Just like our Cisco marketing teams, I know our partner marketers have been working around the clock to help our customers and support their sales teams. You’ve had to adjust marketing plans and evolve the way you communicate with customers and prospects. All with the goal to deliver the best solution for our customers and our communities.
You might have seen Oliver Tuszik’s recent blog about navigating the new normal as a Cisco partner – what we see happening now, and what we expect to happen with the business climate as we move forward. If you missed that blog, I highly recommend you check it out! There is great insight into the stages of reaction and recovery in the business world, and our blog today will build on how marketing will echo those phases.
Even though many of us have taken crisis management courses at some point in our careers, or learned those skills by trial and error, these past few months have challenged even the most senior marketing professionals. We’ve learned some quick and hard lessons in maintaining effective marketing with partners. I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences in marketing to your customers. This has been tough, but I truly believe the past few months have better positioned how we manage crises moving forward.
Today, I want to share some personal thoughts about how we’re looking at the next phases of marketing:
1. Ensure your messaging, including your website and newsletters, reflects empathy and understanding. Your messaging must evolve to reflect the current state in which your customers and prospects are operating. Proactively address the top questions your accounts have been asking about (i.e. product demos, delivery times). Focus and simplify the user experience to remove the stress of how your customers can find information.
2. Spend time with your sales teams to listen and understand what they’re hearing in the field. We must reimagine and evolve our standard marketing efforts to be responsive to the new needs of our customers. How we adapt will come from keeping our ears to the ground and staying tightly aligned with our sales teams.
3. Identify, collect and share success stories of ways your organization has positively contributed to helping your customers or their communities. Ask your sellers about the transformational outcomes they’ve been able to achieve by supporting customers during this time. These stories will be most relevant to creating a solid pipeline and help you market your edge.
4. Leverage Cisco marketing resources in Marketing Velocity Learning and co-brandable campaigns in Marketing Velocity Central. We’ve converted several of our current offers into ready-made campaign materials that you can plug and play. And we recently released a virtual event e-book that walks you through best practices to execute an engaging event experience.
The main thing to remember is, your Cisco marketing team is always here to support you. Our commitment to our partners has not waivered. We will continue to share best practices, new marketing enablement opportunities and easier ways to go to market with relevant offers.
I’ve love to hear in the comments below how you’ve had to adapt your marketing practices during this time. And, if there are additional specific ways we can support you, please let us know.
Please stay connected, and in touch.