Ingram new marketing chief discusses her plans

Deborah Brown, the new marketing director at Ingram Micro Canada of Mississauga, Ont., isn’t wasting any time getting starting at her new job.

The former MCI Canada executive with more than 20 years of experience wants to bring the U.S. Partner Smart program to Canada and is making it one of her top priorities for 2008.

She also wants to enhance the SMB Alliance program, which was introduced back in 2002. One of the main targets for Ingram Micro’s top vendor partners is the SMB, and realizing that Brown is looking to be as innovative as she can to deliver that audience to the vendors and the resellers.

Brown discussed these topics and Ingram North American region strategy in an interview with CDN Now. The following is an edited transcript.

CDN Now:Why did you want to take this job?

Deborah Brown:I was looking for a challenge and I was bored at where I was. I always enjoyed distribution and the channel back in my Merisel days.

CDN Now:What is going to be your plan for marketing Ingram Micro Canada?

D.B.The challenge is in trying to do new and innovative programs. We are going to try to get programs that hit the small customer, which is where pretty much all of the vendors are concentrating their efforts. I have some ideas now but they will be in the new programs that will be coming out mid-year.

CDN Now:Do you have any current mandates or projects that are coming up that may be highlights for 2008?

D.B.One of the items that is doing gang busters is data analytics and taking that information and using it to better develop programs, such as the improving the sales process. But this is an internal effort.

CDN Now:Have you been told to further Ingram Micro’s North American region strategy here with the Canadian operation, and if so does that pose any challenges in terms of how you want to market this subsidiary?

D.B.Not really. We are in tuned to what Ingram Micro North America is working on and for us we are about a year behind on what they are working on. I would like to see the Partner Smart program up here and I will try to make that well known in Canada.

CDN Now:Now you report to Carol Kuminsky, who I gather works in Santa Ana, Calif. Do you plan on working with the two general managers here, Mark Snider and Charlie Spano?

D.B.Absolutely, and we are here on a daily basis and there are goals for Canada. I have to understand what those goals are and have marketing working in concert with them.

CDN Now:One of the criticisms of Ingram and others is that beyond Venture Tech they don’t seem to market their reseller customers very well. Do you believe that you need to improve upon that?

D.B.That is always an area to look at and we need to go at it with a new and innovative program that is different than what we have done before. You know word of mouth out there says that Ingram resellers have better marketing programs and are competitive, but you have to stay ahead of the curve and get resellers interested in what you are doing.

CDN Now:A lot of your reseller partners leave a lot of marketing dollars on the table. Is this something that you believe with your skills and experience you can change?

D.B.I want to work with reseller partners more closely this year and offer them more marketing services. We are offering resellers a way to help them understand the marketing services they can offer to end users like brochures, collateral, direct mail and general branding of their companies.

CDN Now:What is your plan for vendor marketing?

D.B.We are looking at the new program Partner Smart for Canada and I am working closely with the vendors to get them to their end goals.

CDN Now:What about the successful SMB Alliance program. It’s also getting old; any changes to that?

D.B.I am looking to enhance the SMB Alliance and add new value to it. It is a huge goal for us in 2008 to get to the SMB customer and that is a leading program.

CDN Now:With the addition of D&H you are starting to get an overcrowded distribution market. I am wondering if your hire means distributors such as Ingram feel the need to stand out more, with one way of doing that putting more resources into marketing. Do you think that is the case?

D.B.There is that mind set definitely. I hope to make gains this year and have Ingram Micro stand out by using marketing.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.
Previous article
Next article

Related Tech News

Featured Tech Jobs


CDN in your inbox

CDN delivers a critical analysis of the competitive landscape detailing both the challenges and opportunities facing solution providers. CDN's email newsletter details the most important news and commentary from the channel.