Last night, somewhere between the CrackBerry podcast that we recorded, and calling it a night at 4am, we had a discussion about RIM's progress in hiring a chief marketing officer. In a nutshell, we think the job just got easier for whoever takes it. They've got a clear message and a damn sexy OS.
The CMO job is going to be critical for RIM to deliver a strong and consistent message going forward. Thorsten did an amazing job here in Orlando, but it will need to continue and expand beyond him.
That said, it seems to me that with the announcement RIM made at BlackBerry World and BlackBerry Jam, the company is starting to look cool again. Yeah, we've been reading the comments from listeners on last night's podcast. We know the keyboard "swipe to delete" feature isn't a RIM invention. Doesn't matter. We're just thrilled to see RIM catching up in many areas and then innovating in other areas.
Yesterday at the press session with Thorsten, he said they were close to hiring a CMO but wouldn't elaborate on it since nothing was signed. So I wonder if the new candidate told RIM he or she wanted to wait until after BlackBerry World in order to make a decision on the job.
Taking the CMO job at RIM could easily be viewed as a career gamble by a marketing guru. A gamble that would seem less risky after seeing the new OS, and being handed a clear marketing message that works.
BlackBerry creates success. That one, simple, clear, effective message is something that RIM has been lacking for a long time. The future CMO gets to walk into a position where not everything needs to be rebuilt from scratch.