Project Pink to be a very hands-on, new mobile businesses for Microsoft

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Real or not?

While Steve Ballmer continue to insist Microsoft does not intend to sell their own phone, this job advert does nothing to reduce the confusion brought on by recent leaks.

The ad, for a Partner Marketing Account Manager based in New York, implied Microsoft will be extremely involved with devices using software from its Premium Mobile Experience team.

Division: Entertainment & Devices Division
The Premium Mobile Experiences (PMX) team offers a rare and extraordinary opportunity for a highly motivated and skilled individual to help us cultivate new mobile businesses for Microsoft. If you have experience in retail marketing or merchandising for consumer products, a passion for mobile devices, software, and services, and want to help challenge conventional thinking and take the mobile industry in a new direction then PMX is the place for you.

The PMX marketing team is a new group within the marketing organization of Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business. As a newly formed team, PMX marketing offers a terrific opportunity for the right individual to help drive strategy and help shape overall marketing plans from an early stage. PMX is a highly entrepreneurial team that is leading innovation in consumer mobile experiences including community, communication, and connected entertainment. PMX includes the Danger business which Microsoft acquired in 2008 and which currently powers the T-Mobile Sidekick.

We are seeking an individual for the position of Partner Marketing Account Manager located in the New York/New Jersey

In this position, you will aid in mobile operator (MO) partner marketing support activities in the US. You will provide hands-on support for marketing and promotional activities conducted in collaboration with our OEM, technology, and lifestyle partners while acting as a liaison with our MOs to ensure smooth execution and a consistency of messages to our consumers. Additionally, you will work with all facets of the PMX marketing and business teams to help plan and provide hands-on execution for integrated marketing activities in close collaboration with our MOs in the US. This role requires domestic travel.

Responsibilities will include:

MO relations
o Work with our partners to develop and implement the marketing and promotional plans for PMX product lines, emphasizing activities that deliver the greatest sell-through results
o Foster relationships with marketing, product development, sales, and other departments at MOs to ensure promotional plans are aligned with partner goals
o Influence and help coordinate the development of marketing activities to be implemented by our partners and ensure messages about PMX products to consumers are consistent
o Work with the partner marketing and brand marketing groups, including PR and events, to guide development of promotional plans involving our MO partners, and encourage cross-collaboration between groups and between partners
o Filter and guide co-marketing opportunities with OEM, technology, and lifestyle partners and advocate for appropriate opportunities with MO partners
o Provide hands-on support for integrated marketing activities
Training & channel development
o Develop and manage channel promotions, contests, incentives, and training by leveraging tools from our retail marketing lead and support the channel loyalty program as needed
o Partner with our channel marketing teams in subsidiary organizations to execute channel/retail programs in support of PMX products and services
o Manage the development and delivery of offline and online training materials for new product launches
o Conduct high-level training sessions with operators, OEM partners, and promotion teams as needed in coordination with our training resources across the broader organization
o Manage and support local training activities and events for sales and marketing teams

Collateral development
o Act as the “voice of our MO partner” and aid the brand marketing and retail marketing teams in creating appropriate materials, POS, and consumer-facing collateral
o With support from our brand marketing team, become the local PMX brand ambassador and provide guidance to our MO partners in their creation of materials for PMX products (e.g. product pages on MO Web sites, flash demos, consumer brochures, etc.)
o As needed, work with our internal teams to provide assets to our partners for their development of materials
MO event management and logistics
o In partnership with our field sales teams, manage PMX presence at in-market national, regional, and local channel events, such as MO retail and dealer conferences, MO regional sales conferences, and local retail store events
o Coordinate with PMX marketing and our MO partners to ensure a consistent look and feel for each of our products is delivered at events
o Work with the team to manage logistics for events
o Participate and staff events as needed

In-market retail and merchandising support
o Work with the Retail & Dealer marketing manager and other PMX groups to provide specific in-market information and guidance on the retail presence for our products
o Help our team understanding the individual constraints of each retail outlet in the market , so the materials and strategy developed will be successful locally
o Advocate for the PMX retail strategy within the MO retail and dealer network organizations
o As appropriate, aid MO retail and dealer staff in setting up the retail presence for PMX products, especially at launch

Of note in the ad above is that the ad talks about an OEM, not ODM, which implies the hardware will carry the company’s brand.  The ad also talks about a singular OEM, not many OEM’s, providing support for the rumour of a Sharp/Microsoft co-branded device.

Also very clear is that this device will be aimed directly at consumers, and that Microsoft will play an extremely active part in pushing the device, including actually taking primary responsibility for marketing the device, implying that it would be pretty accurate to call this the Microsoft Phone, even if Microsoft denies this.

Are we reading too much into this job ad?  Let us know in the comments.