Q&A with Steve Fund, CMO, Intel

How do you create a culture of innovation, where new ideas have room to grow, and speed and agility are top priority?

In the tech industry, innovation is essential. Things are changing so fast and every aspect of our business is changing with them. The role of marketing is to enable and support our business strategy. We specifically look for people who can drive and create change and who don’t rely on either the past or the future. We are constantly looking for new creative ways to market and to do things that have never been done.

How do you get inside the heads—and hearts—of your customers in order to keep pace and grow with them?

To target tech-savvy, millennial consumers, we conducted global research to identify their “passion points”: areas of their lives where they spend the majority of their time. Understanding their “passion points” helps us understand what excites millennial consumers, where they are most engaged, and what they are interested and immersed in. Once gathered, we filtered these passion points through a brand lens to ensure that each passion point provides an authentic opportunity for us.

Based on this data, we determine where our technology could uniquely reinvent these experiences and make them more immersive. We found that this best way to get inside the heads and hearts of our consumers and make more of an impact, allowing us to grow and become more integrated in their lives.

Our universal belief is that business performance follows brand performance, and both should work in tandem. Business performance is based on operational and sales excellence. Brand performance is based on the consumer and partners’ respect for the value you bring to their lives and the positive impact you make on the world. “Intel Inside, Amazing Experiences Outside” quickly became the North Star of all our global marketing efforts.

What attracts new talent to your brand?

Over the past three years, we have been on a journey to transform Intel and reposition the brand to enable that transition and take a fundamentally new approach to marketing. We’ve been driving a lot of change and excitement around our brand and marketing, which has attracted amazing new talent and added to the world-class marketers that were already at Intel.

Has a focus on innovation resulted in better and stronger experiences for customers?

We are a very progressive digital marketer and our media mix skews high on digital. Our social media footprint is large and we use cutting-edge analytics and other tools and capabilities.

What aspect of your brand has served as a source of strength internally or in the market?

We believe that when you build the brand, you build the business. Over the last three years we’ve seen very strong business results and strong brand results, so we know they are moving in the same direction.

Have the challenge(s) that you’ve faced helped you focus in on strengthening a certain aspect of your brand?

The ongoing objective has been to educate consumers and move from being just a PC ingredient brand to a brand that empowers amazing experiences. 

Future growth sometimes means looking to the past. Has “getting back to basics” or tapping into your brand’s heritage helped you map your strategy going forward?

We are bridging from the inside to the outside and making a direct connection between our breakthrough technology and the amazing experiences that occur in people’s everyday lives.