Marketing is amazing. I mean those of us that do marketing for a living really do “live the dream.” Granted there are numerous meetings, funding challenges, deadlines, and the ever persistent stressors of moving targets and dates. But take a step back, and realize what’s happening.

A shift has occurred, a shift that is changing the way we talk to customers. We are witnessing a movement from the death grip of traditional marketing activities, to the growing approaches offered by digital marketing.

Michelle Chiantera, VP of Global Partner Marketing says it best, “Digital isn’t new, its NOW.” Throwing the gauntlet that to thrive in today’s marketplace you have to embrace digital. This was solidified with the event theme, “There’s Never Been a Better Time to Become a Digital Believer,” at this year’s Marketing Velocity 2017 event in Chicago.

Bringing It All Together

This year marked the 10th anniversary of the event, and it did not disappoint.


Not only did attendees get to hear from marketing executives like Karen Walker, CMO and Michelle, but something new was offered this year. Cisco’s business and sales leaders were also on hand sharing the value of bringing sales and marketing together. Chris Dedicoat, EVP Worldwide Sales, and Wendy Bahr, SVP Worldwide Partner Organization honed this message on the power that sales and marketing could have when coming together.

Chad Reese, Director Partner Marketing, also gave an incredible demo of Partner Marketing Central. He captured the audience’s attention with the capabilities of PMC and sharing the power of the enablement side of ENGAGE.

As if that wasn’t enough, power house speakers Peter Hinssen, Martin Lindholm and David “Shingy” Shing shared amazing points. Sure they brought big thinking, but more importantly they connected with the audience making them think through incredible storytelling and brilliant imagery. Don’t take my word for it, check out the recordings posted here.

Just the Tip of the Iceberg

The event offered so much more than powerful keynotes. Attendees had the opportunity to select from three of six hands-on workshops. That offered insights into Omichannel, Social Selling, Driving Engagement, Increasing Conversions, Analytics and Storytelling.

I bet you wish you were there. Well, have no fear. These workshops will be offered as On-The-Air Webcast sessions later in the year, you should probably register.

So what was new? Thanks for asking!

The introduction of bringing marketing partners closer to our tech stack and to each other. This year included Tech 30 sessions that got attendees closer to Cisco solutions from Security, Lifecycle Management, Enterprise Networking and Data Center/Cloud with a marketing slant. The 30-minute, TED Talk style information session made the content tangible and actionable.

Taking a page from Partner Summit, Ecosystem Exchange meetings were brought marketing partners together. The pre-scheduled meetings continued conversations from the Summit event. The goal is to keep the conversations moving forward as the results could bring some amazing solutions in the future.

The event also brought partners and Cisco executives together through dedicated meetings. While we live in a digital world, there is just something powerful about bringing people together in the same room.

And the Winner Is…

What event would be complete without an award ceremony? This one capped the first day’s activities by presenting partners with the Marketing Innovator Award.

Winners were recognized for bringing digital capabilities into their marketing mix. These partners are embracing the power of digital marketing to engage, entice and educate their customers in new and exciting ways.

Thank you Chicago!

Amidst the parties, the meetings, the food, Blues Brothers and the hilarity there were clear directives. Michelle wanted attendees to embrace digital and take what they learned back to their organizations. Have an understanding of how business strategies come together and Cisco’s committed to their success. And one of the biggest points is she wanted partners to leave inspired, and to Become Digital Believers.

I can’t wait to see what happens next year! See you in Barcelona.


Bryan Sherlock

Marketing Manager