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New #SocialRoundup: How New Live-Streaming Video Applications are Changing Views on Content

It’s estimated that nearly three-fourths of the world’s mobile data traffic will be in the form of video content by 2019, with an expected 13-fold increase between 2014 and 2019. And more than half of the mobile devices connected to the network will be “smart” ones. As mobility continues to expand, Cisco, like many brands, is exploring the most innovative ways to integrate real-time video with our social media to engage with customers, influencers and employees.

YouTube and Google+ Hangout On Air have been steady options. But newer tools like Periscope and Meerkat allow users to share and watch live video broadcasts around the world using a mobile device. And these tools are changing the way we use live-streaming video apps.

Periscope, which is owned by Twitter, is an app we at Cisco have already begun using to share our content. At our recent Cisco Live! IT education and training conference in San Diego, Read More »

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Cisco.com goes Mobile – One Page at a Time

Did you know Cisco.com gets more than 355.5M visits a year?  One out of every 10 visits is from a mobile device and mobile usage is growing. Much of the Cisco website is mobile-friendly, with the new Cisco.com Home page, Product pages, revised Support Home Page, and over 7,800 Model pages. Now we are turning our attention to 200K+standalone, single HTML content pages.

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Social Selling: A Sales & Marketing Love Story

For the past year, I’ve worked with Carola van der Linden (Carola van der Linden), Marketing Manager in EMEAR, on Social Selling. I wanted to get her unique perspective on how sales and marketing works together and what marketing can learn from sales. Carola brings not only a deep understanding of how social is used in her region but first hand experience implementing new capabilities to the sales organization.

Jennifer Roberts: You’ve been working on the social selling program for some time, what do you think marketing could learn from sales? 

Carola van der Linden: Ownership and accountability. Sales teams have very clear accountability for revenue, and marketing is moving in that direction. Revenue Marketing is a first step, which means it’s their job to get closer to the sales organization, to understand the sales dynamic and provide quality leads that convert. Moving forward, I think the link between the two organizations will be even tighter. Marketing is beginning to use the same tools as sales, and we are tracking to the same set of goals and using the same definitions to describe our progress.

JR: What is the role of marketing in social selling? How can marketing help sales?

CvdL: 70% of a customer’s buying decision is now made based on information he or she finds online. We want to make sales aware that the customer’s buying journey occurs online and that it’s important for them to have an online presence. One way they can begin to create their presence is to become socially active—use social as a communication vehicle to engage and help customers and partners.

Creating an online presence isn’t limited to sales. We are all social sellers. Marketing is trying to lead by example. Many of us have a Twitter account and are encouraged to share relevant information with our social networks. We also track our progress using an online dashboard– a leaderboard so we can compare and compete against our colleagues.

JR: You mention the need for sales to have an online presence. How can marketing support sales through this transition?

CvdL: Marketing can support to sales by developing an onboarding process for new tools, new ways of doing business and by providing relevant training. Content is also a huge priority; it’s important that it support the buyer’s journey. So, marketing needs to be able to provide the sales rep with relevant content for different stages of that journey. We also have to realize that the type of content shared through email is different than what is shared via social media.

There is also a behavioral shift and level of knowledge the sales reps need to gain so they understand what they can share with customers. Marketing can have an impact through training and content, both of which can help our sales reps make that cultural change.

Another area where marketing can help is demonstrating a clear ROI. They need to show how social activities can help grow opportunities, bookings and account knowledge.

JR: Thanks, Carola, for your time and good luck in FY16.

Gamification: DevNet Zone at Cisco Live San Diego 2015 Review

Gamification – Does it really motivate your audience to engage, achieve goals and become a more active contributor within your community?

Based on our most recent implementation of gamification at Cisco Live San Diego 2015 last month, the answer to this question is an astounding YES.

Let’s take a quick step back. What exactly is gamification? Gamification can be defined in a number of ways but I like to define it as the application of online game mechanics in a non-game setting to motivate users to engage, achieve goals and build loyalty through the use of intrinsic (and extrinsic) rewards and recognition.

One of our most recent applications of gamification at Cisco was applied to our largest yearly customer event – Cisco Live (San Diego) and this time we targeted the DevNet Zone, also known as our Developer program.

Badges_consolidated with mission

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Content Marketing is just another ‘buzzword’!

Buzzwords.  There seems to be a new one every year that people fall over themselves trying to get into conversations.  Companies pounce on the new word, like a tiger capturing its prey, and set-up ‘Tiger Teams’ to determine how they can embrace the changes afoot that the said word will bring about. And, let’s not forget the rush to update LinkedIn profiles with the buzzword because everybody, of course, is now an expert in it!

I often think buzzwords highlight opportunities that have been overlooked and are things we should already be doing.

Content marketing, for me, is one of those buzzwords.  It is after all simply, ‘marketing’. And more crucially it is marketing that both stimulates and engages your customers into a conversation.  Marketing has always featured content.  But what we have all woken up to is the fact that content must be authentic, relevant to your audience and human if it is to stand any chance of being conversational.

It’s reported that the average person spending 2 hours 57 minutes a day on their digital device.   Customers armed with digital devices wield them like machetes in a jungle, cutting through dense growth on journeys to find information about products and services.

A ‘one size fits all’ broadcast approach to marketing doesn’t work anymore. Did it ever truly work?  No, probably not. Past success could partly be attributed to lack of brand competition.  But with more brands today competing for customers’ attention, customers have purchasing muscle – and they’re not afraid to flex it.  It is now important more than ever that your brand stands out and helps customers who want to talk to you. But how?

one size fits all

Marketing is and has always been about storytelling.  Storytelling has existed since the beginning of time and has been used by brands for hundreds of years.  A carefully crafted story that resonates, creates brand attachment and a reason to engage is a sure fire way of building an authentic relationship.

What a customer experiences on their buying journey should not be underestimated and it is our job as marketers to quench their thirst for knowledge and provide them with relevant content.

Content and storytelling is nothing new.  So why the hype around ‘Content Marketing’?   Maybe other buzzwords such as ‘Big Data’ took our attention away from what we are fundamentally here to do……tell stories.

Marketers must re-familiarise themselves with the art of storytelling.  It is the experience you create and the skilful way you tell your story that will retain customer and attract new prospects.

STORYTELLING 1

So in summary, instead of focusing on ‘Content Marketing’, let us focus on Marketing and the art of conversation.  Talking and listening to customers with messaging that engages, resonates, ignites passion and creates emotional attachment to your brand.

The next time you hear a new buzzword.  Ask yourself this; what is it highlighting that you have overlooked?