BtoB's Best Marketers: George Stenitzer, Tellabs Inc.

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Detailing future cost savings isn't enough to convince IT decision-makers to make a major technology overhaul. It takes an innovative marketing plan and persuasive content. That's what George Stenitzer, VP-communications at telecom equipment manufacturer Tellabs Inc., is learning as he promotes the company's Optical LAN (local area network) technology, which he calls a “disruptive technology.” IT departments are comfortable with copper LANs, but Optical LAN “is a better technology,” Stenitzer said. Unlike copper wiring, which has to be replaced every few years to accommodate more bandwidth, Optical LAN can accommodate an increasing volume of traffic. It also uses less energy and offers higher security. Stenitzer created a media blitz for Tellabs' technology that included a magazine cover, video and press releases about Sandia National Laboratories, a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy that is home to the world's largest Optical LAN. Sandia began installing the Tellabs Optical LAN Solution in 2009 to replace an existing copper-based LAN and projects it will save about $20 million in costs over five years once the system is fully deployed. The push was part of Tellabs' overall plan to improve its content marketing, Stenitzer said. It's also increased the frequency of Tellabs blogs and the number of bloggers. Stenitzer said Tellabs is also working on improving its mobile presence, noting that smartphone traffic on the Tellabs site has more than doubled since a new smartphone interface was deployed in March. “We want to go that next step,” he said, which is a mobile-first responsive design, automatically resizing any page to fit a user's viewing device, a project planned for 2014. Another step in making the customer's online journey easier, Stenitzer said, is through marketing automation software, which it plans to use to handle sales from multiple distributors and partners. And it's trying out dedicated landing pages and email newsletters with its value-added resellers. Tellabs is also dedicated to research that helps sales prospects and clients understand the cost benefits of adopting a new technology. “It's an important way to get to the table,” Stenitzer said.
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