Donald MacDonald, VP-sales and marketing group, GM, corporate brands and marketing, Intel Corp.

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For Donald MacDonald, who this year was named VP-sales and marketing and general manager of corporate brands and marketing at Intel, the biggest challenge was turning around the product side of the business.

"Frankly, we'd lost our way on the product side over the last five years," MacDonald said. "On the notebook side, we have always had great products, but over the last five years, we did not refresh our desktop architecture."

This year, Intel introduced vPro technology for desktops, including the Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, built-in manageability and security. The marketing department played a significant role in the product development of vPro, as well as the Core 2 Duo Processor.

"When you're spending billions on R&D, it's important that the marketing department has substantial influence on what those products are," MacDonald said. "With vPro, we moved away from a focus on the need for speed to what our customers really care about, which is how the technology simplifies lives for IT managers and users."

Once the products were introduced, marketing's job was to communicate the new architecture and benefits to business customers and partners. It launched a series of ad campaigns, developed by McCann-Erickson, New York, which was named agency of record in 2005.

In July, Intel rolled out "Mojo," a print campaign for the Core 2 Duo Processor that pitted Intel directly against its competition in terms of processor performance. In September, it introduced a broader, integrated marketing campaign, called "Multiply," for the Core 2 Duo. The campaign includes TV, print, online and outdoor and is Intel's largest marketing effort since the launch of Centrino mobile technology in 2003.

MacDonald said Intel's marketing budget is "a couple of billion dollars," which includes business, consumer and partner marketing.

"Most of that money gets spent on our partners," he said. "We have really changed to more joint marketing programs, such as doing an Adobe show or an SAP show, a reseller seminar series, white papers and online case studies."

In January, Intel replaced its longstanding "Intel Inside" branding program with a multiplatform effort with the tagline "Leap ahead." The rebranding signaled Intel's move away from its focus on developing microprocessors for PCs to developing products for mobile, digital, home and enterprise platforms.

Intel is using new technologies including online video and viral marketing to reach target audiences. In the U.K., it launched an online game called Crime Spree where IT users had to solve a fictitious hacking scenario, receiving clues via e-mail and other online communications. —K.M.

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