TECHNOLOGY: TECH LEADERS SPOT SOLUTIONS

By Published on .

The Internet economy is breathing new life into tech warhorses, but the heady time calls for cool resolve.

The buzzwords? Services, solutions, and support.

Tech executives ranked in the Power 50 exemplify a rare blend of equanimity and determination in piloting the marketing vision for their respective companies in the new age of Intel Corp. seeks to distribute and embed its technologies and services in all manner of e-commerce business. It's a tall order.

"What has changed is we were predominately consumer-focused with the Pentium III campaign, but the challenge is expanding what the public hears and sees about Intel," says Jami Dover, Intel's VP-sales and marketing group and director of worldwide marketing operations. That, she says, means positioning Intel as an Internet driver. Intel, in the last year, focused on consumers with heavy TV advertising and a call to action directing traffic to www.intel.com for a more targeted story. "Now, it's more of a business orientation, an e-business focus and talking about Intel as a building block supplier to the Internet," Ms. Dover said. "What's interesting is that Intel and e-business was a story that we hadn't told."

By contrast, IBM initiated an e-business positioning two years ago, guided by Abby Kohnstamm, the company's senior VP-marketing. Under Ms. Kohnstamm's leadership, Big Blue has rallied its considerable marketing resources and prowess around the e-business theme with the help of its agency partner Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York.

"The original objectives we had were to really create the category and explain what the huge opportunity of e-business was," says Ms. Kohnstamm. E-business "has a lot of legs and a long ways to go. We're just beginning to see the kind of fundamental shift in the computing environment that supports these enterprises, in how businesses do what they do in using these kinds of applications," she continues.

IBM, Ms. Kohnstamm says, is looking to do more focused Web, direct and event marketing. Web marketing, she says, now makes up about 10% of the company's overall marketing budget, 50% is directed to print and about 35% in TV. While looking to do more high profile event sponsorships in sports and entertainment, IBM's Olympic involvement ends with the 2000 Games in Sydney.

Microsoft, will blanket the airwaves with a new positioning that seeks to engrain an empowerment via software theme, "Anytime, anyplace and on any device," says Bob Herbold, exec VP-chief operating officer. Microsoft's corporate marketing and communications, manufacturing, distribution, and human resources divisions report directly to him.

The campaign, due later this fall with new agency partner McCann-Erickson Worldwide, will focus first on business-oriented solutions and themes such as knowledge management and e-commerce, then on consumer Web-lifestyles. And, of course, the Internet.

"The Internet is absolutely core to what we're doing," Mr. Herbold says. In the future, "The Internet is going to become so omnipresent, we won't talk about it anymore," he predicts.

As such, not only will it be the vehicle for delivering software, services, support and commerce, but it is increasingly integral to the marketing mix. Five years ago, Microsoft spent little or nothing on online advertising. Now, Mr. Herbold said, 8% of the company's total marketing arsenal is committed to interactive marketing. In the near future, Mr. Herbold projects the Web will evolve into more of a one-to-one marketing tool.

Ms. Dover has already harnessed the targeted marketing power of the Web debuting a campaign for its Web OutFitter service, a premium content service designed for owners of Pentium III PCs. "We're delivering some of value to owners of Pentium

In this article:
Most Popular