Vice President eMarketing, Texas Instruments
In October 1999, Marcia Page became Texas Instruments manager of worldwide eMarketing, to oversee the integration of the Web into the companys product-support efforts. When she began, Page oversaw 125 employees. Today, she leads a 200-member group of software coders, illustrators and strategists. Her goal is to provide as much technical information about TIs semiconductors — including specification sheets and application notes — to the engineers and product designers who are using TI products in their machines. Page spoke with Senior Writer Robert Bryce.
How is your job different from that of TIs chief information officer?
The CIO, Brian Bonner, is responsible for all underlying technology inside TI. He deals with security, firewalls and technology infrastructure. I take several pieces of that infrastructure and focus it on the customer.
How does the Net help you reach TIs customers?
We couldnt afford to do one-to-one direct sales support for the tens of thousands of semiconductor customers that are out there. The Web gives us a way to provide the same level of service to all our customers from a product-support perspective. And it gives all of our customers the ability to find anything they need to find out about TI on a 24-by-7 basis.
Whats been driving the growth in your department?
The number of customers weve been serving and the amount of information our customers are requesting are the key things. Plus, our customers time to market has speeded up tremendously. We have to get more information to them and do it quicker.
Can you give me an example?
Theres certain information that is required of anyone that is building equipment and using semiconductors. For example, how much power does it consume? What kind of speed does it operate at? Those are critical pieces of data that we put on our Web site: the technical documentation. And thats what engineers need on a 24-by-7 basis.
How do you measure success?
We have some proxy metrics we look at. We look at, over time, how many hits we get on the Web versus the number of technical telephone inquiries we get, and we see what kind of relationship there is between the numbers. We know we are getting five times more customer interactions on the Web as compared to last year. Also we noticed our field sales force is spending much more time on highly complex tech solutions than they did last year. From that we make the assumption that our customers are doing a lot of their own research and getting basic information from the Web first.
What has been your biggest mistake?
If I had to do it all over again, during the integration [of the Web], Id use a more robust change-management process. Bringing people onboard, doing education, defining roles and responsibility — those things would be much more clearly defined up front.