As we all work through the various impacts of the novel coronavirus – from the depressing and the serious to the merely inconvenient – it's vital that as much industry and business as is safe and possible continues. When thousands are dying, it can seem trite to even consider this, but it is not only important in terms of us having a vibrant post-virus world; IT is an important contributor to sustaining our lives and communications today, and also a vital element to finding ways to overcome the virus.
But that business-continuation demands some very different approaches and thinking; therefore, whenever possible over the coming weeks I'll be asking executives from IT vendors and partners to discuss their thoughts around the marketing changes, challenges, and - yes - also the opportunities that this pandemic is creating. I've called this series "Marketing in Challenging Times" - that's not to skirt around the issue of COVID-19, but to acknowledge the fact that the "challenging times" are likely to extend well beyond the point at which the pandemic is controlled, contained, or beaten...and also of course perhaps some of the lessons-learned and silver-linings-discovered will continue as well. Everyone brings their own perspectives to these conversations; as a minimum we hope they are cathartic, and at best they might provide a new idea or inspiration.
My guest in this discussion is Caitlin Gordon, VP of Marketing for Storage at Dell. I wanted to chat with Caitlin because she just had to manage the marketing launch for one of Dell's most significant new products of late (measured in terms of portfolio kudos and expected revenue contribution)….and instead of a glitzy Vegas coming-out party, her 'launch-toolbox' was of course unexpectedly and severely constrained by the pandemic. As we spoke, it became clear, however, that the changes were not all bad. As with many of her peers, Caitlin is finding that such forced changes can lead to welcome enhancements and learnings...meaning that while some amount of a return to the 'old normal' will be very welcome for future launches, nonetheless such things are likely to be complementary to the best of what she - and all of us - are being compelled to use, and value, right now.