This post comes from Stacy Shrader, an intern with the collaboration marketing team and a rising senior at Virginia Tech with a dual degree in business management and public relations.

Innovation. Yes, a simple word, but one filled with ambiguity. Marketing leaders can attest that innovation has lost its true definition. It has become a buzzword that marketers sprinkle liberally throughout marketing content. But what about actual innovation in the way we do marketing?

Improving the way internal and external teams collaborate can take a marketing campaign to that next level. Collaboration solutions use technology to constantly innovate the way employees and customers communicate with each other.

Go Digital

The digital-age push has affected nearly every aspect of business with pressure to “turn digital.” For marketing, the pressure takes the driver seat. Digital marketing is now the main priority for CMOs. According to Huffington Post, 59% of marketing leaders say that traditional marketing roles limit their ability to engage with customers. As part of a marketing team, I rely on my face-to-face, real-time communication with my team. My team utilizes collaboration solutions, like Cisco Spark, to remain digital internally. Collaboration solutions can turn traditional marketing into digital.

San Jose State University (SJSU) is the number one supplier of education, engineering, computer science and business graduates to Silicon Valley. SJSU utilizes Cisco collaboration and video-conferencing solutions to provide virtual lectures and increase flexibility for its students. Its marketing outreach has improved significantly around the world by using collaboration technology to market to more than just the United States.

“Collaboration has enriched our program by opening the real world up to students. We’re providing a wealth of opportunities by breaking down geographical barriers to actual industry experience.”
—John Delacruz, Advertising Professor, San Jose State University

Generate Leads

Origami Logic and Brand Innovators reports that 63% of marketers say their top challenge is generating traffic and leads. Even the best companies struggle with creating new, fresh marketing plans. Producing that overnight viral campaign takes more than a good idea. I guess the cliché “it takes a village” holds true.

Constant communication is one factor that teams need to perform at top potential.

Cisco Spark encourages ongoing communication by providing messaging, video calls, and screen sharing – allowing people to work wherever they are and share ideas in a persistent team space. Those late-night team sessions at the office can now be history. By collaborating smarter, your nights can be full of relaxation instead of bad office snacks.

If you ask me, the most effective marketing departments generate new leads by simply remaining human. I don’t necessarily mean most marketing departments are run by aliens. (But who really knows for sure…) By human, I mean keep the idea of the customers’ emotions tied to the center of their mission. Collaboration solutions can connect marketers with customers with a more evident emotional relation. In comparison, phone calls are ambiguous and can’t supply the customer the experience of a video call.

Move toward Unification

Whether marketing will admit it or not, it relies on other departments to be successful. A business survives only if each unit is working together effectively. Clear communication is then essential to having a transparent company. However, it’s easy to create silos in a busy business world. Part of that is scheduling and part is culture.

For example, State of Inbound found that only 22% of organizations’ sales and marketing relationships are tightly aligned. These kinds of divides can sometimes be the reason a business succeeds or ultimately fails. In my opinion, collaboration technology can help close that gap between miscommunications in different silos. That last-minute meeting in an airport with the finance department is now just a click away.

CurSeq aims to revolutionize next-generation sequencing in oncology. Since so many of its employees are geographically distanced, it was difficult to withhold their brand to the same standard. With Cisco WebEx, communication on materials, such as presentations, has improved significantly and strengthened the company’s marketing voice.

“After all of the various platforms that I’ve interacted with, WebEx is definitely the most stable. That is really important when you’re trying to conduct a virtual meeting with critical clients and prospects around the world,” says Vikki Friedman, CureSeq’s global vice president of sales and marketing.


Find out more about how marketing teams can benefit from collaboration solutions.


Kim Austin

No Longer with Cisco