Market analysts worldwide have made a career out of bashing RIM for some time now. Even consumers think the company is too far gone to make a comeback. Frank Boulben, RIM’s Chief Marketing Officer thinks differently.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Boulben talked about why he joined RIM so late in the game and why he was willing to take the risk.
“To me, participating in what could be the greatest comeback in history, is very appealing.”
When he was specifically asked if that scenario was possible, Boulben answered, “yes, it’s very possible.”
Frank Boulben, RIM’s Chief Marketing Officer
Boulben has been CMO at RIM for just about six months, but already he’s done a lot for the company. He took the reins from virtually no one considering RIM had no marketing officer for a while before he was recruited. RIM also had a pretty terrible marketing strategy in general, which can be attributed to at least part of the reason why it was doing so poorly.
The biggest question, probably one we’re all wondering was how Boulben plans to change the Blackberry brand for the better, at least when it comes to marketing.
“First of all it starts with the customer. We need to be absolutely clear about which customers we intend to serve, and why we are going to serve them better than the competition”.
He goes on to say almost the same things we’ve been hearing from RIM’s CEO, Thorsten Heins. He identifies that RIM has specifically tailored the Blackberry line for ‘Blackberry People,’ and has also changed its marketing strategy to reflect this new outlook.
RIM’s New Marketing Strategy
Something quite new to marketing for the Blackberry brand is the increase in product demonstration. Marketing teams are actually taking Blackberry 10 devices into the wild, and allowing folks to try out the new platform first hand. When you think about it, this leads to one of the best kinds of advertising which is the word of mouth.
Boulben says that’s just the tip of the iceberg for RIM’s new marketing strategy though.
“We start with those advocates, and they start to spread the word and build the buzz [for Blackberry 10]. Then we need to amplify it. The second part of the strategy is to do that using all possible realtime marketing techniques.”
After showing off the Blackberry 10 platform extensively in demonstrations, RIM then needs to focus more on brand awareness through social media and advertising.
“Obviously we cannot do this face to face, but we can show video assets showcasing the unique user experience.”
Essentially, this means that we’ll probably see more in-depth walkthrough videos appear that show off BB10’s biggest features, like the Blackberry keyboard.
Boulben also says that Blackberry Balance will be a pretty massive deal for most Blackberry people. It’s a feature that allows users to separate their personal and work environments. Essentially, you have two different profiles, one for work and the other for personal stuff. All the apps, data and information you store on your personal profile does not carry over into your work profile and vice versa. This allows you to have various accounts and settings for different environments. This feature is indeed a game changer for business folk.
Frank Boulben – Forbes Interview
If you’d like to see the full interview, watch the video below. You can always visit Forbes, as well, where the interview was conducted by the lovely Jennifer Rooney.
Frank Boulben is clearly doing a fantastic job marketing the Blackberry 10 platform. All the buzz is quite effective, and more and more people are looking forward to the launch of Blackberry 10 each day. It actually seems like with each photo or video released, more people sign on for the new platform.
It will be fascinating to see just how successful the launch is on January 31st. As of today, there are just 42 days left until the launch!
Forbes Interview with Frank Boulben