Wendy White recently came from Intel to serve as Motorola's director of global technology marketing and communications. She heads up marketing for all R&D, software, and early-stage technology incubation. White reports to both the CTO and CMO of Motorola and embodies the new-product-development breed of marketing champions.
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Roy Young: Tell me about your educational and professional background. Did you study marketing or come up through the marketing and sales ranks to your current position at Motorola? What best describes your path to where you are now?
Wendy White: My background is a bit eclectic. I got my first exposure to marketing in the army, where I served as a "psychological operations" officer. In that role, I learned the craft of target-audience analysis and campaign planning around propaganda, using media such as leaflets, loud-speaker broadcast, TV, and radio.
While in the army reserves, I earned an MBA and started working at Intel. At that time, Intel was growing fast and expanding into new areas, such as servers and solutions. I was able to move quickly from a corporate communications job into pioneering new opportunity areas for the company related to vertical industries and enterprise solutions.
I also got very close to our "influencer" sales organization by leading global efforts to arm the sales team with tools and messaging to help them influence Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies around the world. The goal was to influence these organizations to adopt new IT and business solutions, along with infrastructure.
Early last year, I left Intel for Motorola, again to pioneer new opportunities. But this time I'm developing marketing and communications centered on innovation—R&D, standards, software, and early-stage businesses.
RY: How did you apply your expertise to new-product development at Intel?
WW: I encourage people not to think in terms of just products. Instead, we start with an industry vision—a picture of how we want to shape the overall industry. Products are always within a context. For example, a personal computer is a professional business tool; it's part of an enterprise environment. There are seven million small businesses in this country alone, and they each need different solutions depending on the industry they're in—financial services, healthcare, retail. A PC is just one element in these many different, unique solutions that can help customers meet their key performance indicators; for example, reducing shrinkage and managing shelf life, in the case of retailers.