BlackBerry made a relatively large announcement today. The new BlackBerry CEO, John Chen, has hired Mark Wilson as Senior Vice President of Marketing.
Chen says Wilson will “…bring extensive experience and add the necessary leadership and depth that will help us drive our transformation.”
Wilson and Chen have worked together in the past and Chen says they “…have developed close and trusted relationships with each other that will enable us to cohesively manage the changes required to reshape BlackBerry.”
BlackBerry has many, many challenges ahead. Marketing might be their most pivotal department that needs resuscitation. Frank Boulben, BlackBerry’s past Chief Marketing Officer, was tasked with fixing the company’s perception.
However, in our interview with Mr. Boulben, it was clear he wasn’t interested in learning from the company’s mistakes. “I haven’t spent much time doing an analysis of the past commercials of RIM. If I were to do that for the US and all our other markets where we operate I would have to devote a lot of my time,” said Boulben.
As history unfolded before our eyes, we’ve since learned that perhaps Mr. Boulben should have more aggressively visited RIM’s past. Instead, we saw much of the same uninformative marketing campaigns, despite having such a new product launch. Nevertheless, Wilson has quite the interesting work history.
Starting in January 2014, Wilson will leave Avaya, where as CMO he led the marketing transition to a customer-solutions orientation. He previously served as Senior Vice President of Corporate and Field Marketing at Sybase, and has extensive experience in marketing roles at AT&T and KPMG. At Sybase, he oversaw branding and advertising, lead generation, sales enablement and mobile product marketing operations.
Wilson’s experience at AT&T is what gets me the most excited. Depending on what side of marketing Wilson was engaged in at AT&T, he may have deep insight into handset sale tactics within retail stores and beyond.
BlackBerry 10.2.1 will be introducing a new unlocked Android Jellybean 4.2.2 runtime. This will allow BlackBerry 10 users the ability to install almost any Android app directly, simply using the app’s Android APK file.
The Android app experience has literally been re-written into a secure environment with BlackBerry 10. Should Wilson and BlackBerry get around the stigma surrounding the BlackBerry brand by directly marketing OS 10.2.1 as the “secure Android” to consumers?
The future of steering BlackBerry back around will certainly be trying. Even more so if BlackBerry decides to remain in the consumer market, with targeted audience of “prosumers”. Let us know in the comments what you think BlackBerry and it’s new SVP of marketing should do to revamp the company’s degrading brand.