LAS VEGAS – According to Cisco’s new channel marketing chief Amanda Jobbins the biggest challenge she faces is simplifying the networking giant’s funding model for partners.
In a nutshell, Jobbins wants to make Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO)marketing more agile. To this end, she announced a special joint marketing program at the Velocity conference for solution providers, in attendance, which will offer them $5,000 to drive demand or to build a brand. The fund must be used through Cisco’s Partner Marketing Central in one of two ways:
1. Submit a fourth quarter 2012 customized marketing activity.
2. Order a fourth quarter 2012 full service activity such as the Cisco Cloud Intelligent Network campaign.
This program is expected to last approximately six weeks.
Jobbins also announced a new social media campaign where channel partners can take a social media assessment, program. The social media audit will analyze the solution provider’s Web site; provide a content development strategy and calendar along with a social media channel set up that includes professional design of Web sites and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube pages.
The social media campaign will also come with tools and training to measure and manage the process.
Also at Velocity, Jobbins offered a fully-funded marketer to help solution providers with a six-month marketing plan or an evaluation of a current plan.
“We wanted to reward the channel partners for coming to Velocity and we hope that they apply what they have learned here and bring it back to base,” Jobbins said.
Johanna Delroy, the national marketing director for <a href="Compugen, said that Cisco’s new channel marketing strategy and these new offers are strong. “This program enables us to manage what we want to do in marketing as opposed to jamming it into an existing program.
Delroy added that Cisco allows Compugen to try out marketing programs such as the new social media campaign and the cloud campaign without risk. “They have done all the pre-work and it gives us a great opportunity to do something different,” she said.
Jobbins also outlined her key priorities for channel marketing in 2012 at the conference.
They are: brand awareness to drive enterprise sales. In the past, the company’s marketing in this area had very little call to action for channel partners. Now Cisco will push leads to solution providers.
The channel also asked Jobbins to increase the awareness level inside the company. She and her team will be working towards educating Cisco sales organization to know more about channel partners sales and technical expertise.
Solution providers also wanted more consumable content and Jobbins plans to make Cisco marketing more about business and less about speeds and feeds.
“Our marketing has to be more compelling and Cisco’s whole offer for instance VCE (the VMware, Cisco, EMC V-Block alliance) is valuable. We have to remember that services really drives profit and the whole offer has to have room for services and enable the channel to bring in another technologies. So we shall make it more modular,” Jobbins said.
Another key channel marketing strategy Jobbins wants to address is social media.
She said that the channel is dealing with digital scenarios and Cisco intends to communication on that platform and help to build communities with partners. “We have a lot of Web sites at Cisco and we’ll do an audit on all of these sites. The goal for online is reach, to help partners reach and enable customers,” she said.