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Partner Voices: What is Cisco Marketing Velocity All About?

Cisco Marketing Velocity is an event like no other. It was launched with the idea of being an exclusive and unique event, targeting Cisco partners interested in innovative marketing techniques. Over the last few years, it’s become so much more as top partner executives increasingly see the value of top-flight marketing and engagement as part of their value proposition to customers.

There will always be healthy debate about the best techniques, tips and tricks – especially with how technology is changing the way we communicate. But strong marketing and even stronger customer engagement wins business, builds your brand, and keeps you connected in a world where customers don’t lack for information. You need to do everything you can to stay ahead of paradigm shifts and new competition for your business.

Next week’s Marketing Velocity, which officially kicks off in Cannes, France, on Tuesday, is the seventh such event hosted by Cisco, and we’re very excited to welcome over 200 partners representing 44 countries where Cisco does business.

What’s interesting to me is that the growth of Marketing Velocity has coincided with the mushrooming influence of social media on marketing and customer engagement. Years ago, the use of platforms like Facebook and Twitter was a quaint, quirky way to advertise. Now, both platforms, along with everything from LinkedIn to Instagram and corporate blogs, are fundamental pieces of overall marketing and customer communication strategies, which you see reflected not only in the Marketing Velocity event content, but also the ongoing, year-round curriculum, on-the-air webcasts and discussions that Cisco’s global partner marketing team provides.

What’s In It For Partners?

A number of partners will be attending their first Marketing Velocity event this year, but many have also been participating for years. I really wanted to hear from some of those Marketing Velocity regulars about why the keep coming back, so I asked them for feedback.

Jackie Funk, vice president of marketing for Dimension Data Americas, told me that looking at “latest and greatest” in new marketing approaches and technologies helps her bring back new ideas to the Dimension Data team.

“It contributes to our team’s learning and development, our alignment with Cisco and our ability to execute targeted marketing programs,” she explained. “Another big benefit is acceleration heading into Cisco’s new fiscal year. This allows us to hear best practices, new messaging and top priorities, which helps us better align with Cisco and ensure we get off to a strong start in the new fiscal year.”

Bob Clinton, SVP and chief marketing officer for distributor Westcon Group and its Cisco-centric Comstor business, listed learning opportunities and timeliness as big benefits.

“Marketing Velocity is a great way to take a pulse of the industry and learn from some of the best in channel marketing,” Clinton said. “We look forward to participating in what has always proven to be an informative and lively event.”

Lisa Dreher, vice president of marketing and business development at Logicalis, described it as a “do not miss event” for partner marketing leaders.

“Cisco consistently brings together some of the industry’s greatest thought leaders that never fail to inspire creative thinking,” she said. “With all of the changes in marketing today, marketers can’t afford to sit still and do what worked last year.”

Andrew Stewart, vice president of corporate services and marketing for Compugen, summed it up this way: “I love Marketing Velocity! It is an event that truly achieves the goal of helping marketers ‘up their game.’  There is really no other event I attend that has such a compelling emphasis on marketers and marketing.  I always come away with new insights and ideas and with things I can put into practice in our business right away.  I am really looking forward to this year’s event in Cannes.”

Along with top Cisco marketing and WWPO executives, including Karen Walker, senior vice president, Cisco Marketing, and Sherri Liebo, our new vice president, global partner marketing,  this year’s Marketing Velocity speakers include some of the most widely recognized and influential marketing thought leaders in the world. Marketing and business guru and former Eastman Kodak CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett (@JeffreyHayzlett) will be there, as will Charlene Li (@charleneli), founder of the Altimeter Group and author or co-author of bestsellers like Groundswell and Open Leadership.

Matt McFadyen (@MattMcFadyen) will bring the leadership lessons he’s learned from years of globetrotting as a sailor, climber and polar adventurer, and Martin Lindstrom (@MartinLindstrom) will help us read between the lines in marketing, advertising and reaching customers as only he can. And don’t forget our own Carlos Dominguez (@carlosdominguez), senior vice president in the Office of the Chairman & CEO, who if you’ve seen him in action at Cisco Live or anywhere else, you know you’re in for an adult dose of good humor and technology evangelism.

Keep an eye on the Channels blog and be sure to follow @partnervelocity and @cisco_channels for all the action from next week’s event. Remember to use hashtag #mktgvelocity to keep track of the conversation.

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