Kimberly Tee, Head of Marketing, Maverick AV Solutions – Tech Data
This week we talk to Marketing Lead, Kimberly Tee. In her 12-year career in the IT channel, Kimberly has experienced vendor, reseller and distribution marketing and now heads the European marketing team for Maverick AV Solutions at Tech Data. Kimberly gives us a unique insight into her career path in channel marketing, how the IT channel has changed for female executives in the past decade and why she will never turn her back on the IT industry.
Q: Your first marketing job:
A: That was back in 2007 when I was studying for my marketing & business management degree at the University of Winchester. I only had 12 hours of lectures a week, so I also worked full time at a gym, initially as a receptionist and then as a fitness coach and then a gymnastics and cheerleading instructor. I’ve always been good at spending money so needed to find a way to attract new clients to my classes, which gave me invaluable first-hand experience in marketing myself and a value proposition.
Q: How did you get into Channel marketing:
A: After university, like most millennials, I did a year out backpacking around the globe and then returned to te real world to work for Extreme Networks – I was their first ever UK Marketing Manager as they were relatively new to the networking market back then!. It was my first proper corporate job and in the IT channel. It being a small and nimble business and team, I had to be thrown in at the deep end and own that marketing execution well. I had to choose to sink or swim. It was an amazing experience, and I learnt so much, very quickly.
Q: Why Channel marketing?
A: My first job at Extreme Networks probably made me fall in love with life in the corporate world. The IT industry is a great sphere to work in. It is full of intelligent people and it’s dynamic. It’s a fast-paced world as tech and the planet is always changing. Always need requirements to fulfil.
I have been lucky enough in my career to experience vendor, reseller and distribution marketing. Distribution is my favourite as you can be yourself and really add value with your intellectual property.
I also love working with people and IT channel marketing allows me to collaborate with such diverse and dynamic teams. I get my validation and significance in life from helping people.
Q: Best day in the job?
A: Probably the ‘Teams for Meetings’ Maverick AV Solutions programme launch in November 2020. Workplace collaboration was overnight more important than ever, so it was a high impact launch that was very well received. We had a lot of stakeholders and there were so many excited to see it go live. Over 300 were at the launch which is massive for distribution. I just knew that what we were doing was going to really make a difference. It was also extremely satisfying to work on something with a narrative that I knew was going to be used for years.
Q: Biggest change in the industry since you started your career?
A: The way we work! In my first job at Extreme Networks, we used good old WebEx, but no one ever turned on their cameras, everything was just done on phone calls. The fact there is now a huge AV industry, combined with the changes forced on us by the pandemic, has changed the way we work forever.
Q: You are one of a small, but growing, number of senior female executives in the Channel, has that created any challenges?
A: The attitude towards women, colour, race and sexual orientation has really positively evolved and changed for the better. I am proud of the people and places I work with now as they are so inclusive. People can be themselves. I view that as a major positive as this means you are being the best version of you, which ultimately makes people more productive and efficient.
I am the only woman in the Senior Management team at Maverick AV
Solutions, but they certainly don’t make me feel like it
Q: What has been your most successful campaign?
A: I’ll have to again say ‘Teams for Meetings’. It is so timely, and it’s got such longevity. We’re always going to be using Microsoft Teams to share documents, to collaborate nd work together and I don’t see that ever changing. This campaign is going to be such a big deal for so many people and ultimately help make money.
Q: Tomorrow’s World – what are your predictions?
A: Run by women? Seriously, we could run the world very easily! Just Beyonce.
But to be honest, I hope post-pandemic for a more grateful, brave and inclusive world.
I think going forward many people will feel real gratitude for just being able to work together – together! I also think we will be more open to change. Change management, transformation – all those buzzwords have been viewed with fear for quite a while. I hope living and working through a pandemic will make us feel we can face anything and do anything!
In tech terms, the future is collaboration and AV. In the IT channel we are right in the centre of this revolution and there is no doubt it’s going to be huge. The products, the technology, the appreciation of the senses, we are always going to need this technology.
Q: Then and Now – what is the one thing you wish you knew back then?
A: To be myself. To not try to be anything different and not be what other people want me to be. I also wish I had learnt earlier that nothing is personal. Not to be afraid. Not to apologise but to thank.
A marketing graduate of the University of Winchester, Kimberly began her career at Extreme Networks, where she was the networking company’s first ever UK and Ireland Marketing Manager. Roles followed across the IT channel, enabling Kimberly to gain experience in vendor, reseller and distribution marketing. Kimberly joined the team at Maverick AV solutions – Tech Data, where she is the Head of Marketing, Europe. Despite the challenges of marketing during a pandemic, Kimberly has already actioned positive change including launching the high impact ‘Teams for Meetings’ campaign.
Discover Kimberly on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberlyjanetee/
Maverick AV Solutions at Tech Data: Home (techdata.com)