What’s “Old” May Be Key to New Recurring Revenue Opportunities

We have welcomed in a new year, which means it’s time to reflect and make some resolutions, but have you ever noticed how we tend to keep making the same ones each year? Sometimes the changes we seek are so dramatic that they have a slim chance at long term success.

In my mind, it’s the small incremental changes that have a bigger chance of providing long-term positive impacts. And this is true of all things, whether it’s related to people or businesses.

For example, have you noticed that when something isn’t working and sales are down, the response tends to gravitate toward ‘hire new sales staff’ or ‘buy better analytics technology’. However, this isn’t always the right strategy because there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to generate the desired results with new technologies and talent if you’re unable to maximize the potential of your current ones.

Marketing strategies are no different, and while implementing fresh approaches to get the brand across to new audiences, it is also a good idea to leverage, refine and hone-in on existing approaches to retain customers while deepening their loyalty and trust. This leads to what some refer to as “building resilience,” which in simpler terms means the impact of a brand through customer success (interesting to say the least – stay tuned as I will dive into this one in the coming months). Our goal is to deepen the loyalty and trust of our brand with our customers, which leads to growing your recurring revenue. But where should you start?

  1. Let data be your engine, and you the driver

In today’s post-digital world, marketers need to focus on people versus clicks. Historically, success was measured based on the number of likes, shares or retweets, however, as measurement techniques become more sophisticated, success metrics have also evolved to be more closely tied to sales conversions.

In order to achieve this, digital marketers have had to come up with better ways of targeting and connecting with their audiences. Sounds challenging, but by pushing ourselves to do more with the data we have, we can develop more impactful insights to drive enhanced engagement and revenue from existing partners as well as new ones.

Thriving in the post-digital world and competing in today’s engagement economy will require a mix of creativity, data science, psychology and visual arts. As one of my peers, Mark Phibbs VP of marketing and communications for APJ talks about in his recent article, “One of the things that I have been doing since I came onboard, is that I do not talk about digital marketing, I talk about marketing in a digital world because everyone is a digital marketer.” The post-digital world is re-inventing everything we do. We’re all digital marketers and we must keep that in mind as we engage with our customers. As I’ve said before, it’s about delivering your brand message by engaging with customers at the right moment at the right time and with the right content.

This is what we call connecting through emotional intelligence. As some say, data-driven storytelling is now an essential skill for today’s digital marketer, and I agree. We must be able to see the data, make it relevant for that right customer, tell the story at the right time and with the right material. That’s the winning formula. Whether you are just learning how to be a data-driven story teller or if you have some practice, we all need the insights to do so.

A system capable of taking the data and providing insights is foundational to expanding your team’s capabilities when it comes to creating compelling customized content and knowing when to best target prospects. Today’s digital marketing system is not yet built to harness the complexities of human nature. This means that if we don’t apply the human element to personalize engaging messages, then customers are reduced to “targets,” leading to disinterest from customers and ultimately a decline in sales.

So, what does that mean for the future of the data scientist? Will they evolve into “data anthropologists”? Maybe, but for now, our internal sales and marketing teams need to collaborate as a borderless business to collectively behave like a futuristic data system.

  1. Take advantage of existing data

Just like you, we’re embracing the post-digital world and looking for new ways to refresh our strategies. What’s great is that we already have an analytics tool in place that can be foundational for upcoming marketing strategies.

Cisco has a full analytics suite available through Partner Marketing Central called Cisco’s Shared Analytics. This suite records customers’ Cisco.com presales traffic, action on partner websites and engagements through different campaigns activated through the platform. Through a simple code, partners can identify and capture data such as the prospect’s name, interests and engagement timeline based on clicks from email campaigns sent through PMC or completes.

The best part? This service is free to Cisco partners!

They say “don’t look back” but it’s only by understanding the past that we can truly plan for the future. Similarly, it is only by looking back at the relationships you’ve created and teams you’ve built that you will be able to reveal some meaningful opportunities for the future.