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Intel connects by emphasizing simple use of complicated technology

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Don MacDonald
Title: VP-sales and marketing group, director of worldwide branding and campaigns
Company: Intel Corp.
Years in current job: 1
Quote: “Our job from the marketing side is how do we make it easier to have a better and less complicated experience, even though the underlying technology is incredibly complicated.”


Don MacDonald, VP-sales and marketing group and director of worldwide branding and campaigns at Intel Corp., is responsible for all of the company's marketing operations worldwide, including global branding, advertising, marketing communications and the "Intel Inside" program. Intel ranked No. 5 in the BusinessWeek/Interbrand 2004 survey of top global brands.

MacDonald joined Intel in 1987 and was most recently director of marketing for the Mobile Platforms Group, where he spearheaded the Centrino platform of mobile computing products.

"The notebook market has been on fire," MacDonald said. "At a time when people said the PC industry was dead, the notebook market has really been growing."

The Centrino brand, which includes a chip, chipsets and wireless networking technology, was launched under the code name "Banian" just after the Sept. 11 attacks and prior to the invasion of Afghanistan.

"It was the ugliest launch window you could imagine," MacDonald said. "We were in the middle of a recession, businesspeople weren't spending money and we were trying to get people to invest in a new technology."

Intel launched a highly visible marketing campaign for the renamed Centrino brand in March 2003 with TV, radio, print, online, outdoor and events, including "One Unwired Day," which demonstrated the Centrino technology at thousands of global locations.

Now, MacDonald continues to push the Centrino platform as a big part of his job, as well as developing ways to improve the overall customer experience with Intel products.

"The business or IT executive doesn't care about a stand-alone chip," MacDonald said. "They want to know how their computer or infrastructure works with their cell phone, notebook and PDA."

Intel is now investing in technologies, standards and partnerships to drive this interconnectivity between devices.

"Our vision is much more along the lines of advancing mobility," MacDonald said. "Our job from the marketing side is how do we make it easier to have a better and less complicated experience, even though the underlying technology is incredibly complicated."

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