September was an exciting month as APJC Cisco’s Growth Marketing team won two accolades at Forrester’s B2B Summit APAC 2021!
The first was the Programme of the Year award, recognizing outstanding achievement in a particular area of sales, marketing, or product functions, based on the successful implementation of Forrester’s research, frameworks, and best practices. Mark Phibbs, Cisco’s Vice President, Global Insights & Analytics and APJC Marketing, shared with summit participants how the marketing function can lead by leveraging the insights gained through analytics.
Cisco also took honors in the Return on Integration category, which recognizes organizations that have improved their performance through exemplary sales, marketing, and product alignment. Michiko Kamata, Managing Director APJC Small Business Growth Office, and I described to summit participants how we have reimagined sales and marketing for small businesses.
We are proud to share these examples with partner marketers to showcase how marketing can be a force multiplier and a key strategic partner to sales. As companies continue to focus on the growth rebound post-pandemic, businesses need to rethink and transform their marketing strategies.
The Rise of the Data-Driven Marketer
According to Forrester analysts who spoke at the recent B2B summit, the pandemic has caused significant changes in the B2B buying process. With longer buying cycles and more stakeholders and interactions involved in the process, the added complexity makes it difficult for marketers to get a holistic view of their customer data and campaign performance. This is where the power of analytics comes in, providing businesses with the tools and insights they need to make more informed decisions.
For example, Cisco recently rolled out the Customer Lens for Actionable Insights and Recommendations (CLaiR) platform, which provides Cisco sellers with AI-driven recommendations for interacting with each account based on information such as the account’s wallet and propensity to buy. The recommended next action could be as prescriptive as approaching the account with a white paper on security concerns. We are pleased to note that this will be eventually rolled out to our partners.
Recognizing the importance of data-driven planning, our Marketing Velocity Activate program is also designed to provide partners with intent-based insights for co-marketing campaigns, to engage customers and drive demand.
For a start, you can tap on learning assets via the Marketing Velocity Learning site to explore how you can leverage enterprise analytics to turn data into action. Show your team that marketing can supply data to sales like never before.
The Future is Hybrid
As mentioned in my previous blog, businesses have gravitated to a much stronger reliance on virtual interactions through these challenging times. Cisco held the first all-digital version of the annual Partner Summit last year, and that provided many more opportunities to engage with new and existing customers than would have been possible during and after an in-person event. In the pivot to provide partners with support, we’ve created the Going Virtual ebook to guide you as you continue to expand the use of virtual tools such as online webinars.
We often hear that the future is hybrid. As recovery continues and we return to some level of normality, the hybrid event model will evolve. Marketers must rethink the best approach for events. For example, how can you keep both live and online audiences engaged with a limited budget and resources? As webinar fatigue grows, think about how you can continue to deliver compelling content and exceptional experiences for audiences.
Reimagine Sales and Marketing to Deliver Greater Customer Value
In such unprecedented times as these, it becomes even more important to unify our sales and marketing teams to achieve mutual goals and business outcomes. To do this, these teams should have regular ongoing discussions and ensure they are aligned on things such as buyer personas and what defines a qualified lead. For instance, intimate customer knowledge from sales will help marketing teams to better understand personas, craft go-to-market strategies, prioritize marketing activities, and create relevant content and messaging.
When sales and marketing teams work in unison, it is amazing what we can achieve. Tune in to the marketing session at our upcoming Partner Summit as Luxy Thuraisingam, Head of Global Partner Marketing, and Vicki Batka, Vice President, Partner Sales, APJC, share how closer sales and marketing alignment can grow profits faster. We have also created a comprehensive learning path on Marketing Velocity Learning so you can learn how to build an integrated sales and marketing strategy.
Lastly, I am thrilled to share a video with our partner marketing community, showing how you can leverage Marketing Velocity resources.
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