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Marketing Insights on Revenue Generation, Buying Patterns, and the Role of Social

Revenue-generating marketing, customer buying patterns, and social selling are a few of the topics I talked about recently with Glenn Gow of Crimson Marketing.  I’m pleased to share these excerpts from our conversation and invite you to listen to the podcast.

Glenn: Why don’t we start with this concept of revenue-generating marketing, and tell us a little bit about the journey that you’ve been going through. 

Karen:  I wanted marketing to be viewed as a revenue center versus a cost center, because then it becomes a very different discussion about the value, the role of marketing, and the investment that a company is willing to make.And frankly, in some cases, marketing should be seen as a cost-to-serve model in terms of where marketing can lead the generation of demand, particularly with customers in the mid-market and with our partners.

Glenn: Can you talk a little bit more about what revenue-generating marketing really means? Read More »

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CMX Analytics: An Inside Scoop on CiscoLive! Milan #CLEUR

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Today is the final day of a very busy and successful Cisco Live Milan 2014. Read my initial observations from the event earlier this week.

As the event draws to a close, lets look at some of the location analytics available via Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences solution (CMX) and perhaps try to answer some of the following questions about the event.

For this I will just focus on the World of Solutions Show floor -- approximately 800,000 sq feet in size, and containing all the Cisco Booths and the partner displays.

  1. How many people actually visited the world of solutions?
  2. How many people did  the different Cisco Booths attract?
  3. Where was the busiest part of the show floor?

These and other insights can be derived from looking at the business intelligence that emerges from CMX. Read More »

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Cisco Live Milan 2014 & CMX

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Cisco Live Milan 2014 kicked off this morning with an opening keynote by Rob Lloyd. During the session Rob shared Cisco’s  vision of the Internet of Everything, and explored the industry trends and technologies that are making that vision a reality. One of these areas is enabled by Cisco’s CMX solutions and our growing ecosystem of partners.

To illustrate how this vision is becoming a reality, a CMX demo was shown on stage. The demo related to a wine producer ( we are in Italy by the way..) who was able to engage with their customers via their mobile app. Enabling the customer find the particular wines they are interested in, interact with the wine maker, get location specific promotions and really deliver a highly personalized and location specific service.

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CMX at Cisco Live Day 1:

The whole venue has been designed and setup for WiFi location based services and CMX is running across the complete conference. Read More »

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Cisco CMX @ NRF 2014

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NRF 2014 was held last week at the Javits Centre in New York City. It’s the biggest retail event of the year where vendors show off the future of the industry to all the delegates both using inspiring key notes and exciting demos on the Expo floors.

2014 and beyond:

It wasn’t too hard to identify that there were some common themes. On Tuesday afternoon I stood on the main Expo floor and just looking around I could quickly see the industry’s top of mind phrases and buzz words popping out:

“Omni channel”,”Onmianalytics”, “Predictive”, “Insights”, “Customer science and Analytics”, “Precise Location Matters”, “Analyze Decide”, “Mobilize”, “Mobility solutions”, “Big data”, “Customer engagement”, “Adaptive offers”, “Personalized customer experience”, “Customer Experience Analytics”

We certainly are entering the era where using data, analytics and personalization is no longer just an interesting notion or “nice to have” for retail -- it is now the KEY thing companies MUST do.

And a big common theme is that mobile is exploding and changing things rapidly, so retailers either need to keep up or inevitably fall behind their competitors. Read More »

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Omni-Tech for Omnichannel Selling

My last blog talked about the challenges of becoming an omnichannel retailer, and how stores are still learning how to make changes that cut across their entire business. We discussed how, appearances to the contrary, omnichannel selling is still about meeting a basic business requirement – finding the best outcome for you and your customer. However, finding these outcomes is a more complex proposition than it used to be.

Logically, to achieve consistent outcomes you need to achieve consistent consumer outreach, input, and sales approaches. But stores are also facing the demand to create a more personalized sales experience. How do you meet these seemingly contrary requirements? The key here is to find new ways to reach out to shoppers as part of the whole shopping experience, no matter what the channel.

For example, Cisco’s Remote Expert solution is a way to offer unique, personalized, yet centralized retail experiences for customers. It connects each shopper with a product expert wherever they are located, in real time, via mobile, immersive, or on-site channels. You save by leveraging your experts across single or multiple locations and devices using a pool of experts who may or may not be co-located, instead of providing expertise at every site or asking them to travel extensively. Retailers can also use the same solution to host training and corporate meetings, or to enable store feedback on products and merchandising. The result is a personalized shopping experience at a lower cost for the store.

Pretty sweet, don’t you think? To learn more, take the time to attend the webcast “Just Ask the Expert: Connect Your Shoppers to Virtual Experts, Anywhere, Any Time,” being held on Nov. 7. You can register here.

Truly omnichannel technologies are designed to support cost savings and efficiency, providing a more seamless interface for service that is customized for the shopper. As I said in my last blog, these approaches focus first and foremost on customer needs, making it easier to do business with your company.  A customer-centric strategy cuts across the business and all its channels, creating a different kind of relationship between you and your shoppers. See what Retail Systems Research has to say in their latest report about omnichannel strategies.

I love retail trivia! Comment below if you know the answer to this question: What is the second-most visited retail business in America? (Wal-Mart is first.)

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