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Marketing: A Revenue Generator

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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Three Flavors of CMX Analytics: Onsite, Online & Social

Big data seems to be everywhere these days. Everywhere you look there are new companies and technologies that promise to crunch up enormous databases and instantly extract from them knowledge and understanding.  Although that sounds impressive, it raises the question – how can that help me and my business? How does fitting an N degree polynomial to a CRM database help me grow my business?

At Cisco, we’ve taken a very practical approach to big data. We started by asking our customers: what do they want to know? What information would help our customers’ better manage their sites, optimize their operations and grow their business? We took those questions and built Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) Analytics around them.

iStock retailWouldn’t a store manager want to know how many of his customers were new? Did that new marketing campaign launched last month really drive new visitors to the store? Or another example, let’s say the layout of the store was just changed, wouldn’t the manager want to know if it was effective? Did people spend more time in the store? How about better understanding your customer base?  Which web sites do my visitors visits? And of course retail isn’t the only segment that would like to know things. Wouldn’t an airport want to know how long people wait in the security line? Would a train station like to know how long before the train leaves people come into store?

Cisco’s CMX Analytics takes anonymous device location data gathered by the Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE), and leverages that data to provide clear, concise and relevant information.  In order to make the data easier to visualize, we have recently enhanced our user interface adding many features that help users immediately and intuitively grasp the data.  Our new dashboard enables every user to customize the views they wish to see and prioritize which data is meaningful to them. Our new Path engine enables customers to visualize how many people walk through the different paths in their venue. Our new reports can tell our customers everything from how many people are using their Wi-Fi to which floor people spend the most time in.  These are just a few examples of the many innovations pouring into out CMX Analytics platform. Read More »

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5 Steps to Success: Encouraging Employee Social Media Engagement

Aristotle was spot on when he said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This holds true when we look at the benefits of employee engagement in the socialsphere. Why not leverage your organization’s built-in social media army to evangelize the brand? Encouraging employee engagement across social channels on behalf of the brand seems to be a hot topic in social media these days.

Fast Company recently published how Cisco employees are contributing to the brand in their article, The Social Employee: The Secret Sauce that Cisco, Southwest Airlines and Adobe Use to Win.

Now the question is what are the steps for successfully encouraging employees to participate on behalf of a brand? In a recent Let’s Chat #Ciscosmt Twitter Chat we heard from Cisco’s Petra Neiger (@Petra1400) and Salesforce.com’s Jennifer Burnham (@JennyDBurnham), on ways to engage employees. In addition to their insightful tips, here’s my take on 5 steps to successfully encouraging employees to participate in the socialsphere:

Step 1: Training

  • It all starts here. Educate your employees with social media best practices, checklists, playbooks, toolkits, etc. Help your employees feel comfortable using social media on behalf of your brand. Interested in social media training? Check out our complimentary Cisco Social Media Training Program and follow the #ciscosmt hashtag. To request customized one-on-one team training sessions, email ciscosmtraining@external.cisco.com

Cisco Social Media Training Program Opportunity:

Step 2: Stretch Assignments

Once your employees have participated in training and are comfortable using social media best practices, create opportunities for their participation across multiple social channels. Leverage the masses to assist with social media campaigns, launches, events, etc. Even if social media is not their main role within your organization, develop these assignments as a great way to increase your program’s reach in addition to allowing employees to test out their new skill sets.

Step 3: Recognitions

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What motivates your employees? Is it a milestone badge, management recognition, or perhaps a prize of some sort? Knowing this will help you to motivate additional employee participation. Along the way, create incentive programs to entice your employees to participate. Adding an element of gamification and rewarding beneficial behaviors can go a long way.

Read More »

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Marketing: Trading in Fluff for Buff

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”

– Coco Chanel  

 I love that quote by fashion maven Coco Chanel. In today’s B2B marketing world, challenges can’t be addressed using outdated marketing tactics – hoping they will magically open new opportunities along with new revenue and ROI.

Growing trends in customer buying behavior and the technology used to make purchases are driving major changes for the role of marketing. As marketers, this gives us a fantastic opportunity. We can transform from what has sometimes been seen as simply “fluff” (and what many sales executives see as a cost center) into a revenue-generating center. Read More »

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Internet of Everything – $Billions of Value to Partners

I’ve been having great conversations with our partners about the Internet of Everything (IoE), especially since Partner Summit. The biggest takeaway is that IoE is not a new solution or new market; it truly is much bigger than that. IoE is a complete market shift that will touch the lives of each and every one of us.

And because the IoE value is so great, as in $1.2 billion this year alone, we are committed to enabling our partners to make the most of these opportunities. Here is what we’ve tackled so far to help you capture the IoE value:

  • We’ve invested more than $5 billion in research, development, and acquisitions to accelerate the IoE, making the opportunity a reality today;
  • We’re raising awareness of the value at stake and of new technologies, getting your customers excited about the prospect of a more connected, intelligent future; and
  • We’re enabling you with content and marketing assets to start stimulating customer appetite for transitioning IoE ideas into sales conversations and tangible projects. Read More »

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