Week 20: Marketing Musings

Nothing kills a product announcement faster than an M&A announcement by one of the Big Three.


Last week I was on vacation in Pacific City at the Oregon Coast. We usually take our dogs there twice a year. They love the freedom to roam around on McPhillips Beach, less crowded than other beaches in the area, and we usually take them a couple of times up Cape Kiwanda’s Great Dune, more than 200 feet up. We were amazed how warm it still was and not just from the work of climbing the dune. On our last evening we were still in shorts and T-shirts enjoying the evening sun on the large patio of the house we rented. We even watched the whales migrate south. What a great sight!


The quiet week gave me a chance to catch up with some reading, including Peggy Aycinena’s blog about ARM TechCon and the long list of announcements that she wrote about. I had to chuckle when she concluded that DAC lacks energy as we don’t get even close to the amount of announcements. Almost every company that participates in DAC, including those companies that don’t exhibit but that are part of the Technical Program, make some sort of news, be it by press release, company blog post or social media update.

Maybe now is a good time for a brief refresher on vendor public relations at large trade events and conferences. Most marketers know it’s best if their announcements hit before the event, which makes perfect sense as the goal is to drive traffic to their booth.

And remember, at the event itself there’s far more outside your control than within it. For example, nothing kills a product announcement faster than breaking news about a merger. Have you ever been in the situation where you worked for the better part of the year on a product announcement, saving it for DAC or another major event, only to have it completely ignored due to news at the show about another acquisition from one of the big three EDA vendors? Over the years marketing teams have learned this frustrating lesson and most now announce their products in preparation for DAC, counting on good booth traffic based on in-depth editorial coverage prior to the event. If they are savvy, these same marketers then pitch technical articles and viewpoints as follow-up stories after DAC as there is always room for news after the show. Most of us technology marketers prefer this approach to being a sentence or two in a long list of announcements.

I’m certain that we can bring great energy to DAC. I just measure importance and energy in a different way than Peggy does. My yardstick for DAC is: compelling content, great keynotes, awesome SKY talks and interesting panel discussions with truly different perspectives, all of which cut across the entire electronic design ecosystem. Be assured that we are going to deliver an incredibly lively DAC in June, including lots of practical and vendor-independent content in our designer track. And by the way, the window for designer track and IP track submissions – Oct. 23 thru Jan. 20 – opens this week!

Last week we introduced Dan Bourke. Now let’s meet Dan’s designer track co-chair, Qualcomm’s Karam Chatha. Karam is a Principal Engineer at Qualcomm, with research experience in many aspects of application specific digital system design, including architectures, design methodologies and electronic system-level (ESL) tools. Prior to Qualcomm, Karam led the Computing Systems Research Lab in the School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering at Arizona State University, where his research focused on network-on-chip (NoC) design and synthesis, parallelizing compilers for embedded multi-core processors, stream processor architectures, low power and thermal aware design, SystemC TLM modeling, multiprocessor system-on-chip (MPSoC) design, hardware-software co-design, and reconfigurable and adaptive computing.

Karam was a recipient of the National Science Foundation Career Award (2006), and best paper awards at Estimedia (2011), ICCAD (2007) and FPL (1999). Karam is also the general chair of Embedded Systems Week (ESWEEK) 2014, the premier event covering all aspects of embedded systems and software. ESWEEK took place Oct. 12-17 in New Delhi, India. When he is not working he spends time with his family, attending his kids’ soccer games and playing tennis.

karam and team cooking

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