Last week, I was at Cisco Live in Orlando, Florida where I experienced first-hand the magnitude of opportunity and marketing value that lies in interacting with the customer.

This year’s Cisco Live theme is “What You Make Possible,” and this relates well to today’s B2B marketers and their customers. The message that resonates with customers today is not what “we the company” do, but how we help our customers succeed and thrive long term. As marketers, this means exercising foresight on our customers’ behalf, as well as advocating near-term solutions to help drive their success.

As a marketer, implementing these B2B best practices is the best way to enhance this focus on customers:

  • Conversation not collateral: It’s not about pushing content out, but having a mutual dialogue with your customer
  • Engagement before marriage: You won’t always catch customers early in the sales cycle, but can often find those in transition, providing an opportunity for influence and direction
  • Earn respect literally: Develop a mindset of being a revenue marketing center of excellence, where accountable, measured marketing practices equal success
  • It’s the company you keep: Put the customer at the center of your strategy and work hand-in-hand across your company’s functions to reach them positively

Rather than talking about speeds and feeds, when you focus on the customer and their business challenges, as well as market trends, you ignite imagination and drive the conversation. That was the magic I saw taking place at Cisco Live, where the customer is king.

If you missed any of the action from last week, check out Cisco Live 365 to view some of the key activities. I’d love to hear about your Cisco Live experience and how Cisco can help you reach your business objectives. Let’s continue the conversation on Twitter; follow me @MarieHattar.