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Kevin Peters

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Title: CMO
Years in current job: 10 months
Company: AT&T Business Solutions
Quote: “The wizardry is taking telecom, software, mobile and machine-to-machine devices and assembling that into a solution.”

Kevin Peters, CMO of AT&T Business Solutions, oversees the marketing of network, application and telecommunication solutions to all AT&T's business customers. And, while the task is complex, Peters is unfazed. “The challenges are invigorating,” he said. “It's not a Fuller Brush or a gadget pitch—it's high-end technology. “ With AT&T since 1986, Peters is up to the task. He said he spends his time distilling messages to a broad and diverse customer base, from small entrepreneurs to CIOs of Fortune 1,000 companies. Similarly, AT&T's business offerings range from telecommunications and computing services for large global companies to mobility applications to help small businesses improve efficiency. On the high end, he said, AT&T might “co-create” solutions, and “on the lower end of the spectrum, we might talk to them about how they can introduce applications.”

For instance, AT&T partnered with Interceptor Ignition Interlocks on the marketing of Interceptor, a breath alcohol auto ignition locking device. Created for use by people convicted of DUI, the device requires drivers to submit to a breath alcohol test before they can start their cars and again periodically while driving. If the level is too high, the car won't start; if it becomes too high during the course of a drive, the device will alert authorities if the driver doesn't stop the car.

In his former position as exec VP-global network operations, Peters oversaw the health and maintenance of AT&T's worldwide network across its local, national and global wireline and wireless services. That's “18 terabytes of data traversing the network,” he said. That background helps, he said, when he meets with CIOs to discuss disaster recovery systems.

AT&T is promoting its consumer and enterprise services through “Rethink Possible,” a global campaign created by BBDO New York that debuted in April. The company also worked with brand consultancy Interbrand on the campaign, which includes TV, online, print, direct mail and social media. The upbeat commercials show what's possible using AT&T, from its 3G network to its expansive wireless coverage.

On a micromarketing level, AT&T uses briefing centers to showcase its business products and services. At the AT&T Network Operations Center in Bedminster, N.J., for example, it invites analysts and customers to show off its capabilities. “There's a lot around [the center] making our expertise and our ability to assemble things on behalf of our customers tangible,” Peters said.

AT&T Telepresence Solution, the company's high-end managed teleconference system being installed internationally, is one way it's helping its customers save money, he said. “Traditionally we were much more volatile,” he said. “Today, because a lot of these services introduce productivity, we hedge our concerns. We can improve your business processes.”

Despite the slumping economy, AT&T was still the No. 2 b-to-b advertiser last year, spending an estimated $308.8 million on measured media, down 5.6% from 2008, according to a BtoB analysis of data from Kantar Media.

—P.R.

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