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It's been a busy 12 months at Intel Corp. The company ushered in a new CEO, hired a new CMO, reorganized its business structure and overhauled its marketing department. Oh, and also hired a new advertising agency.

McCann Worldgroup took over the account in March and, with years of experience on other big tech accounts, including Microsoft Corp., has quickly picked up Intel's marketing strategy.

"You want to get to the place where your customers look at you as a valued strategic partner and not just a provider of commodity technology. Intel has done a good job of that, and we're going to direct that even more," said Michael McLaren, exec VP-director of global accounts at McCann Worldgroup, New York.

McCann's first enterprise campaign for Intel is in the works, and is expected to be ready soon. McCann's first work was a fall ad campaign launched in September promoting Intel's Centrino wireless technology and using celebrities to tout the value of Centrino wireless to entertainment.

Intel continues its long-running and successful "Intel Inside" program and will still promote its products as the premier technology inside, also known as "ingredient branding." Still, some changes will affect its marketing.

One change that has already had an effect is Intel's move to reorganize its product brands around platforms rather than individual products. That means marketing messages can better address business challenges solved by groups or combinations of products.

Will Swope, VP-director of Intel's Digital Enterprise Brand Management, said, "The future will be messages more about how the integrated processes of Intel move enterprise forward."

Swope said he is pleased with the way the entire Intel ecosystem, such as PC manufacturers and software vendors, has been included more in marketing under the new system. "It's reflective of the way business actually works," he said. "It's a win for the OEMs, a win for the software vendors and a win for Intel."

Intel shifted more marketing dollars online, reflecting its importance in research and purchase choices to enterprise customers.

"Network administrators or IT buyers are time stressed and very busy, and that's one of the reasons why the Web is so important. They spend a lot of time on it, and it's where they go for information," McLaren said.

Yet even with the many changes over the last year, Intel continues to use the tried and true marketing methods that work for it, including print, direct and events, such as its Intel Developer Forum, this year held in eight countries around the world. The forums serve as innovation showcases for Intel's work, but also as places to get feedback from developers and begin or expand partnerships.

-Beth Snyder Bulik

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