This article is part of a series of interviews with top marketing executives who offer you insights to help further your career: You will learn what makes these executives successful and what they value most in those who work for them.

The following is a transcript of a conversation between William Arruda, MarketingProfs senior contributor, and Patricia Hume, global vice-president of small and medium business solutions (SMBS) for Avaya, a leading provider of business communications software, systems, and services. Hume is responsible for all marketing, sales, service, and operations for Avaya's small and medium business market segment.

Prior to joining Avaya, Hume was the senior vice-president of channel sales and general manager of the Asia-Pacific market for Critical Path Inc., a developer of messaging solutions for the telecommunications industry. Hume was also president and CEO of VerticalNet Inc., a provider of electronic marketplaces to vertical industries in the small and medium business market. Earlier in her career, she spent 20 years at IBM, where she held numerous management and senior management positions.

This transcript has been edited for clarity and readability. The interview is also available in audio for our Annual Premium members. Click here to play the podcast (click and choose Open). Or you can download it for your MP3 player (click and choose Save).

William Arruda: You've held a lot of senior-level marketing positions. Which was your favorite and why?

Patricia Hume: The job that I am in right now is clearly my favorite. We are in a unique position in Avaya in that we are a small business inside of a very large company. We run the SMBS division, of which I am the head, as a small special business unit inside Avaya. This gives us a tremendous opportunity to really be market-focused, customer-focused, to really be able to go and understand what it is.

For us to be successful in the marketplace, it means having the responsibility for R&D and product management and product marketing and marketing and sales, and we have complete control over our own success. That in itself is really quite exciting, because how market-driven you are and how good you are at execution is what determines whether you are going to be very successful or not. So far the team has done just a terrific job.

William Arruda: What would you say has been your key to success in senior-level marketing?

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image of William Arruda

William Arruda is a personal branding pioneer, the founder and CEO of Reach Personal Branding, and the author of Ditch. Dare. Do! 3D Personal Branding for Executives.

Twitter: @williamarruda

LinkedIn: William Arruda