Cisco recently held its annual global sales and marketing conference, IMPACT, and our CEO Chuck Robbins reminded us why we’re all here. Our purpose is what sits at the heart of everything we do. When our executive leadership team outlined Cisco’s purpose to Empower An Inclusive Future For All a year ago, I don’t think anyone of us could have predicted how relevant that purpose would be today. 

FY20 has been an extremely difficult year for most of us, and change will continue to be the only constant in our personal and professional lives. What Chuck reminded us, though, was that if we stay close to our purpose, nothing can stop us from being successful and doing the right thing. 

Members of Cisco’s regional and global partner marketing teams during a dedicated “Global Full Circle Day” on September 9, 2020.  #ciscofullcircle #wearecisco

The purpose underlying Cisco technology is to connect the unconnected. Together with our partners, we have enabled customers and their communities to stay safely connected and transform in incredible ways in the blink of an eye. As marketers, it’s our responsibility to understand and capture what these connections really mean.  

Who was enabled by these connections? How has this technology helped empower our customers and their communities? By collating and sharing these stories, we help inspire potential customers to push past their own boundaries, to perform and transform into the future.  

Our prospects care about the intent behind a story. It helps them understand what type of company we are; the purpose that drives our team and most importantly, the impact our technology contributes to them. As marketers, we must capture the stories that inspire, add value and instill trust with them. Especially at a time like this, its an opportunity to share a typically untapped side of our companies that is different from the norm.   

Customers right now are looking to tightly align their business with brands who are doing the right thing. Brands who, of course, still need to sell but they’re also doing their part to give back.  

At Cisco this month, our entire Growth Marketing organization was invited to participate in a “Global Full Circle,” a dedicated day to give back in ways meaningful to each of our employees and the communities where they live. We often forget about the power of the multiplier effect – when we can put all our force and energy into doing something good with real greater impact. These types of opportunities show that companies are human, but more importantly, it allows our customers to get to know our sellers on a more personal level, beyond the sale. With constant change swirling around each of us these days, actions showing who we are at our core can help establish and build upon real human connection. 

Customers are human too. They are motivated to deliver great results where they work to continue to add value AND they want to team up with companies they trust that can help them achieve that goal. They want to know that we care about more than just the bottom line. Our value and purpose is as important as our innovation. And I’ll argue that without purpose, we will never be as efficient at arming our partners and sellers with primed leads. Because more and more, customers are researching online before they even contact your sales team. What will they find about you? 

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. 



Boon Lai

Vice President

Global Partner Marketing