Whoever becomes RIM’s new Chief Marketing Officer is now walking into a much easier job

BlackBerry World 2012
By Chris Umiastowski on 3 May 2012 11:12 am EDT

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.

Reader comments

Whoever becomes RIM’s new Chief Marketing Officer is now walking into a much easier job


Step back from the cheerleading and take a look: RIM shares are at record low prices, the company is likely to sell *nothing* before the fall, now that it has announced products that are months away, and, yes, they can't even deliver a frigging *keyboard* which, even viewed in the way most favorable to RIM means they are clueless at estimating their market.

Easy job, indeed.


I'd swear I heard something about a product called BB10. But maybe that was some other product.

And it could be that the keyboard/case was a figment of the collective imagination, too.

But it is a hoot to see fans of small electronic products get all up in arms in defense of aforementioned products.

If you do a search, it was very similar with Palm. Which was a product and not just your girlfriend replacement.


well since you spoke about Palm here it is Palm never had 77million active subscribers footprint over 160+ countries yes yes we get it they wont be any product launch for the next 4months and the BB7 revenue engine is slowing down and yeah RIM has freaking 2.1 billion cash in bank and they have no debt which is very unlike Palm as kevin said they dont have to beat iphone or android the world smartphone market is freaking huge and btw if u hate BB dont buy it

And they're hiring the fellow who made Windows Phone the huge success that it was to be their marketing guru. Good luck with that.


BB10 isn't a "product", it's the new platform. And, no, I'm not just splitting hairs there. The only new device shown or specifically mentioned is a Developer Alpha that will never reach the consumer.

CEO Heins took great pains to point out that there will indeed be a keyboard model.

The Palm/RIM comparison falls apart on many levels. RIM is (still) profitable. No, it can't continue on its current trend, but it is still gaining subscribers and making money. It will last long enough to give its new platform a comfortable launch.

Palm had an OK OS with a nice UI. BB10 has an even better UI with much better performance, security, and a kernal with a 30 year track record in mission-critical applications.

Palm was acquired by HP, and became an afterthought (and easily expendable) because mobile was an amusing diversion for HP, not their core business. WebOS was pretty much a completely new platform for developers too, unlike BB10 which offers excellent portability from iOS and Android.

Palm: passionate users, indifferent parent, mediocre hardware, cobbled-together OS.

RIM: passionate users (with money--serious enterprise hooks), master of its OWN destiny, awesome hardware, solid platform with outstanding portability.

No comparison.

The Bold 9900 is awesome hardware for RIM, but mediocre for the rest of the industry. But I will say this: RIM makes some of the most handsome devices in mobile. And well built as well. I never have any trouble selling my old Blackberries for good money. Can't say that about Android or Palm or WinPhone.

Making it all the more remarkable that with not much interest, HP managed to deliver the product and all its accessories.

Using a UI which BlackBerry has been imitating since the launch of the PlayBook, and continues to imitate with BB10.

As to the passion of BlackBerry users, seems the cross-platform flow has been pretty much one-way.

And as to the keyboard I was referring to the one you see as the first item for sale on this very screen, the PlayBook keyboard.

When it ships I'll get one and go away. So, see, you, too, have reason to join me in hoping it gets made available, even outside of the sorry picture it paint of RIM through their inability to gauge the market or deliver product.

As to the rest, been there, done that, with OS/2 20 years ago. Also a band of embittered yet overly optimistic fans seeing great plots against the company whose work they were doing for free.


depscribe, oh wise one: RIM stopped innovating and underestimated the competition. RIM lacks apps due to not providing developers the correct tools to seamlessly create their applications. RIM failed miserably with their marketing. RIM followed that up with rushing the PlayBook to play catch-up and it back fired further. Current RIM devices and platforms clearly won't sustain the company long term.

Now, do we have that out of the way? Good. RIM recognized the need to replace their platform with BB10 when they acquired QNX 2 years ago. That's right. In 2 years, they have shifted to a brand new OS through a complete code write from the ground up.

All areas of RIM's weaknesses and failures mentioned above are being addressed today. The company decided to pull itself out of the grave site it was digging instead of selling off to a competitor. They have streamlined, have a rock solid OS that many consider one of the most beautiful code-bases in the world and have now provided developers the correct tools well before their first device launches on this brand new platform.

In a nutshell, RIM has learned from it's mistakes and are very near launching consumer and enterprise level products. You see a bunch of "BlackBerry Fanboys". We see a company saving itself for our benefit by finally doing things right to provide us products that we will enjoy for a very long time. Try joining us in being passionate. Life is too short and stressful to be a grumpy old man.

They did NOT announce a BlackBerry 10 device. Please stop BSing. One can technically say BB10 OS was announced when RIM bought QNX two years ago... SMH. I bet you're the type of person who would say crap if RIM was to say something or if they were to not say anything.

Well, shares are around/under book for months and BBWC didn't change significantly that. It probably won't until new BB10 range goes to public market. In a way, that's somehow a good thing: less pressure is good for timing.

Then, "products" (i.e devices ?) will run the OS that has been previewed at general keynote are on scheduled plans. I guess the "alpha surprise" was even not originally scheduled/announced, so that it's not either a problem.

Keyboard ? Well my poor English may result in a wrong understanding of your sentence, but so far I know, BB10 device will receive physical keyboards and the touch one demoed is top competitive.

Press ? For the very first time, media have been considered and feed with accurate infos.

Regarding recent history of RIM, I guess Chris may statement is really accurate.

My 0.2 pennies

Regarding that share price. That admittedly surprised me, too (I own shares, so I wasn't happy). But, when I look back on it, it makes some sense.

BBW wasn't the main event. There was no new product to show off for the press or consumers, and no analyst meeting to convince investors. So, no, nobody on the "outside" came away very impressed.

Except... Developers got a LOT of attention, and some very useful goodies.

Even with the share hit, I'm actually very happy to see this. Developers need to be the priority, and that community seems to have been impressed. BB10 needs apps, and this is the best way to make sure there's lots of good apps for launch.

"OS 10 dev alpha device was exhibited by T. Heins and 3 OS embedded demos (flow, camera, keyboard) were unveilled". Sry if I miss-wrote my thoughts.

Chuckle - yeah he means a keyboard accessory for the playbook, he's really having trouble getting his hands on one for some reason.

blackberry are doing a wonderfully job and everyone agree with that for sure but on the other hand there are hardly any games or application on Appworld.

Please put some free decent games like temple run, ninja jump, call of mini games and for appliction: Skype at least

So please focus on the appworld please because that's why I got the playbook.


And if they did.make a keyboard opposed to the touch screen you would still be the first to criticis they - go screw your self.

I think that a new CMO may look at this as an opportunity. Can you imagine the bragging rights as the CMO who launched a successful marketing strategy/campaign for the biggest turn-around in mobile-tech?? Wow!

RIM needed the CMO before BB7, but better late than never.

I've seen very little articulated in RIM's marketing except for the notion that it's a "professional" device. At this point, they need to be hammering away at specific advantages, not just image.

pee wee scribe.... we get it !! you hate balckberry and everything blackberry. RIM is a joke !!! they can deliver nothing .... you have made your point to the point of my frustration. Just Piss off to somewhere people may actually appreciate your drivvle and BB assasination. I do not care what you think, and i really dont want to read it, until the CB boys get a way where we can block idiots, i have to read your uneducated, repetitive comments.... why are you continuesly on a BB fan site when you hate the product so badly?? why??? why??? SERIOUSLY !!! GO AWAY you tool !!!!!

Another instance, people like you come and go around here. You will never win, you will never succeed in changing anyone's opinion and you will have no impact other than a minor annoyance to my fellow crackberry.com readers. Spew as much as you want but your eventual end game will be to leave with your tail between your legs and head hung in shame as we happily show you the door. You may find success by spending time being a productive member of society instead of shitting on every blog post here...but then again that could just be a stretch of my imagination.

Rim is just too slow. They will be lucky to exist by the time BB10 is actually ready.

I read comments like "a keyboard way ahead of anybody else" but by the time they actuall release a product to sell they will be competing against Iphone5 and dozens of yet to be released android phones.

I think they are just way to late to the game. What do 15000+ people do in Waterloo?

+1, RIM's announcements and actual release dates give competitors the time to counter and make RIM devices old before they are even released. Once RIM gets to "announce and release" quickly like SNapple does, it will be great. If they wait for the iPhone 5 to be released and the slew of Android devices then at most RIM will get some of their current users to upgrade. But, wont get much users from other platforms to switch. IMO

I am excited at what I see so far from the BB10 platform. Lets just hope that the competitors don't make it irrelevant by the time it comes out.

Let's wait until we have both release date and specs for iP5. Also, hardware isn't the clue here ... I'm no android specialist but sounds to me there's no major revolution to come, is it ?

I know you guys are terribly focused on N.A; just remember there are other places for business. And I mean solid business, like worldwide/European corporations ... not (only) emerging markets.

I'd say it's a do or die situation (nothing new here). But if they must do on time, they also have to be ready for the next - say - 10 years with a brand new OS.Not an upgrade or evolution: a real new experience is mandatory here.

They have $$, they set the schedule and respect it ... and everybody is waiting to kiss or kill. But right now, no one can really tell, IMHO.

Yes you are so right and iPhone 4s was much more innovating than iPhone 4 and the new iPad was much more innovating than iPad2.

stop drinking the koolaid!!!!

I have never been more proud to be a Blackberry user. I considered switching to iOS or Android for a short time as I am sure a lot of Blackberry users did at some point. With Blackberry World, RIM has cemented my faith again and I am excited for the future.

Being a developer here at BlackBerry 10 Jam, I have to disagree with the article, and the comments here.

Regarding the comments, RIM has an uphill battle ahead of them, and they know it. The buzz here at Jam is amazing, and we feel that this is a new, agile RIM that is ready to listen to the feedback we provide as developers. This is the first time that developers can get involved with a platform in the formative stages, and steer the direction of the product being launched. Not everything will make it, but if you want something in the device, voice it, and maybe it will get in there.

Regarding the article, I feel that the future CMO actually has a much more difficult battle ahead of them. They need to deal with the naysayers like those in the comments and press. Moreover, what was shown at BBWC actually makes things more difficult, because the CMO will need to take what was shown and present it in a way that beats the other marketing juggernauts.

I actually think Android will be the easiest for Blackberry to take market share from even though they have a larger share of the market then Apple. I don't think anyone really identifies with Android, they just use it because its an option. People really identify with Apple and RIM products and if done right I think people will come back to Blackberry in numbers that will shock people. Everyone I know left Blackberry because of a lack of fun apps that they wanted on other platforms. They hated to leave the keyboard and BBM. I think once they see that Blackberry has the apps, BBM and all the other things they loved they will come back. People aren't as loyal to brands as us diehards.

Not sure what you mean by "identifies with". Every platform has their diehard fanbois. I use Android because it is, plain and simple, the best and most advanced platform on the market today. I do not comment on things which I do not know and experience first hand (like many here who've never owned an iPhone nor Android, yet see fit to comment on both). I have owned many Blackberries (dating back to 2005), two iPhones, and 5-6 Android devices and the Android devices are superior to the others for MY daily use. If someone starts coming out with a phone that exceeds that experience, I will be first on the wagon to switch.

Your example is what the poster is pointing to. You are looking for a better phone and not necessarily a particular brand. As shown, time and time again, Apple consumers will buy Apple to be shown as the hip and cool Apple person they are, even if the device doesn't live up to the hype. Android customers (outside of the hackers) will jump to whatever they see as the better device.

So, it would make more sense (ignoring the numbers) that Android users would more likely switch to a BB10 before a Apple user.

Actually I am not "looking for a better phone" as you put it. On the other hand I would not let some ridiculous level of blind loyalty prevent me from purchasing a better device simply because it isn't on my preferred platform. *cough* everybody here *cough* It seems that Fruit Inc. shares the same type of fans as BB. Difference is, they also get all the folks that fall into the "everybody else" category. BB does not and most likely wont in the future.

m23haz I agree totally. The old core Apple users are (were?) passionate, which is what allowed them to survive their dark time. They identify as Apple users and share community with each other. However I think many new purchaser's don't have the same strong sense of identification. It's just the latest flavor of the month must have item, and they will switch to the next one when it comes along, whatever it is. The BlackBerry community of users shares many of the same characteristics as the old core Apple user community. They love it passionately and identify as being a member of that community and feel goodwill toward future endeavors and development of the product. I get NONE of that sense from Android users. It's not well marketed, it's fragmented, there is no community and one gets the sense everyone involved is just using it because it's good and it's not Apple, but there are no ties to keep people there, and if something better comes along.....buh bye. So I agree with you totally.

As a marketing consultant, I can tell you the new CMO isn't going to look at share price as a motivation to take a job or not (I'm looking at you depscribe). A good exec also knows better than to steal RIM's thunder at BB World. My guess is that they have a memorandum of understanding or offer letter which will be signed within the next couple of weeks (these things don't happen quickly).

A marketer's job is to persuade the audience that the product is desirable. Let's look at Apple's marketing story (keeping in mind that at one point it was so close to disappearing that Microsoft invested millions in it to avoid being labelled a monopoly).

Apple's reality was: super simple to use, great UI, no more or less reliable than any other software, average hardware with beautiful finish, high retail cost, valueless stock, poor leadership. What marketing exec would want that job? Jobs. And he turned the company around, but it took years. They did the right things for the right reasons. The stock price returned because of the products, not because of the stock price (I've never understood those who use fiscal tautologies).

RIM's situation is quite nearly parallel. A former leader in the field, change of leadership, revamp of core products. I think RIM is poised, under Thorsten Heins, to do something remarkable: return RIM to, at minimum, major 3rd player status (potentially more) in mobility.

Something not often mentioned these days: the US is a huge market, but it's not much of a leader anymore. RIM is still a strong global player. The habit these days is for the US to follow everyone else's lead. That said, think about the marketing story being proposed by RIM: our products help you succeed. That's a VERY appealing message in incredibly tight markets and in the face of fiscal austerity.

RIM has clearly done its homework and, right under our noses, is rebranding itself AND becoming cool. I think the super podcast and Umi's article just reflects that sense.

+1 on the Global viewpoint, RIM is not failing globally as it is in North America.

In the UK where I used to live they are still thriving and most people upgrade to the iPhone because it has a few but still keep their Blackberry as a PAYG option because features such as BBM and the email client they cannot do without.

Good balanced reply... and I love your use of the word 'tautology' havent heard that one in a while and hope am not the only one who knows what it means. :)

But the point is well made. It's a global economy. Is there room for 3, 4 or more players/OS in a potential multi-billion users? Would RIM or any corporation be happy with 10% share of that potential? My guess is yes.

Execution is key and it looks like they are making some steps in the right direction. Time will tell.

In the meantime what I find odd, is the 'Iphone killer' mantra of fanboyism. It will not happen... deal with it!

Devices, any devices have their success based of the perceived value of the consumer. A viable market share is the best any MFG can hope for.

No, you are confusing marketing and sales. Persuading the audience is sales. Identifying the weaknesses in the product, matching it to customer demand in different markets, comparisons with the competition, identifying which capabilities are most important - that's marketing, usually summarised as SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats).

Marketing will provide the scoresheet on which sales campaigns will be based, but should also be ruthless - if the sales department wants to go with "our products help you succeed", marketing will tell you the basis on which you can say that, and demand from everybody else that the foundations get delivered.

That seems to have been the RIM problem: Sales and Engineering haven't been kept up to the mark by Marketing.

Look, if marketing is where RIM needs to step up then they need to pull out the big guns. Apple is using their star power to promote Iphone EVEN further by using Sam Jackson and Zoey Deschanel in their commercials. BB uses the "Martinez" brothers and some music promoter NOBODY has ever heard of!!! If BB is for the "movers and shakers" the "power" people then marketing needs to get these people involved and help reach the consumer base their trying to hold onto.

Crackberry even has a special section for celebrities spotted using BB's so we know their out there RIM just needs to reach out, strike a deal, and compete with Apple and say "your not the only who has STAR power" and here is the marketing to prove it!!!

the guys at collegehumor.com are pretty well known by anyone 30 years old and under...just thought that needed to be pointed out when it comes to hiring celebrities. (no, they aren't A-listers, but very well known around the net)

Exactly my point! You dont see Apple using unknowns do you? No, their using "A-listers" and RIM needs to do the same, stop messing with b-listers and complete unknowns and trade punches in the marketing department to keep hold of the consumer portion of the market. BB10 is gonna be something to be reckoned with and so are the people who USE them which are the Stars, Moguls, people on the move and like to get stuff done such as you and I.

Sure. Make the RIM BlackBerry Mini Keyboard w/ Convertible Case for PlayBook available and I'll happily disappear. It's not as if there's wisdom found herein, and that being my last BBY purchase I'll surely have no need to stick around.


Is anyone else sick of watching dep jump from article to article whining about a friggin keyboard?

Don't forget to sign your post!!

As noted elsewhere, I'd be entirely silent if the CB "reporters" would get off their knees, wipe their chins and, after thanking RIM for the privilege, inquire of them WHERE IS THE FRIGGING KEYBOARD?


Hey depscribe,

I've had my BlackBerry PlayBook Keyboard/Mini Case since the second week of March. Ordered it online from 'The Source' (thesource.ca). Paid $99.99 plus tax.

So will you now GO AWAY!! You are polluting this great CrackBerry website with your rants and uninformed comments.

- CB

Yeah - and really, with the right mindset highly entertaining. I imagine the frustration he must experience commenting all day about this keyboard.

It's highly amusing. Got me through a couple dark moments.

Do we not think the items shown, keyboard, camera and cascades are all patent protected or applied for?
Were there not copyright notices at the end of the original demo videos?

I hope that RIM delivers a package that can sway me to move back to BB… I have been using android for almost a year now, there are things that I love about the platform, but the fragmentation, and lack of real updates is irritating, the phones are coming out so fast that the carriers don’t even care about putting out the updates because people will just switch phones

Phones are jumping up the specs in leaps and bounds, sometime today Samsung will announce the GSIII with its quad core processor, nice and large screen, and its hard to look at the specs of these phones and look back at a phone that will come out in 4-6 months from now that will have half the specs at best and think could I switch back to BB?

Do I expect RIM to come out with a quad core phone? Not really, but I think they should really be looking at the market, is a quad core phone necessary? Yes and no… no to the point that most apps and normal phone functions will not even be able to utilize this processor… Yes because I know at least when I’m shopping around for anything I am going to drop 300 bucks for you bet I’m going to weigh out my options, the pros and cons of what I am about to spend my money on, and in case of a phone be locked into for the better part of 2 years, you better believe I am going to look into everything to make sure it is the phone I want, and that will last me 21-24 months of my life. I love Blackberry, but I can’t just blindly go and buy a device that isn’t worthy of that kind of commitment…

Phones are more than just communication devices, they are our lives now. We may not like this, but its fact. So my question will be can RIM deliver a product that will meet my needs, for a phone, entertainment, information, portability, dependability, and value?

I think the software has held the hardware back when it comes to RIM and we already know they are waiting on the chip that runs HSPA+ and LTE on the same chip at low power consumption similar to Apple. We do not know whether they will be using the same one offered by Qualcomm as you know Apple has a stranglehold on their supply chains ordering large quantities to fight off their competitors.

I really am not worried about the hardware being up to date and current with the impending devices coming out and if its a 4.2" screen like the dev alpha model to keep the aspect ratio of the Playbook then I am more than happy with that.

Just look at how the hardware of the Playbook performs using the OS!

One thing that worries me is that the camera software they have been wowing people with is only licensed from a Swedish company so that means other companies could also obtain the license for it and it loses the edge that feature brings.

Just some information : RIM is down significantly today too, 12,05 USD ( - 5.86% ) Seems like the market is not bying the " Thorsten Heins show" after all !

you know what the share price could go to $1 and the $2.1 Billion they have in the bank will still be $2.1 Billion.

don't worry about the share price, the market is stupid right now, did you see what Netflix is worth? What a joke.

RIM did not formally announce BB10. How could they? It's not finished yet.

They showed off some of BB10's features, and distributed a cut down version of the final product.

While Mr Heins is a breath of fresh air compared to Jim Balsillie, you have to be pretty pro-RIM to believe that anything he's done has helped a new CMO.

RIM's marketing is a mess, and even the open house press conference can't impact the mass of nay sayers baying at every statement - good or bad.

I wonder if the brand isn't already too damaged to rescue. Perhaps they'd be better of relaunching BB10 under another name.

Problem for now is the announcement that BB7 is essentially dead insofar as upgrading BB7 phones to BB10 is concerned, which means two things: people won't buy BB7 phones now, and those who are eager to upgrade will probably leave the BlackBerry fold.

Which is likely to have an effect on carriers as well. The new OS/devices will have to be much better than anything else -- not just for existing BB users but for others -- to spawn much carrier interest, unless RIM wants essentially to give the phones away, something that would be problematic in that currently only 25 percent of the company's revenue is in services.

People here poo-pooh the share prices, but fact is the company has lost 3/4 of its market cap in the last year. And that is because the market doesn't see RIM succeeding. That sort of thing has an effect on carriers.

I've gone on and on about the keyboard business, for two reasons: one, I (foolishly, it turns out) got my company to put some money into PlayBooks on RIM's promise of a keyboard which is now long overdue (except in Canada, apparently), and two, because I want one. But there's another, broader point: It is a simple test of corporate reliability, and it has failed at even that.

Yesterday everybody was going on about the unfairness of coverage, but when it comes to actual facts nothing looks very good for the company. We've been hearing promising speeches for awhile. The story above talks about Heins's "message." The market and customers who would entertain RIM are not interested in messages, they're interested in product. The "message" that the company is soon to kill most everything they offer today and perhaps this fall bring out whatever is behind door number 3 does not inspire confidence in the market and it does not inspire anything else except in the most die-hard customers. Who are a decreasing part of the market share in mobile devices.


I actually agree with you about the keyboard. It is really needed for Citrix. Just selling it in Canada is embarrassing. People should see that this is a case where failure to deliver is really important to some people in IT, and they tend to be influential.

You can always buy the Rii bluetooth keyboard, it works as well as RIM's for half the price. Look it up on Amazon or your favorite gadget retailer.

+1 on this ! I think, even though RIM has been there for more than a decade and established itself in market (sort of). BB10 is the project started from scratch, which does create some excitement among BB lovers and even people using other platforms. but the fact that you wouldn't be able to Upgrade your OS7 devices is saddening. People like me who bought 9930 with a great excitement are now going to be forced to face the fact that the money spent on these devices was the worst decision ever made.

RIM's brand is about as damaged as Volvo's was 20 years ago. Their cars were supremely ugly, not exactly speed demons, but they were built like tanks and lasted forever. All it took was a bit of style in appearance, and Volvo became a sought after brand. RIM is in a similar position. People change phones so frequently, there is no reason they won't come back.

Of course, Ford bought Volvo 13 years ago, and two years ago the brand was sold to the Chinese . . .


I don't see this as making the CMO's role a bit easier; it's still as challenging as it was before this preview of the new OS. The CMO has to align everyone internally to one message while getting customers to believe enough in that message to convert. (S)he has to work across the entire company being new, which is an extreme challenge especially in the short time from hire to product delivery. (S)he has to hit the ground running, quickly understand the environmental complexities (bothe internal and external), put a plan into action and deliver. There's a market impression of Blackberry that has to be overcome and a shiny new OS isn't going to combat the majority of that POV. The CMO and CEO are probably the two most important people to creating positive health of RIM external image right now.

Just saying I won't be surprised when CrackBerry Kevin becomes the new CMO... just think about it!

I don't mean to be pessimistic, but please try to remember the fate of Palm and WebOS: the idea and the OS were really sexy as well at the time... but despite of good marketing, they failed to deliver.
Why? Because their new OS and applications didn't have at least the same features as the original. I do hope BlackBerry doesn't make the same mistake...
So far, it seems like it won't happen (given that they announced all apps that compile for BB OS 7.x etc will do fine with little to no adaptions and a recompile with the new OS 10 SDK)... but I do hope they remember the fate of Palm to avoid any similar mistakes.

Palm's problem was that HP bought them not knowing why, then Leo the Pharmacist took over and thought he could change HP into SAP. On his watch they nearly sold their PC division - which currently is the biggest in the world. Palm was just a minor peripheral for HP. Blackberry is RIM's entire business. See the difference?

Also Palm had not good but utterly crap marketing: they failed to convince the carriers that the end user would want it. No carriers, no sales.

In fact all the best bits of webOS seem to be in BB 10. PlayBook 2 is almost what the HP Touchpad should have been. The Torch 9810 is as good as the Pre 3 and the integration of the Bridge is better than webOS would have offered. So in a sense webOS isn't dead, it's rebranded by someone for whom phones are the core business.

No, they are not going to have an easier job. Thinking the product will sell itself is what got them in the s@#t they are in now. Look at BB7, no one knew it was out 6 months into availability. Same with BB10, if RIM is not blowing the horn and beating the drum, no one will know of it's existence or capabilities. The new MKT guy/gal has to be aggressive and push advertising in all media showing off the OS and I don't mean those DJ kids talking BBM because while BBM is the selling point for overseas markets, in the US you need something more than BBM to make a come back.
Here are a few points I think they should follow:
1. DO NOT give us a release date (you don't want a Playbook or BB7 fiasco happening again)
2. DO NOT release it unless it is 100% functional, no updates in the future that'll bring more functionality; it should blow the competition away out of the box (looking at the new SGIII, that will be a hard feat to accomplish and the new iPhone coming out might add to the problem)
3. once released, go aggressive with mkt campaigns showing off the new features and hosting launch events in key markets like NY, LA, San Fran, Dallas
4. push for a same date launch across all carriers in the US