The CMO Interview

What's Inside Intel's Global Game Plan

Social Media Lets Company Customize Local Languages and Cultural Nuances

By Published on .

At Intel, Nancy Bhagat is both VP-sales and marketing group and director of marketing strategy and campaigns. She joined the company in 2005 after client and agency jobs, including a stint at WPP's JWT and serving as the chief marketing officer of Macromedia. Under CMO Deborah Conrad, she helped create the "Sponsors of Tomorrow" brand positioning and works to ensure Intel has a consistent voice.

Nancy Bhagat
Nancy Bhagat

Ad Age : Everyone is familiar with "Intel Inside," but in the past few years, Intel has focused on being better known on the outside and having a strong standalone brand. How is that working out?

Ms. Bhagat: About five years ago we started making a strategic choice to both reintroduce ourself to end-users and drive a deeper level of engagement than we have historically. Facebook is a really great example of that . For people in the earlier years, the thought of Intel having direct relationships with consumers and posting information that is relevant and interesting in that community would have been unheard of .

Ad Age : Intel does a lot of partnering with other brands, like the Vice magazine collaboration that led to the Creators Project. What's behind that initiative?

Ms. Bhagat: We have really changed how we use co-marketing. ... We've broadened our definition of co-marketing; a partner can be defined in a broad way, from media to publishing, or just a company that has specific consumer interest. The Creators Project has tapped into a passion point of consumers, whether it's music or architecture or design, and the underlying theme of the program is how technology has become an enabler in bringing their art or passions to life. It's a very subtle way of talking about Intel ... but that 's OK.

Ad Age : How are you tailoring your consumer messages in different markets?

Ms. Bhagat: We are in a unique position in that the Intel brand is very well-known. In mature markets, the idea of having the best laptop for your kid to use for school is very similar to the idea that in an emerging market buying your first desktop can give your child the best opportunity from an education perspective. There are local nuances in terms of how people think. From a communications standpoint, a marketer in India, for example, is going to talk about cricket, and in Europe, soccer.

Ad Age : You've approached Facebook differently than most other companies. Why does Intel translate its fan page into different languages?

Ms. Bhagat: We made a very important and strategic discussion going back several years ago that we wanted to not just be active in social media, but be a leader. We wanted to train our employees and utilize tools to do a more effective job of publishing, moderating and governance. And at the highest level, how do we bring the brand to life? This past weekend, we hit our 1 million number in terms of friends on the English-speaking Facebook site. We have also scaled and now have over 25 local language pages covering 45 countries and they lead back to a single navigation page. Because we sell products in so many countries, we can't scale our paid media investments fast enough. Social media becomes a way to scale across markets. We are not advertising in 45 countries.

Ad Age : How do you manage your agency relationships?

Ms. Bhagat: We started an open-source model going back several years ago and the philosophy was that we wanted to work with the best-of -breed agencies. Inherent in that is an understanding that they would be our partners and we would be very open and collaborative. The thing that we've done that 's newer this past year is that we've looked at earned media and paid media, and we have worked with our global media agency, OMD, asking them to also get involved in our social-media strategy so we can drive tighter integration between earned and paid. And we've pulled in other social agencies that are new this year in terms of working on our social community strategy, which is Facebook. We are probably working with 10 to 15 agencies around the world -- and that 's across everything.

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