The days of building a slightly better mouse trap and waiting for the customers to bang down your door are gone. These days, marketing is everything. Ahead of CeBIT 2013 and the showcasing of its latest APU products, KitGuru catches up with the chap who's taken over generating demand for AMD's components across EMEA, Max Muth.
First things first, we can confirm that Max is not now – nor has he even been – a professional model. We thought we'd get that in, just in case you spend the next 10 minutes thinking ‘He looks damn familiar, was it a TV advert?'
Even a brief conversation with Max will reveal that he'd much rather be scoring Germany's winning hat trick against Brazil in the world cup final than doing catwalk.
So how did Max come to component marketing?
“Well, I have been with AMD since 2009”, he told us. “After 4 years driving sales for the German speaking countries in central Europe, I wanted to try something else and marketing is something I've always been interested in”. Fair point.
Selling has the glamour and money, when it's going well, but it's also the fuzzy end of the lollipop when the marketing isn't right. What can Max do to help get the balance right?
“Looking at the IDC data, you can see that the vast majority of systems sell in the sub €700 market, but most of the coverage you see on products targets much more expensive solutions”, he explained. “I'm interested in getting more focus on the markets where AMD has a clear win”.
“The performance market is important”, said Max. “But value for money is crucial in the modern economy. Customers need to be looking at getting overall balance – making sure they don't end up with top heavy systems that have huge processors coupled with weak graphics and a lack of other technologies like SSD”.
No one at KitGuru would suggest that AMD should get in the ring with an overclocked ‘K' processor. The gap at the top is clear, but how can Max help get more balanced matches?
“Right now, the FX-8350 processor can help create a great overclocked system”, said Max. “And, with the money you save from buying something like a more expensive ‘k' processor from a competitor, you could upgrade your standard drive to an SSD, which will accelerate everything you do”.
Single focus then?
“Actually, no”, he replied. “The gap gets larger, the lower the price goes. With AMD you're not limited to a handful of high end chips for overclocking. You can pick the processor that best suits your budget, then clock it hard”.
Fair point. We have seen an increase in cheaper overclocked systems from companies like Overclockers, Scan and Aria – the latter of which has overclocked systems from as little as £300, which just isn't possible with a ‘k' chip from Intel.
We'd previously noted that Max lists ‘Ingredient Branding' on his LinkedIn profile. Does he have a special attachment for strudel apples ?
“Not exactly”, he smiled. “I like to give focus to all of the component parts – not just the complete system. AMD occupies a unique position with regard to the range of products we produce – no one else has a portfolio quite like it”.
We did also ask him about the impact having all of the next gen consoles might have on the graphics market, specifically how early access to game code may go some way to nullifying TWIMTBP – but he declined to comment on unannounced products. Surprise.
A lot of work ahead. We asked Max for a final comment, “‘Well done' is better than ‘well said'”. Actions speak louder than words. Nice.
KitGuru says: Our casual chat with Max brought up some interesting points. While the Core i5 3570k and Core i7 3770k rock like nothing else, you can't help missing the old Core i3 520/30/40 processors – which brought overclocking opportunities to those who needed them most. AMD has several advantages, but will it be able to communicate them to the general public?
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