Director of Marketing, Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems

I managed Marketing for the Intercontinental Operating Group of Sun’s software division. This included all of Asia/Pac and Latin America. I managed a direct group of fifteen people, most of whom had their own group reporting into them. Our primary focus was to market Sun Software to Sun Hardware customers.

I was responsible for International Marketing Programs, Marketing Communications, and Inbound Telemarketing.

International Marketing Programs

Our program activity focused on two areas; a steady stream of product releases driven by broad and deep media support, and on-going development of training materials and events to support our channel partners. The product releases were preceded by heavy localized advertising spend; we’d run our ads on billboards, television, radio, we had a heavy presence at all local technology events (averaging three shows per country, per quarter), and did extensive ad buys for both business and technology press. The advertising campaigns all required the same, consistent, global message, while being localized to each particular market’s requirements, running simultaneously in fifteen separate geographic markets. All ads across all media types had to hit at the exact same time, all over the world. This required an elaborate in-bound telemarketing program in place before the ads hit, since in-bound lead volume tended to spike very quickly.

We worked with seven separate ad agencies, a host of translation vendors, media buyers, plus an extensive channel partner network. This also required a significant amount of collaboration with US Operations, since the US/Corporate group at Sun tended to play point on all product launches.

Marketing Communications

MarCom for our operating group in Sun was focused primarily on in-country press dealing with local technology issues. We averaged two to three interviews per week with business and technology press. During launch-related media tours we would be running two to three interviews per day for several weeks at a time. Messaging that focused on a broader corporate pitch was handled by a separate MarCom group that worked out of Corporate.

In-bound Telemarketing

This function consisted of fifteen full-time telemarketers. It was our responsibility to provide on-going training to the telemarketing staff to keep them up to speed on new product releases, write and update support scripts per launch event, as well as manage the physical and logical infrastructure needed to run the operation. We also developed and implemented a very sophisticated lead tracking system that was integrated into our channel partners Customer Information Management System.