Recently, I got the opportunity to share time with a selection of Cisco Partners at the Marketing Velocity event in Amsterdam. As I was just two months into my new role as Director of Segment and Partner Marketing in EMEAR, this was just the sort of early opportunity I needed to help me get a feel for the channel marketing landscape. And, most importantly, to help me gauge how best Cisco Partner Marketing can help support our thousands of partners moving forward.

Joining me at the event was a whole host of interesting internal and external speakers, including VP of EMEAR Marketing Emma Roffey and VP of Global Partner Marketing Boon Lai. Probably one of the most valuable sessions were the one-on-one sessions with partner representatives. There couldn’t have been a better way for me to learn about the challenges our partners face and to kick start my own thought processes about how to help address them than by speaking with our partners face to face.

Attendees joined tailored breakout activities, including Advocacy and Customer Lifecycle, and I lead a Small Business Marketing session focused on why Small Business is Big Business for our partners and Distributors, discussing the opportunity it can bring them.

In his previous blog, Boon grabbed everyone’s attention with his take on how the future of marketing is already with us. He explored how tomorrow’s trends are already making a profound impact on Cisco customers and explained the necessity for our partner marketing teams to attain first-mover advantage in areas of progressive digital marketing.

On day two, Waheed Warden presented Fujitsu’s position on Account-Based Marketing. It was eye opening to learn how another corporation approaches their targeted campaign activities. No two businesses seem to implement ABM in the exact same fashion, even Cisco, so this generated good discussion in the room.

Shane Redding from Think Direct carried on the theme of customer centricity that was covered in the Advocacy session the day before. Shane took a deep dive into the importance of understanding drivers across B2B customer loyalty. Improving customer experience is absolutely critical to evaluating the success of a business and its go-to-market approach, including its marketing. As we, at Cisco, strive towards giving our customers the best all-around experience possible, a session like this that reiterates the importance of the customer experience piece can carry a lot of weight.

VP of Global Segments and Industry Marketing Jeremy Bevan drew the customer centricity piece into the sales and marketing alignment. Getting everyone internally to be on the same page can only mean a better end user experience, and this sort of thinking is scalable across partner organizations as well.

Making cohesive the way that we approach our customers via marketing activities is always top of mind for the team at Cisco. Gone are the days where lack of interactivity between tools and teams mean that a customer may be bombarded by non-complementary messaging and content. Sr. Director of Marketing Technology & Partner Digital Marketing Chad Reese tackled this issue head on, defining the ‘magic’ behind an omnichannel experience. He explored how a suitable tech stack can accelerate business outcomes through an aligned delivery of marketing content across multiple channels. It has been a primary focus for Cisco’s direct marketing and enabling partners to move towards omnichannel is a logical next step for our co-marketing initiatives.

The link between partners and Cisco has never been as important as we look to deliver digital transformation together, and this challenge is one of the many reasons I am looking forward to my new role and working towards an inspiring and collaborative FY20 with our partners.

Overall, it was a hugely productive program. And the good news? For our partners, it’s all available to watch again through our Marketing Velocity portal. There you’ll also find a wealth of learning materials and thought leadership to expand your skills help your business.

Please take a look at the replay, review the learning material and let me know what you think in the comments section below.


Faith Wheller

Director of Marketing, Global

Small Business