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An Interview with Nancy Bhagat

Former Vice President of Global Marketing Strategy and Campaigns at Intel

A veteran marketer who has held senior positions in the agency world, Intel’s Nancy Bhagat manages a team of marketers that develops campaigns based on market insights. She also leads the company’s integrated media team, which oversees social media, paid media and search. In addition, she manages global strategy and is responsible for driving efficiencies across all of Intel’s communication efforts. Prior to Bhagat’s seven-year tenure at Intel, she served as CMO at Macromedia.

(Editors’ note: Nancy Bhagat was interviewed by eMarketer on June 11, 2013; she was named Divisional CMO, Consumer Solutions Segment at TE Connectivity in May 2014.)

Can you describe your role and mission at Intel?

Nancy Bhagat: I created the marketing strategy and campaigns team at Intel more than three years ago. I focus on global marketing strategy, and I established audience teams dedicated to our end-users. There’s a business team, a consumer team and an incubation team—about 50 people total.

I look at marketing as being all about transformation, constant change and market insights—and they’re interrelated. Consumers’ media consumption, the role of content, consumers’ interaction with content, and the creation and distribution of content have all changed—not to mention the impact of social and digital behaviors.

What are your top business priorities?

Bhagat: Our company sells products and technologies inside of someone else’s product. That makes the role of marketing and communications even more challenging—creating desire for something you can’t see or touch. As an ingredient brand we don’t do demand generation in the same way other companies do, but we do drive engagement. In some cases we work to create demand for our partners’ products—such as showcasing the innovative designs of Ultrabooks. And in other cases, our goal is to articulate the value of Intel, both our technologies and thought leadership.

What digital trends affect marketing at Intel?

Bhagat: Technology is becoming a part of people’s daily life. We’re constantly thinking about the next thing—from wearables in the fashion industry, to interactive signage, to the role of technology in the automotive industry, and more. In terms of new experiences and capabilities, technology is becoming an important differentiator across all product areas, and Intel is developing a wide range of solutions across all of these areas.

I’m also focused on the role of brands as publishers. As people create, consume and share content, there is an opportunity to drive relevance in a new way. Identifying a distribution strategy is also important, and digital is at the heart of that.

In addition, I pay attention to data—how we harness the proliferation of data and use it to analyze and predict behavior is increasingly important. And when consumers offer up additional data, how do you return value to them? This is relevant to us not just from a marketing perspective, but also from a business and product strategy perspective.

What are your biggest business challenges, and how does eMarketer help you navigate them?

Bhagat: Our ability to access sales data is limited by the nature of our business model. In previous roles, I could track business activities to leads and sales. We can’t do that at Intel. We’ve had to work with partners to share data and develop new ways to identify metrics and derive ROI, particularly from digital and social, so we can look at patterns and measure impact. We’ve been working on developing scenarios around content interaction, measuring online activity and putting a numerical value on content consumption and engagement.

I’m a big fan of eMarketer. From a marketing strategy perspective, eMarketer helps us to develop insights on our audiences, their behavior and media consumption patterns. The research helps make us more informed. As a strategy and media team, we need to develop a point of view to influence a large group of people. eMarketer data and intelligence give our recommendations additional credibility.

I also enjoy the interviews—marketers are so willing to share. While each interview differs, it’s wonderful to be able to read about a challenge that someone’s facing and connect with your own situation, share best practices and so forth.

How have you used eMarketer intelligence to inform marketing strategy?

Bhagat: We’ve used eMarketer to help us understand a variety of areas including retail. Our focus used to be on developing point-of-sale and merchandising assets, but what we’re finding through eMarketer is that digital is playing an increasingly important role in the retail process. Reports on showrooming and omnichannel retailing have been particularly interesting.

Also, with respect to media consumption, the data on trends and predictive behavior is very valuable. I strongly encourage the people on my team to use data to help make and defend their points. I know they’re all accessing eMarketer and that it’s become an important tool in our approach and marketing discipline.

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