The Speed of Culture Podcast: Crafting Technology-Driven Experiences

Qualcomm CMO Don McGuire on how marketing partnerships can help create a strong brand identity

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AI has been around for years, but the release of ChatGPT brought it to everyone’s attention. Now, technology drives most industries, and companies are focusing on giving customers tech-based experiences. For non-tech brands, this means partnering with tech companies to meet consumer expectations. To learn more about the innovation in this space, we spoke to Don McGuire, svp and CMO of Qualcomm.

McGuire is a seasoned marketing leader with over 20 years of experience working across several industries. In his executive role at Qualcomm, McGuire creates innovative marketing campaigns to bring cutting-edge products to market. Don was also recently named one of Forbes’ Most influential CMOs.

In today’s episode of The Speed of Culture, Matt Britton speaks with McGuire to discuss how software is driving innovation across various industries, why tech companies need to work together to develop technology and how marketing partnerships can help create a strong brand identity.

Listen to Don McGuire on The Speed of Culture below and learn more about crafting technology-driven experiences. 

Key takeaways

  • 02:58 – 06:18 A shift from hardware to software
    The CES conference, traditionally centered on hardware, has significantly broadened its scope to include software. McGuire attributes this shift to multiple industries, from retail to wellness to finance to tech, undergoing a transformation driven by software. In the automotive space, for example, the focus has shifted from mechanics to digital capabilities, underscoring the pivotal role of software in driving innovation. To stay ahead in every industry, brands should consider how software integration can enhance their product offerings and meet evolving consumer expectations.
  • 06:18 – 12:37 Everybody is responsible for developing technology
    To effectively scale AI, brands must adopt a hybrid approach, as using solely cloud-based solutions leads to sustainability, economic and privacy problems. McGuire emphasizes that we need to normalize the technology that enables AI across a spectrum of devices. This approach will make AI more accessible and beneficial to all by incorporating new tools and experiences, and transitioning AI from a reactive to a proactive role. Every major tech company has a part to play in developing and scaling these technologies within the larger ecosystem, ensuring a collaborative effort towards scalable and efficient AI solutions.
  • 17:17 – 20:59 2024’s PC renaissance
    The Covid-19 pandemic led to a surge in PC use as work and meetings moved online, making PCs key for communication. This change has sparked major laptop innovations for the first time in over a decade. With AI constantly improving, PCs are entering a new phase of upgrades focused on new software-driven features. Brands should stay updated with the latest in PC technology, especially AI enhancements, to ensure their setup meets evolving consumer demands.
  • 20:59 – 25:23 The power of partner marketing
    Qualcomm’s marketing strategy is heavily centered on partnerships, collaborating with brands such as Louis Vuitton and Microsoft to align with their shift towards technology-driven experiences. For instance, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon CPU, a mobile platform, is integral to powering Louis Vuitton’s smart devices, showcasing a blend of luxury and technology. Additionally, Qualcomm engages with partners like Manchester United, whose brand values resonate with their own, to co-create narratives that highlight both entities’ unique stories while fostering a global Snapdragon community. Brands should leverage partnership marketing to enhance their visibility and alignment with technology, choosing partners that reflect their values and can help in co-creating compelling narratives for a wider audience.
  • 26:48 – 31:53 Brand partnerships can build a culture brand
    Qualcomm has successfully built a global community of 14 million Snapdragon Insiders through strategic brand partnerships. This community comprises tech enthusiasts interested in understanding the intricacies of a product like Snapdragon, which isn’t available for direct purchase. By integrating Snapdragon technology across diverse product categories, including PCs, wearables, and automobiles, Qualcomm not only ensures broad brand visibility, but is evolving into a cultural brand. Their substantial and engaged community is a testament to the effectiveness of its extensive partnership marketing strategy.