Cisco Blogs

Cisco Marketing Velocity Recap: Be Bold_write our story

- April 27, 2015 - 0 Comments


And away we go! We are here in Montreal, Canada this week for Cisco Marketing Velocity and Partner Summit 2015. It was great to see weeks of planning come to fruition at the kick off for Marketing Velocity.

Sherri Liebo, Vice President, Global Partner Marketing, welcomed everyone to Marketing Velocity and pointed out that all attendees will be part of Cisco Partner Summit for the remainder of the week. “Be Bold” is the theme for both events this year and integrating marketing professionals with the sales professionals throughout the week is a bold move that lets both teams experience the events together.

Who better to give you an idea of what Marketing Velocity was like than the folks who attended? Before we go any further, let’s take a look at what they had to say:

Sherri Liebo

Sherri pointed out that marketing is one of the last functions to be industrialized, but one of the first to be digitized. It’s an interesting thought, especially when you realize that 90 percent of customers initiate their sales transactions online now. In fact, Sherri continues by pointing out that:

  • Twitter generates twice as many leads into the sales pipeline
  • Social Media as a whole maintains a 100 percent higher lead to close ratio
  • Content marketing generates three times as many leads while costing 62 percent less

Sherri also urged everyone to stay focused on faster adaptation and shorter lead times. “In an always on, real-time marketing environment, the focal point for winning marketers is now. It’s not what am I doing tomorrow. It’s what am I going to do in the next hour,” she said.

Sherri wrapped her introduction by talking about no longer being able to totally control your branding and marketing. “The best brands out there are not the ones telling fictional tales about themselves and ‘selling’ that to the marketplace. The best ones are telling accurate stories about themselves and sharing the truth with the marketplace.” Sherri continued, “You have to make your story so compelling that it elevates urgency.”

Karen Walker

Karen Walker said she believed now is the most exciting time to be in marketing because there is so much change that puts us all at the center of working with customers and force us to be bold! She focused on the importance of the emotional connection with the customer.

Karen doesn’t really believe that being a pure business to business (B2B) marketer really exists any more. No matter what, now you are always marketing directly to a person; to a customer. Therefore you have to think about the overall experience from end to end and your experience must match up with what you’ve promised. You have to make your customers care, because, “When they care, they share!”

Gary Vaynerchuk

Guest speaker Gary Vaynerchuk was on hand for a presentation called State of the Union: Storytelling in a B2B World. Gary bounded onto the stage to announce he actually “grew up” in B2C marketing, but he’s more interested in B2B these days.

Gary referred to his approach as “marketing in the year you live in.” He sees where the market is going to go and he got ahead of it and took advantage before most everyone else did. Gary said that type of foresight is key, but all it really requires is being able to move away from “what got you there.” People tend to use the old marketing methods that always worked for them and that can hinder you.

According to Gary, marketers now have the opportunity to “be the story” instead of just renting mindshare. To do that, you need to listen to your customers and you need to engage them on what they really want to talk about, whether it’s about what you want to sell them or not. Gary believes platforms like Twitter are listening platforms and not speaking platforms. You can’t simply use social media as a content distribution platform. You have to set up the content to tell your story.

Jay Baer

After attendees broke for afternoon sessions, they returned to the main stage area where Sherri welcomed Jay Baer for his session, Youtility: Smart Marketing is About Help, not Hype

Jay pointed out one of the real difficulties facing marketers today: Namely the fragmentation of audience attention. In 1977 the number one show in the US was Happy Days. It garnered 31.5 percent of all viewers. As you fast forward a few decades through The Cosby Show, Seinfeld and American idol, you finally come to the Big Bang Theory, which was number one during the 2014 May Sweeps period. It pulled a 6.9 share, or less than 7 percent of all viewers. A number that most likely would have gotten it canceled in 1977 was number 1 in 2014 because audience attention is so fragmented.

According to Jay, your brand is constantly competing against other companies, friends, family, pets, etc. You need a message that is more interesting to someone than what’s typically on their Facebook feed. On top of that, those same customers are holding more and more power over how you are perceived. Jay said that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price as the key brand differentiator.

Jay used numerous examples of what constitutes Youtility, but the idea of it boils down to creating marketing that is so useful, people would pay for it if you asked them to, because there is an enormous difference between saying “I want that!” and saying “I’ll tolerate that.”

Jay wrapped up by saying there are three types of Youtility:

  1. Self-Serve Information – Customers are more curious than ever and want increasingly more information to make a decision
  2. Transparency and Humanity – The truth always comes out, so make sure you stay ahead of it and use it to your advantage
  3. Real-time Relevancy – If you make your content truly relevant, customers will make time for you

Jay’s blog is Convince & Convert, where you can read much more about his thoughts on marketing. I recommend giving it some additional attention to see what you think.

Marketing Velocity Award Winners

After Jay wrapped up, Sherri Liebo retook that stage with Karen and Bruce Klein, Senior Vice-President, Worldwide Partner Organization for this year’s Marketing Velocity Award Winners, listed here :

Global and Strategic Partners

  • Marketing Velocity Innovator of the Year – Telstra, for Storms of Collaboration
  • Digital and Social Marketer of the Year – Dimension Data, for Secrets and Strategies to Long-term Cost Savings on the Network
  • Revenue Marketer of the Year – NetApp, for FlexPod Unbound Cloud Campaign

Americas US

  • Revenue Marketer of the Year – Avnet, for T-Minus/Rebate Renewals
  • Digital and Social Marketer of the Year – TekLinks, for Tek is the New Black
  • Marketing Velocity Innovator of the Year – GDT, for SailHunter Platform

Americas Canada

  • Revenue Marketer of the Year – Insight Canada, for GO!/Echo Customer Strategy
  • Digital and Social Marketer of the Year – Allstream, for “Follow? Or Transform!” Hosted Collaboration Solution campaign
  • Marketing Velocity Innovator of the Year – Sungard Availability Services, for Storm the Canadian Cloud

Americas Latam

  • Revenue Marketer of the Year – Comstor Mexico, for BYOD Direct Marketing Campaign


  • Revenue Marketer of the Year – Optus Business, for Integrated revenue marketing program for ucaas and ccaas
  • Revenue Marketer of the Year – Velocis Systems PVT LTD, for Cisco Security Solutions –On-Line Demand Generation Campaign
  • Marketing Velocity Innovator of the Year – Amcom PTY LTD, for Higher Education & Research (HE&R) Program
  • Digital and Social Marketer of the Year – Beijing Xiaotong Networking Technology Company Ltd, for Collaboration Themed Campaign


  • Revenue Marketer of the Year – ACP IT Solutions GmbH, for From cost center to revenue marketing –
  • It’s easy to do business with Cisco
  • Revenue Marketer of the Year – Comstor UK, for Comstor Security Assessment: Prove the Future
  • Revenue Marketer of the Year – Comstor Middle East, for Comstor’s MaaS (Marketing as a Service)
  • Marketing Velocity Innovator of the Year – Logicalis, for The Everywhere Generation
  • Marketing Velocity Innovator of the Year – Axians, for Bring IT To The Cloud

Follow Our Marketing Velocity and Partner Social Ambassadors         

Our 2015 Cisco Social Ambassadors are sharing their impressions throughout Marketing Velocity and Partner Summit. Check out the list below to see the latest news from our social ambassadors.

Social Conversations

Here’s a look at some of what’s buzzing on Twitter today. Remember to tag everything #mktgvelocity from today’s event!

  • @johnfago

    David Powell of TekLinks poses for a selfie onstage with Sherri Liebo, Karen Walker and Bruce Klein.

    – Thank you to Cisco for the extra focus on Marketing success through #mktgvelocity. Great insights, great connections, great value in time.

For a full look at the social conversation, check out the Social Media Dashboard!


Sherri and Bruce then wrapped up the day by encouraging all the Velocity attendees to take advantage of being at Partner Summit for the rest of the week. We certainly hope you’ll follow our recaps in this space as well. Here’s to a great week!

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.