There’s something in the air here in Cannes. Call it a buzz, call it anticipation, or call it a glimpse into the future of marketing.
This week, I’ve been meeting with more than 200 partner marketing executives at Cisco’s annual Marketing Velocity event. The conversation here is very much about our profession being at a massive inflection point – one where we can completely change the face of marketing and where it’s going.
What will change marketing’s role at the business table is the concept of revenue marketing – marketing as a true, accountable partner with the sales organization with the goal of driving growth. That means not only creating demand, but also accelerating the time to revenue. It means not only producing events that customers love, but also tracking how the event moved them along in their buying process.
Watch this video as I share my key takeaways for Cisco partners on revenue marketing.
It’s been a great week at Cisco Marketing Velocity in Cannes, and we hope you’ve been following all the action on the @partnervelocity and @cisco_channels Twitter handles, as well as here.
During the event, we celebrated Cisco’s Best Integrated Marketing Campaign awards, recognizing some of the most successful marketing campaigns delivered by Cisco partners all over the world. Each winner was judged by region and evaluated based on utilization of Cisco resources, creativity and innovation, business impact, and overall alignment to Cisco, including technology and architecture messaging.
Please join me in congratulating the 19 winners, pictured below with Cisco’s top channel executives.
It’s a complex world of ecosystem partnerships out there, and it’s important to remember that while technology providers such as Cisco and Microsoft compete in areas such as collaboration and unified communications, they’re also tightly aligned in areas such as data center, where there’s a huge opportunity for Cisco and Microsoft partners to take joint solutions to market.
Cisco and Microsoft took another step in that alignment last week, thanks not only to the integration of Cisco Unified Data Center architecture with Microsoft Fast Track solutions, but also joint marketing and other activities to enable partners that sell both companies’ data center technologies.
The integration itself is a compelling one. Microsoft customers, for example, will be able to have programmatic access to the Cisco Unified Computing System, which gives them a lot more insight and control into how their Cisco Unified Data Center assets work in concert with Windows server and application software. (Here are some more of the details, including specifics on Cisco Nexus 1000V and Cisco UCS.)
Cisco Marketing Velocity is an event like no other. It was launched with the idea of being an exclusive and unique event, targeting Cisco partners interested in innovative marketing techniques. Over the last few years, it’s become so much more as top partner executives increasingly see the value of top-flight marketing and engagement as part of their value proposition to customers.
There will always be healthy debate about the best techniques, tips and tricks – especially with how technology is changing the way we communicate. But strong marketing and even stronger customer engagement wins business, builds your brand, and keeps you connected in a world where customers don’t lack for information. You need to do everything you can to stay ahead of paradigm shifts and new competition for your business.
Next week’s Marketing Velocity, which officially kicks off in Cannes, France, on Tuesday, is the seventh such event hosted by Cisco, and we’re very excited to welcome over 200 partners representing 44 countries where Cisco does business.
By the year 2015, connected mobile devices will overtake desktop usage and Wi-Fi access traffic will surpass wired access traffic. From 2012 to 2017, mobile data will grow 13-fold. Looking at statistics like these, it’s clear that mobility isn’t just another trend or hot topic – it’s a fundamental transformation of how businesses and their employees access information and accomplish work. And it’s creating more opportunities for Cisco partners to engage with customers than ever before.
But the mobility opportunity is more than just a discussion of one or two technologies. A true mobility conversation includes examining your customers’ mobile workforce strategies and taking a solutions-based approach to increasing worker productivity.