Building channel capacity

Channel Middle East finds out from a market personality about their role, their daily routine and what inspires them to come into work each day

Tags: Ciena Corporation
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Building channel capacity
By  Manda Banda Published  March 25, 2013

Channel Middle East finds out from a market personality about their role, their daily routine and what inspires them to come into work each day.

Name: Mervyn Kelly
Company: Ciena
Job title: EMEA Marketing Director
Years in the role: 2 years
Years at the company: 2 years
Previous companies: Ericsson, Nortel

How would you summarise your role?

My main role is to promote Ciena’s “network specialist” brand and Ciena’s networking solutions into our target customer base in the EMEA region via a holistic marketing methodology encompassing media, analysts, and direct marketing (email, advertising, webinars, trade shows etc.)

What’s the first thing you do when you get in the office each day?

I subscribe to a number of industry news emails and like to start the day by catching up on current industry trends and recent news from the EMEA region and also globally.

What does a typical day entail for you?

A typical day in the office is a split of longer-term important large projects such as planned marketing campaigns as well as short-term urgent reactive information requests such as responding to hot topics in the media. I always try to schedule some time for the important tasks, otherwise they would never get completed.

What skills or qualities do you need to do your job?

In order to position Ciena’s solutions to our customers and the general telecoms market, a good general technical understanding is important, but the key skill is the ability to express Ciena’s differentiators in terms of the value they bring to the customer.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

I really enjoy meeting with customers to hear about their long-term and short-term challenges and how we can help them. The most dangerous trap is assuming we know what our customers need when often they need much more holistic business support to identify and solve much more detailed problems.

What’s the hardest part of your job?

It has to be communication because in today’s world, everyone is extremely busy and it is very difficult to get their attention, even when you know it is something they will want to hear. Today’s multiple communication channels both help and hinder the ability to reach the target audience with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other social media sites allowing more personalised content.

What criteria do you measure your performance on?

We use a number of industry marketing measures such as hit rates on customer communications and number of leads generated, but I feel the key here is to first accurately define the goal and target audience for the specific piece of marketing and then set realistic targets against these goals.

What’s been your most memorable moment in your current role?

The Ciena EMEA Mobile Innovation Lab has been an ongoing success across the region. It is a fully equipped large truck, which we take to our customers’ sites and where a series of presentations and demos on our latest solutions take place.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Ciena is a flexible, fast moving company with great leadership and vision, and I hope to evolve with the company, continue to learn, and help our customers to be successful.

How much time do you spend out of the office each week?

I typically spend two days per week on the road either to meet customers or visiting Ciena’s offices around EMEA. I try hard to maximise the value of this time with multiple scheduled face-to-face meetings.

What do you get up to during your lunch hour?

I have to confess that I am guilty of eating a sandwich at my desk while catching up on emails. Not a very healthy way to have lunch, but it saves me time at the end of the day and I get to spend a little more time with my family.

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