effect” in certain verticals such as healthcare, or horizontals such as supply chain customers. “I would say we'll heighten digital marketing, as well as the flavor of the ad campaigns,” Peters said. —C.H.
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