Event Recap: Purpose In Action
Citing the complexity of the B2B industry as what fuels his passion, Motorola CMO Eduardo Conrado spoke to an engaged crowd at the January meeting of the Atlanta chapter of the BMA. Conrado's accolades range from a familiar title (four consecutive years) as BtoB Magazine’s Best Marketers; an appearance on its annual Who’s Who in Marketing spotlight; and the incoming national president of the BMA for 2012-2013. His tenure at Motorola spans an impressive 19 years, during which he’s seen the company go through significant changes – particularly, in the past five years.
“We were the first casualty of the smartphone,” said Conrado, adding that it was – in part – what drove the 83-year-old company in 2011 to formally split in two entities: Motorola Solutions, a B2B arm, and its sister B2C organization, Motorola Mobility. After Google snatched up Motorola Mobility, Motorola Solutions found itself facing some of what Conrado says are the biggest B2B challenges in 2011/2012:
- The rise of purpose-driven brands. What does the brand stand for, and what is its unique value proposition?
- Experiential focus. “In marketing, we tend to get focused on product marketing,” said Conrado. “We’ve definitely started seeing a rise in technology firms that need to focus on the experience of it all.”
- The marriage of marketing and sales. “In order for sales to be successful, marketing and sales need to be tied at the hip,” said Conrado.
These trends coupled with the company split forced Motorola Solutions to undergo a period of reinvention and the identification of several new marketing insights, according to Conrado. Among these new insights included:
- The acceptance of disruption and the danger in feeling comfortable if you find your organization No. 1 in the market;
- The link between marketing and human resources. “Marketing is the new HR,” said Conrado, adding that all organizations need to clearly identify why they exist (their purpose); what they offer (their promise), and how they’ll deliver (their company values). “HR can create the processes, the framework,” said Conrado. “How we weave it into everything? That’s where marketing comes in); and
- Lead with purpose. “Purpose drives a sustainableadvantage,” said Conrado, adding that this isn’t always simple given the new B2B landscape includes greater complexity; new growth areas that are leading to new competitors; and the acknowledgement that “the best technology doesn’t always win.”
In light of the changes he’s seen both in the B2B landscape and at his tenure with Motorola, Conrado has redefined the conventional four Ps of marketing:
- Solution is the new problem;
- Education is the new promotion;
- Value is the new price; and
- Access is the new place.
This evolution of traditional marketing concepts has changed the basic makeup of the Motorola marketing organization. “The skillsets of the marketing department have really changed,” said Conrado, adding that many of his marketing professionals now come armed with unconventional marketing backgrounds such as mathematics in order to better evaluate and determine ROI. Conrado also said that he is challenging his marketing team to do things differently and with more purpose.
“Instead of putting your thinking in a PowerPoint presentation, I ask people to put their thinking into a white paper,” he said. “A PowerPoint simply doesn’t do your thinking justice.”
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Nancy Bistritz leads the public relations activities for the BMA Atlanta. As senior director (United States) for Nurun, Nancy is responsible for managing the company’s marketing, communications, and business developments efforts in the United States.