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Intel connects with engineers by sharing employees’ innovation

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Intel Corp., the world's largest manufacturer of microprocessors, has a widely recognized brand, thanks to marketing efforts such as the highly visible "Intel Inside" advertising campaign. What's less widely known, however, is that the company has experience and specific solutions in markets such as telecommunications.

To connect with customers and prospects in this space and improve awareness of its strengths, Intel's Embedded and Communications Group last September launched an integrated campaign created by Doremus, San Francisco, with the tagline "Innovation inspired." The campaign, which includes print and online advertising, a Web site, newsletter insertions and internal cross-promotions, specifically targeted engineers at companies that make telecommunications networking equipment and companies that buy that equipment, like telecom carriers.

"Intel is certainly a very recognized name in the industry; you can see the `Intel Inside' logos everywhere," said Steve Reed, director of industry marketing for the Embedded and Communications Group. "But from an embedded and communications standpoint ... I don't know if we've done a great job in showing the more personal side of Intel. This was an opportunity to take some of the cool ideas, and the brainstorming and the innovation that goes on with the people inside our organization and communicate that to the outside world, particularly to the engineers and our customers that are doing the same thing."

The ads and videos on the microsite feature Intel engineers doing something they love while talking about a problem they've solved. For instance, while fly-fishing, Intel Modular Systems Architect Kevin Bross discusses how low-voltage processors can help reduce power consumption at telecommunications data centers.

The campaign is running in horizontal publications and online sites including Electronic Design, EE Times Europe and ElectronicsWeekly.com, as well as media channels aimed at telecom engineers, including Wireless Design and Development, CommsDesign.com, LightReading.com and IET Comms Engineer.

The goal of featuring real Intel engineers in settings that have inspired their innovations was to build trust and a personal connection with the target audience, said John Mannion, exec VP-director of client relations for Doremus, San Francisco. The telecommunications equipment the target audience designs often stays on the market for years, he said, making the components they choose critical choices.

"It's a long-term, long-abiding decision, so to have a better sense of trust—and a better sense of who I'm buying this stuff from, and who created this solution and how they created the solution—is really intriguing and really helps the sales process, versus just a spec sheet," he said.

Intel is already recognized for having great processors and great solutions, Reed said. "But how do we get those great products and solutions? It's because of our people," he said. "We want people to think about the fact that there's someone like Kevin who is working 24/7 to come up with ways to solve their problems."

So far, the campaign Web site (http://innovate.intel.com) has received about 7,000 unique hits. "Given the number of companies in the space that we're focused on, that's pretty significant," said Megan Bednarz, campaign/brand manager, Intel Embedded and Communications Group.

Bednarz said there's now a large group of Intel engineers who are eager to participate in videos and ads to tell their innovation stories.

Though the possibility of using actors came up, Reed said, it was quickly dismissed. "We're going to use the people who are actually the ones involved in this," he said. "They don't need to have perfectly coiffed hair. They need to be able to tell the story in a way that the engineers that are viewing the video can relate to. Not all the engineers I know have perfectly coiffed hair. Most of them could care less about how they look; they care about what we're doing, and they have passion about what they're doing."

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