Roberto Ricossa worked for many years as Marketing Director for Avaya. Earlier this year Ricossa moved to Aruba Networks, where he now is VP & Managing Director for Latin America. Portada interviewed Ricossa to learn about Aruba Networks marketing objectives in Latin America as well as his own position.
Portada: Can you describe your new position at Aruba Networks?
Roberto Ricossa: “I am VP & Managing Director for Aruba Networks in Latin America. I am responsible for all operations, sales, marketing and basically all business. This is a business that has been growing rapidly in recent quarters and we are strongly capitalizing on WLAN’s (Wireless Local Area Networks) market growth, which IDC expects to be over 30%, according to IDC.”
Portada: What is Aruba Networks’ marketing strategy for Latin America and how it is being implemented?
Roberto Ricossa: “Our Business strategy, which includes marketing and sales, is to position ourselves in the market as mobility solutions technology leaders and as the customer experience changes radically because of it. We are generating demand generation campaigns ranging from traditional email marketing, specific events; follow-up leads in telemarketing to thought leadership positioning strategy through social networks.On the other hand, and because most of Aruba’s business in Latin America Aruba is through channels, we also do activities together with the channels to generate new opportunities by supporting their initiatives in different countries.”
Portada: What is the main target audience of this marketing effort?
Roberto Ricossa: “Unlike traditional technology sales initiatives focused on the CIO or systems-related people, Aruba solutions are mainly positioned in areas of business and marketing. They are the main benefactors to accomplish converting WiFi networks and physical location investments with push notifications, into a revenue-generating tool for the company and not a cost. Several studies suggest that by 2017 business and/or marketing areas are expected to have more budget for technology investment than even these CIOs, so we have to learn to leverage that and provide solutions with a proven return, always focused on generating a different experience to customer client.”
In many cases, customers have much more information than sales people do, even before having them in front of them.
Portada: Is it a centralized or rather a localized strategy?Roberto Ricossa: “This is a strategy we are aiming primarily at some segments such as Retail, Hospitality, Universities and Health. These segments showing growth the most in wireless networks investment in Latin America.”
Portada: You have been part of Latam marketing field for many years, how this sector has changed over the last 15 years? What are the prominent features of that change?Roberto Ricossa:“The Latin American market has changed dramatically in the last 15 years. One of the key differentiators is that people now have access to all the information that was previously only available to certain manufacturers or sellers. In many cases, customers have much more information than sales people do, even before having them in front of them. Also, about 43% of customers have already decided which manufacturer or brand will buy before the seller introduce himself, so now we have to influence customers in various ways. The same study suggests that 85% of customers use social media as a source of information for making decisions before selecting any supplier, and 60% of them use forums and blogs for advice. All this has changed the tactics and strategies that suppliers use to reach customers significantly. The market is no longer the traditional in which we made commercials or advertisements, and wait for the customer to buy. Now, we have to work much earlier in order to connect with the client, changing the experiences the client goes through to take decisions.”
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