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Taking Part – What Being a Part of L2012 Means for Cisco

Inspiration is a word we often see used in the media, news and corporate life.  If I remember my school Latin lessons correctly it literally means ‘breathing in’, that great sense of readiness we get when we take in a deep breath and pause, just for a second, before we apply ourselves with vigor and passion to some project or task. We can be inspired or inspire others and with our sponsorship of London 2012 I feel it and believe we are doing it to others.

In less than 200 days, the greatest show on earth comes to my country’s capital, London. It’s never happened before in my lifetime and in spite of longer life expectancies, it is probably never going to happen again. Which means not only do I want to savour every moment, share it with my family and friends but I also want to leave a permanent mark in terms of Cisco’s involvement. When the sound of the closing ceremony to the Paralympics is but a memory in the Olympic Park, I want Cisco’s investment in the Games to be inspiring future generations of athletes, students, entrepreneurs, business people and ordinary members of our community…both in the UK and the furthest reaches of our planet.

As a marketer, sponsoring a global event such as London 2012 is incredibly exciting and at the same time a major challenge. With so many other sponsors and the general media noise that builds up around the Games, how do you create a marketing strategy that has depth and stands out?

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The Right ‘Rights’ – Lessons from the Cisco London 2012 Olympics Sponsorship

Correctly conceived and creatively executed sponsorship is a powerful marketing tool.  Why else would the Fortune 500, along with millions of other businesses big and small, invest precious marketing dollars in the discipline?  As mentioned in my previous blog post, the first step in successful sponsorship is having clear objectives, whether those are aimed at brand building, commercial gain or stakeholder engagement.  Clearly articulated SMART objectives are a pre-requisite for achieving the second most important aspect of successful sponsorship – securing the right ‘rights’. Read More »

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Google Places is the Place for You

We’re all familiar with Google Search. Most of us use it every day to find information and data to help us with our jobs and make our daily easier or perhaps, just more entertaining. However, Google is not only a search engine. It also has a range of tools that provide marketers with social networking and content creation opportunities. Google Places is one of these lesser known tools, but used correctly, it can help your business get found on local search results on both Google Search and Google Maps. In fact, you’ve probably unknowingly used it yourself to find a local restaurant or handyman. So, what exactly us Google Places and why is it important?

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Sponsorship – Past Its ‘Sell By’ Date?

In the good old days last century, global sponsorship was the preserve of a select number of companies.  Only a handful of sponsorship properties could be considered to have global reach (The Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, Formula One Racing).  A similarly small number of brands were big enough to pay the premium for gaining mass market brand exposure at a fraction of the cost of a global advertising campaign.

But technology has changed all that.  Exponential growth in computing power, the internet and mobile has created a new environment.  Brands are now able to reach customers with individual conversations pretty much anywhere in the world.

So why is it that brands continue to invest sometimes seemingly ridiculous sums in sponsorship platforms?  The Rugby World Cup is currently enjoying the patronage of Mastercard, Heineken and DHL, amongst others, even though it is being hosted in a time zone that makes for late nights or early starts for the majority of rugby playing nations. 

Next summer sees the ultimate sponsorfest in London with the Olympic and Paralympic Games  coming to town.  The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) recently announced it had achieved revenues of over £700m ( that’s over 1 billion US Dollars) from its domestic sponsor programme. At a quoted £40-80 million for a Tier 1 sponsor, and something in the region of £15-25m for a Tier 2, which must then be at least doubled cover sponsorship activation, what is motivating brands to make these sorts of investments when more direct, cheaper conversations are possible?

The answer lies in objectives.  Read More »

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Seven Important Takeaways from the 2011 MarketingSherpa B2B Summit

Last week, I attended  the MarketingSherpa B2B Summit in Boston. The line-up of speakers was fabulous including Jay Baer, Kristin Zhivago and numerous experts from MECLABS; all of them providing fascinating information on how to optimize the B2B lead generation funnel.  Here are a few things that resonated with me:

The biggest challenges for B2B marketers are 1) generating high-quality sales leads, 2) providing a sufficient volume of leads to sales, and 3) accommodating lengthening sales cycles. No real surprise there. I’m sure all of us experience these challenges.

What is surprising is that B2B marketers don’t appear to be adapting new marketing practices that can help to address these challenges. According to research from MarketingSherpa, 61% of marketers send all leads directly to sales but only 27% of these leads are actually qualified.  68% of marketers have not identified a sales funnel, 79% are not scoring their leads and 65% have no nurturing campaigns in place.  Clearly, there is an opportunity for us to address  the premature handoff of leads to sales,  identify and articulate a lead funnel  that we can support with marketing , and begin to develop lead scoring and nurturing processes. 

The value proposition is the essence of marketing.  Your value proposition should address two key questions: What does your company do? and Why should a buyer that meets your ideal customer profile buy from you and not one of your competitors?  It’s important to include at least one key differentiator in your value proposition that identifies what makes your solution or service unique and better than your competition.

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