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Customer Interactions in the Evolving World of Marketing

In a world where we are increasingly connected, and other’s opinions or reviews are more accessible than ever, marketing must evolve to keep up.  Consumers want, and expect, ‘on-demand’ marketing –customized marketing that caters to what they need, when they want it, and is extremely responsive.  59% of consumers who have experienced personalization believe it has a noticeable influence on their spending. That percentage cannot be ignored –and with all the data available from connected devices and social media –there is no reason it should be.

Social media interactions are a part of many customers’ routine. For marketing, these interactions provide valuable insights and data. Companies like Julep Beauty leverage social media to interact with their customers, discover what they want, and quickly create, test, and sell new products. When negative reviews or comments come up, they promptly address the issue. This allows customers to feel like their voices are being heard and helps position the brand as a company that cares and is responsive to its customers.

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Content Marketing (Made Easy)

January 22, 2014 at 7:20 am PST

Content is one thing. Marketing is another. The two are straightforward on their own but significantly more complex when combined. What we do at TechWiseTV is content marketing. But its still a work in progress.

My friend Amy Lewis (@commsninja) tweeted an article by Tracy Vides on ‘How Content Marketing is Ruining your Business”

Got me thinking about how we really have to work on the marriage between these two terms.

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Here’s to You Entrepreneurs: Top 5 Go-to-Market Monetization Tips

Ged FittonBy Ged Fitton, Guest Blogger

The British Innovation Gateway (BIG) is a great Cisco-led initiative to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the UK. A great part of my work on BIG involves the support  of IDEALondon – Cisco’s innovation centre -- and its start-ups.  And I have to say I’m always impressed with the enthusiasm and determination of companies to think outside the box, and challenge the status quo. It’s a fantastically exciting space to work in. In my role of helping companies monetise their innovation, I thought I’d share a few tips on how not to fall into the traps that I’ve seen many start-ups fall into. Read More »

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Revenue-Generation Marketing: The Proof is in the Pipeline

November 14, 2013 at 9:47 am PST

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” -- Winston Churchill

In a recent blog, I scratched the surface of revenue-generation marketing and how we’re transforming marketing from a cost center to a revenue generating center within Cisco. This week, I want to dig a little deeper.

Marketing that contributes measurable ROI to the bottom line… that sounds great, right? But how do you get there? The core of revenue-generation marketing and what makes it work is the partnership between sales and marketing. And, the first step of revenue-generation marketing is alignment of the revenue-generation marketing plan with the overall business plan for the company. Without that, the whole revenue-generation marketing process, from executing to managing the funnel with account teams and having regular funnel management business reviews, won’t work. You have to execute against the priorities of the business overall.

As marketing organizations transition into a revenue generators, an almost natural shift happens. Marketing begins speaking the language of the business and sales. We talk about planning, forecast, pipeline, bookings and revenue. Marketing hasn’t historically done that, so there’s another evolution occurring in the industry.

From a sales and marketing revenue alignment perspective, you obviously want to align on priorities with sales. But at the end of the day, what makes the marketing plan a revenue-generation marketing plan is the fact that a revenue contribution target is set, either focused on pipeline or bookings and revenue. That target is usually set or communicated as a percentage of sales. According to Sirius Decisions, the industry standard for business to business (B2B), high-tech marketing contribution-to-revenue baselines is that >$5 billion companies source less than 10 percent of sales pipeline, with high of 20 percent and a low of 2 percent of sales pipeline. The industry standard provides a baseline of where you want to be. At that point, you need to realistically evaluate where you are – your run rate and marketing’s current contribution to revenue.

Beyond run rate, there are only three levers for driving this plan: volume, visibility, and conversion rate. What volume of leads are you driving; how much of that is visibly available and reportable in your sales force or customer relationship management systems; and how much of that is being accepted and converted by the sales team into the pipeline or revenue?

Now we’re humming along. We’re aligned. We’re speaking the language. We’ve set our contribution revenue target based on industry standards. The “Rocky” theme song splits the air, and we’re on top of the world. Well, not quite yet. Now that we’ve taken a look at our plan from a top-down perspective, it’s time to reverse engineer the demand waterfall to determine if the revenue contribution target is realistic. By calculating the amount you need in sales all the way back to how many leads you’re going to have to source to reach that number, the bottom-up piece meets the top-down piece, and you can adjust your revenue contribution goal based on if you have the budget and resources to meet that number.

As you know, that number at Cisco is $1 billion worth of qualified leads in midmarket for partners this fiscal year. We’re here to help you position your business for success, and I’d love to hear your perspectives in the comments section or via twitter @sherriliebo.

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Marketing: A Revenue Generator

October 24, 2013 at 7:08 am PST

It’s an exhilarating time to be in marketing. Here at Cisco, we’re on the precipice of transforming marketing from what has often been seen as a cost center into a revenue generating center. And, we’re taking our partners with us on this journey.

By now, you’ve probably heard the term “revenue marketing.” It’s a somewhat new phrase, but its implications will change the face of marketing forever. In a nutshell, revenue marketing means that marketing strategies and campaigns align with sales and business objectives to generate a measurable ROI to the bottom line. Now that is pulling up a seat to the table.

There are some fascinating trends today contributing to this seachange. The business to business (B2B) buying behavior has changed, and roughly 70 percent of the B2B buying process happens before sales even makes contact with the customer. That digital buying journey data can be integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) for amazing insight and the ability to connect with our customers throughout their purchasing journey. Read More »

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