BtoB's Best Marketers: Mark Wilson, Avaya Inc.

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Mark Wilson, who was named CMO at telecommunications equipment company Avaya Inc. last July, said his top priority this year has been making marketing a more strategic part of the overall business. “We want to use a stronger voice of the customer in the execution of everything we do and strengthen our content thought leadership platform,” said Wilson, who previously served as senior VP-field and corporate marketing at Sybase, now part of SAP. One of his big areas of focus has been understanding the buyer's journey and developing effective content to reach buyers at different stages along the way. “We map out the buyer's journey so we can make proper investments,” Wilson said. “What happens before they ever talk to an account manager or partner, what happens at the end of the buyer's journey and how do you improve your win rate?” Using this insight, Avaya maps out specific assets to deliver at different stages, such as e-books and annual product guides at the beginning and executive briefing centers where prospects can come in and immerse themselves in the technology at the end of their journey. Wilson has also worked on developing more content, such as research projects around specific product categories and a thought leadership webcast series. “We made a big investment this year in building out our competitive insight,” he said. To do this, Avaya set up competitive labs in which to test and benchmark its products against those of its competitors. “We wanted to make sure we had strong evidence against false competitive claims and [could] quantify the claims we were making relative to our competitors,” Wilson said. Avaya increased the volume of ads placed this year by 150%, using print, online, out-of-home, social and mobile, he said.
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