Driving forward a business start-up
A Marconi case study

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Page 5: Meeting the challenge


Marconi 6 Image 4Transforming Marconi in the way described in this case study has not just involved an overhaul of the external relationships of the organisation. In addition the change process has involved the development of a culture of start-up and entrepreneurship within the organisation.

Internal change has involved everyone who works for Marconi embracing a set of shared beliefs that are essential to becoming a leading edge global business. These five shared beliefs are those of:

  • Real people - Marconi people are straight talkers, people who say what they mean and mean what they say. It is about creating relationships with customers and colleagues that are based on trust and respect and which value diversity.
  • Passion and pride - Marconi people show through their actions that they care passionately about success - for all the stakeholders in the organisation.
  • Radical outlook - To be at the forefront of new markets, new technologies and new thinking, Marconi people are encouraged to think radically.
  • High velocity - As an innovative company, Marconi people need to learn fast, and find better and faster ways of getting ideas to the market place.
  • Special delivery - Marconi people take responsibility, to deliver each time, every time. The bottom line is that customers know they can rely on Marconi, because customers’ needs and expectations are clearly understood.


The next step involved communicating the brand to the appropriate target audience in order to create ongoing awareness of the Marconi brand. Marconi is a business-to-business company, selling in industrial markets to large telecommunication services and corporate clients. Advertising therefore has involved gaining the interest of the key audience. This included purchasing managers, engineers, technologists, Chief Executive Officers and Financial Directors. Advertising was therefore targeted through publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and The Economist.

In addition Marconi has involved itself in some high profile advertising and promotional activities. One of the most interesting of these has been Marconi’s major support for Benetton Formula 1 through a multi-million pound communications partnership. This provides Benetton Formula 1 with a leading-edge communications network, providing highly resilient, speed-of-light links between race support staff on site and remotely based automotive engineers and race strategists. This partnership makes sense to Marconi because of the interest shown in motor racing by Marconi’s targeted customers (CEOs, technicians, engineers, etc). There is also an obvious link between the speeds of the network and Formula 1.

Another intelligent external link that Marconi developed has been the investment at Cambridge University in a £40 million Marconi Centre. This will give Marconi access to the cream of researchers in the fields of communications and technology, while providing the university with ever-needed research funds and high profile sponsorship from a leading edge communications company. In partnership, Marconi and Cambridge University will be able to push back the frontiers of research.

Marconi | Driving forward a business start-up