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C4 board member profile: Karen Rowden

Karen Rowden has served as Canadian Marketing Manager for Epson since November 2012. She is responsible for increasing Epson brand awareness and market share by leading marketing strategy, program development, and execution in Consumer and Commercial channels. Prior to joining Epson, Karen was the Manager of North America Retail Marketing with Advanced Micro Devices. CDN recently had the opportunity to speak with Rowden about her career and the channel.

CDN: What does your current position involve?

Rowden: I develop Epson’s marketing strategies and programs for Canada. I work very closely with the US marketing teams and with our Canadian sales teams to ensure the Canadian marketing strategies are aligned with the US, while best supporting our Canadian channels, customers, and market conditions. I make sure we are investing our marketing budgets, and focusing our resources in areas that are strategic to the company and which will deliver the best return. I also work with the teams on detailed marketing analysis to make sure our programs and tactics are being fully optimized to deliver the best ROI.

CDN: What led you to where you are right now in your career?

Rowden: I started my career in the tech sector right out of school many years ago, and have worked for both national reseller organizations and tier one vendors, including HP, ATI, AMD, and now Epson. While I’ve always been in Marketing, each position I’ve had has been different – I’ve been able to learn a lot and expand my experience with each new job and company I’ve worked for. I’ve also been fortunate to have strong mentors and role models who have helped me develop my career.

CDN: What advice would you give young up-and-comers in the channel?

Rowden: Build relationships and be a strong collaborator and team player. Look for opportunities to add value to customers, and to the teams you work with. Stay on top of trends, and keep an eye out for technology and market shifts. Understand where your company is investing, and what the expected returns are from those investments.

CDN: What can/should be done to ensure the Canadian (and NA) channel ecosystems continue to thrive?

Rowden: Having associations and forums like the C4 council go a long way to support and develop channel ecosystems. Having access to – and conversations with – industry leaders, partners, and innovators, spark ideas on how we can keep our businesses moving forward.