Jeff Bradley

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When Cingular Wireless bought AT&T Wireless and merged the two businesses, many of the business clients resided on the former AT&T side. No one knew that better than Jeff Bradley, now VP of Cingular's Business Data Services, who had been responsible for the building and running of AT&T's enterprise data operations. Keeping that business was key, and so the first marketing messages needed to reassure then-current customers while opening the door for Cingular customers and other b-to-b prospects.

The foundation of the new marketing strategy was a "Leadership" advertising campaign, created by BBDO New York. The multimedia campaign merged emblematic elements of the two companies-AT&T's signature blue color with Cingular's well-known "X" figure, for example-to demonstrate why this new entity was best positioned to serve wireless customers.

The business marketing began at the first point of contact with customers, the sales team. A PowerPoint presentation was crafted at headquarters, and all sales professionals were required to attend training sessions.

Next, Cingular executives developed a road show to present and reintroduce its capabilities to leading analysts around the country. They also attended key industry events and forums, often providing Cingular personnel as expert speakers.

Meanwhile, b-to-b branding ads featured clients, including FedEx Corp. and Avis Rent A Car System, touting different Cingular capabilities. That campaign has been so well-received, Bradley said, that several other clients offered themselves up as the next ad subjects.

"We took the `Leadership' campaign and brought the same look and feel to all [marketing], including all our external communications, if you will, like business cards, brochures, stationery, and our booths and stands at events," he said.

According to Cingular's own research, the marketing plan seems to have worked. Not only was feedback extremely positive, with customers showing an understanding of Cingular's message, but Bradley said almost no AT&T business customers were lost during the transition.

Going forward, Cingular's marketing will focus on its strengths in business technologies, including e-mail and wireless data, and the emerging 3G wireless broadband network for laptop use. It will continue its brand positioning advertising, too, Bradley said.

Bradley joined AT&T Wireless from IT consultancy Lante Corp., where he was a managing director. Prior to that, he was in a similar role at MCI's IT division, Systemhouse.

-Beth Snyder Bulik

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