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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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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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Why Are We Reinventing Our Marketing Function?


  Reena Tiwari


Our customers’ expectations and buying behaviors are changing, and more brands compete for their attention. We either need to reinvent our approach to marketing or risk losing business to our competitors.

The big change in buying behavior is that most of us now research a product online before we ever meet with a salesperson. This is true whether we’re looking to buy a washing machine or IT infrastructure.
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Smarketing: A Sales & Marketing Love Story

Once upon a time, sales and marketing were in love

True, Marketing wanted a long-term relationship and Sales only wanted a one-night stand, but it was clear where everyone stood.

Then, the relationship began to change

With the advent of digital and social tools, buyers – not sellers – stepped into the driver’s seat.  They began using online means to conduct ROI analyses before making final purchasing decisions.  Today, according to Sirius Decisions, buyers are more informed than ever because they’ve got access to online content as well as an extensive online peer network.  And, according to a recent DemandGen Buyer Behaviour report, almost half of buyers create a short-list of potential vendors and one- third conduct initial research on solution options before the first communication with a sales rep.

Marketing started to use tactics that buyers, not Sales, preferred

Marketing started to change too.  As Cisco’s CMO Karen Walker has said, “Marketing was the last function to be industrialised and the first function to be digitised.” With the buyer in control, Marketers started moving away from outbound tactics like tradeshows, live events, and email campaigns that Sales was used to.  We started using digital tactics that matched the buyers’ desire to look for information online using search engines, vendor websites, and social media sites. But neither Sales nor Marketing was happy.  Things got so bad that Hubspot reported:  “87% of the terms sales and marketing teams use to describe each other are negative.”

Enter Revenue Marketing

Like a good marriage counsellor, Revenue Marketing helped Sales and Marketing rekindle their relationship.  In a nutshell, Revenue Marketing ensures that Marketing strategies and campaigns align with Sales and business objectives to generate a measurable ROI to the bottom line.  Using Revenue Marketing principles, Marketing started to transform from a cost centre to a revenue centre. Marketing and Sales began to work in partnership again. And they began speaking the same language – using terms of endearment like planning, forecasts, pipeline, bookings, and revenue.

Back on track:  Smarketing

Today, the romance between Sales and Marketing is back on.  And, like all happy couples, they’re using a pet name:  Smarketing.  Hubspot defines the term Smarketing as “the alignment between your sales and marketing teams created through frequent and direct communication.” We’ve embraced the term and the concept here at Cisco, and here are four lessons learned to strengthen the relationship between sales and marketing.

4 Tips For Smarketing bliss

 1. Speak a common language

It’s important to be on the same page. For example, here at Cisco, Sales and Marketing both know exactly what we mean by terms such as Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL), Sales Accepted Leads (SAL), and Sales Qualified Leads (SQL).

2. Gaze in the same direction

Marketing and Sales must also share revenue goals and strategies.  We have defined how much Marketing will contribute to Sales  – both to the pipeline and to bookings.  We have also articulated what each team will do to support the others’ efforts.

3. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Once you’re on the same page, tune your operational systems to give visibility into results – and refine your processes continually.  At Cisco, Sales and Marketing use common reporting dashboards and hold each other accountable.  Both teams listen and respond to feedback.

 4. Celebrate success hand-in-hand

Now that Marketing can concretely prove its value, both teams can celebrate together. This builds strong team morale.

Smarketing may be a cute term but it has very real ramifications.  In fact, according to a study done by the Aberdeen Group, companies with strong sales and marketing alignment can get 20% annual revenue growth.  Now that’s worth celebrating.

So please raise a glass and join me in congratulating the happy couple.  To….Smarketing!

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Cloud 101 – Demystifying the Cloud

It’s not really a secret – video is hot and trending, both as a marketing tool and new, modern communication medium. Just check out the facts:

  • 93% of marketers use video for marketing activities
  • Video is the top 3 most effective social media tactic
  • Using “video” in your email subject line will increase open rates by 19% and click throughs by 65%

That’s pretty compelling right?

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