In November 2021, Cisco’s Global Advocacy team hosted the first ever Cisco Global Advocate Awards event. We celebrated the top-performing customer and partner marketing advocates in Cisco’s advocacy communities across ten categories—putting the spotlight on the amazing work they continue to do for Cisco. We’re excited to bring you a special Gateway Triangle podcast series, where we get to know our Global Advocate Award winners and hear their stories!

Our first episode of this special series highlights Dave Hughes, Head of Marketing at Ideal and the 2021 winner for our Partner Advocate of the Year award. Dave’s outstanding participation in our partner marketing advocacy community, Marketing Velocity Voice, impressed our judges. Dave is one of our most involved members in the Marketing Velocity Voice community, sharing valuable insights about his marketing expertise and supporting partners. Our team was pleased to recognize Dave for his contributions. Dave was just as pleased:

“I was delighted to win the award. What it said to me was that the community doesn’t favor the bigger players. It’s a community of individuals and if you’re supportive and acknowledge others, the community gives that back. Being a marketer in a technology company can be lonely, so it’s nice that the community recognizes people like me who are doing good things, even though they may not make headlines in the industry.”


A lean team, and the value of a partner community

Dave leads a small but effective team over at Ideal. His company is behind some of the largest network constructions in the UK including Twickenham Stadium, home of the English National Rugby Team, and 22 Bishopsgate, the tallest building in London.

There are unique challenges when leading a team of only two people. Dave discussed how he must be selective and realistic in his efforts so that he can be as effective as possible. We asked him what his biggest challenge is, working on a small team. His response? Time. Dave explained he has to carefully consider what programs he wants to run.

“The greatest value of a program like Marketing Velocity Voice is that it helps signpost me to stuff that is relevant and helps me understand insights from people who might be from larger companies,” Dave said. “I don’t need to waste time searching around for the right content and resources.”

Dave said that historically, partner marketers have been focused on marketing communications and demand generation programs. However, he believes the role of brand is one of those things that’s under-discussed in the partner community and in the channel overall. He noted that he’ll be looking into how to leverage the brand of both Ideal and Cisco, moving forward.

Tune in next time for more from our Cisco Global Advocate Awards 2021 winners!


Watch more customer advocate interviews

You might enjoy this interview with our customer advocate, Pierce Vasale.


Join us!

For those Cisco customers who haven’t yet joined our  advocacy community, consider doing so. You’ll be able to:

  • Connect with peers in a gamified, online community
  • Have an opportunity to meet with Cisco’s executives
  • Share your feedback, questions, and best practices
  • Get access to ‘insider’ content and resources
  • Grow your professional and personal brand
  • Amplify your company’s success story with Cisco technology

Ready to get started? Head over to the community and say hello!


Nicholas D'Amato

Marketing Coordinator, Global Community Host

Global Advocacy Team