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Need to Reach More Customers? Tell Your Story Through Social!

You have become what you deem as a master of Social Media – you have a nice number of followers, your prose is pithy and engaging, but yet something is still missing… that continued “engagement” with your audiences.

Well, don’t fret you are not alone!  Studies show that while nearly 2 billion people are connected via smart phones, there is still a very interesting conundrum;  how can you compete with so much noise out there?  How could you be effective with your message and be heard through the massive trees in the overgrown forest that is Social connectivity?  Sometimes it’s as simple as tempering the message to hit that right customer, at the right time.

One thing that you should consider is identifying free or low cost tools to increase your Social Media effectiveness.  One example that I use is TweetDeck. This gives insight into who is following our accounts, if and when we need to jump on a response, real-time conversations, and best of all its free!

Savvy social media folks will tell you that it’s constantly changing, it’s iterative and that topics
constantly evolve.  We’ve experienced it with the Marketing Velocity Program, but alas there is seemingly one concept that continues to reign true with brilliant Social topics – Storytelling!   We are all human!  It’s so much more effective to offer something relatable that could blossom into a sharable similar experience or a cautionary tale to social circles.

Here is a very simple example.  Imagine a high tech company wants to introduce, “A new collaboration product that will help you be more effective doing stuff…”  Well what if that introduction was changed to, “To see the look on my parents face when I told them I went skydiving — would have been priceless! Don’t miss those moments again with the Collabor-8-Shun.”   Then keep that conversation going with a series of “stories” focused on missed moments.  See where storytelling can take you as an adjunct to your typical and hopefully effective marketing programs.  Once you have that idea hatched, use the Social Media tools to understand when your audiences are most active.  Then test the waters by engaging with your social circle.

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Using These Marketing Tips Can Mean Big Business

It’s always interesting to me when someone says they only really use social media. I wonder if they realize what they could be missing. Only relying on the virtues of social media in today’s business world is a big mistake. It’s not only social we should be keeping up with and focused on when it comes to marketing best practices. We need to continue to embrace the evolution of other tactics in addition to social. These underrated tactics compliment social and are just as important in the B2B world.

Maximize your marketing time by committing to these 3 techniques:

  • Content marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Email marketing

Content Marketing

Content marketing focuses on two things: Creating unique content that is appropriate for your target audience and broadcasting and amplifying that content across the internet. Having a blog is a perfect way to house your original content. Being creative will help promote your content and help you scale across social media platforms. One way to be creative is to incorporate video into your content strategy or even create a Screencast to illustrate your point. is a great site to help you produce screencasts to help educate your audience. Content curation is also important. Check out which helps to collect and share what people are saying all over the web. And which can help you post to up to 50 social media sites at once.

Search Engine Optimization

The majority of web traffic is driven by the major commercial search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo! And, although these search engines do a good job, you need to optimize these sites to work better for you. The right Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can net you thousands of visitors and increased attention while the wrong one can hide or bury your site deep in the search results where visibility is minimal. is just one tool that can help you gather customer insights and improve engagement with your customers. Enter the name of your business in a search engine and see what comes up. If you aren’t happy with the results, you need SEO.

Email Marketing

Email marketing can be a low-no cost option for reaching a large number of people. Although the average open rates for broadcast email campaigns are very low on average, with the right subject line, content, and offer you can increase your chances of success substantially. For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment. (Experian 2012) And according to a study by Exact Target (2015), 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission based marketing communications.  44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email (

Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Ensure your subject line captures attention and keep it short. Subject lines fewer than 10 characters long had an open rate of 58%. (Adestra July 2012 Report).
  • You should also add social sharing links to your company’s sites as emails that include social sharing buttons have a 158% higher click-through rate. (GetResponse).
  • Interestingly, the timing of your emails can make a difference as well. Emails sent on a Monday had the highest revenue per email. (Experian 2012 Q4 Email Benchmark Report).
  • Personalization is probably the most critical element of ensuring a high response. Address the email to the recipient using their name and include a personalized subject line. Personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened. (Adestra July 2012 Report) The more customized and personalized the content, the higher the response rate. There are inexpensive tools on the market to help accomplish this.

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – October 9, 2015


Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

A Rejuvenated Marketing Velocity Program Hits the Gas for Partners

Cisco’s Marketing Velocity has always been known to partners as the award winning annual event where we share innovations and thought leadership to help partners accelerate sales.

Bryan Sherlock stopped by the partner blog to make sure everyone knows the newly rejuvenated Marketing Velocity is an always-on program for partners, now offering expanded eLearning courses, a shareable content hub, On-the-Air webcast series, and more. Check out his blog to see how you can start taking advantage today.

Cisco Global Editors Conference 2015

The 2015 Cisco Global Editors Conference took place beginning of this week in San Jose, CA. Expectedly, there was a lot of buzz and coverage as new Cisco CEO, Chuck Robbins, made his first external keynote to press.RobbinsGEC

While you can look back at the #CiscoGEC hashtag to see what took shape and resonated on social, I grabbed some of the top articles coming out of the event that I thought would be of interest to our partners:

And finally, here’s what attendees had to say about the big week!

As always, let us know what you think of the blog. Feedback from partners, especially around partner programs, is vital for Cisco to keep producing programs that work for all of us.

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Marketing Velocity – Hit the Gas or the Brakes?

Where is marketing going?  Just a few years ago it was “relatively easy” to reach audiences through traditional vehicles like TV, radio and display… remember those days?  It just took a healthy advertising budget and you were on your way to millions of units sold!  The Mad Men days are behind us, but that doesn’t mean they are gone.  In fact, quite the opposite, now as marketers we have to be even more creative, more cunning and way more in tune with the tastes of audiences.

Attention spans are limited to 140-characters… (Have I lost you already?) People want to be fed stories that intersect at the junction of the right content, at the right time, and all on the right vehicle.  To the marketer this sounds more the like corner of “isn’t going to happen,” and “is it 5pm yet?”  But it doesn’t have to be that way!  Don’t despair.  While we don’t have all the answers for partners, we want to help you get there!  After all, your success as marketers and reaching your customers ultimately helps us too!

Enter from stage left … a rejuvenated Marketing Velocity.

While many partners are aware of Marketing Velocity as an award winning event Cisco has offered throughout the year and most recently with Partner Summit 2015.  We have checked the rear view mirror and are punching the proverbial gas.  Marketing is changing at such an incredible rate of speed (pun intended), that Marketing Velocity has to match. But, not how you might think.  The goal of the Marketing Velocity program is to enlighten, educate and arm you to succeed in reaching your customers.  This is something that an annual event could not provide at such a high rate of speed.

Cisco Marketing eLearning

We have expanded the Marketing Velocity eLearning with new courses.  You are no longer required to take multiple courses to receive certification.  With Marketing eLearning courses, we simply want to provide you with great content to enhance the way you market today.  We have segmented eLearning into four buckets for ease:

Marketing Fundamentals – courses designed to help you market effectively, from the basics to more advanced skills

Marketing with Cisco – train yourself on how to implement Cisco technologies, Partner Marketing Central and other Cisco generated marketing capabilities

Revenue Marketing – access courses on this growing marketing endeavor to help you increase sales that you may have never thought of before

Digital Marketing – bring your skills up to speed with the latest in Social Media, Web and marketing automation techniques

As if that’s not enough!  Partners have expressed how much they enjoy the caliber of speakers offered during the Marketing Velocity event.  Now we have created a speaker series offered year round.  The Marketing Velocity On-the-Air webcast series enlists the advice of industry experts.  Get guidance from the industries’ best, like Jay Baer, the most retweeted man on the web amongst digital marketers, insight from a little search company called Google, and other webcasts on new marketing techniques to the power of analytics.

Still not enough good stuff?  This is the icing on the cake…


How about an always-on content hub that pulls marketing best practices from across the Web?  The Marketing Velocity Hub has been created to align Cisco marketing campaigns with best practices.  The Hub also gives you easy access to Marketing eLearning and the On-the-Air webcasts.  We think of this as an information board and welcome your feedback in the Marketing Velocity Community.  We want to hear from you, especially related to what you see as best practices – what we might be missing and what we might be doing right.

Now is your time, we just want to help you step on the gas!

Here is a quick list of links mentioned above:

We always love to hear feedback. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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A Thank You to Partners and a Look Back at Cisco’s Fiscal Year

This summer was an epic moment for Cisco with the changing of its leadership. We celebrated our successful history and look forward to our future with excitement and promise. With that in mind, I wanted to take a moment and celebrate this past year. I’ll be brief, since I know many of you might be heading out on vacation and looking to spend some time with friends and family.


Mostly, I wanted to say thank you. I always try to point out how Cisco’s success hinges on the action of its partners. Without your hard work and dedication and feedback on our programs and promotions, none of this works as smoothly as it does. Please do continue to let me know how you think we’re doing, where we can improve and what questions I can answer for you. You can always comment on my blogs and I’ll do my best to respond as soon as possible.


I cherish the time I get to spend speaking with you at events like Partner Summit and Marketing Velocity, but even more important is the time you spend reading my blogs and reaching out to me with your questions and comments. Just in this past fiscal year alone, we have covered a lot of ground.


Back in the early fall of 2014 I wrapped up my series on the marketing superheroes we introduced at Marketing Velocity 2014. I’m thrilled this series was so well-received by you and you had some great insight as well. I hope you’re still working to identify the folks in your organizations that fit these superhero ideals. If not, you should be recruiting those people into your companies. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by. Read More »

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