Career Story: Vice-President Of Marketing For A Telecommunications Company

Vice-President Of Marketing For A Telecommunications Company

Job Title: Vice President Of Marketing

Type of Company: We sell telecommunication products and solutions to small and medium-sized businesses nationwide.

Education: BS, Business Education, Bryant University (Smithfield, RI)

Previous Experience: I started as a customer trainer for a telecommunications firm. I then moved into various sales & sales support areas. Eventually I moved into managing people and then larger teams. As the company grew and changed so did I.

Job Tasks: As the Vice-President of Marketing for a major telecommunications firm I am responsible for the four P's of marketing: Product, Place, Price And Promotion. "Product," in this context, refers to the development of new products that small businesses can use to operate more effectively. It requires a blend of new technologies to find new solutions. An example of this is combining wireless, internet and wired telecommunication services into a bundle that a small business might use to improve customer service.

"Place" is determining where your products will be sold. It could be in a wireless store, a third party such as Best Buy or a face-to-face sales rep. Each product might have different distribution depending upon the target audience. "Price" is self-explanatory. Pricing is a factor of cost, value to the customer and the competitive marketplace. And finally, "promotion" is about making the customer aware of your product; developing a need in the customer's mind.

I do this with a team of about 40 people. Each one has a specific responsibility for either a product (which includes pricing) or promotion (which includes place).

My day is filled with conference calls where we analyze the performance of existing initiatives and plan for new product launches and initiatives.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is actually watching and helping my team members succeed in a task once thought to be almost impossible. In corporate America there is little patience for delays. Each assignment has specific budgetary and timing requirements. At the start of each project the budget rarely seems adequate and the timing seems preposterous. The true sense of accomplishment a team feels when they have achieved success within budget and on time is the best part of my job.

The worst part of my job is the necessary and painful personnel decisions that have to be made on a regular basis. The telecom industry is under financial pressure from many directions. It competition includes cable and wireless companies in addition to its longstanding telecom rivals and their cost structures are dramatically different those of telecom companies. The pressure to reduce expenses and upgrade the quality of the team is a constant. It would be easy to cop out and say that it is just corporate greed that leads to lay-offs but that would be a myopic response. As a publicly traded company we have an obligation to our owners, the shareholders, to be as efficient and effective as possible. As a company focused on customers, we have an obligation to put the best team together to meet their needs on a regular basis. This means putting the best team on the field at all times. To do this it is necessary to constantly evaluate the talent on the team and to weed out the weaker players. The fact is that a weak player on your team might be an A player on a different team in a different role. You need to provide clear and effective feedback so that person can improve and find success in the right position.

All that said, making staffing decisions that adversely affect a person will always be the worst part of any executive's job.

Job Tips: It sounds simple but it is the advice I lived by: be part of the solution, not the problem. The workplace is filled with employees who can point out what is going wrong but there are not enough voices working on how to improve. If you can help your employer find solutions to operational problems you will be a valued member of the team.

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