AT&T is a Fortune 5 company, and, as you would expect, its marketing program is complex. Jennifer Boyanovsky (MBA ‘03), Executive Director, Brand Management for AT&T, spoke on September 15 to Dr. Laura Munoz’s Marketing Theory and Practice class at the University of Dallas about approaching the market, market segmentation and her own roles at AT&T.
Boyanovsky began her marketing career making cold calls. “I was literally doing door-to-door sales. It not only forced me to get outside of my comfort zone,” she said, “but it also helped me learn to deal with different types of people.” After moving on to business acquisition sales, Boyanovsky eventually took a role in consumer marketing at AT&T, helping to establish the company’s early online presence. She then worked in channel marketing, where she served as a liaison between the marketing and distribution channels. “I was really a negotiator in that role,” she said. “It was my job to make sure marketing’s plans got executed on the front line.” From that experience, Boyanovsky learned marketing departments can’t sit in a silo making plans: “Marketing has to figure out how the front lines can improve the customer experience.”
According to Boyanovsky, one of the keys to marketing a big brand like AT&T is balance: “The trick is to keep the brand stable, yet evolving.” Marketing plays a key role in that process by continuing to evaluate customers’ needs. “Our business marketing is a great example of how we are evolving,” she said. “We want to provide solutions to everyone from mom & pops to huge corporations like IBM. So our marketing has to show them how AT&T can help them optimize their networks, manage their data, but also answer the phones.”
Boyanovsky said that in order to become an integrated communications company, AT&T has had to break down barriers between departments. “Our marketing plan focuses on advertising broader solutions rather than just individual products,” she said. Despite the brand evolving in this way, Boyanovsky said that the it remains consistent: “Our ads are predominately blue, they contain a particular font and include the iconic AT&T tone.”
Because AT&T values new talent acquisition, Boyanovsky said that the company has two programs aimed at college students and recent graduates. The summer internship program targets freshmen and sophomores and allows students to rotate through different departments within the company over three summers, with the potential to move into full-time employment after graduation. AT&T’s 16-week B2B Sales Program is a graduate apprenticeship-type program that Boyanosvky said allows for “excellent career and learning potential.”
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