From working remotely, to countless video calls, to completely shifting our approach to customers and events, we’ve all had to prove our agility as marketers this year. You’ve probably seen Boon Lai talking about this very thing in his latest blog series that just kicked off in November.

On December 1st, I hosted our second Marketing Velocity broadcast event, featuring Cisco executives and our special guest, web marketing guru Marcus Sheridan. In addition to discussing how Cisco’s marketing strategy and priorities have become more flexible through the pandemic and into the future, we also looked at the importance of agility, particularly in a year like the one we faced.

We’ve wrapped up the key highlights from the event below. And if you missed it, watch the Marketing Velocity replay.

Our adapted growth marketing strategy & priorities

As the pandemic persists, we have gained more clarity on what our customers need to drive business and make an impact in this new normal.

In an update on Cisco’s growth marketing strategy and priorities, Michelle Chiantera, VP of Americas Growth Marketing & Global Segments & Industries at Cisco, identified fundamental areas that we need to understand to help our customers build business resiliency and transition into the future of work. These include reimagining applications, securing data, transforming infrastructure, and empowering teams. 

Embracing Virtual – from video, to “choose your own path,” to purchase

How do you evolve your digital sales and marketing to meet the demands of today’s buyer? According to Marcus Sheridan, the answer is to go virtual with your sales and marketing teams. The key to transitioning to virtual is to make sure your sales and marketing teams are integrated, producing an engaging, user-friendly, and flexible virtual experience that meets the buyer’s needs every step of the way.

One way to make your virtual experience more engaging is to rely on video. Video has never been more important and opportune than it is right now in building relationships. Up to 70 per cent of sales close with the first company that has a conversation with the prospect. Through video, conversations can happen faster than ever. Whether it is a video call or an informational clip about your product, the more that the buyer sees you, the more you can grow your relationship.

There are many tools that make video editing simple. At Cisco, we use OneMob, a tool that allows you to develop videos that are personalized, professional, and engaging. You can purchase OneMob directly from Cisco’s Marketing Velocity Central Marketplace.

“Video email is much more personal and impactful than text, it brings my personality to work in ways text can’t.”
—Client Freeman, Regional Sales Manager at Cisco 

Many organizations are not in tune with what today’s buyer wants from a virtual experience. It may come as a surprise that 33 per cent of buyers would prefer to have a seller-free sales experience. Sheridan advises that engaging with your prospect without a seller can be as simple as the beloved “Choose Your Own Adventure” children’s books. This method puts users in control and completely personalizes the buyer’s virtual experience.

Three main types of categories fall within the choose your own adventure method.

  • Self-Scheduling: This method allows buyers to schedule time with the sales team, or another contact in your business, without having to talk to someone first, letting the buyer select the option that works best for them. Scheduling tools, such as Acuity, can assist in implementing the self-scheduling method.
  • Self-Selection: Through forms and questions, this method ultimately follows the process of offering your buyer a solution based on a simple questionnaire. This would be the same solution your sales team would offer but enables the buyer to choose what would work best for themselves. Outgrow offers surveys, quizzes, and recommendations through a web-based tool that enhances the self-selection method.
  • Self-Pricing: Self pricing allows buyers to discover a solution that works best for their budget. Following the same process of self-selection, self-pricing enables the buyer to price their needs based on the information they provide. Outgrow also offers calculators and pricing recommendations based on your buyer’s budgets.

Are you implementing any of these methods into your company’s current virtual experience? Complete the Americas Marketing Velocity survey for your chance to win one of 25 copies of Marcus Sheridan’s new book, The Visual Sale.

Continuing to support our partners

As customers’ needs and markets continue to change, we’re continuing to evolve our tools and simplify processes. We updated our Marketing Velocity framework to bring what was originally four pillars down to only two – Marketing Velocity Learning and Marketing Velocity Demand. Not only does this make it easier for us to provide new information and Marketing Velocity components, it’s also easier for you to find and use them.

We also announced a new pilot for Marketing , a platform that will allow marketers to connect, inspire, and share best practices. We are looking forward to sharing more details about it in the new year.

As we have seen throughout the pandemic, agility is a new skill for marketers to embrace. With Marketing Velocity from Cisco, we can move forward into this new normal together, achieving new levels of business agility and resilience.

Watch the full Marketing Velocity Broadcast webinar.



Daniel Sullivan

Director, Global Campaign & Audience Strategy

Global Marketing