On Tuesday, our resident marketing guru Luanne Tierney (VP of WW Partner Marketing) held a live video chat via Ustream. Our conversation covered lots of ground, from co-marketing with partners to marketing trends on the horizon to fashion (OK, we only touched on that briefly!). If you missed the broadcast, you can watch a replay on Ustream, or right here.
So what essential information do partners need to know about marketing? Here are some key points Luanne made, and also some answers to questions that came in during the broadcast that we didn’t have time to get to.
During the broadcast, Luanne shared information about Partner Marketing Central, our new, online co-marketing engine, launched earlier this year. It offers a complete, one-stop co-marketing location with information for Cisco partners all across the globe. Since its launch, we’ve seen a 47% increase in co-marketing activities globally.
Luanne heard from partners that they’ve asked for partner-ready architecture messaging, and to that end, we’re creating a fully-integrated marketing portfolio. These architecture marketing acceleration kits, which are available now, include sales presentations, collateral, and even video success stories—everything our partners need to market architectures. (Check out the kits for Collaboration, Borderless Networks, and Data Center.)
Going forward, she mentioned that mobile apps will play a critical role in marketing—the number of mobile app and smart phone users has doubled in the last 12 months and this will lead to huge marketing opportunities. And guess what? Email is dying a slow and painful death—it’s an ineffective way to reach users, according to Luanne. Partners need to evolve their efforts to find an effective means of communication, and increasingly, the preferred vehicle is through a mobile-friendly website and social media. Social media efforts take time, but they represent a new way to build relationships.
Partners should also consider the importance of video, she said: It’s affordable, easy, and offers an authentic look and feel to customers.
And, here are Luanne’s answers to questions that came in during the broadcast.
How often do you have face to face meetings with partners?
I travel for Cisco-related events a couple times a month. When I’m at these events, I spend a majority of my time meeting with our partners. When I’m not traveling, I try to have at least five partner video conference calls a week either via WebEx or TelePresence.
Is the Velocity event in Barcelona shelved or has it been pushed back to the first week of December?
We will be hosting an in-person Partner Velocity conference event in the late fall timeframe, but the exact date and location are not yet finalized. Be sure to follow me on Twitter, as well as Partner Velocity to be the first to know the dates and location, as well as stay up to date on all of our partner marketing programs.
How do you recommend setting goals and using metrics to gauge the success of social campaigns? Do you hold the hands of your partners to get on social media?
To measure the success of social media, you have some hard metrics that are easy to obtain (the number of followers, blog views, “likes”, re-Tweets, etc…), but it’s important to realize that social media should not be used as a tactic by itself. It should be part of a complete, integrated marketing strategy. Social media doesn’t replace another marketing tactic. It’s just another tool you can use to help amplify your messages.
We leverage our Partner Velocity program to help our partners get started with social media and other cutting-edge marketing trends. By providing them an environment where they can learn from the best and brightest in the marketing industry, they’re able to build their expertise and bring back execution strategies to their own companies.
Email is still the top way people communicate within the office--how do you manage that?
I’d ask, why is email the top way to communicate within the office? And more importantly, is it truly the most effective way to communicate? Is it because people truly find it the best way to consume and convey information or is it “just the way we do it in our office?”
How many times have you gone back and forth on email with someone, only to finally pick-up the phone to convey the message or bring resolution to a conversation? Imagine all the time that would’ve been saved if you would’ve picked-up the phone to begin with. Or better yet, used technology to conduct a quick video chat with the person?
So, I’d look at who I’m attempting to communicate with and examine all the possibilities at my disposal. Don’t be tied to email because it just happens to be the convenient status quo for your company. Truly examine all the possibilities and then begin experimenting with other avenues. Maybe some will work, maybe they won’t. However, I believe that most people would agree (and the stats are starting to back me up) that email is losing its prominence as an effective communication tool.
Do you find yourself using your iPhone more than your PC?
Yes. As more and more functionality is introduced on phones, either as mobile applications or within the phone itself, I find more and more opportunities where I can use my phone for a variety of chores. Whether it’s managing my bank accounts, looking up movie times, listening to music, reading a book, or getting directions… it can all be done from my phone.
My agency is a preferred marketing partner of Cisco. Is there a way to get involved with MAP/Partner Marketing campaign fulfillment?
Please email your contact information to us and we’ll pass it along to our vendor management team for Partner Marketing Central.
Thanks to all of you who tuned in to our broadcast—I hope you found it as useful and informative as I did. Because of technical issues, the broadcast cut out a bit early, but we’ve captured most of that information in the recap above. Be sure to check back here for more information about future Ustream chats with Channel executives. And please post questions, comments, and suggestions here on the blog.