Icontrol’s new CMO aims for ‘frustration-free’ customer experience

Consumers now seek simplicity, integration, she says
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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—Icontrol’s new chief marketing officer wants to ensure that consumers and dealers have an all-around “frustration-free” experience when interacting with the company.

Letha McLaren, recently promoted from Icontrol vice president of product management to CMO, told Security Systems News that managing that smooth relationship is utmost on her mind in her new role.

“It comes in many forms. For consumers it’s about looking at the simplicity … of devices within the house. For dealers, it’s about making it super, super easy to install, get equipment and bill,” she said.

As CMO, McLaren, with more than 15 years of marketing, product development and business leadership experience in the technology and energy industries, will be responsible for Icontrol’s product expansion and corresponding marketing strategies.

“We’re really trying to closely align product development with the go-to-market approach,” she said. “It’s what we do best. We deliver smart-home technology to consumers. Service providers have been our bread and butter for a number of years. We’ve spent a lot of time making service providers more successful.”

Consumer awareness about smart home tech is growing, she said, and with that comes the desire for that frustration-free, personal experience.

Icontrol will not be changing its marketing strategy.

“We want to address the market for consumers who want to buy from local dealers,” McLaren said.

The recently launched Icontrol One is a way to do that, she said.That product is based on Icontrol’ssoftware backbone for large players, but is tailored for smaller, independent dealers.

Another trend McLaren is seeing, she said, is consumers’ desire to leverage devices they’ve already purchased and are using.

“They want to integrate the Nest thermostat or camera or sprinkler system, those that already have an app,” she said. But consumers don’t often understand “that those things don’t work together,” she said.

A seamless solution is needed, and Icontrol, down the road, will pursue the path of device tie-ins, she said.

In addition to McLaren’s promotion, Icontrol has named Corey Gates as chief technology officer, to oversee technology across its business units.

Gates, previously the senior VP of engineering at Icontrol, has more than 20 years of experience managing hardware and software product lifecycles.

In his new role, he will develop technologies beyond Icontrol’s traditional service provider solutions, including direct-to-consumer products, the company said.